South Dakota State head coach Aaron Johnston
"It was a good first win to get the tournament going. It's been an unusual three weeks. We've played about three games in 21 days. Usually we have a flurry of games at the end. I think that had something to do with our sluggish beginning. Leah (Dietel) had a really nice game, broke things open in the second half. It was a good start for us; now we're ready to move on."
On going for a fifth straight
conference tournament title:
"We talk about tradition. We talk about the pride of the program. But when it comes to accomplishments, we're talking about this game. I can't imagine how much more difficult it would be if what we're trying to do is win our fifth straight title."
On whether the team's defensive
intensity is something that is sought in recruiting or developed in the program:
"In the recruiting process, we're definitely looking for it because I don't think you can create that in someone who doesn't have it. Our job as coaches is to make it consistent. Part of the reason for our success is the consistency of effort our team puts forward. We make not always be the most talented team, but our effort is consistent."
On fan attendance, despite it being
a first-round game on a rainy day:
"It's a testament to the great event Sioux Falls puts on. The fans are coming regardless of whether our team is playing a first-round game or not."
On the team's perfect tournament
"We've certainly been tested down here. We've won by the skin of our teeth a few times. It's not like we come here and are never challenged. So we feel confident we can win in any situation. None of that (past history) will determine if we win on Monday. That will be everything about how we play on Monday."
On the advantage of being able to
play 11 players:
"Aside from keeping players fresh, it keeps the players engaged. When teams are only playing seven, sometimes the others may not have a focused interest. On our team, most of our players know they're going to play and I think that also contributes to our practices."
South Dakota State guard Katie Lingle
On Oakland's defense giving her room on the low post
"I don't really think they were giving me room, but they were playing on the high side and my teammates got me some really good looks."
On the team's seven blocks:
"It's just being in the right place at the right time. Mariah (Clarin) had a couple big blocks at the end that really got the crowd going and that's good for her."
Oakland head coach Beckie Francis
"Our players were crying - that is a good sign because it shows that they did not sell out and really cared. It means that they didn't cash it in this year; despite all the injuries that we had. South Dakota State is a really good team. I like their system and how he (Aaron Johnston) has really been disciplined with his team. They just played better than us. I thought we played better than we have the first two times we played against them. "
On the importance of seniors:
"Absolutely seniors are important. It is the last thing I said in the locker room, because we have no seniors. Our senior was Bethany Watterworth. I was sitting there trying to console her. Over the years that we have won this tournament, it was my senior(s) that won the MVP and took us to the NCAA tournament. So, (Katie) Lingle and (Ashley) Eide were unbelievable tonight and I knew that they would be. I was trying to convince my freshmen to try and stop them but they took it over."
On playing the season without Bethany Watterworth and Zakiya
"It really is emotionally draining. Who is the best player in the men's tournament? Nate Wolters? So, how would (Scott) Nagy feel if he lost Wolters for the season. Who is the second best player? Jordan Dykstra? And, if you also lost him, how would that be? As a team you are out there trying to compete and you're starting four freshmen. Our freshmen are so good offensively but sometimes they don't know what they are doing. It can be frustrating. But I am really proud of them. They carried us."
On making progress :
"It is taking this feeling and using it. It hurts to lose in the tournament. It hurts losing period. We want them (our players) to take that and be better shooters and get into shape and be ready to win."
Oakland forward Olivia Nash
On when game changed:
"We just tried to stick with them. I got in foul trouble. We had to make quick subs and adjust and that was hard."
Oakland guard Victoria Lipscomb
On playing in front of huge SDSU-oriented crowd:
"Coming in we knew that South Dakota State was going to have a support system. They always do - they travel well. It was what we expected. It has happened in the years past. Coming in the one thing we talked about was trying to keep the crowd as quiet as possible. So, when we got out in the first half, we started out strong, we were able to do that. "