Women's Basketball

Notre Dame Women's Basketball Postgame Quotes

Jan. 5, 2014

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Notre Dame Women's Basketball
Notre Dame vs. Clemson
January 5, 2014
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center • Notre Dame, Ind.

Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

Opening Statement...
"I think that was a good preview for us of knowing that there is not going to be an easy game in the ACC. It's a great conference, and every team is going to come in and be ready to play us. I didn't think we were as energized as we normally are, and our pace was a little bit off. I think we practiced that way the last couple of days and I think we continued to play that way, a little lethargic. Just sitting around the hotel while it has been snowing, I think we got sucked into their pace. We've got to figure out how not to do that in the future. I thought Ace (Natalie Achonwa) really came ready to play, and I thought she was the one person that had a lot of energy and really was on her game. Her stats showed and she just kept being aggressive. I thought Lindsay Allen also made some really nice plays for us."

On the adjustments the team made at halftime...
"Halftime was frustrating, and I think we were all frustrated. You looked at the stats and you saw a lot of one-for-something on the shooting column, everyone missed some easy shots they normally make. We settled for a couple of jumpers but just really couldn't convert, so I think everybody was frustrated. We just tried to figure out how we could score and get some easier baskets, and I thought we relaxed a little bit. When you miss a lot of shots you get a little tense, so I was trying not to make it any more tense than it was. There were a lot of deep breaths to get to that point."

On if there is any concern of future league opponents using Clemson's game plan against Notre Dame in ACC play...
"I think most teams will look at it and say (we) will normally make some of those shots, if you look at our percentages over 13 games. What (Clemson) did was use so much clock on offense, they didn't want us to score 90. So they were going to hold the ball offensively. Even when they were down by 15 they were going to hold the ball. I don't know if other teams would want to try that, but it was good for us to play in a game like that. It was a little similar to Oregon State, had the same kind of feel to it where they were just going to milk the clock. Sometimes the only way you can get us to stop scoring, we can stop ourselves or you can hold the ball."

On the fan turnout in inclement weather...
"I would just really like to thank the fans, what a day to be out driving, and we needed them. They really, really helped us today. I wanted to thank the adventurous souls that ventured down to see the game, we really appreciate that."

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Jewell Loyd - Sophomore - Guard

On halftime...
"We were definitely trying to focus in defensively and just find some energy somewhere. I think definitely Ace (Natalie Achonwa) was the one to energize us. Personally, I was just trying to get it done on defense. Offense for me was kind of slow and I wasn't making shots so I thought that if I locked down on defense it would motivate our offense."

On the offense in the first half...
"I think we just weren't making shots - maybe we were trying to force it a little bit. But I think we'll make those shots with our eyes closed tomorrow so we just need to get back in the gym and do what we do.

"I've missed so many layups this year and it's so frustrating. But I'm just trying to get it done on defense and trying to get back as fast as I can and hopefully get out of this slump."

Lindsay Allen - Freshman - Guard

On the intensity of conference play...
"It wasn't really said but you could just feel it a little in the air. You could feel it when you played the other team -- it was more of a grind, I would say."

Clemson Head Coach Audra Smith

On the game plan going into the game...
"Well the game plan going in was to slow the ball, take some air out of the basketball, and slow them down in transition because we knew we weren't going to be able to run with them in transition mainly because of our numbers and obviously this is an outstanding team. We knew they wanted to get a lot of points in transition. Our goal was to run our offensive sets and not look to score until as late into the shot clock as possible and we were able to do that. Defensively, we play a little bit of a sagging man and we paid attention to the fact that they were going to screen and shape up. They do a very good job of executing their offensive sets. It is really more of a read-and-react offense in terms of how Coach McGraw teaches them. We did our best with that and really focused in on scoring late in the shot clock and I thought our team did a good job of that executing that in the fist half. I thought fatigue and foul trouble killed us in the second half. We ended up putting them on the line 27 times and they made 19 of those free throws and we lose by 20. So that is huge. The 42 points in the paint doesn't help either. But in the second half, I felt our foul trouble really hurt because they started executing better offensively and we did not do as good of a job scoring on the opposite end. Then the lead ballooned. They scored a couple of points in transition and I had to call a timeout and then from there it got away from us."

On how Notre Dame will fair in the ACC...
"I think they will do very well. Granted this is my first year as a head coach in the ACC, but I played in the ACC and was an assistant coach in the ACC for 10 years. I think they will do very well because they have a different style of play. They have really big guards. They are a tough match-up. They have big guards and really nice big players inside. I think they will do a good job and they are going to be very competitive and make our league even better."

On guarding back door cuts...
"Well we just backed off of them. Whenever the post player caught the ball at the high post we just backed off in the lane. We tried to put as much pressure on the basketball even though we were backed up. We knew that was happening. We drilled that the past couple of days with our scout team. We knew they would set a screen right at the elbow and then the other player would slip to the basket. We got beat on that twice when we were just watching the play. But we spent a lot time working on that."

On limiting Notre Dame's offense in the first half...
"Fortunately they missed a lot of shots. We were fortunate to get the rebound and put as much pressure on them as we could defensively. It was tough match-up for us especially on the perimeter because we are not very big on the perimeter so we were fortunate to try to contest their shot as best we could, come up with the rebound and get to the opposite end."

On the reason behind the foul trouble...
"I was telling the players, Notre Dame does an exception job of moving on the offensive end. When you play against a team that constantly moves as they are - constantly screening, constantly shaping up and constantly going back door, defensively, you cannot watch and you constantly have to move with them. So they caught us sleeping a little bit and then we were trying to react and there is the three-point play."



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