Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale
Opening comment:
“Well, I’m really proud of our team what a great basketball game. My goodness. What a great showcase for women’s college basketball. I think everybody here was entertained and I think everybody at home was entertained as well. I thought we mounted a tremendous comeback in the second half. I was so proud of that. It got away from us a little bit in overtime. It’s a seasoned team that has been to the Final Four and they have been in situations like that. They made big plays, so give them credit for that. I think for us to be in that position, with the way we shot the ball tonight, speaks volumes about our team.”

On having a six point lead with 1:14 left in the game:
“I think if memory serves me correct, and this is always hard right after the game, it turns into a fog. We had a travel called and they got to the rim, Jude Schimmel got to the rim so fast. I thought it was her layup before the layup that tied us that really hurt us. If we could have just forced them into using 10, 12, 15 seconds off the shot clock it’s ours. We own the game. Because she went so fast, it allowed them an extra possession. That hurt us. Her drive happened against two people. You can go back in a game like that and wonder if we should have switched our matchups, should we have done this, should we have done that. They just made some big plays. They really did. We missed some opportunities to capitalize.”

On the team’s 3-point shooting:
“Goodness gracious. I think rhythm is a big part of making threes. There are so many stoppages in play that it’s hard to get a rhythm right now. That may take a while to get ironed out. It didn’t seem to affect Vegas (Aaryn Ellenberg). I thought she was the best player on the floor. She was just tremendous. Clutch shots, toughness. 12 rebounds. Just a really big night. Gioya Carter, who’s a true freshman, in a tough situation just really gave you a glimpse of how good she can be too.

On playing most of the first half with Sharane Campbell, Nicole Griffin, and Kaylon Williams on the bench:
“It was about 12 minutes I think is what it was. I feel like it went forever. That’s when you look back and if we can keep those guys in the game that might be a 25 point lead at halftime instead of being down. And of course they hit the big shot in the corner right at the end of the first half. When you look at the game again, that one goes in and that’s why we’re in overtime. You could trace it back to a million times. That’ll be good for us later that we had to stay in the game and come back with those veteran guys on the bench. We’re going to have to get used to that obviously. We’re going to have to be able to do a lot of different combinations to be able to cover that. It was just tough for us because it was our two five men in foul trouble. We had to play without a true center for a while against a big, athletic team.”

On the trap getting them back in the game:
“We quit feeling sorry for ourselves. We went through a stage there and this is a whole lot harder to do than it is to sit here and talk about. We missed three layups in the second half. Point blank layups. We missed wide open threes and suddenly everyone looked like their dog died. It took the energy out of our team and that is a natural thing, a human reaction. It took the energy out of the fans too, but it’s our job to bring energy to every single possession and to play it as though we’re ahead and not as if we missed our last five shots. That’s mental toughness. That’s really the definition of toughness. A lot of teams are never able to recover from that. In February they can’t recover from that. These guys recovered from that in November and I think that’s a huge sign. I think it speaks volumes about what they’re going to be capable of down the stretch. They decided to flip their own switch. They embraced the half court trap, they did it with confidence as if they were ahead and before you know it they are ahead. That’s something they’ll have in their pocket the entire year. We need to call upon that. I remember years ago we were behind at Cal by 26 points and we came back in the second half and we won the game by double digits and for the rest of the year we had that game in our pocket. Whenever we were behind, it was nothing. This is what you do. It is so incredibly important to have those experiences to draw from. Now would I rather draw from it and say we won the WNIT with it? Yeah, but still, there is so much good that can come from this.”

On the post play tonight:
“We didn’t get the production we needed from our five men tonight. Kaylon fouled out in 11 minutes and it’s hard to produce when you foul out in 11 minutes. And that’s on her, she’s got to do a better job of positioning herself so she doesn’t put herself and our team in that situation. I don’t think Nicole Griffin was nearly as impressive as she should be. I think she was kind of an X-factor coming into this game, somebody that we could establish. She didn’t do that, she had only one attempted field goal. That has to do with aggression, Louisville playing really hard, and her being passive. We needed more production. When your threes aren’t going you have to be able to throw it in the post and do some stuff.”

