March 11, 2010
Arizona Women's Basketball
March 11, 2010
Arizona head coach Niya Butts
"It was a pretty good game there right until the end when they decided to give me a little bit of a heart attack. But I'm proud of our group. They came out and responded to the challenge. We knew that it would be a tough game going in to play Washington State. We beat them the two previous times and it is always tough to beat a team multiple times in one year. I'm proud of this group. It's about surviving and advancing and that's what we did."
On change to starting lineup
"It was team issues and that's where I would like to leave it. But I would like to say about Miss Ibekwe is that she handled herself with class and with poise in that situation. She accepted responsibility and she came in and had a heck of a game for us and certainly showed her leadership."
On performance of Soana
"She was outstanding tonight. She ran the floor extremely well and we did a good job of getting her the basketball. I think we try to reward players who run the floor and tonight we did that. Unfortunately sometimes we had some turnovers trying to do that, but for the most part it was a good result. When she can put in 22 points on 10-for-14 shooting, that means she finished pretty well. Anytime we can get that out of Soana, we're going to take it."
On trying to foul on final possession of the game
"That certainly was the plan, but as you could see it didn't quite go that way. She didn't make the shot, so that's why we're sitting in here today and that's what matters in the tournament. In a tournament, you just have to survive and advance. It was a little bit of a scare, but that was the plan after the timeout was to foul after a couple of dribbles in the backcourt. That way they wouldn't have much time to get a shot off. It didn't work out that way, but she missed the shot so we got the win."
On late run by Washington State
"We knew they would make a run. What we wanted to do was contain (April) Cook. She can get really hot and she knocked down a couple of open shots. At the end, we switched to try and face-guard her and keep the ball out of her hands. Reiko (Thomas) stepped in and did a really good job of containing her at the end. We knew they would make some runs and that's what basketball is. We just have to be able to withstand that and keep playing and that's what our group did. A lot of credit for that goes to Ify (Ibekwe). We started going to her later in the second half. Nothing slows down made baskets by the other team more than made baskets by your team. We kept going inside to her and she kept making plays for us."
Freshman guard Davellyn Whyte
On absence of Ify Ibekwe in starting lineup
"It was really important for us even thought Ify (Ibekwe) wasn't in the game because she brings a lot of energy. We knew we needed to keep that up so we didn't dig ourself too deep. I think we did a good job and when Ify came in it was a really big plus."
On overall peformance
"Coach always says to let the game come to me and in the first half it really did. I think I was able to keep them on their heels, so it made it easier for me to play. With the first couple of shots I hit, so my teammates were open and they were in the right spot at the right time. It made it easy for me to find them."
Junior forward Ify Ibekwe
On coming off the bench
"It wasn't that tough. It was a downfall that I did have to come off the bench, but I don't think it's tougher. I just had to go in there and just give as much energy as I would if I had started the game. I felt like I had to make up for the missed time and get in there and give it all I had."