March 19, 2010
Coach Sherri Murrell, Portland State
"There are definitely different weapons that Claire did not talk about and so that's the biggest concern that I have with Texas A&M is that they're not just a defensive team. In the past they've converted offensively. You know their offensive has a lot of different weapons with [Danielle] Adams, [Tanisha] Smith. We're definitely getting down to film work and specifics even more with these young ladies."
On coaching a winning program and first tournament appearance
"Personally, I was very successful out-the-gate in my career and then I hit a tough patch with Washington State. I think anytime you go through something like that, you really have to ask the question, any questions. For me it was, "Hey, am I a good coach?" There were a lot of things I asked myself going through that. When I resigned, I said `this is what I'm supposed to do. This is where I'm supposed to be.' And it answered a lot of question, so when I got back into it, I obviously couldn't have asked for a better situation than at Portland State. I went to high school a block away from where I am now coaching."
On how her team is preparing emotionally
It's interesting because we have been keeping it so low key. I think I'm more excited than them sometimes. It's tough when it's your first experience."
G Claire Faucher, Sr.
On the defensive pressure she expects from Texas A&M
"I expected that they would come out and try to shut me down, but all year there have been players like Eryn Jones, Kelly Valentine and the rest of our wings that have stepped up. I guess it is smart to come into the game with a defensive plan to focus on a key player, but there are a lot of players on our team who can take people off of the dribble and make big shots. I hope that they do not completely shut me down, but I am definitely ready for the challenge."
On matching up defensively with Texas A&M
"We haven't really gone over any specific matchups yet. We have been focused more on our team as a whole and what we are going to do against their team as a whole. They are incredible athletes, they can shoot the three, and they can take you off of the dribble. They have a lot of weapons so we are going to have to focus more on team defense instead of stopping individual players."
"I think that just being here is all of the motivation that we need. It is the first time Portland State has ever been to the dance. It is just exciting to have another week to play, and staying alive another week. It is also exciting knowing that we are the underdog and playing with that mentality. We are just working hard and working together to survive and play another day. This is the last time Erin Yankus and I will be playing so we want to play for as long as we can, but we did not just come all this way to say we went to the tournament, we are here now and we want to make some noise."
G Eryn Jones, So.
On being back in Seattle
"It is really exciting to be back playing in Seattle. It feels like I am in high school again, and we are playing in the state tournament. It just feels really good to be home again."
How the Big Sky Tournament prepared them for the NCAA Tournament
"In the Big Sky tournament everybody has already played each other multiple times. You have seen the other teams before and they have seen you, but in the NCAA tournament we are playing teams that we have never seen before and that is exciting. Anything can happen once the tournament rolls around."
F Erin Yankus, Sr.
On the game tomorrow
"I think all of us are really excited. It's a new experience for all of us." On Texas A&M
"The game plan is to go out and play as hard as we can. We're going to focus all on getting down the floor quick and try to stop the ball as much as we can."
G/F Kate DePaepe, Jr.
On playing close to home
"We're going to have a lot of fans here. I know we're selling a lot of tickets. We have so many local players here from Spokane or Yakima, so they're all having people come down."
On their reaction when they found out they'd be playing in Seattle
"It was completely unexpected. Everyone just jumped and we didn't even see what time or day we were playing, everyone just saw Seattle on the screen."
F Kelli Valentine, Jr.
On playing in her home state (Spokane native)
"It feels great. I had a tournament here in high school and it was a fun tournament. It is always a fun place to play. It is cool to actually play here, because I've watched the UW men's and women's teams play here a ton of times."
On playing Texas A&M tomorrow
"There is a lot of excitement to get out and play. It is cool to walk by and see them practicing. To see what we are going up against tomorrow."
On potentially facing her hometown team in Gonzaga
"It is cool that we are both here. I have couple friends on that team, so if we both win then we will both play each other again, since we played each other earlier this year."