March 28, 2009

PURDUE QUOTES

THE MODERATOR: Coach, your comments?
COACH VERSYP: We need to get out on the court and shoot around and then we will be focused for tomorrow night.

Q. What have you seen from Rutgers as of late that's led them to make this surge?

COACH VERSYP: I think they're playing very, very good basketball. They've always been a great defensive team but I think they're clicking on offense now.

They have a system that they play but they have players that can make plays and Prince and Vaughn and Ray is shooting exceptionally well.

I think they're continuing to build confidence and for them to be able to play at home was good for them and got momentum going and they had to beat some tough opponents.

Q. Coach, sounds like from the advance ticket sales that this is going to be a highly attended tournament. It also sounds like there will be folks that are OU folks in the stands. I know you don't have to concern yourself with that the first game. Can you talk about having an arena that is heavily attended in the regional, and maybe on the flip side is there any concern for a team in a regional?

COACH VERSYP: I think it's a huge advantage. I think you saw that around the country. People said there were upsets. If you think Rutgers was an upset with Auburn, Michigan State beating Duke on the home court 6 or 7,000 fans. It's great for women's basketball but there is a home court advantage with that when you have so many fans that are obviously cheering against you or for you.

But everybody knows it is what it is. This is women's basketball and this is NCAA tournament time. But I think if you're used to playing in front of big crowds, and you're playing, you know, to battle for a chance to get to the Elite Eight or the Final Four, you have to be mentally tough at this point.

Q. When you were a player at Purdue, Coach Stringer was the Iowa coach. What do you remember about her Iowa teams? Are you seeing a lot of that when you watch Rutgers now?

COACH VERSYP: Coach Stringer is obviously one of the greatest coaches in women's basketball and has done so much for our sport. As players, you never think you're going to be able to coach against people that coached against you.

She is an amazing person, done an amazing job, she has great point guards, has great defensive teams. If my memory serves me, I don't know if I remember that so many years ago, but she is a coach who knows what she wants. She has an incredible system and she brings in players that do it justice.
Her and the Rutgers team are playing great basketball right now and we have so much respect for them.

Q. Coach, Rutgers is known for their defense, they like to hold opponents under 60. What is it about that defense that's so tough to score against?

COACH VERSYP: I think they want to slow it down quite a bit. They like to be in the half-court offense and use the 30-second shot clock, and that will limit opponents to get fast breaks and a lot of points. I think that is a big part of it.

They can press you intently and it's aggressive. But I think they like to control the tempo and they have held people under 60, and we have done a very good job on our defense as well, so I think it's going to be a great defensive battle.

Q. You said that Rutgers is playing very good basketball right now. When you scout, do you look at the earlier games? Do you look at anything they've done prior to this period?

COACH VERSYP: Absolutely. You go back to January, February, then obviously the games that they've been playing. I think everybody -- you can't be playing great basketball year-round, maybe UCONN, but we've had major injuries, and you want to be playing great basketball in February and March because that's when it matters.

Even Coach Stringer said it's not where you were, it's where you are going. And I think we've done the same thing. For them, you go back and see how they played against the Big East in January and February and see their tournament run in the Big East tournament as well, and you can just tell when players are getting out there and playing with confidence and things are just clickin'.

Q. Is that the only March difference, the confidence? Or can you sense that there was some sort of change?

COACH VERSYP: I think -- you know, I can't sense their team, I can only speak of my team. It's a mental aspect, a confidence aspect, it's playing together, going into second and third gear and I think that's what most coaches feel at this time but, again, I can't speak for them, I can only talk about what I've seen and what I've read.

Q. Coach, the Big 10 has been taking a lot of hits nationally this year, but the league has three teams in the Sweet 16. Your thoughts on the league getting some credibility back?

COACH VERSYP: I hope it does get a lot of credibility. I had someone say to me "I didn't think they were this strong until now," so people didn't respect us, we had to prove it.

Now having three of our Big 10 teams in it's going to show that we are a young league, and getting three in, hopefully people will start recognizing that we are a power league. Hopefully we're not 5th and 6th in that power league after this year.

But, you know, we have to continue to worry about ourselves and do the right things and hopefully those things will take care of themselves. But when you have new, young coaches in a young league, and we can do it this year, what we've done so far, I think it will make an impact in the future and hopefully people will recognize us a little bit more.

Q. Coach, I think it's a vogue thing on the east to say Purdue hasn't seen this kind of defense. What would be the thing that you would say that Rutgers hasn't seen that your team offers?

