Q&A With Kurt Budke

The Oklahoma State Cowgirls survived a hard fought game with Florida State to win 73-72 in overtime on a dramatic free throw from Andrea Riley with seven-tenths of a second on the clock. The Cowgirls arrived back in Stillwater from Des Moines, Iowa, at approximately 12:30 a.m. after the win and now prepare for high-powered LSU. Here are the thoughts of head coach Kurt Budke amid all the hoopla.

GP: How nerve wracking was that win over the Seminoles?
Budke: We never felt like we were in control, but we never felt like we were out of it. We felt we had a legitimate shot to win the game the whole way, and in the end the girls got it done. I felt, honestly, our defensive effort and we talk about effort on both ends of the floor, and I felt our effort defending and rebounding was as good as its been in awhile. Florida State is a legitmate team now. You know they had three girls that got caught in that academic scandal with the football players stealing tests and they were suspended a total of 27 games. They would have had a different record for the year. They should have been a four or five seed. They were a great team and we're just very proud of the win.

GP: How did it feel to wake up this morning in the Sweet 16?
Budke: I don't think we did wake up this morning. When we got back last night I had the game taped. We went home and relaxed a little bit and actually watched our game for a little bit on some key plays that I thought were some bad calls, and we were right on the bad calls. But you know it was fair across the board and there's gonna be some bad calls. We watched that. We had taped some of the news channels just to see how the reporting was. (I was) definitely disappointed that one station didn't hardly do anything, didn't send anybody. I think, honestly, I shut my eyes around 3:30 and woke up at 5:30 and started watching the LSU-Marist game and it was hard to go back to sleep. Once you watch those monsters on tape it's hard to get a lot of sleep right now.

GP: This time of year, as a coach don't you want to be looking at a team like LSU plotting a game plan and getting ready to coach up your players for a huge game like that?
Budke: We do. We love to get in a room and be watching tape over and over. On the day of the game yesterday (against Florida State) we met back down in the film room at eight o'clock and we had the game plan, but we saw one more thing about the plan we didn't like and we changed it that morning before the shoot around. It won the game for us. That last little change we made from watching the film for the 50th time; we saw something that just made sense finally. You can't watch enough film when you are playing team like LSU, that has a legitimate chance to win a national championship and is a top five team in the country. They beat Tennessee at Tennessee by 15. This is the real deal. Pat Summit doesn't get beat by 15 at home very often. We will have to be as close to perfect as we can be.

GP: How did it feel in the locker room after the win over Florida State sharing that with your players and staff?
Budke: I think the first thing you look at is your seniors and you have to have seniors step up and play this time of year and deliver for you. Look at Danielle Green and Maria Cordero and the two nights they had for us. Danielle didn't play well in the first game (ETSU) but we knew she'd come back. I told people she would play well because she has never had two bad games back to back. It was exciting. You know one thing the NCAA does to you is they only give you five minutes in your locker room before the media comes in. That is not enough time. On something like that it is a very emotional night and five minutes is not enough. To deliver your message and let your assistant coaches say what they want to say, five minutes goes very fast and there is not enough time. We'll talk about more of it the next couple of days but last night there were tears and lots of emotion. You looked into their eyes and they've had people telling them they weren't good enough to get to this point and yet they did it again.

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