|AN INTERVIEW WITH: STANFORD COACH TARA VANDERVEER & PLAYERS|
THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and get started with the Stanford press conference. Take an opening statement from coach.
COACH VANDERVEER: Well, first of all, I just want to congratulate Maryland on a great season and they're a fantastic team. I'm really proud of our team to be up here and be representing the west at the Final Four and we had to work very hard to beat Maryland. And we did it with I think everyone really contributing, willing to do whatever it takes. We knocked down our high in terms of 3s by knocking down 14 3s we had a great inside presence with Jayne and Kayla, they're defense and their rebounding, you know, you thought Roz worked extremely hard on Kristi Toliver, she's a fabulous player. And even though she did score a lot, I thought Roz worked really hard and that was real important for our team and Candice, what can I say about Candice. She is a great player, steps up in big games and she really stepped up for or our team, knocked down shots. People came off the bench, Jeanette and Jill contributing, and our whole team was ready to go. So I'm really proud of our team, I think that through the whole NCAA tournament so far they have really responded to the challenge and obviously there's going to be a bigger challenge next week and we'll be ready.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Take questions for the student athletes.
Q. Candice, when the 3s started to fall did you kind of have the sense it was going to be a good night?
Q. J.J., what did you have for lunch today? What was that about?
Q. Candice, were you considering that what this game meant, were you nervous at all before the game and what did you do before the game, anything different you talk to the team?
I had just great encouragement from my teammates, Jayne, snatched me, grabbed me and just said some really great words of encouragement before the game. And Tara also said things and everyone just has confidence in me so I wasn't really nervous about that.
Q. Jayne, can you talk about how the night went, I remember last week you said you looked at Candice and you knew she was fine, was that sort of the same sense you had tonight?
Candice was the best, I told her before the game she's the best player on the floor and there's no one who can stop her out there. She's played all over the world and no one can stop her there, so why tonight.
Q. For Candice, did you feel like a sense of mission to get Stanford back into the Final Four?
So absolutely, we were aware of that and we wear that with so much pride. So we did have sort of that mission and me especially. Especially being my last year and I knew that this team is a team that can do it.
Q. Candice, obviously this has been the round that tripped you up in the past, did you think at all about that? Did you think back on those other two games you played in the Elite 8 and draw motivation from that or did you try and shut it out?
Q. For Kayla, what is somebody six four doing out there past the three foot arc?
Q. Can you talk about the work you guys did defensively on Langhorne and Harper inside?
KAYLA PEDERSEN: The same way. I think that preparing against Pittsburgh and Cal and the doubles really helped us for this game. We had Candice all the time helping us on the post and I think it really took the pressure off of me and Jayne, knowing that Candice was always going to be there.
Q. Candice, you seemed extra eager to take 3s tonight and one time I thought maybe you took a 3 when you should have been killing the clock. You seemed to be pretty confident out there. Do you know you can step right up to that line, you know, you don't have to go three or four feet behind it to shoot.
But, yeah, you know, I think that's I was just feeling it today and really I tried to attack the basket first and then once you attack the rim you can, it sets up your outside shot. So I just took 3s just in the flow of the game when I felt like it.
Q. Roz, they cut it to six, and Candice hit a 3 and they missed some free throws, but you guys did that sort of unflappable thing again. Where you didn't let it get to you. Did you guys feel like it was pretty well in control when they made a run at you?
Q. J.J. when you said that they were sleeping, did you mean that they didn't have you on the radar, they didn't and they were they underrated you or something?
Q. You also drove though too.
THE MODERATOR: All right. We'll let the student athletes go back to the locker room. Take questions now for coach.
Q. I hate to ask a one person question, in what was such a great team game, but we have all our own angles. For Candice, where does this rank in the games that you've seen her, that she's played for you?
Actually against Pittsburgh I thought she was kind of tight. And actually in the beginning of the second half I thought our team was a little tight. We had a 10 point lead and then we were short on all our shots and I'm like, forget about the lead let's just play the way we played in the first half. Maybe we shouldn't have had a half time.
But Candice just, she hit a real big three for us, she hit a couple of them, I guess, but I think in the second half kind of right at the top and she was just such a great leader for our team. She really, I had no idea she really had 41 points. She had a lot of free throws. But this might be her biggest game. But I hope her bigger, biggest one is ahead.
Q. Can you remember ever being up by 10 points at half when the rebounding totals are even and your opponent shot 64 percent from the field?
And we had good flow to our offense. We were running things pretty well, it wasn't like perfect, but we were getting shots we liked. And then Kayla just decided to go off. And I like that plan.
Q. Can you just talk about what it feels like for you to go back to the Final Four. It's been 11 pretty long years.
There's no guarantee, I don't know how many coaches have in women's basketball have gone to the Final Four, there's a couple coaches that monopolize it, but it's a really special opportunity. And we want to go there and just have a great time and just do our best.
Q. I want to know if you were nervous before the game?
So I thought we did. We really I think people really worked hard to do what we asked them to do. And then you have very they're exceptionally talented, Kristi Toliver, she's fantastic. She's just, we were working as hard as we could to keep her in front and she still went by. Langhorne and Harper, are both great players. Marissa Coleman. And we gambled and Strickland hit a shot, and then we just kept gambling. Before the game I had our manager chart Strickland's shooting and it was scary how she shot and I was really nervous I thought maybe this isn't going to work and then Bobby said yeah, but, you know, I can hit shots in warm up too. So I said all right, we're going to stick with the plan.
Q. That first half was a little fast paced, Maryland thought that favored them. And you were a little concerned yesterday about the pace. How did you feel as that everybody was going up and down?
Q. Could I get some thoughts first of all on J.J.'s play and then Kayla.
But our team, I think our team had confidence. And J.J. shot with confidence and played with confidence. And Kayla is outrageous. She just is so she is so, I mean this, you hear this line on ESPN all the time, as cool as the other side of the pillow. Well that's her. She is really poised. And she is talking to Jayne, I'm, they're longer, I'm going to have to lob it a little higher for you, she is really, really a mature player. And she stepped out and hit 3s and we have been working on that. So I am glad to see it come to fruition in this game.
THE MODERATOR: About the pace again and you talked yesterday about it you were kind of okay with whatever the pace was, but could you have imagined that you would have 51 at half time or 98 as a final score. Could you have ever pictured that?
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you.
COACH VANDERVEER: Thank you very much.
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