COACH VERSYP: I would say our defense. You know, we've been ranked nationally in the top 20 for our field goal percentage defense and we've kept teams with 56 points, 57 points, so we kinda do the same thing, we play a different style.

We've played Big East, ACC and different styles, and we try to do that especially at Purdue. Our nonconference schedule we play one of the toughest schedules in the country, and that's to prepare our players for the national scene, just not the Big 10.

So I think our defense and our style of sharing the basketball and having great balanced scoring -- we don't have one go-to player, we have a lot of balanced scoring.

Q. It sounds like this is going to come down to who controls the tempo, just to hear you talk and Coach Stringer talking.

COACH VERSYP: Absolutely, that's going to be a big key. They know we like to run in transition as much as we can. Last week, playing against UNC, we had to control the tempo because they wanted to run more than we do, and here we've got to push that a little bit but that stems with our defense.
We have to defend and get the board so we can run, but I know it will be a defensive battle, but I think both programs and both point guards are going to have to really -- it's in their hands to control that.

Q. FahKara had the nine turnovers, do you break that down in film or are you confident she won't too it again?

COACH VERSYP: No, I say a lot to her. Halftime or the time-out. She and I get very close. But she is the key, she is our energy, our leader, our focus, our defensive stopper.

She brings so much to the table that a lot is on her shoulders and she plays -- her and Lindsay play harder than anybody. She has to calm down and settle down at times. So there is definitely -- she gets an earful whether it's a time-out or halftime, where I can have more time to discuss things.
She is going to make turnovers, we talk about "bad" turnovers, or if there is such a thing as "good" turnovers, but if somebody picks her pocket and scores, if it's kicked out-of-bounds, we can set up our defense and we have a lot of confidence in our defense.

Q. Coach, you told us you were the underdog, why?

COACH VERSYP: Nobody talks about Purdue, no one thought we would be very good a couple of years ago and we went to the Elite Eight.

We don't have the stress, the pressure, we can relax and our kids have a quiet confidence about them, they're determined. But I don't see a lot of stuff about Purdue, so it's great.

Q. Was it like that when you were a player?

COACH VERSYP: Um, no, Purdue was in a major national scene and been there for a long time, all in the '90s and the 2000s, I think it's media markets, a lot of different things.

But we're still one of the top 10 winningest programs in the country. It's just continuing to have that respect and we're in the Big 10, I think that's part of it. They always talk about the Big East and the ACC and doing the things we did this year.

I hope people will start recognizing the Big 10, now we have Ohio State, IU, Iowa, Michigan, so many stepping up to the plate. We always talk about you have to earn everything. Just because there is a name on your jersey doesn't mean that much. We're playing for the people that played before us.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you for your comments.

(Players enter the room.)

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by our student athletes, FahKara Malone and Lindsay Hylton.
Questions?

Q. FahKara, Coach said she feels like you guys are the underdog. Are you trying to take that mentality into this weekend?

FAHKARA MALONE: Yeah, I think so. I think it's less pressure if you go in there feeling like it's you against the world and to go out there and have fun together and bond together closer. It's worked for us on the road a lot this year. She tries to keep that going through the tournament.

Q. Lindsay, do you know Kia from USA basketball? If so, give us a story and tell us what it's going to be like going against her?

LINDSAY WISDOM-HYLTON: I love Kia, she is a great person. I played with her for two years, in New Mexico City and in Russia, she is a great friend, it was a great experience.
She is very physical and I do know she is a great player. I'm excited to see her and see how she's been and to catch up. She is a great friend. When I tore my ACL, she was there to help me and I think it will be an interesting match-up.

Q. What is it about Rutgers that makes them so good?

LINDSAY WISDOM-HYLTON: I think they're athletic, big, long. Their presence of being so athletic and large is that they're intimidating. If we play our style of basketball and execute the game plan, we should be great.

Q. Lindsay and then FahKara. When you look at Rutgers, do you see similarities at least in mentality, what they try to do and what you guys try to do?

LINDSAY WISDOM-HYLTON: Yeah, I think they like to slow things down in certain situations in a game and we like to do the same thing, we're not a fast-paced team. There are times to run and times to slow down and execute your offense. It's a balance of who is going to execute and take care of the ball, we're both well coached.

FAHKARA MALONE: Like Lindsay said, they do a good job of controlling the tempo. They don't look rushed very much in the half-court, so our defense is going to have to be huge and pressure them as much as we can.

