Jan. 11, 2014
Head Coach Geno Auriemma
On Kiah Stokes continued success with rebounds
It’s pretty phenomenal. We know two things about Kiah, she rebounds the ball and she blocks shots. When she does those things it never surprises me because she’s really good at those things, she wants to be good at those things, and she works hard at those things. If we could get her to be a little more assertive on the offensive end, then we got something going. For her to do what she did today, especially with some of our guys in foul trouble, I think she came off the bench and did exactly what she was supposed to do, and she gave us a huge lift.
On what the defense was able to accomplish
I felt the first twenty minutes of the game were not great. When you start getting into foul trouble, it really takes the momentum away from your team, and we struggled in that first half to get any kind of continuity going. Our defense was good and has been good for the whole season, but it was especially good in the second half. Starting with the first possession, I thought Moriah set the tone that second half, and we just played off of her, got into a real great groove, and the second half was more the way I like to see us play.
On Bria stepping up in the game
We’re not shooting the ball great from the perimeter right now, it seems like we’re struggling to get any kind of flow or rhythm. I thought Bria was her usual, aggressive self, and that just goes back to what I was saying that she was trying to make plays and trying to make things happen, and that’s when she’s really, really good. It’s second NCAA weekend, you have two games on Saturday and Monday and you don’t want to wait until Monday to play well, you want to play well in both games. I was hoping we would play well down here especially, and Bria really did.
Temple Head Coach Tonya Cardoza
“Coming into this game, we knew that in order to even be in the game we needed to do almost everything right. I felt like our approach to the start of the game was really good. I felt like we competed for the first 15 minutes of the basketball game. The only thing is it’s a 40 minute game. I felt like our fight, it was there. The things that cost us the game, obviously 27 turnovers, but more importantly, they got way too many transition buckets. I felt like it got to a point where it got out of hand and once it snowballed, it just rolled and we couldn’t contain it. They just have way too many weapons for us. With their length, it’s hard to get shots at the basket. They had 14 blocked shots and it was just too much for us to overcome. But I thought that for the first 15 minutes we really competed and I would have loved to see us compete for 40 minutes.”
On the UConn defense
“Their guards can be really, really aggressive and get out in the passing lanes and be disruptive. They can be disruptive like that because they have the bigs back there if they get beat. They were just swarming all over us and making it difficult for our guards to do anything. I think it got to a point where it was just too much for our players.”
On the play of Bria Hartley
“She’s a great player. She’s aggressive. To start the game we said we were going to try to pack it in and not let (Stefanie) Dolson and (Breanna) Stewart get a lot of touches, and Bria obviously saw that and she knocked down shots. She’s just a great player.”
On what you say to your team after a game like this
“When I went into the locker room, they were already talking, so that’s a good thing. It wasn’t long faces. They were talking about the same things, like ‘We beat ourselves in so many ways.’ I think they are starting to realize that yes, we are playing against the No. 1 team in the country, but if we do those same things against a team that is not as good, we are still going to lose the basketball game. They understand that we control our own destiny in a lot of ways and we have to be smarter basketball team.”
Senior guard Bria Hartley
On how the bigger players help open up shots for her
“Stewart and Dolson are always going to take a lot of attention so that opens it up for us on the perimeter. Kaleena is able to hit shots and I’m able to hit shots and I think we just try to pick the right person.
On how she has learned to control her emotions:
“I think it’s just part of growing up. I think it just comes as you get older. You learn how to deal with them. I think that’s just life in general.”
Sophomore guard Moriah Jefferson
On how the team prepares to play against a tough offensive team:
“I just have to stay focused and be prepared. We knew they were going to try and drive the ball a lot and get into the passing lanes.”
On her development as a player this season:
“I’m being more aggressive and trying to get in the defensive lanes so I can get steals and we can get easy and open layups.”