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Coach Amanda Butler, Kayla Lewis and Carlie Needles talked about the game.

Tuesday March 25, 2014NCAA Second Round News Conference Quotes

University Park, PA

Coach Amanda Butler, Kayla Lewis and Carlie Needles talked about the game.

The Gator’s 2013-14 season came to a close after an 83-61 loss to No. 3 seed Penn State in the 2014 NCAA Second Round held at the Lady Lion’s Bryce Jordan Center Tuesday evening.

 

UF head Coach Amanda Butler, junior Kayla Lewis and sophomore Carlie Needles talked with the media following the game.

 

·         POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE – VIDEO (UF head coach Amanda Butler, Kayla Lewis & Carlie Needles

 

Amanda Butler, Florida Head Coach:
Opening Statement:
Penn State played great today. I thought they played a great game and had a great game plan. They have a great program and great fans. It was an honor to be here and we didn't come here just to show up, but unfortunately, we didn't play our best basketball today, but still had an amazing season. I wish Penn State all of the luck as they go forward. They deserve it.

 

Q. What did Penn State do early that didn't allow you guys to do what you wanted to do?
A: I felt like they got a lot of momentum from our turnovers and they had a lot of points. We went into the locker room at halftime and 17 of what they scored was from us turning the ball over. So, it wasn't necessarily defensively we weren't doing great things or following the game plan or some other things that the girls mentioned, but we were just giving them the ball back and giving them the ball back in advantage situations. You just can't do that with a great team. Obviously a lot of the determination in the way Penn State played today definitely led by [Dara] Taylor. I thought she really spearheaded that effort and they capitalized on our mistakes.

 

Q. Do you like the fact that your team battled back in the second half?
A: That's who our team is. I'm sure that the folks that are here that aren't familiar with our team probably figured we would bow our heads and go away, but I knew that we had fight left in us and I knew there was going to be another surge and certainly we had dug a really tough hole to get out of, but it's part of what made this group so special. Just their resilient spirit and an undying force of overcoming no matter what it was and I think that basically is what you saw in the second half is that we certainly weren't going to go away easy.

 

Q: How valuable was this experience for your team being a young team?
A: It was huge. Kayla [Lewis] talked a little bit about our seniors. They really had set such a high standard for work, a high standard for leadership and I think that there is no better teacher than having a fantastic role model in the class ahead of you to show you "This is how you do it. This is how you walk your talk." I think it continues to generate such a higher expectation for our program. We are only going to have one senior next year as we don't have many upperclassmen, (we have a) big sophomore class. We have a great freshman in Ronni [Williams] and a great incoming class. So I think it is just huge strides being in the position that we were in in terms of handling the adversity and overcoming it just because that is what we are supposed to do and that is what we are expected to do. So I think it is great experience. We certainly did not want to be the first one in the press conference today. We wanted to be the second one, but at the same time, I think that the bar is raised.

 

Kayla Lewis, Florida #22 Position: Guard
Q: Penn State came out with a high-pressure defense. Is that something you were expecting and how did you plan to counter that?
A: We knew from their press conferences earlier that one of their main concerns was to defend the dribble penetration. They did a great job of pressuring us. They have a lot of senior leadership on their team. On the perimeter they did a good job of pressuring us. Unfortunately, we turned the ball over too much.

 

Q: Give me a summary of this season given that you're both seniors.
A: Coming from all the things that came up during our season, we had great leadership. JT [Jaterra Bonds] and Lily [Svete] set the tone in practice during conditioning. They were always the first to do anything. They were ready to do whatever needed to be done for our program. We just followed behind them. When things looked bleak and dark we never wavered because of our leadership, because of those two and Coach Butler giving us firm standing and confidence in what we had. That propelled us into a great conference season and into this postseason.

 

Carlie Needles, Florida #4 Position: Guard
Q: Defensively, what changed in the second half that allowed Penn State to score as efficiently as they did?
A: In the locker room we talked about how we let them score way too many points in the first half; I think we gave up 42 points and that's just not like us. We don't really focus on defense a lot, because we're a really good scoring team, but defensively if we're small we have to have a good game plan. Being able to guard dribble penetration, boxing out and rebounding, we couldn't get buried down low with the big post players. I thought we had to get back to our game plan and stick with it because it would have worked for us.

 

Q: Dara Taylor had a career-high 22 points today. What was she doing that made her difficult to guard?
A: She had a really good game and we knew that she was going to do it. This is a big night for all their seniors; it's their last game in Pennsylvania. We knew they were going to be really hyped. All the credit goes to her for stepping up and making plays down the stretch when she needed to. She's a really, really great player. She's quick, she got in and split us on defense and hit big 3s when she needed to. She played an all-around good game.

 

 

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Twitter: @GatorZoneWBK  and  @CoachButlerUF 

 

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