Women Talk About Cal Game

Here are the quotes from Stanford's press conference following the Cardinal's 91-50 drumming of Cal Friday night at Haas Pavilion. Head coach <b>Tara VanDerveer</b>, center <b>Brooke Smith</b> and guard <b>Candice Wiggins</b> provide superlatives, analysis and commentary for your consumption.

Head Coach Tara VanDerveer

On defense:

"We had pressed [Cal] really pretty hard at Stanford. [Tonight] we went with our half-court trap we hadn't used all year… We picked our spots of when we wanted to double."

"I think in order to have a great team you have to play defense. I think this team takes pride in playing defense. I think it's important when you have such great offensive players like Candice and Brooke that they understand they have to play both ends of the floor. I think we're becoming one of my greatest defensive teams."

On the flow of the Cal game:

"We came out with really good energy. I told our team the most important thing was to come out, be ready to play, and play hard. I'm really proud of how our team played… The beginning of the second half we knocked down two three's. It sent a message that we're going to play two halves."

On Stanford's 21-0 second-half run:

"I don't keep track necessarily on the bench in terms of runs. In my mind I have a picture of what I want to see out of everybody – positioning, offensively, defensively. We had a lot of players playing a lot of minutes in the second half and they're really good players and they were out there and working hard. I think they shut Cal down at certain points because they wanted to stay out there."

On individual players:

"T'Nae Thiel is one of the best defenders I've had the opportunity to coach."

"What can you say about Candice? She makes a lot happen for us out there."

On how the loss of Eziamaka Okafor affects rotations:

"I think the minutes that people got, a lot of times the people that would have been cut out of minutes would have been [the bench players]. I think in some ways the [current] rotation is working for us. Someone like Cissy [Pierce], she would gain valuable minutes in this game [if healthy]. Right now these are great minutes for Krista Rappahahn, Azella Perryman, and Markisha Coleman. I look around in practice and we don't have subs in practice, but it's fine for the games. We miss Ezi, but I think Azella is really playing great."

Redshirt sophomore center Brooke Smith

On defense:

"Defense feeds our offense. A lot of the times when we pick up the defense it keys our offense a lot. I think it's one of the good things about our defense."

On her 12 points in the first six minutes:

"Our guards were doing a great job of getting the ball inside and they weren't really doubling me."

Freshman guard Candice Wiggins

On the course of the season:

"Tara in practice the other day said this is around the time teams can start to die down and lose it. We know this is the time our team needs to bring it together and just play for each other and play hard."

Daniel Novinson is a freshman at Stanford University. He's broadcasting women's basketball on KZSU - listen along at kzsu.org or 90.1 FM.  Daniel welcomes any feedback at dannovi@stanford.edu.

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