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    Notre Dame-St. John's Postgame Quotes

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    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    Jan. 20, 2013

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    Notre Dame Quotes

    Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    Opening statement ...
    "I was really pleased with our defense. Jewell Loyd did a phenomenal job once again on their best player, holding [Shenneika] Smith to her season low. Kayla McBride also guarded her and the two of them really did a great job. I thought our team defense was very good. Skylar [Diggins] did a good job on their point guard and I'm really happy with the team defense overall. Offensively, I thought we worked the inside well which was our plan. Natalie Achonwa had a great game and Skylar was able to find her on so many occasions for great easy looks. I was really pleased with the execution on offense."

    On the rebounding advantage ...
    "Ace [Achonwa] played only 23 minutes and had 16 and 12 and is really capable of doing that often. It's so fun to watch her because she really dominates on the backboard. She did a phenomenal job, and Jewell and Skylar got down there and rebounded. The guards help but really Ace is the reason we are outrebounding people."

    On three point shooting ...
    "How bout that! I told you, I was just waiting for it to happen. Seven for 11 is just phenomenal. We'd like to do that every game. I think the guards got us great looks; the drive and kick was there. That really makes us hard to guard. If you think about trying to double-team inside on Natalie, you have to worry about the shooters on the perimeter. That really adds a new dimension to our game. You can't zone us when we're shooting it that well, you have to play man-to-man and we like our man-to-man offense."

    On being a little sluggish at times ...
    "I thought late shot-clock was a train wreck. We've worked on it and we didn't execute it well. Our handle was just a bit off today. I think that's one thing that we really need to improve on."

    On Madison Cable ...
    "Madison gave us great minutes off the bench. We played extremely well, was always in the right place at the right time. She's back to where she was at the beginning of the year. I'm looking forward to her continuing to play well."

    On Ariel Braker ...
    "Her recent play versus Connecticut has given her great confidence. The only thing is that she isn't used to playing the kind of minutes that she's playing. She's really hurting and has not practiced since the last game. In hindsight, I probably should have had her shoot free throws while she was on the sideline, because she's usually a pretty good shooter. She was a little rusty and is going to have to start taking a little more time off. We're all very confident in Ariel and I think she's on a good trajectory."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Skylar Diggins • Senior • Guard

    On the defensive effort ...
    "We've been working on defense and that's what we've been preaching. This team is capable of playing defense when we feel like it and we've been feeling like it more often. We still have some things we need to work on, little things, and when we tweak those little things, I think we're capable of being the best defensive team in the country."

    On Madison Cable's progress ...
    "When she's playing like she's playing today, she can do so much for us. She can step outside and shoot the three, she can rebound-you saw her making a couple layups in traffic. I think it's all about her being healthy. I think today she was always in the perfect spot. She made great reads, she moved well without the ball to get her threes, and she's just getting better. When she's playing like that, we are hard to stop."

    On her shoes saying: "Next Play" ...
    "I'm working on my mental focus, managing my frustration. It helps me move on to the next play. Sometimes I get caught up and let the last couple plays drag instead of moving on to the next play."

    Natalie Achonwa • Junior • Forward

    On making it look easy ...
    "We took advantage of their high hedge and our guards did a great job of finding me, getting me easy layups. We stuck to what we were supposed to do and it led to easy shots for me."

    On team rebounding ...
    "I think we're challenging each other in practice on the glass. I know the way that Maddie [Cable] comes out in practice, the way everyone comes out to rebound in practice, really makes you better in games. It makes it almost easier because of how hard we're crashing on the defensive and offensive ends during practice time."

    On the team's communication ...
    "I think we're all playing well together. We're gelling and I think we just know where each other are on the court. Skylar sees everyone on the court, even if you're behind her, she still knows you're behind her. Communication helps as well." Madison Cable o Sophomore o Guard

    On her recent play ...
    "I'm just trying to do my best, whether it's in practice or a game. My focus is to work hard every minute. I guess I've been playing a little better lately in the past few games."

    On only missing one shot ...
    "I got some pretty open looks. Whitney [Holloway] found me a couple times, Markisha [Wright] got doubled-teamed and kicked it out, so they did the hard part, I was just open and shot it. "

    On the homecoming in Pittsburgh ...
    "I'm pretty excited, but it's just like any other game."

    St. John's Head Coach Joe Tartamella

    Opening Statement ...
    "Obviously we played a great team today. Notre Dame does a lot of things well, and they've got a lot of depth. It shows you why they have the ranking that they do. I thought there were times where we had some good runs and other times when we failed to execute and they made us pay. That's what good teams do."

    On Notre Dame's defense against senior guard Shenneika Smith ...
    "They frustrated her and made her take some really tough shots. Her shot selection, though, I thought was questionable at times. I thought she took some good ones and shot herself out of things as well. Today was probably the first day where she struggled the most from the field. I expect her to bounce back but they did do a great job on her today."

    On Notre Dame's large rebounding edge ...
    "I thought [Natalie] Achonwa came out and did a great job for them to set the tone. She has improved a lot, and that was a big issue for us coming into the game about limiting their second chance points. It was these second chances that really hurt us. Even when we were trying to make our runs, they would come up with a loose ball rebound and be able to finish. They did a great job on the glass."

    On his team's job on Kayla McBride ...
    "I think that Shenneika did a great job on McBride. She takes a lot of pride in defending and it's something she's been doing the past few years. I know she really wanted to do a good job of slowing her down and she did. We ask her to do a lot, but she did a great job on her."

     

     

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