I talked by phone a few minutes ago with WKU women’s basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard and sophomore guard Alexis Govan after their 84-66 loss at Auburn in the second round of the Women’s NIT.
A quick recap of that game is available here.
Here are Heard and Govan’s comments:
MICHELLE CLARK-HEARD, coach
Trying to battle Auburn’s size and length: “I’m super-proud of them. We executed the game plan on different changes, but it wore down on us. The game plan was to spread them out and shoot the 3 early on and kind of pull the bigs out. We worked on the press, of course, and I think we handled it in the beginning, but then we made some crucial turnovers. The size just wore on us.”
Cutting lead down after cold start to second half: “We told them, ‘We’ve been in this situation before, and we’ve just got to keep plugging away and take care of the basketball.’ I was really proud of them because we pushed the ball and got shots up, and we had to stop turning it over so much so that we at least had the opportunity to shoot it.”
What will you all take away from this WNIT experience? “We were on the road at an SEC school, and we were able to get back within nine. We’ll let them enjoy themselves because it’s been a long season, but we’ll get back to work here soon. We’re going to work to get better because our ultimate goal is to win championship and get to the NCAA.”
Not graduating any players: “I know this postseason has gotten them hungry. I think they understand that they sky’s the limit for this group. We’ve just got to stay committed, and we’ll get to where we’re trying to go.”
ALEXIS GOVAN, sophomore guard
Auburn’s size and length: “They definitely tried to go inside as much as possible. They pressed us a lot and used their length, but most of all, they went to the boards.”
Starting 8 of 13 from 3-point range: “Every time we passed the ball to somebody, we were yelling out, ‘Shot,’ to let them know to shoot the ball with confidence. We were knocking them down.”
WNIT experience, playing at SEC opponent: “We competed with them the whole game. We let them get away a little bit, but in the first half, you could tell we’re on the rise. Playing like that and not having any seniors with everyone coming back is great.”
Gaining more program support this season: “It’s motivation. We’re all ready to get back to the gym and get ready for next season. We have the community behind us, and we’ve got people cheering us on, home and away. It’s completely different than last year, and we’re loving it. We’ll keep bringing people out, hopefully, and get them out next year.”