ISU Post-Game Quotes: Smith, Wiggins & Pierce

There were few tough questions to answer for the Cardinal after they blew out the Bengals on Saturday afternoon. Stanford romped in their 96-58 NCAA first round win, with a particularly hot start offensively for Cissy Pierce and Brooke Smith. They talked about taking what the Idaho State zone defense gave them, while Candice Wiggins discussed what her teammates hitting does for her and Stanford.

Junior guard Candice Wiggins

Can you tell us about feeling the pressure lifted off you the way Cissy Pierce and Brooke Smith were scoring early on?

"I don't think I necessarily ever feel pressure.  I have trust in my teammates.  I've been playing with these two for my whole career here at Stanford.  I have faith in Cissy.  I've been watching Cissy since freshman year.  She's been doing the same things, so it's good to see her have a great start and a great game.  In terms of Brooke, she always has been great.  Like I said, I haven't really been surprised, so I didn't really feel pressure."

What does that do for you guys when you have somebody else - Cissy Pierce - hit shots from the perimeter?

"I think it showed that she is a great shooter.  She makes people be honest because they can't just sag off of our guards.  Tara [VanDerveer] has said this before, and it's been repeated, but we have great perimeter shooters on our team.  I think it just builds confidence for our team, knowing that we can hit outside shots."

Junior guard Cissy Pierce

Can you talk about the hot start, and hitting those first few shots, how were you feeling?

"They were sagging off, and I got to the soft spots in their zone [defense].  I felt like I was wide open.  They were five or six feet off me.  I didn't think about it; I just shot it."


Fifth-year senior center/forward Brooke Smith

You and Kristen Newlin have both talked about keeping the momentum from the Pac-10 Tournament.  So how was it getting off to that start today, with you and Cissy scoring the first 22 points?

"I think we just want to come out and play with energy and play hard, just pick up from where we left off at the Pac-10 Tournament.  We were just so excited to play.  We hadn't played in almost two weeks, so we were really ready to go.  We just wanted to start it off well.  I think we did that today, and hopefully we will be able to carry that over into Monday's game against Florida State.  They will be a tough challenge for us, but I think we will be ready."

You have one more game left at Maples Pavilion - can you reflect a little upon that?

"I think going into the last couple of games at Maples, it was so much fun to run out there and hear our fans and how much support we have from everyone around.  I think we have a great opportunity playing at home, and it's definitely going to have my last game ever in Maples coming up.  But I think we went through that already with Senior Day here, so in a way I think this is a little bit different.  We're just excited that we have a great opportunity playing here at home in front of our fans, and it can give us a great boost."

You had a shot with a ball fake.  You scored and ran down the court with a big smile on your face.  Was it just one of those days for you, 13-of-17 from the floor?  What prompted you to smile?

"I just smiled because it went in - I don't know [laughter in the room].  My shots were falling, so that's always fun and exciting.  I'm just trying to take what the defense was giving me.  They were playing zone defense and they were leaving people open.  We have to make them pay in order to get respect on the perimeter.  That opened it up for our post players and Jayne [Appel] inside."

How was it that you were able to make those shots today when the zone defense was designed to double- or triple-team and crowd you?

"With most zones, you just have to find the openings.  There are going to be gaps and stuff.  That is how a zone is played.  You just have to find the openings and make reads.  That's how you get open looks.  They had to pick their poison somewhere.  They had to double- and triple-team inside, so they were leaving people on the perimeter open.  I think Mel [Murphy] hit a couple shots and different people - Cissy and Candice obviously.  Different people hit those shots when they were left open."


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