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    Feb. 1, 2011

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    Notre Dame Women's Basketball
    Notre Dame vs. Syracuse
    February 1, 2011
    Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center • Notre Dame, Ind.

    Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    Opening Statements...
    "I want to say thank you to all of our fans for coming out tonight. I'm really happy that we had such a good crowd on a night like this. What a great day it was for Becca. It is a historic day. She scored her 1,000th point, and it was great that she was able to get it right away. I thought she played very well. Our posts have been playing very well. I am just really thrilled with the way that they are playing. They are really carrying us right now. They're shooting the ball well, they are rebounding well, and they are defending well. I am very pleased with the post game."

    On the Notre Dame defense tonight and limiting Syracuse's (Elashier) Hall...
    "She is their leading scorer in BIG EAST play and we did a really good job on her. Brittany was assigned to her. I think we just didn't give her any open looks. We did a nice job with the ball screen, and I was very pleased with the defense. The defense is getting better. I thought we fouled a little bit too much, but I was very happy with the job that we did on the boards. The guards are starting to chip in a little bit."

    On the way the offense flowed...
    "I wasn't happy at all with the offense because it didn't flow. There was no flow to the offense. I thought that the turnovers were not good, and we shot the ball so poorly from the arc. That was a big problem for us. Overall, I thought we won it with defense, and that's what we want to do."

    On toughness being part of the team's identity...
    "I think Becca leads that part of our team. That is her role. She is a very physical player. She likes the physical game, and I think she did a very good job of setting that tone at the start if the game. I think that is why we are playing as well as we are right now. We're competitive, and we're not backing down."

    Syracuse Head Coach Quentin Hillsman

    Opening Statement...
    "Obviously, I'm not happy with the outcome, but Notre Dame's a great basketball team. We knew coming in here it would be a tough game, and you've got to give them a lot of credit for outrebounding us. That's something that normally doesn't happen to us. Also, having Kayla (Alexander) only play 23 minutes was tough. So, when you talk about taking our anchor out of the middle, that was hard to overcome. We know coming in here is always going to be a tough game. They are a very good basketball team, with a hall-of-fame coach. They have very good players and you've got to give them a lot of credit. We didn't play our best, and in this conference, when you don't play your best you're not going to win. We were playing one of the top 10 teams in the country, and when you are No. 25 playing No. 8, you knew what kind of matchup it was going to be. They were a very good team, and you've got to give them a lot of credit."

    On what Notre Dame did on defense to hurt their shooting...
    "The tough part was when we were driving into the paint in this conference, it becomes a battle of wills, and I thought that they just didn't give ground. They really put their feet in the paint and said, 'You're not going to get all the way to the rim.' They were very tough-minded in the paint. They did a good job of defending our high-low, and did an overall good job in the paint."

    On Notre Dame's increased toughness in the paint compared to last year...
    "I don't know how much different they were from last year. I think the 'home and away' is so important in this conference. Obviously, at our place, we got more cuts of the screens and got to the basket much easier. But they were a great team last year, and they are a great team this year."

    On Notre Dame taking Elashier Hall out of the game...
    "I just think she wasn't shooting. She got touches, but just didn't shoot the ball. She has to make sure that in these types of games, she needs to get her 10-12 shots up. I thought she had her opportunities, but just didn't play well tonight. She's a tough kid, and I look forward to her fighting back Sunday against Rutgers."

     

     

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