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    FIGHTING IRISH

    Jan. 23, 2012

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    Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    On tonight's game...
    "We knew it was going to be a great game when we walked out and saw a sea of green. It was an awesome sight. I think it really fired the team up and got us so engaged. We struggled a bit at times, but the crowd got us back into it. Devereaux [Peters] had an amazing game with a career high 16 rebounds. Skylar [Diggins] played well, shooting 68 percent in the second half."

    On what the win says about the program...
    "I think we played well. Tennessee was banged up a little bit coming in, but I think the crowd really riled them. We were able to keep our composure defensively, and I think that was key. We're doing a lot of things well on the offensive end. We still have a few things to work on on the defensive end."

    On holding Tennessee to their lowest point total ever...
    "That is a pretty amazing accomplishment against a team of that caliber. We really dug in defensively and helped each other."

    On how the team measures up...
    "We're focusing now on the BIG EAST and take it one game at a time. We're not looking at the big picture at this time. We feel good about where we our right now. Our confidence is growing every game. I like what I'm seeing."

    On trusting Skylar Diggins to turn her game around on the court...
    "I trust her implicitly. I know she's going to get going, and I have total confidence in her ability. She did a great job of controlling her frustration and worked to turn the game around by hitting a number of great shots."

    On her team possibly peaking too early...
    "I don't because I don't think we've painted our masterpiece yet. Every game we've seen some glimpses of what we can be. Tonight three of our starters played extremely well, but I think we can play even better. I feel that we'll peak at just the right time."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Skylar Diggins • Jr. • Guard

    On struggling in the first half...
    "We got the shots that we normally take and make, but they just weren't falling. We made some mistakes on transitions where we usually make better decisions as a team. Coach told us to not get discouraged and to keep attacking. We just had to stay in attack mode."

    On beating Tennessee by 28...
    "We just played hard and executed. We understood that a team like Tennessee wasn't going to go down easy. We had to stay aggressive and keep attacking. It gives us a lot of confidence going into our next stretch of games."

    On overcoming Tennessee's defense...
    "We have an offense to go against any of Tennessee's defenses. We did a good job of moving the ball and working off of each other."

    Devereaux Peters • Sr. • Forward

    On the dynamic between her and Skylar Diggins...
    "We can curse each other out one minute and be perfectly fine the next. We do that to make each other better. Skylar [Diggins] and I both have strong personalities on the court, and we know we're going to bump heads. We know what to fix the next play, so we don't have to yell at each other anymore."

    On how far the program has come in her time here...
    "It shows how much we've grown as a team and a program. We're one of those top names now, and people have to respect that."

    On improving their rebounding...
    "We got yelled at by Coach and that's a lot of motivation to do what you're supposed to do. We knew rebounding was going to be really important coming in."

    On playing physical...
    "It's about what you've got to do to win the game. If you're going to be soft, you're going to lose."

    Kayla McBride • So. • Guard

    On her growth as a player...
    "These type of games in the middle of the BIG EAST are a learning experience for me playing with these veterans. It gave me a lot of confidence to be on the court with them."

    On her strong start...
    "We were just playing off each other. They were pressing us, and we were trying to get the pressure off Sky (Diggins)."

    On what makes Devereaux Peters an efficient passer...
    "She sees the court really well. She sees the double time and decides if she should lob or skip it. It's something we work on in practice everyday, and she has been her for a while, so she knows what to do."

    Tennessee Associate Head Coach Holly Warlick

    Opening Statement...
    "I just want to apologize to the fans. We just were not very good today and we were not in Notre Dame's league. I am disappointed we didn't play hard. We didn't compete. Give Notre Dame all the credit. They forced us into a lot of hurried plays and I don't have an answer for that today. We just didn't compete and we didn't play and Notre Dame had a whole lot to do with it. "

    On whether it was an off night or it was the way Notre Dame played...
    "I think it probably was a combination of both. We've struggled with making layups and free throws and this is just a carry over from what we've been dealing with all year. Until we fix those things, we're not going to be a better basketball team. "

    On how different this game was compared to facing Notre Dame last year...
    "Well, this one they kicked our butts by quite a bit. We're trying to stay in the moment, but they outworked us. They were more physical. They were just a superior team to us tonight."

    On whether she would consider any changes personnel wise, in lineups or combinations...
    "We were thrilled that we had the opportunity to get Shekinna (Stricklen) back and get Taber Spani back, who hadn't played since before Christmas. But I don't know. We've got to go back to the fundamentals and we've got to get better at one on one defense. It's just a whole slew of things. We didn't stick to our game plan and we just have got to get better. We've got to get better and we have a very short time to get that way."

    On what she had hoped the game plan would be...
    "We wanted to defend at the high post, limit their touches and we didn't do that. They got back door cuts; they scored 48 points in the paint. They scored off the transition. We pride ourselves on defense and rebounding and we didn't do those things. So when you're shot isn't on you have got to do those other things and we didn't. So it was just magnified. Everything was magnified because of what we did."

    Tennessee Player Quotes

    Glory Johnson • GS • Forward

    On what went wrong...
    "I don't know. We just didn't follow our scouting report defense. We really didn't hit shots. For me, free throws weren't going down and I don't know. We're a better team than how we played."

    On how the missed shots affected the team...
    "It kind of took our energy. There was no positivity out there on the floor. Eventually everyone just started yelling at each other and that's just not how our team is. You can't do anything with negative energy."

    Meighan Simmons • So. • Guard

    On what she thinks went wrong...
    "I think that we gave up early in the game and we should have never given up. That's not what Tennessee does. Tennessee plays until the last buzzer and we didn't do that today. We didn't bring everything over into the game that we did in practice. We worked on back screens and they kept back screening us and getting Skylar (Diggins) open when we knew that they were going to do that. We didn't execute like we were supposed to."

     

     

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