On Kaylon Williams getting in foul trouble:
“I just think she hasn’t played in a year. She’s got to get a good feel for it. I think it’s a combination of probably being really excited and ready to make a difference and trying to adjust to the way games are being called and then trying to curb her own enthusiasm from being out for an entire year. It’s just a combination of those things. She has to settle down and I think she will.”

Oklahoma Senior Guard Aaryn Ellenberg
On getting open in overtime:
“They were doing just what they had been doing the entire game by face-guarding me. We kind of got a little rushed in there and it was hard to slow down and get the ball where we wanted to.”

On what the team learned from the game:
“There was a lot to take away from it. I don’t think we should hang our heads about anything. We played a great game. We just came up short. We have to put this game behind us and think about the next game. This is in the past and we have a lot of games coming up against some really good people and we have to take them one at a time.”

Oklahoma Junior Guard Sharane Campbell
On learning from this game:
“Just like Coach said, we have to keep it in our pockets and learn from it. It’s not anything we should hang our heads about. Of course we wish we would have one, but you have to keep it in your pocket and move on.”

On playing tough as an undersized player the post:
“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m just as athletic as they are. It’s not going to stop me from driving. I don’t think anyone can stop me from driving. It’s what I do. I think our team is just as athletic as they are, so there’re no excuses. Yes the refs were calling touchy when I was down in the post, but I’ve just got to adjust. That’s what I’m going to start working on is my post defense. I’ve just got to make a change.”

Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz
On the game:
“It’s the fourth game of the year. I’m going to challenge my players. They’ve got to learn to finish things out by themselves when they’re on the floor. I thought we just kept our composure and kept digging away and digging away. Finally I thought we were back in there. My goal was to be down ten at half. That’s what I told them at the under 12 timeout when we were down 15. That was our goal to get it to 10 going into half then we’ll regroup. Next thing, I know Tia Gibbs, she’s done that before… She just comes out and starts shooting really well. We go into halftime up five. At the end there, I was real impressed by how well they kept us out of our offense in those last nine minutes. We had some charging calls, they converted on every turnover. Finally, when we settled down, we started to do some really nice things. I think it was a six-point game with maybe 2:20 left. Shoni comes up with a big and-one, which was very crucial for us. I think we fouled, they go up four. With about 1:20 left, I told Jude, ‘We’ve got to just attack. They’re not going to want to foul. Don’t foul them, just drive it.’ And she drives it and she gets back-to back layups for us. Then it was tied. I’m not sure our kids knew it was tied because we were about to foul when the ball was thrown inbounds. Thank goodness we didn’t. Then, at the end, of regulation, I think we thought we were up 1 because we dribbled around in the backcourt. Then, in overtime, we came out and executed. I was really pleased. We set a few things up.. Antonita Slaughter’s 3 that she hit was set up out of a play we had run the play before. I was just proud of them. Shoni’s pass there at the end when it’s a 3 point game, it’s a great pass, that’s what I want thrown. That’s how we play. Jude Schimmel makes the play of the game by just getting her hand on it because if she doesn’t, it’s their ball under their basket an now we got problems.”

On impressions of Aaryn Ellenberg:
“She’s special. I told after the game, I grabbed her and told her ‘Hey you’re as good as we’ve played.’ And that’s UConn and Rutgers. We’ve played against a few good players in our league. She’s right there at the top of them. She’s special. She’s explosive. That 3 she made when we were up six… I thought we defended it well and she hits it. Our whole goal was that if we lose, she can’t beat us. One thing we’ve normally done a really good job of in the past is we’re going to try and make some players who normally don’t score much have to score. Ellenberg still figured out how to get 22.”

On adjusting to new rules:
“It’s hard because then you’re telling your kids not to play hard. The way I look at it was it should’ve been Oklahoma’s ball out of bounds. They both left their feet to go after it. She was there to pick it up, my kid took her feet out from under it. I told Bria Smith the fouls you can’t get any more are those cheap ones in the backcourt when someone gets the rebound and throws it to the outlet and you go try to steal it. That’s a foul. They’re going to get you for two or three, guarding the ball handler. You can’t pick up those cheap ones. The other four that she picked up, I’m fine with. At one point, I think they’d shot 18 to our two [free throws]. It’s definitely frustrating.”