March 22, 2000
HEAD COACH SHERRI COALE
On what it feels like to go to the Sweet 16: "I'm still a little stunned. Not only due to the fact that we're going to the Sweet 16, but also by the way we won the game. We are thrilled to still be playing. We are one of 16 teams in America who have practice today and a game this weekend. We are excited about playing Connecticut, the number one team in the country. We are just really, really proud of our kids and the contributions from not just one or two. They had faith in the system and faith in each other and it was a beautiful thing to watch. Games like that are why we do what we do."
On beating Purdue: "Even when they were up 17 we could tell that they were not going to be able to keep up their intensity level. We felt like they were getting a little tired in the first half and in the second half they got fatigued.
"Even though I would never have chosen to take LaNeisha Caufield out as long as she was, when she went back in she looked really fresh. You could see a significant difference in the spring in her step and in everyone else's on the floor. Jadrea Seeley coming in fresh and sharp also made a big difference."
On facing Connecticut again: "When we played Connecticut our kids had not gone through the Big 12 yet. We grew from those experiences. We are a lot smarter and stronger. We are a wiser team than the one that went to Kansas City and lost to Texas. That might have been the best thing that ever happened to us, because I don't think we would have beaten Purdue had we not endured the loss to Texas. That is why you play games, to find out what you're not very good at. Then you go home and fix it. The bad news is that Connecticut is better too. They are stronger and smarter. I think what you look at is, if Connecticut goes 10 of 13 from the three point line again, we are probably in big trouble. Hopefully they will miss some of their shots."
On whether it's an advantage to having already played Connecticut this year: "I'm real happy that we played them before. I think that if you haven't been on the court with them they are almost larger than life. You look at their record and how they just plow through teams. But we've been on the floor with them. Sometimes they turn it over just like we do. Sometimes they blow layups, sometimes they foul, just like we do. They're very good basketball players and they're an exceptional team, but they're human. I don't know that we would understand that if we hadn't been on the floor with them already."
SOPHOMORE GUARD STACEY DALES
On beating Purdue "It kind of hit me this morning that we're still playing. I went to class this morning pretty proud of what we've done. Hopefully we'll get a little respect now. Going to the Sweet 16 is such an accomplishment for us and we've worked so hard for it. I'm very happy for our team, real happy."
On facing Connecticut again: "I think the mystique has kind of decreased a little bit. The intimidation factor has gone down slightly. The first time we played them we had some jitters we hadn't experienced before because they are a powerhouse. This time around, for the most part, doesn't have those jitters."
SENIOR FORWARD PHYLESHA WHALEY
On how much better her senior season is because of the win versus Purdue: "I have to be honest. I was just happy to make it to the tournament. I wouldn't have been that said if we lost because it's been a great year. And it's getting better and better. It's kind of a shock going around and having everyone say `congratulations, congratulations.' I'm still trying to get this under my belt. It's a real good feeling."