Oregon Post-Game Quotes

It was sluggish early for Stanford, with injured superstar Candice Wiggins languishing and the offense struggling most of the first half. Yet the Cardinal defense and rebounding kept the lead while the Ducks shot 20%. Then Stanford started to roll, with big sparks on both ends of the floor by Cissy Pierce. The junior had a career night and talked afterward with Tara VanDerveer and Kristen Newlin.

Head coach Tara VanDerveer

Opening statement:

"I thought we did a really good job on our boards.  I was informed that that was our season high - 55 rebounds.  We have a team goal of getting 18 offensive boards.  I thought people were working hard.  I thought Jillian [Harmon] did a good job getting to the boards - [Kristen Newlin], Brooke [Smith].  I guess from this game, the person who got me excited was how well Cissy [Pierce] played.  I just thought her defense was really aggressive, playing against [Tamika] Nurse.  Nurse is really quick.  I thought she really did an excellent job pressuring the ball.  She came in and knocked her shot down.  She had one of her threes that was taken away because of a three-second call.  But she did a really nice job and didn't turn it over.  I just was really, really excited about her production in the time that she played.  I just think that is something that will really, really help our team down the stretch.  I thought on the perimeter shooting, Michelle [Harrison] knocking down a three and Jill knocking down a three - that's something really good to see.  Knocking shots down really gives them more confidence in their shots.  Again, it was our rebounding.  We didn't get a lot of transition; they got back really well.  We did a good job at the free throw line.  We took care of the ball pretty well - better in the second half.  It was just one of those mellow games.  It wasn't really, really exciting, but we had some nice big plays that we got excited about.  For me, it was really a great night for Cissy."

On the two teams shooting 20% deep into the first half:

"I thought they were missing some open shots.  I thought we dodged a lot of bullets in that first half.  They have the numbers to back up their shooting.  They are excellent three-point shooters.  Honestly I thought, 'Oh boy that one will go in.  Well, the next one will go in.  They miss - oops, they'll get another one.'  I just think that our team didn't get really frustrated.  They didn't get discouraged.  They just stayed with it.  Then Cissy hit a big outside shot.  Michelle hit a big outside shot.  We had some nice high-and-ins, with New getting the ball inside.  I thought Brooke went on a little mini-run where she scored twice inside.  We kind of went on a run where we got some distance.  It was, I think, 24-12 at one point and then it kind of opened up a little bit.  Our team has been successful because of our defense all season long.  They were a tough team to guard.  They were getting some open looks that just weren't going down for them, and I'm afraid that's probably not what is going to happen up there."

On the impact of Jessie Shetters' absence for Oregon:

"Obviously they didn't have the depth they would have had with her.  In some ways, honestly, [Carolyn] Ganes is a really tough match-up because she shoots threes.  How many post players are that proficient from three?  I think obviously they miss her.  We hope that she gets back.  I thought that she has been playing really well.  It hurts their depth, so we wanted to run on them a little bit more.  We wanted to pound the glass a little bit more.  We thought we could be pretty aggressive and pretty physical, and it seemed like a pretty physical game.  [Eleanor] Haring last year, or maybe it was two years ago, played a 'three' for them, so they weren't that big.  We might have done other things and taken a little better advantage of our size more.  But I thought they just didn't shoot the ball well.  I wish I could say I thought it was totally our defense.  I think we work hard defensively, but I think they just missed some shots."

On the evaluation of Candice Wiggins' game:

"Candice did not practice really at all this week.  She has been off a week.  Her ankle is still sore and still swollen.  She says she felt fine before the game.  She really is competitive, and that's what you love about her.  As a teammate, Cissy and New, and as a coach we love how competitive she is.  But she is not 100 percent, and that was obvious to me.  I think it was good for her to get on it a little bit and see what it felt like.  Then we'll see how she's feeling tomorrow.  If it's really swollen, she will be out for Saturday.  If not, then she'll get to play on it a little bit.  Again, that is why I thought it was especially great to have Cissy come in and play the way she played.  I'm really, really excited about that.  Candice in shootaround today was really struggling with her shot.  She did in the game, too.  She did hit a nice three, and I thought she played hard."

On finding more of this from Cissy Pierce:

"This is how we see Cissy playing.  This is how I think Cissy needs to see Cissy playing.  Really taking care of the ball.  Being very aggressive defensively on a very quick player.  Taking the ball away; getting her hands on the ball a little more.  Knocking down good open shots; she's a great shooter.  I think she has this season bent over backwards almost being too team-oriented.  I want her to be more aggressive offensively and more aggressive defensively.  She is so fast and she is so quick.  I think for me, this was the best game I have seen her.  I know I have said that before probably, but this one was better than the other ones.  I think she just needs to bottle it and bring it every game.  It's very exciting to have someone like that, who is in and out of our starting lineup, just come in and play so well.  In that game, we could have played a three-guard lineup easily, with Cissy, JJ [Hones] and Candice.  It just gives us more options.  Cissy works hard in practice, and I hope that she will just build on it.  It should help her confidence a lot."

Junior guard Cissy Pierce

On maintaining this performance in the coming weeks:

"Really, tonight was just a matter of taking what the defense gave me.  I think that a lot of teams will probably play me like that - sagging off a little bit and giving me an opportunity to hit my three.  Also I've been watching video and seeing things that are happening during the games which I might not necessarily be seeing when I'm playing.  That will help me."

On summer work that made her faster this season:

"I really wasn't working out over the summer [laughs], which is the funny thing.  [Tara VanDerveer: "You had a really good spring, though."]  Yeah.  I don't know."

On picking up slack while Candice Wiggins is still hurting:

"I definitely feel that.  The game is totally different when Candice isn't healthy.  Obviously, other people have to step up and fill in for scoring.  For me, my defense feeds into my offense.  If I'm doing well on defense, I get more confidence on offense."

Senior forward/center Kristen Newlin

On Stanford's current momentum:

"We are really coming into our stride this season.  We know that Saturday is our last game in this half, and we will have seen every team.  I think the second half, teams start to really know other teams, so they will be playing us scouting report defense.  I think we basically have to hit shots.  We have to play even better the second time around.  Especially when we beat teams, they are going to want to be getting us in their house."

On Stanford's rebounding domination against Oregon:

"They missed a lot of shots, which probably won't happen up there, so there were a lot of opportunities for rebounds.  They unfortunately were without one of their really big players, Shetters, so I think that hurt them a little bit.  Ganes had a good game.  She's not a traditional post player.  She's very versatile and can hit the outside shot, so that posed a little bit of a problem to us.  We got the ball inside - nothing new.  Jayne [Appel] finished; Brooke finished.  We're in there battling.  That's the name of our game and what we're trying to do every time."


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