March 21, 2009

SHU vs. Ohio State - Post Game Quotes

March 21, 2009

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2009 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament - First Round Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State 77, Sacred Heart 63 Postgame Press Conference:

Ohio State quotes

REPORTER: Jim, do you think the kids were a little excited, a little bit too excited at the start of the game and they kind of got more composure as the minutes got into it?

COACH FOSTER: I don't know. I just think we played a good basketball team. I don't think it's anything more than that. They won 21 games in a row. They had a match-up that caused us problems until the second half when we put Jantel in. I just think they're good, played well.

REPORTER: You were trying different combinations with players earlier?

COACH FOSTER: Basically, you do that every game, based on how the team plays against you in the conference season, basically the philosophy and strategy of the other teams, because you play against them every year, but in a game like this -- film can only tell you so much and they played a little differently than they had in some of the other games. You mix and match combinations. The first half is relative to defense, and the second half is relative to offense. I felt both Ashlee and Maria, when they took their time and we took our time, they just got shots that they make on a fairly regular basis.

Sacred Heart quotes:

COACH SWANSON: I couldn't be prouder of the three players sitting up here. It was no coincidence that you asked for these three. They're three special players. Kaitlin's had an outstanding career for us. When you look back at her accomplishments and her records on the floor, but her overall record in three regular season championships, two NCAA Tournament - not NCAA -- two NEC Tournament champions, and just an outstanding career. She needs to be applauded for that.

The other two sitting next to me, the sky's stilt the limit for them. My team competed today and that's all I asked for them. They went out there, tried, executed the game plan. They played free. They had fun. They played with passion. They played with purpose. Like I said, our whole administration, the community back in Fairfield, Connecticut, we couldn't be more proud of them.

REPORTER: What did the three of you think was the turning point? Was there something in particular that didn't work out for you or that they did better?

Kaitlin Sowinski: Well, I don't think they were -- granted, there were some turning points with scoring and some runs, but that's what the game of basketball is. You go on offensive runs, you go on defensive runs. I think we just really went out there as the underdog and gave it everything we had. Unfortunately in the end it didn't work out in our favor, but it was a good game.

REPORTER: Getting back to what we talked about a couple days ago, Kaitlin and Jantel, how did you feel that played out?

COACH SWANSON: It was important for Kaitlin to stay out of foul trouble early. That's why I was subbing her early. I thought she competed. I thought early in the game there was a couple other situations. Kaitlin's so used to be double-teamed and triple-teamed, when she gets the ball in one-on-one coverage, it's confusing to her. We talked about that at half time.

We felt we were going to try to go to her early. We did, and she was a little bit more successful in the second half. She played tough. I thought she battled. I thought she contested on the defensive side. She got in a little foul trouble, so that takes away a little bit of her effectiveness on the defensive side. Jantel Lavender is a -- I mean, she's a pro, and she played like it. I thought Kaitlin competed and executed what we thought she could.

REPORTER: You talked about how proud you were of your team competing. Some other of the big time games you've been in hasn't been so close. What did you feel the difference was? Was it the attitude? Was it this particular group today? What led to that more competitive play?

COACH SWANSON: I think confidence. I think talented players, with Callan Taylor and Alisa Apo. Alisa didn't shoot the ball that well today, but we ask so much of her, bring the ball up. I think just experience. You know, I think the difference in '06, we were happy to be there a little bit. We were a defensive-minded team. And I think this time we came with more of a purpose.

We had a great week of practice. We prepared good. And I thought we got off to a good start. Energy-wise, we were flying all over the place. We weren't making shots early, but I liked how the energy was flowing. We challenge our kids from a non-conference standpoint. We don't get anybody -- any of the Big Ten or the Big 12 or the SEC to come play us on our home floor. Not that that would make that big of a difference, but getting used to these environments.