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Feb. 21, 2012

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No. 4 Connecticut vs. Pittsburgh
February 21, 2012, Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.
No. 4 Connecticut 86, Pitt 37


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Agnus Berenato:

Opening Statement:

“I want to introduce my guest coach Lyn Love, and thank her for coming.  I would like to congratulate Connecticut.  Obliviously there is a reason they are in the top three in the country.  I look to see them in the Final Four.  There is never a good time to play Connecticut and probably the worst time you could play them would be after an upset (loss).  We took our best shot tonight and I think they have a really nice team.  I think Geno Auriemma is a class coach.  He was very gracious to us.  The second half was better than the first half, we were shell-shocked in the first half.  In the second half, I told the team to not even look at the score.  We are going to play four-minute quarters and I’ll let you know the score.  The final was 38-27 in the second half and that is better than 48-10 (in the first half).  I thought Brianna Kiesel played great.  I think she took on a leadership role in controlling the team.  She encouraged the team and settled them down when they needed it.  This is Brianna’s team.  I told her at halftime, you need to take control of this team.”

On Connecticut head coach using the second half to work on fundamentals instead of running up the score:

“I knew when I went through the line, and when I hugged him I told him I owed him a thank-you note.  They played hard.  Geno Auriemma does right by the student-athlete and always tells you to remember where you came from.  His players are always going to play hard because they are the best.  If they did not play hard you would see him flip.  I learned that about him my first two years.  You have to expect your players to play hard but you also have to work on certain situations even if you are up in a game.  Geno is the ultimate educator.”


Quoting Brianna Kiesel

On what she learned about the Pitt team:

“UConn is a very good team and when they came in there, they jumped on us quickly.  We didn’t’ handle the press as well as I thought we would have, but we still did alright.  We really came out in the second half with a spark.”

On preparing to play Connecticut:

“We approached the game as just a regular game.  I mean, UConn doesn’t have ‘superman’ written on their chest.  It’s just another team.  We played them like another team.  We still played hard in the second half.”

On your season and making this your team:

“It’s still playing out and I’m still learning.  We are taking it game by game.  We still have another season to go, the Big East Tournament.  I think we are going to go into that with a different mentality.”


Quoting Connecticut Head Coach Geno Auriemma

On whether Connecticut played well or Pitt struggled:

“It’s hard to tell.  We could have been like Notre Dame and come out here and run the score up.  We could have tried to score 120 and have shot threes the whole game.  That’s not the point.  The point is to work on your game and make sure that you’ve got girls that are getting better and playing better.  That’s always what you try to see in a game.  It’s what we ask ourselves all the time as coaches.  Did that work because we executed well or did they not have the talent to stop it? Either way it’s fine as long as you get your stuff done and execute.  You’re trying to think ahead and play for another game down the road where you will need something like that.  Once we thought we had the game in hand it was an opportunity to work on our game and we did a good job of that.”

On why other programs don’t have success like Connecticut’s:

“To do what we have done is obviously very difficult.  When you look at the top fifteen teams in the country, the rest of the teams in America have the same players.  Very little differentiates those who play for the twenty-fifth best team and the fifteenth best team.  There might be one player that’s different. Trying to identify who those players are that get you to number twenty-five and get you to fifty is the hardest thing because they all act the same.  Keeping your staff together is also difficult.  When people leave you have to break in a whole new group.  It is being done at other places and it was done here.  That means it can be done again.  Getting the right people in place, getting lucky with a couple players, it can be as easy as that or as difficult as it is right now due to having young players.”


Quoting Connecticut’s Kelly Faris

On the outcome of tonight’s game:

“I’m happy with the way we responded but at the same time we are not where we want to be.  We made progress but we are not where coach wants us to be.  We still have a way to go.”

 

Quoting Connecticut’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis

On Connecticut’s shooting:

“We don’t want to be one of those teams that have to keep relying on our outside shooting to win games.  We have to get the ball inside.  If we aren’t making shots as shooters we have to make sure that we forget about the last shot and keep shooting.  If we keep missing we will have to find other ways to score.”