Post-Maryland NCAA quotes

March 28, 2009

Recap | Box Score


Head Coach Melanie Balcomb

Opening Statement:
“I think this was a great game overall. The defense, the energy and the effort on our part I thought was as good as it gets. Our game plan we executed to the best that we could all game. Our staff had a great game plan. Down the stretch we got in foul trouble and that really hurt us and down the stretch we just couldn’t stop (Marissa) Coleman. It got tight down the end and offensively we didn’t continue to make shots. We did everything we could possibly do to win this game but win the game. I’m really proud of the effort of the two players next to me (Jennifer Risper and Christina Wirth). I couldn’t have asked more from them.”

Christina Wirth

On the keys to the game:
“We always have keys before the game. The first key was transition defense. They like to push. They’re a high powered offense. We knew we were going to have to get back on defense. We know they’re obviously a great rebounding game. Another key was Kristi Toliver and Marissa Coleman are their go-to players. There was nothing that surprised us in the game in terms of who they went to down the stretch. I thought we did a really good job on them in the first half. Unfortunately they kind of went off a little bit. Another key is outworking and I thought we did that for 99 percent of the game.”

On getting so close but falling short:
“It’s really tough. I feel like we won this game for 39 minutes and if you look at we probably did. It’s disappointing to give up that big of a lead. I’m proud of our team. I thought people stepped up. I’m disappointed for all of us, including our coaches. I wish it would have come out differently, but I couldn’t be more proud of our team.”

Jennifer Risper

On the keys to the game:
“Another key that we haven’t talked about was attacking them because we can’t play back on our heels on offense. We needed to attack them and I thought we did that. A big thing was to expose their defense. I thought we did a good job of exposing their defense, too.”

Jence Rhoads

On the season as a whole and the adversity they faced
“We just wanted to do it for them [the injured players], we took it as a positive thing and that we had to overcome it because we knew they couldn’t be out there and we wanted them to be out there. We know that she [Hannah Tuomi] plays so hard and that makes us work that much harder.”

Talk about your effort to start the game
“Our coaches had a great game plan for us and we did not have any doubt that we could win this game. I think we were thinking about last year and did not want our season to end like it did last year. We had a great game plan and were ready to ready to execute it and were confident in what we were doing.”

On shutting down Kristi Toliver in the first half
“Jenn Risper and Jessica Mooney are amazing defenders and we had all the confidence in the world in them to guard them and if they did get beat, we were all ready to step up and help. Most of it was those two defenders because they are amazing and we just knew they would be able to guard her.”

Merideth Marsh

On the season as a whole and the adversity they faced
“I definitely think that would be a good theme for our season. At the beginning we lost some games that we should not have. Coach has always talked about how we peak at the right time and I think that is what we did this year. I think we had some rough losses but I think we really learned from them and that what was made us stronger. At the end, we were playing our best basketball and it sucks to end like this, like coach said, we won that game, just the end score did not show it. We just have to look at the season as a positive as a whole. We seemed to get better as the season went on, but we don’t really know where to go from here. Coach did tell us not to hang our heads low when we left today and I am really proud of our team this year.”

Talk about Jennifer Risper and her importance on today’s game
“Obviously here lately, Jennifer has stepped into a role that she was completely unfamiliar with and she has done that it seems like every year she has been here. What I love about her is she is all about it and she goes hard every second. The coaches respect her so much and so do we as a team. Here lately Coach has asked her to do some things that were really out of character for her and she has stepped up huge. She and Tina {Christina Wirth) are great leaders and I hope we can look at what they have done for this team and have really brought us together. I think we will do a good job of carrying that on next year for them. She is one of those players that anybody and everybody want to play with. She is all about the team and not about herself. We just build off her.”


Head Coach Brenda Frese

Opening Statement:
“First of all, I just want to thank our fans. They were truly our sixth man behind us today in a game with a lot of adversity. It was just special to be able to have them here with this great win. And these two [Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver] up here, another amazing chapter in their careers. This story isn’t ready to end and obviously to be able to see just how hard we fought through the adversity, the elements of the game, the runs by a great Vanderbilt team. I thought they were really, really prepared. And what more can you say about Marissa? I mean, just her will to win and both of these two, every game they step up with that will, that heart, that determination and what a phenomenal performance by this team. It’s just special.”

On the technical
“It was a critical moment in the game, you know, because we were losing our poise, we were losing out composure. It was a critical part and an area for us to come out and kind of calm our kids down and to be able to relax to regain some confidence. And again, just talk through that we can control things and I mean, all the outside distractions that we were kind of getting caught up in, we just needed to focus.”

On Marissa Coleman’s performance
“You get caught up as a coach. I knew, obviously, she was dominating but the last minute, I looked up on the scoreboard and saw 41 right before she hit her last free throw for 42. Man, I mean, you put it up there, the performance, I think that sticks out”

Marissa Coleman

On keeping this season alive
“I enjoy playing with my teammates. I love wearing a Maryland uniform. So, I’m going to do whatever I can to make this last as long as possible.”

On leading the team
“In the first half, Kristi [Toliver] went out with two fouls and I knew I had to step it up as far as being aggressive on the offensive end and leading my team in the second half. I saw heads were hanging down and you know, we had 11 minutes left in the game, and there was still a lot of time left. And just trying to bring energy. When I bring energy the rest of my team feeds off of it.”

Kristi Toliver

On Marissa Coleman’s performance
“It was a lot of fun to watch Riss play today. It was nice to be her teammate and to be a part of it. She put on a show and I think that she showed everybody in the country that she is one of the premiere players. She has the ability to take over a game and think she was looking forward to the match-up against [Jennifer] Risper. She definitely took advantage of a 5’9” post player and she dominated from start to finish.”

On what keeps the team calm under pressure
“I think we’ve been through everything possible throughout our career. I mean, we’ve been down 18 and come back. And we did that again today. We don’t try to hurry ourselves, to rush things. Poise and composure has been something that both of us has always had. And it’s definitely why we’ve been so successful.”

On Vanderbilt’s intensity
“They definitely gave us ball pressure. They wanted to be very aggressive on the defensive end and I think that’s a good strategy for any team. But I think that we didn’t try to get too caught up in it, that we tried to play team basketball and not have one person carry the load with the ball the whole time. With our ball movement, moving it around and getting easy shots, that calmed it down a little bit.”

Anjale Barrett:

“After we shot our two free throws we knew we had to get one more stop in order to be successful today.”

“We got to play harder earlier. We can’t afford to get off to a slow start against Louisville like we did today.”

“Our communication at the beginning of the game was not our usual. But as the game progress our defense and communication improved a lot. We fought thru the whole game and played hard and willed ourselves to this win.”

Lynetta Kizer:

“They switch it up a lot to day (defense) they fought and played with heart today not giving up anything easy.”

“Coleman was unstoppable today. There is no telling what she is about to do because she can take you to the basket, she can stop for the pull up, or if it a three she can let it fly.”