When they do a fast break, they're efficient at it and their pressing does a good job for them when they're behind, which is what we try to do sometimes, so there are a lot of similarities so it will be a battle of wills and who can execute.

Q. FahKara, when you look at that backcourt, what do you think are the biggest challenges for you? The keys?

FAHKARA MALONE: The keys for me are rebounding. They have two stocky guards that are extremely strong and they do a great job on the boards, and for us to be successful we have to box out.
For most of the games, especially against North Carolina, it's the post players that do a great job of crashing as does their backcourt. They don't get too far out of control and we have to do a lot of pressure defense and a lot of boxing out.

Q. For both of you. Do you think your transition game is something that you can utilize as a strength tomorrow night?

FAHKARA MALONE: Absolutely. Coach has been stretching that, trying to get out on the open court but being smart when we do it. Against North Carolina we got out of control at the beginning, but second half we ran what we wanted to and slowed it down when we needed to.

We're very good in the open court in transition. Hopefully we can use that to our advantage.
LINDSAY WISDOM-HYLTON: I think it's a matter of knowing when to run, when not to. Like FahKara said, at times we've been really good and other times we've been out of control and taking care of the ball and slowing it down when we have to and other times capitalizing, whether it's a turnover or a fast break.

Q. When you get to this point, do you know the back stories of the teams that you're facing? Do you read about them, do you know that Rutgers has been anything in particular this year?

FAHKARA MALONE: I don't know much about Rutgers, I know they've had an up and down season, similar to what we've had. What I know is that I've seen them in the national championship in the Final Four, and I want to be able to push my team forward in that situation, knowing that they've been here as well as we have, so we have the experience level that we both have is going to be big in this situation.

LINDSAY WISDOM-HYLTON: Same thing. (Chuckles.)

Q. Lindsay, in the year you were having a free-throw shooting slump, how do you bring yourself out of it? Do you shoot 100 each day or -- FahKara says no, but --

LINDSAY WISDOM-HYLTON: FahKara! Coach tells us certain weeks when she wants us to shoot free-throws, to get there and shoot a couple hundred during the week. Once you miss a couple, it's what makes me go down and you're thinking about it too much, it's a confidence thing.

Toward the end I've been able to step up and hit free-throws for the team, and I think that's building my confidence. Hopefully it won't become an issue here and in the future. But I was the only one that missed free-throws in the last game.

Q. FahKara, after you have a nine turnover game like you had Monday night, what's that conversation like with Coach?

FAHKARA MALONE: You know, it was weird because I got on the bus and Coach gave me a hug and said "great game," so I don't know. Against a team like North Carolina, I don't expect anything less from myself.

I mean, the game is so fast tempo and that kind of atmosphere, it kinda happens, even though some were just knocked off my foot, I don't know what happened there. But I know I have to do a lot better job going against Rutgers because of the way they play.

With North Carolina you get so many different possessions that it doesn't seem as big, but against Rutgers you may only get half of those. Taking care of the ball is going to be huge for me as much as controlling the tempo for my team.

Q. You talked about experience earlier. Y'all have five 5th-year seniors?

LINDSAY WISDOM-HYLTON: No, three.

Q. What kind of a difference does that make? What do 5th year seniors bring?

FAHKARA MALONE: A lot of stories. They bring experience because they've been in the tournament almost every year they've been here, so they can tell us how it is, and they can show us different ways to handle different situations.

I know a big thing, not only from those five seniors but from the fact that we have three juniors as well, our starting lineup has all been to the Elite Eight and that's huge for us. Knowing that we've been here with all these people helps us to be more confident in what we're doing.

LINDSAY WISDOM-HYLTON: I think not only confidence, just helping out the younger classmen and helping them through this situation because it's all new to them. So helping them through it and teaching them.

Sometimes they have the nerves and may not have a great game, but we're here to talk to them and help them to just play their style of basketball.

Q. Lindsay, the ticket sales for this thing are going through the roof right now. As players, would you rather play in front of a crowd even though they may be rooting against you? Or would you rather have a more neutral setting?

LINDSAY WISDOM-HYLTON: I actually like to play in front of fans no matter who they are rooting for. A dead atmosphere is not good and it lulls us to sleep. We've played in situations like that before.
Having fans, you want to hush 'em up and you want to play better. Having the fans is great, no matter what.

