Kansas 75, Illinois State 72 Postgame Quotes

April 1, 2009

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Postgame Quotes

Kansas 75, Illinois Sate 72

April 1, 2009

Head Coach Bonnie Henrickson

On the team’s overall play:

“It was a great effort by Illinois State. It is a credit to our kids to find a way to stay in it and execute down the stretch. We need to kick ourselves in the pants for having a 16-point lead, letting that go, and making it into a game, but we need to pat ourselves on the back for winning”

On the great play of Danielle McCray during the WNIT:

“She has always been a kid who wants to take big shots and is capable of hitting those big shots. She loves the pressure, and that’s what great players do. Her play is important to the basketball team and I thought that the poise our team showed around her was good. She was antsy out of the gate, but finished playing with a lot of poise and composure.”

On the opportunity the team is facing on Saturday:

“It is momentum. It is momentum to have played as well as we did down the stretch at the end of the year. We have built momentum there; we have created momentum during this tournament in putting ourselves in a position to win a championship. We talked about not celebrating that we were in the NIT, but we would celebrate a championship. The atmosphere and the environment I think surprised some of the players. It is a step in the right direction, one game that we have got to win and with that comes some special opportunities for these kids to leave here and say that this was their legacy.”

Junior forward Danielle McCray

On the crowd:

“It was just great to have that energy and know that the fans are cheering for you. I can’t stress enough how appreciative we are for all the fans that came out and supported us tonight. It really helps us out a lot. Hopefully we can keep winning because we know that the more we keep winning the more the fans will come out to watch us.”

On the last minute of the game:

“It seemed like the longest minute of my life. We just wanted for the game to be over and for us to get the win. We always go over last minute situations in practice because you never know when your going to be up or down late in a game. On my three point play I just stayed with it and managed to make the shot and get fouled. Then I was able to get the fans into the game and I was so pumped up. It was a great feeling.”

On finding new ways to score late in the season:

“I talk to Coach Bonnie every day about this because I know there are going to be days like today when you shot just isn’t falling early in the game. When that happens I just try to get my teammates involved and then try to get into the lane and get to the free throw line. Once I got to the free-throw line tonight I started to really feel comfortable.”

Sophomore Forward Krysten Boogaard

On being more aggressive tonight:

“I knew that I needed to step up big tonight and play hard. I had a lot of confidence tonight coming off the game at New Mexico and then getting a good practice in yesterday.”

On the crowd:

“It was incredible. I saw the newspapers they use during the guy’s games that they usually hold up. It was just very exciting to be in that environment and I am just really excited so many people came out to support us. Hopefully they all come back Saturday. It was far more than I expected, I thought there may be 5,000 people here.”

Sophomore Forward Nicollette Smith

On her perimeter shooting slump:

“I still can do other things for the team even when my three isn’t falling. My teammates are trying to do everything they can to get my confidence back up. It isn’t my shot it is just I need to get my confidence back in it. My teammates have helped me a lot.”

On the pressure during her late free throws:

“That was probably the most pressure I have ever been put under in my life, but it was definitely the most pressure I have been under since joining this program. I am glad I came out of it okay so people would be comfortable when I step up for late free throws in the future.”

Illinois State Head Coach Robin Pingeton
Opening Statement:
“I’m really proud of our kids. I thought they played with a ton of heart and a ton of toughness. It would have been easy to have thrown in the towel, but our kids refused to do that. Bonnie (Henrickson) has done a great job with this program. It’s a program that’s going to continue to be on the rise. They’ve got some tremendous players. It was a fantastic atmosphere and they have very talented ballclub. I’m proud of our effort and the toughness that we showed and I’m proud of the heart that we played with. I’m proud of our never-say-die-attitude. Our kids have a lot to be proud of.”

On Danielle McCray:
“She’s an amazing player. She’s just a talented young lady. She played all 40 minutes. I felt like that at times she was getting a little fatigued but she got her second, third and fourth wind. There’s a reason that she’s first team all-Big 12. I thought our kids did a great job on her, I really did, and that was our primary focus. She’s a very talented young lady and obviously going to be a big part of this program in the future.”

Junior Forward Ashleen Bracey
On responding to the 17-point deficit:
“We had to do it for our seniors. It’s tough when its go big or go home and you know it’s your last game if you lose. We have players that have been here for four years and you’re playing for them and your coaches. We tried to make a statement and tried to lay it all out there because it was our last game.”

Senior Guard Kristi Cirone
On trying to slow Danielle McCray:
“We just went in there and tried to play team defense on her. Like Coach said, she’s an amazing player. She’s got a lot of different moves that she uses. We just try to put new bodies on her and slow her down a bit.”

On not giving up when down 17 points:
“This is what this team has been about, especially in the postseason. We’ve just had this mentality that we’re not out of it until the game is over. So we came together again, like we have through this run. We were able to get some stops and push it in transition. I thought we did a great job and left it all out there on the floor.