Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Press Conference Post-Game Quotes
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 20, 2005
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Sunday, March 20, 2005 


Head Coach Joan Bonvicini

“We knew this was going to be a great game. Oklahoma has some great strengths in their guards and obviously in their post, Leah Rush. They are a great rebounding team, Jackson is the best rebounding guard I have ever seen and Leah Rush is just so versatile. We were overdue; our team was overdue for a win in the tournament. It took guts, and I am so proud of my team.”


(On pressing Oklahoma) “We weren’t sure we were going to press Oklahoma since they have four guards, but when we went to a smaller lineup when Ch Oh came in, we thought we could catch them off guard, and thankfully we did. We knew they could go on runs, I was very impressed with Rush, she hit a lot of shots, we watched some tape, but those threes she hit were big. I was really impressed with her.”


(On her freshmen) “Our freshmen were awesome. Jessica Arnold to start the game with three big threes was huge, Ch Oh was very instrumental coming off the bench. I know we started this game with Danielle Adefeso and Shawntinice Polk as we usually do, we really felt when we subbed we would have a big post and a smaller post because of their guards. Oh did a great job grabbing some key rebounds and scoring some key points. Whisonant struggled in the first half, I think she had to battle her nerves, but she came up strong and big in the second half. I felt we just needed to get our confidence back. We had lost some tough games in the tourney, confidence wise, this was big, especially against a good team.”


(On Oklahoma controlling the tempo) “Definitely, they controlled the game at the end of the first half. I had to challenge some players in the second half. Polk was struggling, though we had basically just missed a bunch of layups in the first half. We felt that if we had made the layups and made free throws, we could have an eight or 10-point lead. We pushed at the beginning of the second half and got our confidence back, we knew they were going to make a run.”


(On second half adjustments) “I just challenged her (Polk), I knew she could be a much better player. She just needed to slow down, slow down her moves. We needed her to be a presence inside. I still think she can play a lot better. I had to challenge Natalie Jones as well, ?'what are you going to do, are you going to shoot it or are you going to have a team that doesn’t respect you?’”


Dee-Dee Wheeler

(On the difference between the first and second halves) “We played in spurts in the first half, we played up and we played down. We walked into half time and tried to focus on playing with consistency. We wanted to play 20 minutes with great enthusiasm; that is what we tried to do. We tried to sub when we were tired and Ashley (Whisonant) was a great sparkplug off the bench.”


(On the NCAA Tournament) “We had lost in the first round of the NCAA three years straight, and it is great for us to come out with a win. The first game is always a tough game. Tuesday is going to be tough game as well, we just have to go out and play a great game.”


(On LSU) “They have a great point guard. I have played against her two years straight, and we have a good matchup. But you can’t focus on just one player, they also have Seimone Augustus, so you have to concentrate on the whole team, you can’t just focus on one player.”


(On picking up a late foul with the lead) “I shouldn’t have pressed on that (play). I thought I got away with it, she crossed the ball over to me and I thought I got it. I shouldn’t have put myself in that situation, I just wanted to pressure the ball and try to slow her down. You let Dionnah (Jackson) get going, she is tough to slow down.”


Jessica Arnold

(On hitting her first three three-point attempts) “It was huge, lately I haven’t been shooting that well, coming out and hitting three threes in a row really lifted my confidence for the second half.”


Shawntinice Polk

(On the difference between the first and second halves) “I was just off in the first half, nothing was falling. At halftime my teammates picked me up and coach got into me. I had to pick up for me team, I had to play the second half and let the first half go. What ever happened had happened, I can’t sit there and dwell on it and luckily, stuff started falling for me.”


(On the physical play) “They (the officials) were consistent they let us play the same way throughout the game. That’s what it is all about. You have to be tough in there. They were letting us bang, and that should be good for us because we have a lot of posts that like to bang. It was rough in there.”


(On winning in the NCAA Tournament) “Getting over the first game is where we were struggling. This made us a lot more confident. The team we played today made us better, they have a great inside game, a great outside game, great shooters, and a great coach. Now whoever we play on Tuesday, we will have some more confidence as a team.”

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