March 11, 2003

Oklahoma Quotes

Head Coach Sherri Coale

Opening thoughts:
"Nebraska played really hard. I just want to say publicly what a tremendous job I think Connie Yori [Nebraska head coach] has done this year. It was not all that long ago that we were in a similar situation and I know how long the first year can seem. The fact that they have played with as much passion and intensity not just the first half tonight but for 40 minutes they really fought. That is a reflection of Connie and the work ethic that she is instilling in Nebraska. They [Nebraska] are not going to be any fun to play in the future, I can guarantee you that. I am really proud of our team. We continue to get better. We have moments of brilliance, which is better than not having any moments of brilliance; I would like to have a little bit longer span. Today, I thought we shared the ball defensively very well and we had a lot of people get involved. We got tremendous play off of our bench; they gave us a burst of energy and production. That is exactly what you need to see this time of year."

On halftime discussion:
"It wasn't me talking, it was them. We talked about a couple of things Nebraska was doing defensively and ways we could exploit that."

On the second half:
"We drew up an inbounds play to start up the second half, and that alleviated all of the pressure. We began to get immersed in what we were doing. [Lauren] Shoush intimated that when she said that we relaxed and started having fun."

On playing the first day of the tournament:
"We haven't played on this day in a while. We have these freshmen that are giddy and it is absolutely precious. They are so excited about being here. It is fun to coach a young bunch like this, particularly when they know they are at the point that they can get really good. Last year we had a lot of older girls, but this year's younger girls can play forever."

Dionnah Jackson, Sophomore Guard:

On the offense:
"Our offense was patient tonight and posed a triple threat. We took the ball to action. We have gotten into waiting and letting things develop."

On this being the first game of the tournament:
"We were nervous, but once we settled down and enjoyed ourselves, we started to look like the team we usually are."

On the previous Colorado game:
"I think slowing down [in this game], taking my time, and looking for others who are open really helped me this game."

Theresa Schuknecht, Senior Center:

On the second half:
"We came out hesitant in the first half because this is a new arena for us with new rims and new balls. We were much more settled in the second half and really got into a groove. It looked more like us in the second half."

Lauren Shoush, Sophomore Guard:

On coming off the bench:
"With the limited numbers we have this year and our injuries, it made us come together more as a team. We realized that everyone is important on the team and everyone is working trying to make us successful. We were ready to go out and have fun."

2003 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Tournament
March 11-15, Dallas, Texas (Reunion Arena)
Game 2 Quotes

Nebraska Quotes

Head Coach Connie Yori

Opening statement...
"I think Oklahoma did a really nice job of passing. We haven't seen them since early January in the first game of the Big 12 season and they are a better passing team now then they were at that stage. And that just comes from having a lot of young kids in the program. I think they did a nice job, particularly in the second half, of find the open person and they do a nice job with their cutting. They got easy baskets at times because they did a nice job of reading defenses and making things happen off their passing game. I want to commend our players, because I think we played very hard. It's been obviously a difficult season, in terms of win and losses, but I feel we fought remarkably hard this year and we have begun to establish some things in our program that we want from Nebraska women's basketball. We want to play hard and play together. We began to do that this year and I am pleased that we continued to do that today. We just at times don't have enough weapons to compete against the greatest teams of the Big 12."

On Nebraska's choice of defense...
"Well, we got caught on a few back-picks that led to easy baskets and that is lack of communication. They also got transition baskets to start the second half and they scored six points right out of the gate and I felt like the first minute and a half turned the tide of the game. That's where they took control of the game. Until that stage, we were in pretty good shape. Obviously, we were struggling on offense, but we felt like if we could get it going a little and continue to play the same defense we could put ourselves in a position to win. They have good weapons, with good guard play and they were able to score inside. Things start with the inside out and you have to make a decision how you want to guard post players."

On the growth of the team...
"Well our mission this year was to play hard, play together and do a good job of representing our program. I said that since day one. We feel like for the most part we have accomplished our mission. That doesn't necessarily equate with a lot of wins or losses, but I think those are the things we wanted to accomplish and those are the things we want to continue to have in this program. We think if we continue to do those things -- work real hard in the recruiting process and have our players work real hard in the off-season, we feel we will be better in the win column in the future."

Amanda Cleveland, forward/center

On what they needed to stop Oklahoma's inside game...
"During halftime coach Yori was telling us that we need to stop the penetration of the guards into the paint because they were getting a lot of easy lay-ups. They were penetrating and dishing off to their posts easily getting lay-ups. So we had to change so the posts were at the front, so we could stop the penetration of the guards on the baseline. Basically, we had to be more active with our hands and our feet in order to stop the penetration."

On her personal road to get here...
"I don't know where to start. First you start with Coach Yori's conditioning. You've got to be in shape to play at the level she wants you to play at. I had to get into condition first to be able to run up and down the court. Compared to last year, I think that I'm in better shape. I'm mentally more prepared. It just didn't turn out well for me personally, I felt."

Alexa Johnson, forward
On the progress Oklahoma has made since they last faced them... "I think that over the course of the season you always get better. At tournament time everyone steps up their game to another level. Because it's one and done, if you win your continue and if you lose you're out. I think that was definitely a factor tonight. They were a great team and I think that they will be even better next year. They have a great coach, so that team is going to do tremendous things."

On her shooting...
"Field-goal percentage has been a problem for us all year and unfortunately it continued tonight. They play really good pressure defense and got me out of my rhythm a little bit, which I think contributed to the shooting percentage."