Oklahoma-Prairie View A&M Post-Game Quotes

March 22, 2009

(Carver-Hawkeye Arena) o (Iowa City, Iowa)
(March 22, 2009)



Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale
Opening Statement
“Cynthia Cooper has done an outstanding job with that program at Prairie View. I am very impressed with watching them. As we prepared, as we watched film of them, how hard they play for her and how much they have bought into the system and the way she wants them to perform. I thought they competed valiantly all night and I still say they are one of the best 16 seeds in the tournament this year and have just a lot of respect for how they competed and the way they performed tonight. I thought it was about rebounds for us. We missed a lot of open shots and yet we created a lot of great shots, a lot of opportunities for us throughout our ball movement and our spacing and I liked that. But I thought we won the game off the backboard and that’s how you win games in the NCAA tournament so I was very proud of our effort there.”

On 17-1 run in second half
“Defense. Getting defensive stops, getting defensive boards and then running in transition.”

On what was said about ball-handling at half time
“Well I just told them just because they picked up the pressure, because Prairie View started picking us up a little further away from the rim and trapping and running at us didn’t mean we had to play super fast. We needed to slow down and see where the open guys were and make extra passes. And we had talked in the two practices, at least leading up to this game, about making extra passes under the pressure because they come at you high, and I don’t think we made one pass under the pressure in the entire first half. So we did talk about that, and talked about sealing-out on the weak side when we get to the middle of the floor and having a nice angle and the appropriate spacing in order to make that extra pass. I think that’s as much as anything that little adjustment in spacing is what enabled us to be so sure with the basketball, because things were cleared, there wasn’t muck in the middle.”

On Danielle Robinson’s game
“I thought she was terrific, and I don’t think there is any doubt about it, that she is the key to the engine and that when she is really poised and in charge of what’s going on on the floor, we all take our cue from her. I thought she was immersed in every possession, offensively and defensively, thought she played extremely hard and she led her teammates both by example and through instructions.”

On second round preparation
“Well, we will begin immediately by looking at what we did well and what we need to do better, we talked about if for about five minutes and then it’s over. For now our focus is on who our next opponent will be, so we will watch this game and then begin to try to figure out what we need to do, because it will be two completely different things depending on who the winner is.”

On thoughts after 3 turnovers at end of first half
“I think it was ‘dang-gone-it’, that’s what I was thinking, I might have even said it. We just get so wound up sometimes, we try to go to fast and score six points in one possession, which I don’t think has ever been done, and it causes us to make ridiculous mistakes. I mean they were really ridiculous mistakes, and it’s because we try to skip things, instead of going A B C D E, oop there’s an open shot, we try to go from A to E, and it doesn’t work that way.”

On Amanda Thompson’s foot
“It’s a game-time decision and we could have played her tonight had we needed her, she is the toughest kid I know and if she is capable of going she will go and we expect to be able to use her on Tuesday.”

On balanced scoring of players
“That’s the one thing no one had asked about Carlee Roethlisberger. I thought she was just outstanding coming off the bench. I thought she did all the little things, setting the right screens, blocking out even if she didn’t get the rebound, doing her job, running lanes, she did all the little stuff and then she did a little bit of the wow stuff too. She made baskets, she made a three, she hit a couple of mid-range jumpers and she has practiced extremely well. It has probably been her best week of the season, so I love when kids are rewarded for their work, when nobody is looking, because that’s how she earned her time tonight and she took full advantage of it.”

Oklahoma Senior Courtney Paris
No turnovers first 10 min of second half
“Like Danielle said, we talked about it at half time and just paid more attention to it. I think it was our nerves a little bit, we calmed down. I mean the NCAA Tournament is pretty exciting so I think we just had our nerves a little bit going, rushing a little bit too much.”

Defensive change for the second half
“Um…I don’t think we did. No?…No.”

