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    FIGHTING IRISH

    Jan. 26, 2013

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    Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    Opening statement...
    "I was worried Skylar was going to be a little nervous coming out needing that one point to get to 2,000 and it took her about five seconds to make that happen. That was such a great moment. So great to see somebody that has worked so hard achieve another milestone in her career, and she's not done yet. This was a fantastic game; I'm really pleased with the way Skylar led us in the beginning - 21 points at halftime - that's an amazing offensive output. Defensively we played pretty well too, so overall, I think this was one of our best games overall."

    On Skylar Diggins scoring so quickly...
    "We've been trying to score off the tip and Kayla McBride found her early and she was able to finish the shot and that's always the game plan."

    On Skylar's legacy at Notre Dame...
    "Well right now she's fourth. It's kind of neat having Beth (Cunningham) on the bench as the all-time leading scorer and she [Beth] doesn't even know how many points she has. It'll be great if Skylar breaks the record and I think Beth will be the biggest cheerleader for her to do that. What she has brought to Notre Dame and what she has done for the entire community is amazing. The community service and everything she does represents our program so well from coast to coast. She is really such a great ambassador for our program."

    On Skylar's play in the first few minutes...
    "She really just took over the game. She actually outscored them in the first half by herself. Her passing and getting us in the offense, getting the ball to the right people, driving the ball, defensively, everything she was doing really got us on track. I do like to see how far she can go, but today I wanted to play the bench a little bit. I like to see how we can play without her because that's something that we struggled with in the last game."

    On defending Providence guard Symone Roberts...
    "I was thrilled with the way we guarded her. Everybody had a chance to guard her; Skylar guarded her for the most part in the first half, Jewell (Loyd) guarded her some, Whit guarded her some and everybody was very aware of where she was. I thought the post gave great help when she was in their area. Really good defense."

    On the upcoming game at Tennessee...
    "It's a huge game. They're playing really well. Meighan Simmons in particular is really scoring a lot of points. They're unveiling some type of banner for Pat Summitt. We're happy that we can be there for that. It's going to be an ESPN Big Monday game, I'm sure it's going to be a sellout with just a lot of excitement."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Skylar Diggins, Senior, Guard

    On getting 2,000 so early in the game...
    "I wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible so I wouldn't have to think about it. The crowd is always loud, and always exciting, but the roar that came when I made that basket was special and it's something that I won't forget. Especially because I'm from here, seeing the familiar faces, everyone was so happy and there was great excitement in the building. It was as loud as I've ever heard it. Fun times like this is why I'm going to miss this place when I leave. The fans wouldn't let me forget in warm-ups, saying things like 'make sure you get that one point.' I knew how close I was and Natalie Achonwa has been doing a good job of getting the tip, and Kayla McBride made a perfect pass so I had the easy part."

    On feeding off emotion...
    "We love those momentum plays. I know I definitely feed off emotion and I try to be emotional and make that contagious. When you have teammates like mine, they're so supportive, so happy for me, they want me to do well and want the team to do well. It's just a mutual feeling when you have a group of people that just want to see each other do well and want to do well as a unit. It's easy to be like that and be happy for each other. "

    On her own 10-0 run...
    "I was just looking for my opportunities, trying to take what they gave me and I was getting good passes too. We were getting steals and we were getting out in transition, and Kayla McBride found me a couple times and I was the benefactor of running the break so well. I think we're playing our best when we are getting steals and running the court."

    On the upcoming matchup at Tennessee...
    "(Meighan) Simmons is super, super fast. She can score in a variety of ways, she's a very emotional player and she can score in bunches. It's going to be a team job to know where she is because she has a quick release on her shot and we have to find her in transition as well. We just have to play our game and rebound. She definitely makes their team go so we have to make sure we do our job on her and it starts with me."

    Natalie Achonwa, Junior, Forward

    On the big rebounding advantage...
    "Rebounding is something we've been working on all season and I still think it's something we could have done an even better job at today. I know personally I missed some weak-side box-outs. But it's a great start and we can keep building on that."

    On team rebounding vs. Tennessee...
    "Skylar likes to push the ball so in order to start that break we need to get defensive rebounds and we need to box-out. In addition, we need to eliminate their opportunities for second-chance buckets and gain some of our own with offensive rebounding. I think that can set a tempo and set a tone for a game."

    Providence Head Coach Susan Robinson Fruchtl

    Opening statements...
    "Well I think if you guys look at the stat sheet it will probably says a lot more than I can say. We have a long way to go. We're in the beginning stages of a total building phase and that's what we aim to do. We've seen some good moments this year. We have improved even though I know it didn't look like that today. Notre Dame is a great team. They've got some great players, great coaches and they do a great job."

    On the difficulty of playing after the excitement of Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins scored her 2,000th point...
    "I could understand that, but one thing they do is they bring it all the time, and that's what I try and get our players to understand is you got to bring it every day. This league is too difficult not to do that. Everybody is prepared for you and everybody brings it everyday. That's what we are trying to get our team to do - form good habits - and then those good habits are really hard to break. That's one thing that makes Notre Dame so good: yes they're talented, but they have good habits."

    On the defense on Providence guard Symone Roberts...
    "The big thing that affects her is kids that are almost just as quick but stronger, and certainly bigger guards can put pressure on her and create some things, so that was the way it was today. Notre Dame's post players did an excellent job of hedging the ball screens and staying with that a little longer and just using their bodies. They got in good position and created poor angles for Roberts to get to the rim."

    On what's next for the team...
    "Well what's next is we have St. John's on Wednesday. You have to put this game behind you quickly and we have to come ready to practice on Monday. Just that battle: we have to play for Providence, play together, and become a true team and those are the things that we are fighting like crazy to teach every single day. We [also] have to work on our skills because there's nothing that replaces just flat-out hard work. We will go right back at it, there's no giving up on our side of things and that's what we're trying to instill in these guys every day."

     

     

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