FAHKARA MALONE: Like Lindsay said, it's nice because even against fans that aren't going for you, you just get that shot and that quiets them for the next two minutes or something. So it's exciting whether they're cheering for you or against you.

Q. FahKara, your coach, she seems to have a little bit of a chip that you're the underdog because everybody keeps on talking about Rutgers and you don't get the same media attention. Do you feel that way? Do you feel that the Big 10 doesn't get credibility, that people talk about Rutgers and not you?
FAHKARA MALONE: I think so, she brings that to our attention because we don't focus on the media or anything like that because one day they're for you and one day they're not.

We try to focus on ourselves and what we're doing. A lot of times I feel like the other team gets more credit than we do, but I know it helps Coach and she feeds off the rest of us to go out there and want to prove ourselves every day to everybody.

LINDSAY WISDOM-HYLTON: I think just like she said, it's fuel to our fire. We'll get some media information and she'll show it to us and use it as motivation. Nobody thought of us last week, so -- and here we are. Anything can happen. Even though we have the higher seed, that doesn't mean anything.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you for your comments. Best of luck to you tomorrow night.

End of FastScripts


RUTGERS QUOTES

THE MODERATOR: Coach Stringer has joined us, we would like an opening statement.

COACH STRINGER: I would say congrats on a season that allowed us to be here. The most unlikeliest of teams, given how things started, but we did get started and we had a tough schedule.

This has been an extremely trying schedule for me, and it's been gratifying, because ultimately we were able to see some of the things that we were teaching began to take root and to that extent we began to put things together. We're excited and happy that we got here, it's like the tortoise and the hare, and it didn't matter how quickly you get something done, but that you continue to trod along, and we did that.

So here we are, in Oklahoma City regionals, which is a great region. If nothing more than the tremendous support that the Oklahomans have always given to basketball and to sports period. We're happy to be a part of that.

Q. Coach, I'm curious from a coach's perspective, the general wisdom is that there is going to be a lot of people wearing Oklahoma gear in the stands.

What's it like coming in with the possibility of facing an arena like that that's supposed to be a neutral site. Is that good or bad? What's the potential there for a coach?

COACH STRINGER: I asked him to verify Oklahoma's colors and they're red, right? Good. When you look in the stands and you see the colors, that's great. In our case, we have to continue to manage it's the Scarlet Knight red. But I would rather play in a crowded arena than to get home and play in an empty arena. It is what it is.

I think our women's game is about growing the sport and trying to get as much support in different areas of the country. So you might say it's a home advantage, but just as easily had we been placed in the Trenton region, which I imagine had we been the No. 1 seed we would have been able to do that and others would have had to deal with the same thing.

The guys have gotten to the point where they can take on neutral sites and that's great, but the women's game is not quite there yet. I'm just happy to be playing basketball now, period. And I'm sure that the team is. We're really happy to be playing and we don't care if the game was in Iceland, we're just happy to play.

Q. Coach, you've seen the kids take hold of what you're teaching, and before we came here you said that Monday was the first opportunity for them to see exactly what you've been preaching. Has it been a slow process? Or was there a moment? Was there something where you said "now they get it? Now they see it?"

COACH STRINGER: We had a "now you see it, now you don't" moment most of the time. You didn't know who you were looking at. I think you remember a game where we had Tennessee down by 20, lost the game. We've lost several games by two or three points.

We have sputtered, and had various players that would show up in one game but not in another. So we were never able to have all five hitting on the same cylinder at the same time. We believed, as has happened in years past, that we would come together.

Generally our teams begin to play what we call Scarlet Knight basketball, but with so many freshmen, I don't know that they knew what Scarlet Knight basketball was, because if you did, you would know you address defense first and you would do it day in and day out in practice and always.

Then you're looking for offensive execution. But we didn't do those things and it had to do with us in a lukewarm way accepting any of the things that we were trying to teach. But I think that it got really desperate after we lost our game to DePaul.

We picked it up with Notre Dame, and it was obvious we had lost way too many games, far more than what we were used to losing and we were losing them by two and three points. Some days I was upset and took the team out, as was the case for Syracuse and didn't put the starters in. As I said to the team, if you want to lose a game, I'll help you lose it. And that's what I did.

To me it's not that we win or lose, but that we play the game in a certain way, because I've come to understand that it has to be played in a certain way in order to win at a championship level.
When we began to embrace the small things that make the big difference, that is defense, rebounding, taking care of the ball better, recognizing time, situation, and score, and that we would do anything as long as we won as a team, it was important.