Oklahoma Sophomore Danielle Robinson
Half time talk
“We talked about the second part of the half, their run that they made and just about poise and taking care of the basketball. We talked about getting a stop on the first possession on the defensive end in the second half to really spark momentum and just playing the way we know how to play.”

Defensive change for the second half


Prairie View A&M Head Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke
Opening Statement
“First off, congratulations to Oklahoma. They just did a tremendous job all game long by keeping the pressure on us defensively, attacking and keeping the pressure on our defense. They got a lot of second chance points and they just played an overall complete game, so my hat is off to Oklahoma. I thought we really suffered on the boards, giving Oklahoma second and third looks at the basket, and you can’t do that to such a strong team. We were a little tentative offensively and struggled getting the ball in the hoop, first with a lack of confidence and then with the Paris twins inside, just really getting a clear look at the basket and trying to shoot over 6’4″ Courtney Paris. Overall I’m really proud of my team and what we’ve accomplished this season and the fact that we made it to the tournament. Unfortunately, we ran up against a really tough Oklahoma team here in the first round.”

On the balance of Oklahoma even with Courtney Paris
“Well I thought Courtney Paris proved tonight that she’s the anchor of this team, but Oklahoma wouldn’t be a number one seed if they didn’t have more weapons than just Courtney Paris. They got contributions from really everyone who stepped on the floor. They had great outside-inside combinations and whatever defense we threw at them, whether it was zone, a matchup, we trapped or we went to man, they found a way to score from different positions which put us into difficult positions. We ran up against a team that is truly a team and can cause problems on many different fronts.

On the difference between this game and their NCAA appearance two years ago
“That’s a great question. I actually told my team the same thing. When we were wide-eyed two years ago and lost by 60 points to North Carolina, we were young freshmen, and this year we competed for probably 25 minutes of this game. Then we got our heads down and we got a few too many turnovers and allowed Oklahoma to get out on their fast break. I thought we were nervous and I thought we were anxious. We feel like we were in pretty good condition, but during the first five minutes of the game we were huffing and puffing. I thought in the second half Oklahoma just wore us down, they just wore us down and they were able to rebound, get out on their fast breaks and get some easy buckets. In the first half we were able to play a little bit better transition defense and even though we allowed 38 points, most of those were from second chance opportunities and offensive rebounds.

On if Oklahoma is now the team to beat in the tournament
“Well I don’t know because we haven’t played against the other three number one seeds, but I would definitely say that any team that runs up against Oklahoma will have their work cut out for them. When you have a great combination of a point guard that’s athletic and can penetrate, that outside shooting that opens up the inside, then you have Courtney Paris and Ashley Paris inside who can score back to the basket and rebound offensively when you have that outside shooting. They have such a lethal combination that it’s very difficult to stop one thing, so I don’t know if they’re the best, but they wouldn’t have been one of the number one seeds if they weren’t one of the bests.

On Dominique Smith’s injury in the second half
“I think she went out with cramps. She had some leg cramps and I guess she was never able to get it worked out and relax those muscles. She tried to come back and just was unable to do so. The first time she tried to sprint, it cramped back up, and that was unfortunate. At the time, she was our leading scorer and she was keeping us within reach of Oklahoma.”

Prairie View A&M Junior Gaati Werema
On their struggles in the second half
“We struggled from the beginning offensively, like our coach said. We made the game close even though we struggled, and Coach kept reminding us, even though we weren’t playing well, that we were only down by 10, or down by 12 baskets, and to keep playing. We just didn’t make the adjustment.”

“Because we struggled offensively, they made buckets and we didn’t. That was the biggest difference. We shot a lot of shots, but they rebounded and made it or they got the offensive rebound instead of us taking it back.”

Prairie View A&M Sophomore Dominique Smith
On their offensive struggles in the second half
“I think the biggest issue was when they went on their run; we kind of dropped our heads and didn’t really respond like we usually do. It was kind of hard to bounce back from that.”

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