March 4, 2012
HARTFORD, Conn. -
Head Coach Terri Mitchell
"I'm very pleased with our team. I think they're really beginning to understand what it takes to win in this conference. It's the best conference in the country. We gave [Rutgers] everything. Yes, we could've played smarter and yes, we made mistakes down the stretch, but I don't think anyone can say our effort wasn't there for 40 minutes. With the experience we had this year put into next year, I think you're going to see a team that earn some more victories."
Coach, what do you make out of this and go back with?
"We understand what it is to play one of the top teams in the country. I felt like [Rutgers'] shooting was a little better, their strength was a little better, and the thing that we can capitalize on is our spring and summer. What I take from it is a great building block. We're going to remember this in the spring and summer and any time we think about not wanting to do it, we're going to remember this loss. We're going to remember the 17 losses and let that be our motivating factor to come back next year really strong."
You held a very strong lead in the first half. [Rutgers] was able to pick up the defensive intensity in the second half. Can you talk about that and where you felt it changed for you?
"We expected they would come out and really attack us. We hurried out shot instead of shooting under control in order to run the plays that we usually run. We spent too much time in the back court trying to figure out their defense, running to the right spot. There was a big difference in the lead. They held us for a very long time."
For each of the players, what did you learn from the tournament this year?
"As a team, we learned that against all odds, we can still come together. The way our season started off wasn't what we expected or what we wanted but we ended the way that we hoped we could. We played together; we found it, and we just have to build on it."
"We learned how to play as a team these last couple of weeks starting with our game [last] Monday against Rutgers. We came together and started fresh from the losses we had. We just forgot about that and played together. It hurts to lose tonight, but it's exciting to know that we can play like this next year with everyone coming back and as well as the freshmen coming in. It's going to be a new season next year."