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    Notre Dame Women's Basketball
    Notre Dame vs. Connecticut
    January 8, 2011
    Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center · Notre Dame, Ind.

    Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    Opening Statements...
    "I am terribly disappointed with the outcome today. I thought that we played hard and did a lot of good things, but I think if we would have shot the ball just a little bit better we would have won the game. Maya (Moore) was obviously a challenge for us to guard. We maybe should have changed assignments, but I don't think we really had anybody to guard her. Overall, Maya made some pretty big shots and shot very well from the free throw line. We had a chance to win the game when we were up five, but came up empty three straight possessions. I thought that we had taken good shots, we just couldn't make them. We didn't rebound down that stretch either and that may have been the game."

    On Kelly Faris...
    "We weren't trying to leave her open under the basket with six seconds left in the game."

    On the crowd...
    "I think when you come that close, it makes it even more disappointing particularly with the great crowd that we had on a day like this. The crowd was so into the game and that really helped us. They were a big sixth man today so we are clearly disappointed that we couldn't get the win for them today."

    On Devereaux Peters and Skylar Diggins...
    "We were going to Natalie Novosel in the second half because they had trouble guarding her. I thought that we didn't rebound as well in the second half. Everything that Devereaux (Peters) was doing in the first half offensively somewhat faded in the second half. We were trying to get Natalie to the foul line and that worked for a while. It looked like at halftime they (Connecticut) said to make sure and put a body on Peters. They did a really good job of that."

    Notre Dame Players

    Skylar Diggins · Sophomore · Guard
    On how much a loss like this hurts...
    "We learn from it. I think we did a better job this year of taking one game at a time rather than thinking its UConn. We realized we could play with the best teams in the nation after playing Baylor earlier this year. Like Coach (McGraw) said, if we get a couple more layups and defensive stops we had the game. Obviously, it hurts because we're at home and we want to win, but it didn't work out today. This is a game that we learn from. I am excited about the future of this team and we will play UConn again."

    On comparing Baylor and Connecticut...
    "Both teams have a dominant player; Baylor having Brittney Griner and Connecticut having Maya Moore. They both draw a lot of attention and everyone really works off of them. They are both great players. They both know their teammates and their teammates are ready to make shots and plays for the teams to win. Obviously we wish we could have a little bit of that game back and did a few things differently in both games. Like I said, we were a young team back then and our team continues to get better and better. We had the game today so now its time to get ready for the next game."

    Devereaux Peters · Senior · Center
    On today's game plan...
    "We really wanted to come and just play our game. We know we can force turnovers and by forcing turnovers we get into transition, which is where we can score the best. We knew we really wanted to pressure the ball and try to get into transition."

    On her strong play early...
    "It was mostly the offensive rebounds. They are really athletic so a lot of times they don't look to box out as much as they try and just crash the boards so that everyone else can run the floor and get easy layups. Since a lot of them leak out, there are less people under the basket and that's points. I really tried to be aggressive under the basket early."

    Connecticut Head Coach Geno Auriemma

    On the Huskies' free throw shooting...
    "Well we shot 27 free throws today, and the way the game was being called, there were a lot of opportunities out there for free throws, and Kelly (Faris) is one of the few players, Tiffany (Hayes) as well, except she was on the bench with foul (troubles) a lot; those are two guys that like to take advantage of that and get to the free throw line. That's the sign of an aggressive team that isn't just going to settle for jump shots every possession, and I think getting fouled a lot helps us in many ways. It gives us the opportunity to set up our defense, and gives us a chance to get organized in other ways too. I just think good teams shoot free throws, and shoot a lot of them every game."

    On sensing if the team had doubt about being able to win a close game...
    "I have no idea. This team had never won a big road game. Until you do it you aren't sure if you can or not. The thing that gets lost in all of this is why were we expected to be the same as we were last year where we have almost nothing that looks like last year's team? When you struggle and have doubts, people ask, 'how is that possible?'"

    "Well, because this group had never done it before. So it is natural (to have doubts). If they didn't do that, they would be lying, they'd be faking, they'd be pretending. If Stefanie Dolson, and Bria Hartley walk in here and say 'oh yeah, this isn't a problem,' they would be lying. Of course it is a problem. They have never been in this environment and won. The only time they had been in this kind of environment they lost, and that was at Stanford. Then you take Kelly (Faris), Tiffany (Hayes) and Maya (Moore) and ask them 'have you ever won a game being down one with 20 seconds left?' (They would say) ' Well you know what coach, I've been at Connecticut for three years and we have never been in that situation.' So of course there will be a little bit of a doubt."

    On Notre Dame's performance...
    "Well, without looking at the film, I'll bet you that they outplayed us in just about every category. More points in the paint, more points in transition, more bench points, more offensive rebounds. I mean, Notre Dame outplayed us in every way today. Somehow we won the game in the last four minutes. That is kind of how basketball goes sometimes."

    Connecticut Players

    Maya Moore · Senior · Forward
    On the significance of this win...
    "It is good to see that we can pull a game like this out. The BIG EAST is very tough like always, so a win like this is always good. We have to build on this. In this league, if you don't keep building you wont win."

    On the growth of sophomore guard Kelly Faris...
    "It isn't anything new to us. The only difference is that this year she is getting a chance to show it. She isn't being overshadowed by all of the All-American's and the other players that have gathered a lot of attention that have graduated from here recently, and Kelly isn't one of those players that is going to go out and seek attention. She is one of the most humble players that I've played with. She goes out, gets her work done, and doesn't expect anything in return. If we are going to be a great team this year, she is going to be a big part of it."

    Kelly Faris · Sophomore · Guard
    On the final sequence of the game...
    "We talked about it after the game, and those last few minutes is how we are supposed to play. That was Connecticut basketball. Unfortunately, we didn't play like that the entire game. It was good for us to see that we have it in us and pull out the game like that, but we have to play like that the entire game."

    On the Huskies' free throw shooting...
    "If we can get to the line we are decent, but a lot of the time we don't try to get to the line like we should. That's one thing that we really have to bear down on and use more in our game. We have to get to the line more because we are a pretty good shooting team from the foul line, and we don't use that enough. Tonight we were 26 of 27, so that was a big part of our win tonight and we need to learn from that. "


     

     

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