Women's Basketball

Postgame Quotes vs South Dakota State

Jan. 2, 2014

Recap |  Box Score

Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

Opening Statement ...
"That was a great game, and I thought Natalie Achonwa showed what she can do. I thought she played extremely well, aggressive, really looked for her shot in the first half with six assists and no turnovers. Just a really great half, I was really pleased with her game today. Having the double-double, I thought for a minute she might get a triple-double if she continued to pass as well as she did. I thought KMac (Kayla McBride) and Jewell (Loyd), really all of the starters played well, and then Madison (Cable) came off the bench and gave us some good minutes. Taya (Reimer) also did some good things, so I was really pleased with the tone we set early on. I thought we got a little sloppy in the second half, and that's going to happen when you sub."

On finding offensive rhythm early to bounce back from a slow start at Oregon State ...
"We got some of the same shots at Oregon State, we missed a lot of layups, but I thought we worked the back door really well tonight, got a lot of easy shots around the basket. Jewell (Loyd) and KMac (McBride), in particular, were getting really easy shots. When you score inside with Ace (Achonwa) shooting it well I think that definitely makes a difference in the shooting percentage."

On the importance of a strong performance in advance of the ACC opener Sunday against Clemson ...
"It's huge. I think the starters feel pretty good about the game, since we know we have to get ready for the ACC and we are going to really have to improve defensively. I thought South Dakota State moved the ball really well and we didn't rotate like we wanted to, they missed some shots but we weren't guarding them, so we really have to work on our defense. I was happy with the rebounding, but the turnovers, that was disappointing."

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Kayla McBride - Senior - Guard

On her perfect 8-for-8 night from the field ...
"It was just the flow of the game. My teammates were finding me in open areas and I was just hitting shots. It felt good as a shooter to just go out there and hit shots that I hadn't been making recently."

On if returning to the familiar surroundings of Purcell Pavilion helped to get into an offensive rhythm ...
"It was definitely good to be home, I think we had a long road trip in Portland and it was just good to be back on our home court with a great atmosphere as always. It was definitely a different feel."

On the win building confidence entering ACC play this weekend ...
"It was good for the whole team. I think it was good for all of us going in, South Dakota State is a good offensive team, and I think it was a better for us on defense this game."

Natalie Achonwa - Senior - Forward

On her strong play in the first half at both ends of the floor ...
"Before the game coach said we had a height advantage inside, so one of our keys to the game was our inside play. I was able to attack the basket and force them to collapse. Then, it was easy to find some open players once they double-teamed, or even looked at me. Our shooters were open and Taya (Reimer) was open on the back door, so I think our team did a good job of moving and reacting to the defense."

On her ability to find the correct passes when working inside ...
"My first look is at the basket and who I see, so if I don't see one of my players I am going to attack the basket. As soon as I see another head focus in on me, I think our team does a good job, with KMac (McBride) as the queen of back-door cuts and Maddie (Cable) spotting up on the three-point line, our team is really good in finding the gaps. It just makes my job a lot easier."

On if she noticed South Dakota State changing its defensive game plan after early foul trouble ...
"I didn't really feel like they (backed off), and that is something we normally go through, just seeing how the refs call the game. Maybe they just had a little more of a rude awakening in the first couple minutes of the game. You always just have to get a feel for how the refs are calling it, and we just kept attacking because the fouls were coming in our favor."

South Dakota State Head Coach Aaron Johnston

Opening Statement ...
"Tough game for us. Congratulations to Notre Dame. They played well. They played a lot better than we did. I think we got a little bit rattled early in the game and gave up too many easy baskets. They were very prepared and played very well together."

On how tough it was to overcome early foul trouble ...
"Yes foul trouble hurt. I think we had three fouls in the first minute, which was a big body blow to our team. Some of the early backdoors and layups got us a little bit frazzled and we never really got going. When we play well, our perimeter players are really good and consistent. We also struggled rebounding the ball and that's what our post players need to move forward with. They have really good players though. If you give them an inch they will take a mile in a hurry and we didn't quite have it tonight."

On matchup problems with Natalie Achonwa ...
"She was pretty efficient. She is just a really good player. She uses her body well. It seems effortless but she is working really hard because she is so smart. She is always one step ahead of a pass and her teammates see her at the right time. She is really difficult to guard because of her ability to be ahead of the play. She is just a really good and talented player."

On playing at Notre Dame ...
"Notre Dame is a unique place and institution. When Rudy is on I watch it all the time. Playing at Notre Dame is a big deal. It's a pretty remarkable thing to say we played at Notre Dame and I am glad our program had the chance to do it."

South Dakota State Player Quotes

Chynna Stevens- Freshman - Guard

On first career start in a tough environment ...
"I think it being my first career start, it definitely was exciting and playing against Notre Dame was a lot bigger than most games, but I tried going into it as if it was another game. That was the intention."

Mariah Clarin- Junior - Forward

On what you try to accomplish once the game is out of reach...
"Not quitting is an emphasis we have had. I think we still struggle with that a little bit, especially against really good teams such as Notre Dame. We sometimes fold over and that's what we need to work on."

On Notre Dame's rebounding...
"It is not a height issue. It is more about a want to get the ball. That's what rebounding is; having that heart to want to get the ball."



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