I think that everybody felt so bad that we began to look at ourselves and to see what could we do and how can we be a better team? Because no one enjoyed losing.

We were too many individuals without realizing it, perhaps. But when you get desperate, you start to reach for a raft, and I just remember the moment for me was when prior to our Seton Hall game, they had had a meeting and they had a cheer that said "trust. We're all we have!"

And it was important that we did understand that because prior to that, we probably thought as individuals each person can do their own thing and we can pull it out. But I thought they got really scared. And I came to be the bearer of bad messages.

So I don't know that they took what I had to say as seriously as they did when they began to read, you know, in the paper -- you know how they do the Internet and all those other things, and they began to realize they were in trouble and we needed to step it up. From that point forward they have never looked back.

Q. (No microphone.)

COACH STRINGER: It has to do with youth. Even though we are split between upper classmen, we have as many freshmen as we have upper classmen and we needed leadership to win.

Q. You see any similarities between the way that you play and the way that Purdue plays?

COACH STRINGER: Actually a lot of similarities. I think Purdue is aggressive defensively. They push the ball down the floor and they have a lot of sets that are similar, and Coach Versyp has done an outstanding job.

And I remember her being a great player at Purdue and she does a great job of motivating her players to play at the highest level. And I'm sure that it's her own pride having been with Indiana basketball, they're playing at Purdue, she now has a player or two that have been at Indiana, and of course the Purdue fans give great support to their team.

Offensively as well as defensively I see a lot of things that are similar, so it's not going to be easy, but, yes, we are similar, they do take care of the ball.

Q. Coach, your team has played very well in the last few games. You've been talking about playing hard against Connecticut and smart, but you didn't play particularly smart against Louisville, but you played hard.

Are you concerned, even though you guys have gone forward that the inconsistencies that have dogged you all year might be lurking this weekend?

COACH STRINGER: Well, I wish you hadn't said that, but you always have to know that. It's almost like if you get burned once, you get nervous when you get near the stove, even though you did pretty good before.

Obviously that's always possible. But I'm hoping that we remember -- I have a feeling that I didn't think we would play consistent long enough for us to know that this is the way we play. When you play a certain way, as soon as you start to veer off that path, you can correct yourself quickly and you know, oh, we're in trouble, let's stop.

I shared that in the Louisville game, I thought we played hard but we didn't play smart. We did play smart and hard in Connecticut, but we needed consistent play from people who had played consistently. For example, Kia had a spectacular game. And if we had the play from everybody else playing the way they can play, the outcome could have been different.

Right now we need consistency, and it was important that I knew they felt a certain way after our win. I was asking them what was the best game they had played. It was interesting, it was going to be important to me that we didn't say, you know, maybe a game, maybe five or six, seven games ago where we may have scored -- they as individuals scored 10, 25 points.

It was important that they knew they had understood their roles, and I think that was one of the key issues, is that we didn't understand our roles.

So when I asked that question, for example, one of them said their best game was against Auburn, and I said you didn't score as much as you might have scored, but she began to embrace the parts of the game that are necessary to her role in functioning as a point guard, because the point guard's role is never to be the outstanding scorer as such -- if it happens it does, but she distributed the ball, it was obvious she was calm, she recognized time situations and she almost had a triple-double because she took good shots, she always rebounded and she was looking to make things go.

It was important that I heard that. And from each of them, because they then talked about the complete game, I bet if I had asked that same question maybe two weeks into the season, they would have looked at their own individual game where they may have scored big points but not realize that they had played their roles.

We now recognize our role. What's important is that we have amnesia about all those other bad games we played and like what we saw and try to seek that out again.

Q. Talk about building the offense from the defense. Is that what happens in the first couple of rounds?

COACH STRINGER: We've always believed in our defense creating offense. We have, as a rule, been confident with our ability to put pressure on opposing teams and to get ourselves 10, 12 points on any given night.

We have been down by 18 and come back and wiped that deficit out in about four minutes. We are confident we can get that done. It requires a tremendous amount of hard work, but, unfortunately, we also play a game, so we're halfway going through it, and we look up and we're down by 20 and we have 8 minutes to go. So we get into this hurry up mode, let's go into our press.

But we've come just 20 seconds too late, you know? But that's always just been a key part of our game. But I will say that in the last three or four games, the press has not been what it has been before. It's not given us at least 10% of our offense.

