Oklahoma Postgame Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 01, 2002

Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale

On the game:
"I don't know when I have had so much fun on the sidelines. At one points Theresa (Schuknecht), Chelsi (Welch) and Stephanie (Simon) all had four fouls. To give an example of how crazy it has gotten with all of these injuries and foul situations Dionnah (Jackson) is our point guard and at one point she was playing the four positions defensively. She was guarding a post player that was 6-3. That's what we had to work with."

"I give it up to these kids for their abilities to adapt to what was going on in the game. I put several players in new situations and they didn't miss a beat. Our freshmen were great. Steph (Luce) provided that spark and energy off the bench. She was diving for ball, and doing a really great job in keeping this team together."

"I'm just so proud of this team and their character, will and refusal to go down no matter what happens. We are just going to fight our way through it. This year has potential to be really fun."

On North Carolina's 16-3 run and taking the lead:
"We knew that there was going to be a run. We prepared them at half-time that they were the kind of team that going to come after you but we will have to survive it, then we will have one of our own. They spent a lot of energy in fighting back. The game got crazy with the technical foul on Carolina. I thought they utilized all of their juice right there and they tried to force some things to happen while we didn't. We were claim, poised and nobody panic. We went through a little lull where we didn't score very well. We have to improve on that. We can't go as long as we did in the second half without scoring but we found a way to win."

Dionnah Jackson hitting the 3-pointer to put the Sooners ahead for good:
"When our two players went down on Tuesday, Dionnah just looked around and when, OK get on my back here we go. We have been watching film and taking about this for the past couple of weeks about her being more aggressive and shooting the basketball. She's the first player in our gym and the last to leave the gym every day."

"Our first day of practice here it was evident she had taken control of this team. I thought she was terrific last night. She set the tone for that game."

On OU's defense:
"Without question our defense won the game tonight. Not only the zone itself, but also changing up our defense kept North Carolina from adapting. About the time they found their rhyme we would change our defense and we just kept them guessing the entire game."

"Another thing I thought they did a tremendous job at early on in the game was offensively making extra passes below their shoulders, which is what we talked about all day long. You cannot play above these guys but you can play under them and beat them. We made some beautiful plays early in the game. I'm really proud of the way we are progressing."

How important was this win to this team this week:
"We never really talked about playing the No. 11 team in the nation. We just talked about playing North Carolina. I didn't think these guys needed any additional pressure. I'm sure some of the players knew they were No. 11, if not they heard them announce it at the start of the game."

"We just said it was another opportunity for us to show what we are made of and to let people know that we are going to pull together and we are not going to go away. Every time you can walk of the court with more points than your opponent than that is added confidence to your team. That is important for us."

"This sure sent a statement across the country. We are not canceling the season just because we have injuries to key players."

On playing Connecticut:
"This is just like the first year we went to the Sweet 16. We win a big game and we'll all excited then we get on the bus an realize, we have to play Connecticut. That is how we feel right now."

"This is a rematch of the national championship game last year. We are certainly not what we were last year or what we were earlier in the week but neither is Connecticut. There's no way to stop Diana Taurasi from scoring, nobody in America has an answer to her. She takes control of games. If she's not scoring, she's creating opportunities to score. The key for us will be to take away easy baskets and to take away other players that make them good. We must make them play toward their weaknesses instead of their strengths."



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