No. 6 seed Rutgers vs. No. 14 seed Marquette
Game 8 – Second Round, March 3, 2012
XL Center – Hartford, Conn.
Rutgers Postgame Quotes
Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer
Could you please talk about the difference in your play from the first half to the second half?
“It really did not matter what we called in the first half it was just not working out for us. We were a little hesitant in the first half but were more aggressive in the second half. To be honest, we switched to a zone defense in the second half. We went away from our full court press because it was not working for us. Some of our players were anxious before the game and I think that both teams were sluggish to start the game. We are the more veteran team on the floor and we should have demonstrated that better tonight.”
Are you more apt to play your freshmen players this time of year to give them experience?
“Yes, of course. You want to play your players as much as you can instead of waiting for next year. I think they respond to you. We were looking for a defensive kick tonight and the intensity was not there. Some of our players looked like a deer in headlights out there. The veteran players kept the team together tonight. This is all new to many of our freshmen players and I think that they did not know what to expect going in to tonight.”
Junior Forward Monique Oliver
Can you please describe what your game plan was going into this game?
“Be aggressive and make stops on defense. I wanted to work hard and help out my teammates on every play.”
How are you able to be so effective in the paint amongst all of that traffic?
“My length helps me out in the paint. I try to be as patient as possible to wait for my shot or look for an open teammate.”
Senior Guard Khadijah Rushdan
Do you think that your strong defensive performance helped spark your offense in the second half?
“Yes, I do. We are known for our defense. Our defense fuels our offense. We just had to slow it down a bit. I think that we were trying to rush too many things so once we allowed our defense to take over it helped our offense.”
Could you please talk about the way you are able to look for your teammate April Sykes when you are in need of a basket?
“I definitely look for April. We have a natural chemistry with one another and I always know where she is. I put the ball in her hands and make sure that she is in the right position to score and be effective.”
Marquette Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Terri Mitchell
“I’m very pleased with our team. I think they’re really beginning to understand what it takes to win in this conference. It’s the best conference in the country. We gave [Rutgers] everything. Yes, we could’ve played smarter and yes, we made mistakes down the stretch, but I don’t think anyone can say our effort wasn’t there for 40 minutes. With the experience we had this year put into next year, I think you’re going to see a team that earn some more victories.”
Coach, what do you make out of this and go back with?
“We understand what it is to play one of the top teams in the country. I felt like [Rutgers’] shooting was a little better, their strength was a little better, and the thing that we can capitalize on is our spring and summer. What I take from it is a great building block. We’re going to remember this in the spring and summer and any time we think about not wanting to do it, we’re going to remember this loss. We’re going to remember the 17 losses and let that be our motivating factor to come back next year really strong.”
You held a very strong lead in the first half. [Rutgers] was able to pick up the defensive intensity in the second half. Can you talk about that and where you felt it changed for you?
“We expected they would come out and really attack us. We hurried out shot instead of shooting under control in order to run the plays that we usually run. We spent too much time in the back court trying to figure out their defense, running to the right spot. There was a big difference in the lead. They held us for a very long time.”
For each of the players, what did you learn from the tournament this year?
“As a team, we learned that against all odds, we can still come together. The way our season started off wasn’t what we expected or what we wanted but we ended the way that we hoped we could. We played together; we found it, and we just have to build on it.”
“We learned how to play as a team these last couple of weeks starting with our game [last] Monday against Rutgers. We came together and started fresh from the losses we had. We just forgot about that and played together. It hurts to lose tonight, but it’s exciting to know that we can play like this next year with everyone coming back and as well as the freshmen coming in. It’s going to be a new season next year.”