THE MODERATOR: With this win Rutgers improves to 19‑11, and they will await the winner of the Georgetown, Connecticut game, joining us is Coach Stringer and April Sykes and Monique Oliver, we will start with questions for our players first.
Q. Monique, the rebounds were even at halftime and you guys came out and doubled 'em up. Can you talk about whether that was the point of emphasis at the half or what you were thinking in term of going after the boards in the second half.
MONIQUE OLIVER: Only had one rebound in the beginning and then Chelsea had three so we knew we had to step it up on the rebounding end. We needed to box out.
Q. April, what was the difference between the last 10 minutes of the first half and the way you came out in the second half.
APRIL SYKES: I think it was us getting control, like we said. When you interviewed me a couple of days ago about the two‑game bye, it could hurt us or help us and I think we need to do get used to the atmosphere and stay within ourselves and a lot of times when we go for ourselves it's not being selfish but we don't realize we're doing it because we want to make a play to help the team but in the end of the day we're hurting the team and I think that's the difference between the first half and the second half.
Q. April, can you talk about a possible match‑up between UConn?
APRIL SYKES: Everybody knows they're the best team in the country, we have to handle ourselves, we have to do what we need to do, if we do what Rutgers needs to do and play the best we can, that's the only answer I have for you.
Q. April, can you talk about your play in the second half. You seemed to come out aggressive. Was that the plan?
APRIL SYKES: Yeah, Coach doesn't praise you what you're not doing your best, I know that, the second time she got in my chest and she took me out first half and let me sit the first twelve minutes or whatever, she told me I had one rebound and I was forcing things, and the second half she told me to keep going and get the ball until my hand and take my time and don't force a lot of things and I was 10 times more relaxed the second half.
Q. Can you talk about your offense production. You guys had 68 points and good contributions from offensively your starters.
APRIL SYKES: I think it's great because it's hard, we had 4 people in double digits and turnovers, I had 6, I was overanxious and excited, I usually don't get those turnovers, but when we have people scoring like that, we usually can get all 5 starters to contribute more and we are going to be hard to beat, to continue to rebound and block out is what we need to do.
Q. You and Chelsea dominated inside, did it take a while for you guys to get going today?
MONIQUE OLIVER: In the beginning we weren't as aggressive as we usually are and in the second half we came out stronger.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies, you're free to go. Questions for Coach now.
COACH STRINGER: That's it?
Q. Coach, can you address the difference in April's plays in the first half and the second half and what that meant to the team.
COACH STRINGER: When she said that she was more relaxed I thought that we were all strained and pushing it. So rather than to let it flow, the offenses that we generally run at the beginning are all continuity offenses, which means they're not geared for any particular person, it's set the screen and whoever has the shot will take the shot, trusting when that's going to happen.
But we're in trouble when we hold it longer than we should and we hold it calling for a screen because the continuity patterns do not involve that. So when you see that that's when I say we're going tore ourselves and we're struggling and when no one expects the shot, most likely we knew Marquette was going to show high, and the turnovers were because we were holding the ball too much and we were calling for a screen and they were showing high and we started trip and go falling and that's a recipe for disaster, it needs to flow.
So I was uncomfortable at the beginning and I know that they were as well. I was fearful that we would have a problem because we had not played and I know that sounds crazy, but we did ourselves a favor in that we only played ‑‑ we had a double bye. On the other hand it's a disservice because it is slower to get things flowing but thank goodness we got that game under our belt. We need to play extremely well and I thought we were sputtering against Seton Hall, the score doesn't look like that, but that's the way we played. I have to feel the game and it's possible for us to lose and I'll be happy because I'm satisfied with the flow. I thought that we weren't letting it flow as much as we have to. For this level of play, but I had a feeling that someone like UConn is going to get our attention so we better let it flow or we're going to have problems and I think we will, hopefully we got that one out of our head.
Q. You were the last team to beat UConn from the Big East, you might see them tomorrow night. What are your thoughts on a possible match‑up with them and what's it take to beat 'em?
COACH STRINGER: What's it take? Um, I don't know, the fact that we were the last team to beat UConn doesn't mean a lot, other than you have to bring your A‑game all the time physically and mentally, and I have to be on my A‑game as well, me and my assistants because Geno is an outstanding coach and his players are clearly some of the nation's best. So we will have to figure things out. If I had the key to that, you know, then I probably would figure it out, wouldn't I? I'm not going to say right now.
