Spartans Overjoyed for Indy

Kristin Haynie showed up with a basketball net for a necklace. All three Spartans sported championship t-shirts and hats. I looked around at the Stanford media in the room and saw the disappointment melt away as the Spartans' enthusiasm, Kelli Roehrig's especially, was absolutely contagious.

Senior guard Kristin Haynie

On whether advancing to the Final Four is a dream come true:
"This was definitely a dream of mine and a dream for everyone. Everybody improved and worked hard on their game this summer. We knew what we were capable of doing as a team."

On whether the Spartans panicked after Stanford tied the game at 57 with a 15-2 spurt:
"We knew Stanford's a great team. They weren't going to fall down or go away. We had some bad defensive stops (sic). Stanford had some great threes and great looks. A basketball game is a game of runs. One team runs and another team responds."

On the importance of receiving Most Outstanding Player honors in the Kansas City region:
"It means a lot. It's a great honor to have something you can look back to in the off-season, but we still got work to do. We got two more games to play."

On the 8-0 Spartan runs to start each half:
"We came out in the very first minutes with an attack mentality. We were playing just some great defense and that's what started this whole thing."

Junior forward Liz Shimek:

On the improvement between the first half and the second:
We started making the extra pass. We were in more of an attack mode offensively. We were getting more stops on the defensive end and that transferred, too."

On the rebounding improvement between halves:
"We were going into half being outrebounded 19-18. We decided that is not going to happen again and we came out with that mentality. We were in better position in the second half and had better shot selection."

On being able to remain focused against the Cardinal:
"It all started this summer, in just knowing all the talent we have on this team and just dreaming of being able to reach our potential. With all the success we've had this season, no one was playing their A-game or not even their B-game before today. To come out here and win, it's just a dream."

Senior center Kelli Roehrig

On whether they focused on Stanford's dismantling of Connecticut in their preparation:
"We don't really think about that. The focus was pretty much on us. We wanted to play 40 minutes of a ball game and just run, run, and run. We did."

On whether they drew motivation from the Spartan's men's team:
"It definitely crossed our minds after just seeing them gut it out the whole year. We've been totally supportive of each other and it's just awesome that we're both in the Final Four. It's amazing… On the men's side we see all the hardware they got and we don't have any. We're a great tight family, the men's and the women's sides."

On guard Lindsay Bowen's jump shot that put the Spartans ahead 72-69 with 29 seconds to go:
"I'd love to talk about it! Lindsay is complete clutch, man. We have all the confidence in the world in her and her shot. We'll be happy to give her the ball anytime. She's a good player."

On Haynie:
"Kristin is a great player all-around. She has improved her game dramatically. She's an all-around great player. She controls our team. She leads our team. She's a great leader

On what the Final Four means after four years in the program:
"Even the first year Kristin and I were here, we talked about it. Since Kristin and I have known each other, we've talked about it. We were one of Coach's first recruiting classes and we've dreamed about it since day one.

[The NCAA official announces the press conference is over. Most players would sprint out of their chairs, but Kelli Roehrig interrupts to ask for one more sentence. The official, clearly surprised, agrees.]

Roehrig: "I have a shout out to Lisa Leslie, a big post player herself. We're on our way to Indy, so see ya."

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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