Head coach Tara VanDerveer
"I'm really excited about how our post players played. I thought both Brooke and New did a great job inside. We got out running. It was really awesome to have Candice out there. She does so much for our team. We needed to play hard. I think LMU is an excellent team. Obviously it was a game right through the first half, and then we opened it up with our defense, we weren't fouling and we ran on them. We were able to go inside and go to New, go to Brooke, go to Jill on the block. Again, Candice gets everybody going and did a great job."
On getting out in transition in the second half
"That helped a lot. But we can't run if we don't play defense and rebound. I think our post players - we're going to get bigger on Monday. That will give us a whole nother dimension inside. But we have the backbones sitting up here with me, and they did a great job."
On when it was determined that Candice Wiggins would play
"Two days ago, I thought 'no.' She was really gimpy. Yesterday I thought 'maybe.' Then Candice called me this afternoon and told me that she felt good, so then it was 'yes.'"
On lessons learned from the first half to take into practice
"LMU is a really good team, and you're not going to beat a really good team in the first half. I think that our team really listened at halftime and really took to heart the things that I said: 'We have to go inside to New and Brooke.' I thought that Brooke was really having her way in the first half, and then both New and Brooke did a good job in the second half. We respect their team and their program, and we just knew that we have to step up our defense. Candice has been out, and we've had different lineups. We're still juggling things. I thought this was a really big game for JJ. I thought she came a long way from our game on Saturday. She really asserted herself at point. I thought Cissy helped us. We're just waiting for maybe one more post presence, so that we can keep it going and maybe give Brooke and New little breathers. I was hoping to give Brooke a breather, but it didn't happen."
On JJ Hones coming of age
"I think she just became a little more conservative. In the game against Love & Basketball - she might have been able to make some of those passes in high school, throwing them all over the place, but in college you can't do that. She listened; she worked hard; and I thought she really did a nice job and set people up. She can knock down her shot, too. Again, our freshmen I thought all did well, but the foundation of our team is our upperclassmen. They really set a great example in practice, and they're doing a great job."
Fifth-year senior center/forward Brooke Smith
On getting out and running in the second half
"Yeah, I think that really helped us out, getting some easy baskets in transition. I think that we got a lot of those because we stepped up our defense. When they're scoring every time, you take the ball out of bounds and it slows down your transition a lot. Some defensive stops led to a lot of easy baskets for us. And I think Jillian really did a great job getting us going in the second half, as well."
On the scoring run early in the second half
"The second half was [pause] better. [laughs] The first half wasn't really everything we wanted to do. I think that we weren't getting very many stops or rebounding very well, and those are two things that we have really been trying to focus on. Those are going to be the heart of our team. Getting those better in the second half really helped us out, and I think the second half I'm really proud of our effort. I still think that there are a lot of things that we can improve on and do better, and I'm sure we'll work on that tomorrow."
Senior forward/center Kristen Newlin
On Loyola Marymount's zone defense in the first half
"They were quick, scrappy defenders. We had been working on our zone a lot, especially this week. That's something that we can take into practice and work especially hard on. Yeah, but they're quick and we just need to knock down our shots. And we will."
On shooting three-pointers comfortably when the defense gives them
"Yeah, if I'm open. That is going to bring the defender out on me and open Brooke up inside. I have been working on that in the off-season. If I'm open, Coach has given me the green light to shoot. But more than that, if I can knock down shots, it really opens up the middle, too."
Junior guard Candice Wiggins
On her left foot
"It's good. Obviously, I played a game of basketball. If I were to play play, it's still... I have chronic plantar fasciitis. I'm going to make sure I ice it, stretch and everything like that, but it feels really good right now."
On the effects felt today after Wednesday's practice
"I did a little bit of stuff yesterday in practice, and this morning I was very happy to wake up and not really have any pain when I walked around. It was fine. Hopefully it will feel good tomorrow. I'm sure it will, if I take care of it."
On her fist-pump after hitting the first shot of the game
"I think it was all of that. We know that this is our year. It's very special. For me to start off personally on a good note, especially behind the three-point line, felt good."
On the freshmen
"It's funny. JJ is a freshman, but she doesn't play like a freshman. She's so poised and collected, and so are all of the freshmen. When we were both subbing in, she looked at me and said, 'Candice, you ready? Let's go!' She starts talking to me about things, and I'm like, 'Wow.' She's very mature for a freshman."
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