March 29, 2009



General comments:
I am really proud of our team because Ohio State is a championship team. They won the Big Ten regular season and tournament so we knew we were up against a great opponent. What I thought was the difference was Jayne (Appel, junior center) in the second half. We went to her and she delivered. She struggled a little bit in the first half and didn’t finish shots that she normally does but in the second half she really showed great confidence and great poise and really put her team on her back. All in all, an excellent team effort.

Overall, a great team effort. We haven’t been in a lot of really close games. We had to make some shots, and we had to run some plays and score on things. I thought we did a really good job. I thought that Jill (Harmon, senior forward) was huge for us. Her energy, her steals and her going to the basket, it was exciting.

Ohio State gave us all that we could ask for and more. I think we had to reach down. We needed some people to make plays and they made them. People stepped up and made some shots for us that took us over the top.

On how the game played out:
It was how I hoped it would go. I watched a lot of their game footage, and we were very specific with our team about what we wanted to do defensively. We worked really hard on Sammy Prahalis (Ohio State freshman guard). In the first half she was knocking down some shots. She’s a great ball-handler and can get to the rim. I thought it was really key how Rosalyn (Gold-Onwude, junior guard) came in and helped us both offensively and defensively. We wanted to run on them. I thought we did a really good job of taking away Lavender’s (Jantel, sophomore center) inside presence. She’s capable of going off. Maybe it doesn’t sound good to hold her to 15, but we were really excited about that.

On what Coach VanDerveer said to her team at halftime:
I thought Jayne (Appel, junior center) felt like she was feeling pressure. At halftime I told our team that we’ve worked really hard to get here and that it is your job to have fun. It is my job to feel pressure. It’s not on you, it’s on me. I need you to relax and have fun. We are going to Jayne, and she will deliver for us. I just think sometimes I just have to remind Jayne how important she is to our team. I thought she did a great job for us. I have the ultimate confidence in Jayne.

On her slow start:
My teammates and my coaches really kept me in the game. My shots weren’t falling in the first half. They told me to keep sticking with it, keep playing.  I couldn’t give up, I had to keep going at it.

On playing against Jantel Lavender:
When (Jantel Lavender) picked up her third foul and had to sit down, that’s when I knew we had to take advantage of the fact that she was on the bench.  Jantel is a great player and she provides a lot for her team.

On Stanford’s improvement late in the season:
We keep remembering back to the fall and how hard we had to work.  We developed our game a lot more.  We got our team together and decided we want to get the Final Four.

On Jill Harmon’s performance:
Jill (Harmon) has done that all year for us. She makes the plays that some players don’t necessarily want to make. She always makes those big plays for us.

On allowing Ohio State to stay in striking range until late in the game:
I think we made some decisions that might not have been the best ones, and I take responsibility for that.  I really need to try and slow the floor down when things get crazy.  There were times when we had the lead, and we just let them get back in.  We were taking shots that weren’t the best percentage shots.  Overall, we handled it really well.  They really couldn’t stop us inside. We did a great job on defense too.

In the last seven or eight minutes, you hit your stride. What changed?
I think we went back to our triangle offense, which is our bread and butter.  They were fronting Jayne (Appel) at the end, which is weird because they weren’t doing that the whole game.  That left Jayne open and let Nneka (Nnemkadi Ogwumike) slash high.  They are both incredible athletes and were able to finish inside.  The majority of the shots were inside.  Jill (Harmon) hit a big shot, Kayla (Pedersen) hit a big shot.

In the last seven or eight minutes, you hit your stride. What changed?
We knew we had to get the job done. I know on Jeanette (Pohlen) and Jayne (Appel’s) part they just had this attitude that encompasses everybody.  They weren’t going to let the game go any way but ours.

On playing so close to home:
It was definitely favorable (playing in Berkeley). It was almost like we were at home. Wherever we play, we will play as hard as we want to.  I feel no matter where you play it doesn’t matter. It’s all what you leave on the court. Of course there were a lot of fans here.  But really it is just our players and our coaches.


Was there a helpless feeling toward the end (with Jantel Lavender’s foul trouble)?
“It’s difficult to play with four fouls. We put her back in at the nine-minute mark or a bit closer to 10 minutes. She wasn’t as effective as she had been.”

Can you comment on the depth of Stanford’s inside attack? It wasn’t just Jayne Appel; there were waves of players coming at you.
“I think it was the post players, both Jantel (Lavender) and (Andrea) Walker, getting into foul trouble. I think a couple of (fouls) were decent blocks, good blocks. It is an interesting part of our game that we continue to try to grow through.”

What happened down the stretch after trailing by four points with five minutes left in the game?
“I just think we let it slip away. We needed a couple of defensive stops and a couple shots didn’t fall down. We just let it slip away.”

What was it like covering Stanford F/C Jayne Appel today?
“She’s a good post player. She gets deep and she’s really effective. I got some early fouls that did not allow me to play as physical as I would have liked to be in the second half. She’s a good post player.”

Was it frustrating not being able to play the way you wanted to because of foul trouble?
“It was really frustrating not being able to play physical just because I had four fouls and I wasn’t able to play as hard as I should’ve played against [Jayne Appel]. She’s a very effective post player on the low block. It’s unfortunate. She played really well tonight.”