March 12, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Coach Flanagan, if you want to take just a minute or two to give a recap of the game and your opening thoughts, we'd appreciate that.
COACH FLANAGAN: I thought the most important thing probably first of all I want to congratulate BYU. I thought they played really hard. Very difficult to defend. As Brandi knows, running over those screens is no picnic. They set a lot of screens.
I thought what we did very well was stop their interior game. We didn't ever stop  bar ling. I thought she played a great game, especially under the conditions with us chasing her. We helped each other out a lot on defense. I thought the first half was the key that we shut them down. They didn't score many points first half.
Second half we had a little lull there, which we've had before, but I think everybody has that. We shot well. Shot our free throws pretty well. A little unhappy with our offensive boards. We need to do a better job of blocking out. But other than that I thought it was a good team effort on offense and on defense.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, coach. Questions for the student athletes please.
Q. Amy or Brandi, what goes through your head when you see they're focusing so much on Dionne, and then she is limited in the first half and you guys are still able to build up a pretty good lead.
Brandi Kimble: I think we did a good job of stepping up. Our younger players came in and were confident and knocked down shots and played good defense.
Amy Beggin: I think we still try to get the ball to DM. But when they're doubling her, we just try to fake it. And our four players played pretty well today, hitting their shots on the outside. So really just trying to get everybody involved in the offense.
Q. Amy, you guys got up ten early and they never got within single digits again. Did you see this kind of game coming? You guys were really ready. Do you know what accounts for that?
Amy Beggin: BYU is a tough team and always seems to be close games when we played them. But we just came out fired up and excited, we just were able to jump out to the lead right away and able to maintain it and played pretty solid.
Q. You guys hit a couple threes early on. Did you feel like the shooting was kind of contagious early and the confidence raised as soon as you hit those first couple?
Amy Beggin: I think it makes us feel a lot better and play a lot better when one person starts hitting them. Just like you said, it's contagious, and we just look for our shots and try to knock them down.
Q. On the defensive end, forcing all those turnovers, I think you scored 35 points off the turnovers, what got into your guys on the defensive end?
Brandi Kimble: I think we were pumped up this afternoon to play good defense and we did a good job.
Q. Amy, just talk a little bit about the environment here. Seems like there's a lot of Lobo fans, and you guys seem like you felt pretty comfortable.
Amy Beggin: Yeah, I mean, it's just really special to come running out of that tunnel and see all the Lobo support here. Just kind of reminds us we do have the best fans in the nation, just to come and drive all the way out here to something that's really special, and we're just really appreciative.
Q. Brandi, seems like the fact you guys have done well in this tournament before, that seems like it has been a little bit of a factor. Does that make you guys more confident going into a game like this?
Brandi Kimble: I think it does.
THE MODERATOR: Ladies, we'll let you guys go. Thanks very much. We'll continue with questions for coach.
Q. The focus, the defense on Dionne, she gets in foul trouble, she obviously doesn't have the first half maybe you expect and you guys still build a big lead. So what did you learn about the rest of the players?
COACH FLANAGAN: You know, I know about the rest of the players. The only thing was, I thought Jessica Kielpinski played very well in place of Dionne. I thought the team played very well when Dionne was on the bench. We tried to go to Dionne early. She hit the first shot of the game, then after that they really defended her hard. They were sometimes double teaming her. And that gives Angela an opportunity.
You know, we've seen the double team throughout the year obviously because Dionne is the key. So they're going to double team her. So that frees up our other post player. Angela has become quite a good player. Now they really can't do that as much. I don't see teams doing that as much unless they want Angela to get 20.
Q. Without asking for comparisons per se, do you feel like Amy gives you the same kind of steadiness that you've had in the past at the point with Mandy and Katie at this stage of her career?
COACH FLANAGAN: You know, I've had a lot of outstanding point guards. I think I've been fortunate with point guards. And Amy is a leader, tough kid. She's a great defender. And she makes our team go. She's really made a lot of progress.
And, you know, I don't have a lot of subs for Amy. Our point guard that we had at the beginning of the year injured her knee, so all through the year she's had to go 38 to 40 minutes. And she does that without any problem at all. I ask her if she's tired after the 40 minutes. She always says, No, I feel great. As long as she feels great, I feel great.
Q. How does she differ from Katie and Mandy? I mean personality wise or on the court?
COACH FLANAGAN: First of all, she's hyper. And Mandy was never hyper like that. Mandy was on the floor. She was very she was demanding on the floor. Amy's not as much like that. But throughout the day, I mean, you can't calm her down. She is very hyper. Yet when she gets on the floor, she calms down. So her off the floor behavior is more you can't calm her down. She is just running around, causing problems everywhere. Once she gets on the floor, she utilizes that energy appropriately and plays a smart game.
Now Katie was a little bit better shooter. But, you know, Amy didn't come in being a good shooter. And she's really improved her shot by hard work. It doesn't look pretty, but it goes in.
Q. Coach, you talked about the first half being the key basically. Dionne basically had three points and had to sit out the last eight minutes. But you had eight players score. Has to feel pretty good to see that happened because early in the year it obviously didn't.
COACH FLANAGAN: Throughout the year we've been kind of experimenting. It wasn't because I wanted to experiment a lot of times; it was because I had to. There was times when we weren't playing very effectively and I'd throw people in. I was trying to find a combination that I thought would work. And pretty soon, as the season progressed, some of those players surfaced and started to play a little bit better. And now I think we have more depth than we would have had if I didn't have to experiment. So I might have eight or nine or ten players that can play and they've all played some minutes and some important minutes throughout the season. So I think our depth has really improved.
Q. Coach, you've said that your defense has been pretty consistent throughout the season. Another solid performance today. Is that something you've just come to expect of them and how important will that be come Friday?
COACH FLANAGAN: We work a lot on defense. It's not something that just happens. A lot of our practice, I would say about 60% of our practice, is defense. I always feel like if we can defend and get enough points, we'll win games.
But, you know, I think we're somewhere around seven or eighth in the nation in defense. Even though we haven't had the kind of year we wanted to have, it's getting better and our defense is excellent.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, coach. Appreciate it.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports