NCAA Women's Basketball: Oklahoma-Purdue Postgame Quotes

2016 NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
First Round • Oklahoma vs. Purdue
Memorial Coliseum • Lexington, Ky.
Saturday, March 19


POSTGAME QUOTES – Oklahoma


Sherri Coale, Oklahoma Head Coach:


“First of all, I just want to congratulate Purdue on a great year. I thought they played really, really hard and the difference in the game was our post play. They had to make so many consessions because of our size and I think it got then away from the way they like to play. With that being said, we really defended. I thought we worked very, very hard on the defensive end. We were reminded of how much easier it is to win when you make shots from behind the arc. It was nice to see the ball go into the basket. We are grateful for the opportunity and grateful to survive and play another day.”

On if the interior defense threw Purdue off its game...
“Obsolutley. I thought ‘Vivi’ (Vionise Pierre-Louis) was fantastic. She had seven blocks which ranks fifth in the NCAA Tournament. She just has a great presence about her and I think being able to tag team ‘Vivi’ and ‘Kay Kay’ (Kaylon Williams) helps us stay fresh and gives them both the energy to defend that way. We said coming in that we felt like the play of our post would be instrumental in being able to stay and play another day because we have that inside-outside attack and not everyone does. Both of those guys have been really good this year.”

On how the offense benefits from seeing shots fall...
“It’s like you lose 20 pounds. Everything becomes easier. Every pass becomes less labored. Every post feed becomes more obvious. It stretches the defense and makes them have to adjust. It’s as much as it what it does to us as what it does to an opponent’s game plan. We just feel better about ourselves. When the ball goes into the basket you have great energy. Anybody who’s ever played understands that so it was fun to see. I’m really happen for Peyton because she’s struggled with that and this past week in practice she’s really shot it well and I felt like it was coming and I’m happy that it did.”

On her team’s energy being high from the start of the game...
 “It’s something that we talk about all the time that the only way to win a tournament is to have undeniable energy. Undeniable engery means that it’s not dependent upon whether a shot goes into the basket or how the game is being officiated or whether or not even the opponent is making baskets. Undeniable energy is something you can control all the time. We’ve talked about that a lot over the last eight days as we have prepared for this. I think credit belongs to our guys involved in terms of our internal leadership and that starts with Maddie, Gabbi and even Shaya Kellogg coming from the bench, the energy that comes from there and timeouts, deadballs. They were just very conscious of it and it’s such a continuous thing. Purdue missed some shots early and our energy level increased with their misses. I don’t know if our energy level would have increased if they made them or not. That’s really the undeniable part and we don’t know that but that’s what we are working toward.”

On the team rallying around Maddie Manning….
“Maddie is 34-year-old junior. So we have that going for us. She’s been around and she and Kay Kay are the only two who have been to the Sweet 16. Neither of them played in it because they were both injured that year but they know what it’s like to play one more week and you really need that. I think our younger guys are looking to Kay Kay and Maddie at this time and saying ‘what do we do next?’ and ‘how should we be?’ and Maddie was fantastic. I think her attention to detail in practice is what has impressed me most over the last week. It’s like she took a mature pill all of a sudden and I like it. I’m going to try and slip her some more.”

On the team’s 13 blocks….
“I felt like we had an advantage on the interior. I felt like maybe our permiter game cancelled each other out but that we had an advantage on the inside. As we have talked to our team all the time it’s only an advantage if we exploit their weakness and so we had to throw it there and had to play enough pressure on the perimeter to take their guards away and make them throw it there and that’s where the blocks came from. I think our belief in our bigs is really true and it’s really strong and we played toward them today and they delivered and that only fuels that belief and that’s a fantastic cyle to find yourself in.”

Peyton Little, Oklahoma Guard:


On getting open looks and shots to fall….
“It was really just my teammates finding me. Whenever I was open they were able to get me the ball and luckily it fell tonight. So I give all of the credit to them because they were the ones who passed me the ball.”

Maddie Manning, Oklahoma Guard:


On playing with energy in the post on defense…
“I think us guards have a lot of confidence in our posts to get it done in there so that we can be out pressuring on their guards. And we know that they’re going to be there for us if we do get driven by. Just their presence as Coach spoke about.” 

POSTGAME QUOTES – Purdue


Sharon Versyp, Purdue Head Coach:


“We knew Oklahoma was a very good and physical team, but they’re probably a little more physical and stronger than we thought. They took us out of our game early on. When we did have some shots that were open we didn’t knock them down. That kind of got us on our heels. Obviously, if you can’t score, you can’t set your defense up. They did a good job of getting into transition. We switched things up playing zone and playing man. But the hardest thing for us is when you shoot so poorly in the first half it’s kind of hard to redirect that energy. I thought our second half was better, but just a little too late.”

On why Oklahoma was so effective on offense and on defense with the blocked shots...
“We knew they were effective. They just spread you out. They are very similar to Iowa where all four players can shoot the 3. We were trying to dig in. We did our homework and were trying to dig in and double because they hadn’t been shooting the ball well. They shot the ball exceptionally well today. Like they say, you have to pick your poison. When we allowed them to score down low, they scored down low. We doubled and they found the open shooter, and a couple of players like our student-athletes said they just stepped up. People made big shots. 

“As for the blocked shots, I told them to turn and attack, and we just kept throwing it into their hands. At some point you have to realize that if it’s not working, you have to do something different. It was discussed at every timeout. Again, having a young team especially down low adjusting to that and understanding that you have to turn and face and attack because of their size.”

On whether she was happy with the kind of shots they were getting even though they weren’t falling well...
“Not initially the first four minutes. I felt like we didn’t set a screen. They took us out of our rhythm a little bit more one on one than I wanted. Then I thought we settled down and got some good shots. They just rimmed in and out, and that happens. When your top players that score for you and the balls not falling then it makes everybody tight. If we would have knocked some of those down, then it just brings more energy.”

