Feb. 24, 2001
Santa Clara Head Coach Chris Denker
On sharing the WCC title
"I just love these kids. It's the greatest group of people I love dearly. The coaching staff has put in great work all year long. But the thing is there's a lot of season left and we're really excited for that. It's a fun time heading into tournament play. We're excited for what lies ahead and what prospects lie ahead for us there. We're anxious for all of that, but winning a conference championship is an achievement in today's game, is undervalued. With all these conference tournaments, which are exciting and fun--don't get me wrong--I think it devalues the conference championship and I'm just really so excited for our kids and the ability that they had to concentrate and work hard and focus for eight weeks. To prepare themselves and put them in position day in and day out and go on the road and win games in a tough conference and come away with a championship and I'm just so proud.
"Basketball is a long a season. We talked last spring how our season is a marathon, it's not a sprint. We need to be conditioned for that and mentally ready. To come on the road the last week of the season and get a sweep is big. Hopefully it's indicative of how we'll continue to play the rest of the season."
On Becki Ashbaugh, spraining both ankles in the last two weeks (Right ankle vs. USF on 2/15 and left 2/22)
"Becki has a heart of a lion. She's a fighter, a competitor. She was going to play. She tweaked the (left) ankle pretty good and was sore going in and did not practice at all prior to the game. I made the decision early that if we're going to try and play her, she might as well start and try. I knew she was going to try, but how well she could respond... well, she did a great job. Luckily we were able to get her out the last five or six minutes. We'll take care of her this week and do all the treatment we can to get her ready for the tournament."
On playing Portland in the first round of the tournament
"At this point and time, most things are out of the bag. You kind of know what's to be expected. But I also know (Portland head coach) Jim Sollars. They're going to come up with something. They're not just going to roll over. They played us really tough in Santa Clara and that was a battle all the way to the end. Tonight we were able to get a little run there in the second half and extend the lead. No matter who you play in the tournament, whoever the teams are that extend into the tournament, we've seen each other so many times, we've seen film and this and that, it's pretty hard to hide stuff at this point."
Santa Clara forward Annie Garrison (15 points)
On the game
"I thought Portland played well and they used their strengths, speed and an ability to drive the ball to the basket, and we countered that by getting in the gaps and playing good defense ourselves."
On playing Portland in the first round of the WCC Tournament
"I know they'll come out ready to go, so we'll need to be ready for whatever they have to give us. I feel like we're playing well right now, so we just need to keep it up and realize that our team is really deep and really well-rounded, so we can take advantage of all those parts."
On concluding her regular season Bronco career
"It's a little sad just because I hate to see it go, but it's been a great time and it's not over yet. Now's the fun part."