March 7, 2013
COACH LEVRETS: Really, really happy with our performance today. I thought our kids -- first half, we shot the ball really, really well - when you don't make as many shots, which we didn't in the second half but we continued to defend and rebound the next two well enough down the stretch and really, really pleased with our overall performance today.
Q. You hit 11 3s in the first half; any explanation in particular?
COACH LEVRETS: All year long, we thought the strength of this team is that we have really good post players, and we are not the most athletic team on the perimeter but we have the ability to make 3s and we went through a stretch there where we didn't shoot really well, but we think that's a big strength of this team. I was surprised when we didn't make them early in the year during that stretch, and you don't ever expect to make 11 out of 13 like that, just crazy. But we think we are a good shooting basketball team, when they double-team down inside with our bigs, they are both great passers. In that first half, it was Taryn that was doubled a bunch and she made the right read and we make an extra pass and moved the ball; we think we are a good shooting team.
Q. Taryn, you're a post player and obviously you didn't take many 3s. What was going through your mind when every three was going?
Taryn Wicijowski: I was getting pretty pumped because a lot of it was coming through me. Like they had small (ph) guarding me and they would bring another person to double-team off that. People were just wide open and just knocking down the wide open shots.
Q. Michelle, you told me earlier this week that the shots would have to fall in order to beat this team. How big was the basket for and you your teammates the first half? How big did it look?
Michelle Plouffe: I don't know, I think just once Rachel [Messer] or I just started hitting one, everyone got confidence. And then we just feed off each other on the court and feed off everybody's shots, so I think that really gave us momentum in the first half.
COACH LEVRETS: I don't think so, no. It was amazing. I knew we were making a lot and then I saw the stats and I couldn't believe it. You know, and it was everybody. But the key is, moving the basketball, and sharing the basketball and being willing to make an extra pass to a teammate and trusting your teammate is going to make the shot, and we were really -- we have improved at that a ton as the year has gone on.
Q. Talk about your defense on Davellyn [Whyte]. Tough assignment for any player.
COACH LEVRETS: Davellyn Whyte is as good of a guard as you're going to come across; she can flat play, and Iwa did a great job on her. I know she got 23 points, but she had to work for every single thing that she got. I think she was 6 for 18 from the floor. But a credit to Davellyn, too, as she did everything. I think she had eight rebounds and six assists; she's just a great player. Just as importantly as the defense on Davellyn was, everybody else guarding their person -- because Davellyn is going to score. You can't get the other people go big and that was the key. The kids did a great job with it.
Q. I don't know what the final free throw total was, but it wasn't much for Utah. Is that something you need to address going forward is getting to the foul line and slowing the tempo down when you're playing a team like UCLA who is a very talented group?
COACH LEVRETS: Yeah, maybe I need to yell at the officials more. (Chuckling). A lot of that was a product of them playing a lot of zone, so a lot of our stuff came from the perimeter, and there was not a lot of drives because it was against the zone, and so that's why we didn't have the free throw attempts tonight. We'll see how we get played tomorrow, and obviously we played through our bigs; and if it's man, we'll get it down there and we'll get to the free throw line more. I think this was more a product of how Arizona played than it was anything else.
Q. Besides getting 11 3-pointers in the first half, what do you guys need to do to beat UCLA?
COACH LEVRETS: I don't know yet. We are going to figure that out tonight. We have been really focused on this game, talking about one possession at a time, one play at a time, one minute at a time, one segment at a time, one game at a time, and now we'll worry about UCLA. The first time we played them we were kind of a mess. It was our fourth game on the road; we played Cal, Stanford, USC, UCLA back-to-back-to-back-to-back on the road without Taryn. So we were kind of a mess, and this will be a big challenge for us. But you know, we feel like we have a good team. We think we are playing pretty well right now, and we'll go put something together, a game plan together here tonight. And I don't know yet, I haven't even thought about it until 20 minutes ago.
Q. Five turnovers, a record -- that has to be pretty cool.
Taryn Wicijowski: I know for us, we always talk about turnovers, if we don't turn the ball over and we play good D, like we should have a really good chance to win, especially against this team. Like the last time we played them, we turned the ball over a lot and just gave them points. I think today, not turning the ball over and really making them work, have a lot of possessions and stuff like that, really helped us.
Michelle Plouffe: Yes, it's definitely something we addressed, to pass, and we did change it. So we had a good game plan and that helped us out getting the ball to the floor and then we were able to move the ball and play our offense without having to have -- inaudible - the backcourt.
COACH LEVRETS: Yeah, it was great.We talk about it all the time: When it's your turn,you've got to make shots. And everybody, the way they defended us, everybody had an opportunity tonight. And the thing that all those kids can do, every one of them in our program, is they can shoot the basketball. And when it's their turn, they have got to be able to step up and knock it down. When we do that, it's kind of fun to watch us play offensively. The ball moves really well and we played from inside out, it's kind of fun to watch and hopefully this will be a confidence-booster for us. I think we're playing with a lot of confidence now, anyway, and winning is fun. Win, and get to keep playing. Don't think about if you're lose, you done. If you win, you keep playing and that's what we're going to try to do tomorrow.
Q. What kind of problems does UCLA present?
COACH LEVRETS: Lots of problems, because they are really talented. But, so are we. And I think their bigs are stronger, athletic, they shoot it really well and they are good at inside and out. And defensively they can harass you in several different ways. Other than that, they are pretty easy to beat. (Laughter). I don't know yet what we are going to do. Early in the year when we played them, we were not in any -- not close to what we are right now defensively, so I think we'll -- it might be a really base game for us, might be a few things that we do differently but it will be a really base game defensively. And then we'll run what we run and see how they guard us and that's the great thing about being a motion team; you can run your stuff any night against any kind of defense and hopefully do different things based on how you're playing.
Q. What did you learn the first time you played UCLA?
COACH LEVRETS: That they are good.
Q. About your group.
COACH LEVRETS: Well, we battled. We were down 16-2 I think to start the game, and we beat USC the Friday night before; it was a noon game. It was just weird. And not having Taryn obviously was a huge piece for us. So that game was gone and over with, I don't even know if we'll use it as far as what we'll watch. We'll match more of what they have done lately. But we'll put something together. These kids, we have talented players. They are going to come out and compete tomorrow and I don't know what the outcome is going to be, but I know we are going to compete.