On inserting Tiara Murphy in the third quarter...
“Murphy had the flu the last two days. She wasn’t at practice. I wasn’t even sure if she was going to be able to go. She did bring us a spark. She’s not afraid to shoot the ball. She’s an extremely confident kid. This was great experience for her moving forward since she’s our point guard of the future. I was glad that we were able to insert her. She told me when she needed to come out when you don’t have anything in you, and she’s a little itty bitty thing anyways. I was very proud of her fight and her rebounding. Getting after it on defense and stepping up and shooting shots. The seniors are very thankful and appreciative of her hard work.”

On whether she feels like they’ve taken a step forward to where they want to be as a program...
“Definitely. If you talk to anybody, if you have a losing season period, you’ve got to take a step forward. We did at a lot of different levels. We’re an extremely young team. We’re even going to be younger next year. We only have two seniors. I think the basis of the leadership that was instilled on this young group will continue to move forward. We’ve got a lot of work to do just like anybody else in the country. We’ll step back and really analyze where we need to be. For the next few months we definitely need to work on our physique and our bodies and conditioning.”

On advice for they next team facing Oklahoma...
“If they shoot the 3 like they did today. They just did a great job inside-outside. They were clicking. Their transition was very good. They played defense very aggressively early and kind of get you out of your rhythm. You have to be ready for an inside, outside game. I think when they struggled is when they didn’t shoot the ball well. Their two games in the tournament they shot the ball well and they shot it well here. So it’s hard to defend. You’ve got to pick your poison. You’ve got to score inside or outside. They have pretty good depth. They play eight or nine players. You’ve got to be ready for both types of games.”

On the team’s free throw struggles... 
“I think that if you’re shooting the ball well, then when you get to the foul line you shoot pretty well. That’s just the mindset mentality. I think it goes hand in hand.”

On whether one of the takeaways from today is just physical strength in the offseason and getting stronger to match teams like Oklahoma...
“That’s part of it. Part of it is skill set. But again, we have a young team. We have these three freshmen, and they weren’t able to work on their bodies at all for five months during preseason. Nora (Kiesler) and Dom (Dominique McBryde) and Murph (Tiara Murphy) need to have six months working on their physique and their mentality and getting them tough and physical. Now we’ve got four incoming freshmen that need the exact same thing. Every player needs to get tougher. We just need to get more physical. Bridget Perry is our most physical player and (Andreona) Keys is coming back, but I didn’t think they played very physical today. It’s not just physique, it’s mindset.”

On what April Wilson has meant to program...
“April, like she said, she’s had ups and downs. She was able to play with two great point guards KK Houser and Courtney Moses to help her show the way. I thought last year and especially this year her growth was immense. Last year, she had broken her ribs and she played and nobody knew that until the end of the season. That just shows how tough she is, but she couldn’t have a stellar season because she’s in pain all the time. This year she’s just really matured into the point guard that you want to coach everyday. She wanted the leadership. She wanted to make the plays. She wanted to be the top defender. When April sets her mind to something she can do whatever she wants. She had to be the tough love person, and she never wanted that. This year she did. She did the tough love with her teammates. If you look at her stats, 1,000 points, steals, assists her career has been phenomenal. In the future, she has two or three different options and she’ll continue to further discuss those probably in about a month from now when she kind of has some idea of what she wants to do. She’s got a bright, bright future.”

On seeing April Wilson coaching...
“Possibly. That’s one thing that she would like to do maybe. She’s coached little kids. Little AAU group and they love and adore her. That’s probably one option for her. I think she has two or three options, but that’s one of them.”

April Wilson, Purdue Guard


On how much problems Oklahoma created with the tempo early...
“They took us out of our game early in the first half. We just couldn’t knock down shots and it was draining for us. They stopped us in our transition game, and that’s our bread and butter. They were knocking down shots, and that was draining for us.”

On leaving the tournament earlier than had hoped...
“We didn’t just come to show up. We planned to win. I’m just so blessed that we turned this program around. Everybody has worked hard for a year now just to get back to where we wanted to be. Yeah it sucks that this is the way my career ended, but I’m very thankful that we got back here and that everyone left it all on the court this game.”

On her four-year career at Purdue...
“I don’t know what I’m going to do going forward. I have a few options, but they don’t need to be discussed right now. I’ve just been blessed to be able to wear that ‘P’ across my chest and be coached by Coach V (Sharon Versyp) for four years. Just to stick with it; I’ve had ups and downs my four years, but to be able to stick with it and know the coaches and my teammates have had my back for four years. I’m blessed to play for Purdue.”

Bridget Perry, Purdue Guard/Forward


On the kind of problems Oklahoma’s interior gave...
“They’re really big and physical like coach said. We watched their film, but they were more physical than we thought and anticipated. Down low our plan was to double them, but then I think they looked at our past film and knew we doubled a little and they were able to fan out and hit those shots. That was tough. The were able to get us deep down low with No. 0 (Vionise Pierre-Louis) and No. 42 (Kaylon Williams).”

On Oklahoma’s 13 blocks and the problems inside...
“They are long and they did a good job of being straight up. It was also on our part. When that happened we didn’t make adjustments. We kept shooting the ball into their hands. A lot of times in the post we are kind of used to just going and turning and throwing the ball up. In that case, when they start getting 10 blocks we have to say we need to adjust and just face up and attack them off the dribble.”

On Oklahoma’s 3-pointers...
“Their players and team definitely stepped up and hit those 3s, especially No. 10 (Peyton Little) and even No. 23 (Maddie Manning) who wasn’t shooting a great percentage before or she hadn’t shot a lot of 3s. Players on their end stepped up and hit the 3.”