March 9, 2012
Head Coach Lisa Stockton
Overall thoughts on the game
"It's just such a team performance. You look at these stats, and it's just such great contributions from players on our team that really came out to play. Our goal was that we just wanted to play tough. We just really wanted to go out there and play tough and leave it out there, and I think we did that. I don't think you get anywhere without great leadership, and I'm sitting here looking at one to my right in Olivia Grayson, who had 18 points and 14 rebounds. I think that says a lot about who leads this team and shows us how to win. That was just a great performance by my team. It's the second of a back to back; I'm just really excited to be playing in the finals again."
On Tulane's defensive effort against Memphis
"I will say going into this game, I felt like we had to score. Memphis is such a good offensive team. I really didn't think we could hold them that low. When (Brett) Benzio got in foul trouble, we went to a zone, and that was really affective against them. That allowed us to play some smaller players. But, our defense really has gotten us where we are. I look at yesterday's game against ECU, and I thought our defense was really good. So, I think that's been what we've built everything on. I was really impressed today. You talk about defense, but you look at the rebounding numbers. Out-rebounding them by nine, I thought, was just huge in order not to give Memphis extra opportunities."
On advancing the C-USA Championship title game with such a young team
"I think they are enjoying it so far. I keep going back to being proud. I'm just so proud of the way this team hasn't backed down. I think that's something that when you lose a few games or have some adversity early in the season, how you come back says a lot about the character of your team. I think we came back and really came back strong. I don't know that we were playing our best basketball coming into this. That was our goal, but I don't know that we were. But, we are now. Somehow a switch turned on. I think that's a lot of hard work. I look at Danielle (Blagg) to my left, and I thought she had the best week of practice last week that I've seen all year. So, it's not an accident that she has come to this tournament and played well. So, I think they are learning and on their way to knowing what it takes to do this. We have great role models from our upperclassmen."
On if Tulane has an edge in the upcoming championship game after playing in the last two
"We don't have a lot of players that were on those teams - I guess we have four. I definitely think when I look at Olivia (Grayson) and the other upperclassmen that have been there, I think they know. Our job this year has been for our upperclassmen to communicate what's expected to the underclassmen. I think they've done that. I think it's their job now. It's not in my hands anymore; it's their job. But, I don't know that I've had a team that has overachieved more than this one to get to the finals. This team has really played very, very well to get here. I think the two teams that we have played have been really tough opponents. So, we're excited to be here, and we are going to enjoy this for a few minutes and then get to work again."
Junior Guard Olivia Grayson
On her overall performance against Memphis
"I really didn't realize how many rebounds I had until I looked at this sheet of paper. But, before the game, I told the team to just leave it all out there on the court. And, I can't tell them to do that if I don't do it. It's one and done, and I don't want to leave here without a championship."
Freshman Guard Danielle Blagg
On Tulane rebounding from a slow start
"Well, I mean like Coach Stockton said, she keeps telling us to leave it all out there. If we don't, we're done. We've worked way too hard to come this far and lose a game that we know we can win. So, it was just encouragement overall."
Head Coach Melissa McFerrin
Overall thoughts on the game
"The first question is going to be, `Well, since you didn't win the tournament, do you feel like your team underachieved?' so I want to answer that question right off the bat. I am really proud of the two young ladies (Brittany Carter and Jasmine Lee) sitting right beside me. They are part of five seniors who took a program that had fallen upon difficult times and turned it into something that we could all be proud of. Having said that, I thought Tulane played better than we did today in just about every aspect of the game. I thought they shot the ball better. I thought they defended better. I thought they rebounded the ball better, particularly on their offensive end of the floor."
On if she is disappointed with the outcome of today's game
"The disappointment that I feel today has to do with the fact that I didn't think we put our best game on the floor today. And, we have had many players, including Brittany and Jasmine, that have been incredibly reliable throughout the course of the year, but we simply couldn't find a way to make it happen today."
On if the team got frustrated offensively after not being able to hit open shots in the first half
"I don't think there is any question that it did, but we are playing basketball at a near championship level, at least at the semifinal level, and we can't allow that frustration and that adversity to affect how we play. To affect how we go to the offensive glass. We can't allow it to affect us on the defensive end of the floor. And, I do think some frustration, some physical play, got the best of us today. Maybe missing some free throws early got the best of us. This game is not a game that is going to be won on an easy path and I don't think that we handled very well the fact that it was a very difficult path."
Guard Brittany Carter
On having to overcome so many injuries during her career
"Having to overcome those injuries has been very tough. It's happened the last two years. I`ve been committed to playing through them. My coaches and teammates gave me the opportunity to get as well as I possibly could. And, I was ready to do that and play through those injuries because it's not going to be easy. I thought we had a great opportunity to win the Conference USA championship and get as far as we could."
Center Jasmine Lee
On her overall experience during her time at Memphis
"I'm happy I came to Memphis. I got a chance to showcase my talents for the first time in my collegiate career. I thank Coach (Melissa) McFerrin. We had a great run. In both of my years here we won 20 games, and we lost in the semifinals, which is disappointing but I feel like we had a great chance to win it each year, and that is all you can ask for."