Do I feel good about the possibilities of this team doing a lot of things I liked, yeah, like April said, I was hard on them just now, they know that. That's the way we expect them to play and that game won't get it against UConn and none of the top 5 schools. Where are you from?
COACH STRINGER: You're not a UConn ‑‑ dug to UConn, wanted to make sure that you were trying to get me to tell you ‑‑ all right.
Q. Coach you had good rebounding in the second half. Can you talk about how that bodes for tomorrow and what it was that let you turn the turn the corner?
COACH STRINGER: It was obvious like Monique said, she had one rebound at the half, April had one, how in the world are we going to win the game. One of the things I wanted to do earlier is we wanted to get into our press and if we worked with one post we could go at that and bring the other one. But the rebounding was so bad and the only person that was constantly doing that and if you looked at stats from the last time we played, they had gotten 10 before and it's unfair to expect them to be the point guard and the leading rebounder and the toughest defensive assignment, give me a break. I challenge them to step to it if they didn't get it done in a few minutes we were going to see a change in who was out there because what was the point of having two posts if that's what we were going to have.
They stepped up and they knew we need to do focus on that and we've had that problem all year. It was good to see us do that and it was good to see us at the free‑throw line but we didn't hit as many as we should have, we were there the first half four or five times and we need to be there considerably more. We need to loosen up, let the game flow, attack first and then have the opposing team respect us, that we will drive, and they stay back for that and then we can knock 'em down from the outside because we can knock shots down from the outside and honestly, I hope our "A" game comes over‑night because we're going to need it tomorrow. We're capable of playing better and we better be able to play better against UConn.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.
THE MODERATOR: Joining us center Marquette is head Coach Terri Mitchell along can senior forward Jasmine Collins and Angel Robinson, Coach?
COACH MITCHELL: We fought for forty minutes and the final score didn't end up in our favor but we had nothing to hang our heads about, I thought we did everything we could to win the game.
They jumped on us early and we came back and the second half they hit shots and we didn't. Like I told our players at the end of the game this league prepares you for any team in the country now it's the next season of the NCAA Tournament and there isn't anybody we will see in the first round that hasn't prepared us because our league is so deep and so strong with so many different styles that we will be prepared when that time comes.
Q. Angel, you closed the first half on the 16‑2 run, can you talk about what led to that and why was it that you were able to not keep the momentum going?
ANGEL ROBINSON: Our team gets going and we get defensive stops and we've been preaching that all year. When we get in the hole against teams it's because our offense is not great and then we come down and we didn't get the stops that we need. So they came out hot but we settled down and we up'd our focus and got the stops and that's why we were able to cut into the lead and we had to cut back into their lead each media and we executed.
Q. Jasmine, you tied a career high with 17 points, what was it that allowed you to do that?
JASMINE COLLINS: I was letting the game come to me and I was focused on my defensive rebounding and my team helped me and that's how I got the scores.
Q. Coach, could you talk about April Sykes in the second half. She became aggressive, was that the way you saw it?
COACH MITCHELL: She did. It looked like from the first half she had ‑‑ I'm sure there was ‑‑ they told her to be more aggressive because I think she had 7 straight points there, I could be mistaken, and she was looking for opportunities to score not just from the three but any way, and her aggressiveness took us out of the paint and opened things up inside. So when she started hitting shots, we were compromised and it was able to open up their inside game.
When that happened I thought the game turned at that point.
Q. Coach, team went on a nice run to close out the first half, were you waiting for that run to come back the second half?
COACH MITCHELL: I was, I thought we had it in us, and it didn't happen because I know we can get defensive stops. It happened at the end but it was too late then, and we put on the pressure and probably in retrospect we needed to pressure sooner because there were several turnovers back‑to‑back and that's something for me to remember. I just thought we had the shots, and we didn't knock 'em down and I felt we were going to get to the lead. We fought every step of the way, though, and no one has to feel bad about every effort that we gave today, we just know it didn't go our way and now we get the rest, we need to move on to the next season.
Q. Angel, you got hit hard on the drive to the basket in the second half. Are you injured at all? Is it going to bother you for the NCAA Tournament or are you fine?
ANGEL ROBINSON: No, I'll be ready, I wasn't going to let that stop me from playing. Not in the NCAAs.
COACH MITCHELL: Day in the life of Angel Robinson, she's tough.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports.