March 6, 2011
Head Coach Geno Auriemma
The offense has struggled all year but you always said the defensive wins the game for you, can you talk about that?
"Yeah, we take tremendous pride in the fact that we are going to play really hard on the defensive end and play smart and try to make the other teams do something that they're not comfortable with or get their points in a way other than the way they normally get them.
I thought we did a great job of that tonight. I think we forced them into taking a lot of shots they probably wish they hadn't taken or, you know, taking longer to get those shots than they normally would. That's what good defense is.
You're not going to shut anybody out, but you can make it so that it's difficult for them to get the shots that they want and to execute what they want to execute and for most of the game I thought we did a really good job of that."
Geno did you think the game would play out the same way as the game in Washington?
"It didn't, we scored 37 points in the first half, we were up 20. I think at Georgetown, we were up three or four or whatever and for whatever reason the first half wasn't like the second half. So, the same team that scored 37 in the first half gets eight or 10 or 12 in the second half and to me that's unexplainable, I wish I had an explanation but I can't explain it.
I guess that's what happens when you play and how do you explain it? I have no idea."
Rutgers is the BIG EAST team that has had the most recent success against you. Can you talk about the match up tomorrow and what they do well and what they've done in the past to have success against you guys?
"Rutgers does the same thing year after, year after year, doesn't matter whether they're playing us or anyone else. You know. They pride themselves in being really good defensively. They control the tempo of the game and they really run their stuff, they're going to execute as long as they have to get the shot they want and they make it difficult for teams to get good shots against them.
That's been their history since the first game they played in the BIG EAST. We've had a little bit of success against them over the years so hopefully we can have a little bit more tomorrow. "
Can you talk about the physicalness of playing Georgetown versus Rutgers in back to back nights with only six players?
"Yeah, that's just the way it is. That's the conference right now; you've got teams that finish eight, 9 and 10 that are probably as physical and as good as the teams that finished in the top four or five.
So I don't think there are any easy games, I don't think there are any games where you just come out here and you're going to get away with, you know, playing soft, and Georgetown does a really good job of getting the game going the way they want to get it going and they forced the referees to make a call, one way or the other. That's the aggressiveness that you just you don't see very much on other teams. They play to their style and Rutgers is going to play to their style and it's probably going to be the exact same thing tomorrow, you're going to have to grind it out, either team, whatever wins tomorrow is probably going to have to put up with forty minutes of it being difficult to get a shot.
We're hard to score against, they're hard to score against so who knows. I don't think tomorrow's game is going to be 90 89. I don't think."
Senior Forward Maya Moore
Talk about the victory and how Stephanie played tonight.
"I think that's one of the best parts of our team is when somebody is struggling like I was tonight offensively, we pick each other up and finish inside. She got herself in good position and made some tough plays in there. You know we had to pick up for each other."
Could you characterize Georgetown's defense, it's the second time in nine days that they put you through the ringer that no other team has been able to do this year, what is it they do? "They're aggressive, they're long, they rush you and try to make you speed up and make it a fast game. It was just a matter of us keeping our composure. When we did we got great looks. So it's about outlasting them mentally, with the pressure that they put on you, just finding the right player, cutting hard and playing more aggressive than their defense."
What kind of challenges does Rutgers present tomorrow?
"They're also good offensively, but they like to slow it down. At times when we played at their place, we struggled getting into an offensive rhythm so that will be something that we need to focus on establishing the tempo and the flow of the game and then rebounding and not letting them get in the lane because they're really tough when they get the ball inside the lane, either by dribble penetration or to their post."
Freshman Center Stephanie Dolson
The game looked physical. Do you have a tough time inside with them because I know they were banging you real hard and usually when you pulled the ball down it was trouble, but when you kept it up high you did well, was it physical inside?
"Yeah, but we knew coming into the game that it would be an extremely physical game and coming into the game I knew I had to be strong with it when I got the ball. A couple of times that I did bring it down it got stripped so I had to get my mind right. Anytime I got the ball I had to keep my elbows out and go up strong with it."
Sophomore Guard Kelly Faris
Can you talk about the win?
"We came out the first half, but that second half was not Connecticut basketball. It's one of those games that we had to pull something together, unfortunately, and it's frustrating as players that we know we didn't come out and play the game that we wanted to play.
When it gets down to that, you know, we're the team that has to figure out a way to do it and unfortunately it wasn't the best way but we got it done tonight."
When (Moore) is struggling, do you guys go "oh, no, we need to try something different today?
"Obviously when Maya isn't normally getting what she gets at the offensive end, we as a team need to look at it and do things a different way and sometimes we struggle with that. We get stuck standing around and give her the ball and wait for her to do something with it so it's something that we tried to work on and sometimes we do it well sometimes we don't.
There were times tonight we got stuck standing around and we've got to figure out how to execute better than we have been.
Freshman Guard Bria Hartley
Could you comment on your first BIG EAST Tournament game that you got to play in?
"It's a different level of intensity that you have to come out with. You have to know that if you lose you go home, so you have to come out and play hard. I think it's a great experience so far."
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