We have executed better, and I'm happy about that, because I don't think that the press -- the press has not lost -- we have not lost it and it hasn't left us, but we're executing better and we're getting better shots, more settled in terms of who is taking the shots. And when the wall is going inside to Kia she is comfortable.

She'll see a double when she can make the pass out. She's not trying to rush it. Epiphanny in some games had to score 25, she is not a selfish player, she just had to take the shots because nobody else was taking them. It caused us to be disruptive in our offense and it caused everybody else to stand around, there was no movement.

If you look at the Maryland game, that's exactly what was going on. But everyone has now collectively bought into the fact that they have got to be offensively effective, each person there has got to do their part, no more or less.

So offensively they're all looking when they touch it, they're looking to see is this me? Can I get this done? And that's important because now it looks as though no one is under pressure, they're just, you know, they're under pressure to execute and find the best possible person.

So I do feel better. I would have liked for us to be able to have been clicking two weeks ago, that would have been good because I think then we would know our rhythm.

I was telling the team the first time that I slept in the same way that I have always was about two weeks ago. I can't remember the game, but it was a satisfying win. It was the way that it was played, it wasn't about the score. I just felt good because I knew that once we embraced that, we knew what it meant to make good passes.

You know, some of the strange things, when we're executing, for me to hear them say, "that was a nice pass" "nice flow, look at the execution" that's really Greek, had been Greek to this team before. But now they're appreciating good passes and movement. When you appreciate the game the way it has to be played then, you know that we'll be okay. We'll be okay in the future in terms of at least ball movement.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you for your comments.

(Players enter the room.)

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by our student athletes Kia Vaughn, Brittany Ray and Epiphanny Prince.

Q. Kia, after four straight Sweet 16s, is this old hat or is there still something special about this? If so, how does it distinguish itself from the previous three?

KIA VAUGHN: It's always special, every year you get to go and attend, because you know that it's getting smaller and smaller within the great teams. So we're one of 16.

This year it's different because I'm a senior, obviously. So we have to go out and play hard and have fun.

Q. Brittany, Coach keeps on saying you are the unlikeliest of teams and it's a surprise you are here. Do you feel that way?

BRITTANY RAY: Uh-uh. I mean, coming from where we did in the beginning of the season, I can see why she said that. I don't know, it's like a repeat of freshman year, she said we were the most unlikely team to get to the national championship, you know?

It's just been, you know, an up and down season, but I'm fortunate to be in this position right now because, you know, we've improved so much as a team, not only on the court but off the court.
We have become so close-knit and I think that has translated on the court, and I'm proud that we've gotten this far and I hope we can continue to go further.

EPIPHANNY PRINCE: I think she said that because of where we came from, from the beginning of the season and how we improved so much. I think that we knew if we continued to work hard, then we would be able to get to this point.

Q. Kia, was there a moment in the year where you thought you weren't even get to the NCAA tournament let alone the Sweet 16?

KIA VAUGHN: Yeah, definitely. I think throughout the middle of the season, Coach Stringer kept saying we are not going to get invited, which to me, being a senior, was like a dagger in my heart.

I kept asking myself, what could we do? What else are we capable of doing, how many more games do we need? Everything counted. No matter what, I wanted to get here and we are.

So no more celebrating, we have to deal with the business at hand because we're a team that belongs here.

Q. Kia, you guys had the home court advantage the first few rounds, now you're coming to a situation, especially when you get through this round and probably into the next round, you won't have a home court edge. How much of a difference does that make to you as a player?

KIA VAUGHN: Home court, first year, it's never been done with us, so it's nothing new to us being somewhere else, having the opponents being home and being a higher seed. It comes with mental toughness, and I believe our coach prepares us well enough that our mind-set is to play the game of basketball and focus on where we are and make every place a home away from home.

Q. Do you see similarities in the way that you guys play and the way that Purdue plays?

BRITTANY RAY: I think we both take great pride in our defense and we like to run the ball. They run the ball a little bit more than we do, but I think they like to play a low-post game and then the outside game, and I do see similarities there.

Q. Epiphanny, the fact that you guys scored 80 in your last game, does that take a load off of you offensively, knowing that you don't have to do everything by yourself, knowing that your teammates are chipping and scoring too?

EPIPHANNY PRINCE: I think the last couple of games my teammates have been stepping up and taking shots and giving the team a lot more, so, yeah.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you. Best of luck to you tomorrow evening.

End of FastScripts