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    FIGHTING IRISH

    Feb. 5, 2012

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    Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    On today's game...
    "I was really disappointed with our defense today. Brittany [Mallory] was outstanding as always. She locked down their leading scorer [Anna Martin]. She did a magnificent job as she does every game. Natalie [Novosel] had an incredible offensive performance today. She shot the ball extremely well and got great looks. She just did a nice job. I thought we had some really good spurts. I thought we came out well in the second half.

    On the biggest disappointments from today's game...
    "I subbed too early and we went flat. That was disappointing. The posts just weren't ready to play today. I think that was the most disappointing part of the game. Katherine Harry had a great game for DePaul and [Jasmine] Penny with her career high gave us trouble inside. Our posts weren't able to defend."

    On having four guards on the floor and their willingness to share the basketball...
    "That has been the hallmark of our team. We are an incredibly unselfish group. It starts at the point [guard position] with Skylar [Diggins]. She is doing a great job with her assist to turnover ratio. We find somebody that has a better shot than we do, and we are willing to give it up. We don't care about the credit; we just want the win. That's something I've been really proud of all year long."

    On playing on almost perfect first half...
    "I still complained about the defense at halftime. I was just overall disappointed with the defense the entire game. Our transition defense gave up layups and our post defense struggled. You have to credit [DePaul]. Their post play was outstanding. They just played so well, and we couldn't guard them one-on-one."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Brittany Mallory o Sr. o Guard

    On winning...
    "We love to win, but we always have spaces for improvement. We can see that today because we gave up 70 points to DePaul. That's not what we're proud of. We're always looking to get better [on both ends]. Today we obviously need to get better on our defense and that's something we need to work on before our game on Tuesday [against Syracuse]."

    Natalie Novosel o Sr. o Guard

    On not having to worry about foul trouble...
    "I worked on being smarter about my fouls in the first half. Once I get one, I've been working on backing off a little bit. It was nice to play in the first half."

    DePaul Head Coach Doug Bruno

    Opening Statement...
    "Notre Dame is a great team because they have very, very talented players. They have the player of the year in America [Skylar Diggins] if she didn't have to compete with Maya Moore (of Connecticut) for two years and Brittany Griner (of Baylor), but that's one of the quirks of playing college basketball. I will probably vote for all five [of their starters] for all-BIG EAST. I think [Kayla] McBride and [Brittany] Mallory are underrated, and they're very well coached. They're one of the four teams I think that has the best chance to win the national championship, along with UConn from our league, Baylor and Stanford. It's a great team that we played against today. We showed moments of really being a quality basketball team. We showed moments of being discombobulated and disconcerted by their pressure, and at the same time our mission has been to get better. We got better at Rutgers, we got better at Seton Hall, we got better at Louisville and I thought there were some moments where we got better tonight. Now we have to take this and prepare for a real tough week looking at Villanova Marquette."

    On Mishawaka native Kelsey Reynolds...
    "Her game is getting better. She's still a little rusty after a year off, but I think you saw tonight some of the toughness she's got in her game and what she brought late in the game. I still think she's getting acclimated to playing in a great conference like the BIG EAST. I thought tonight was one of those game where she got to play through some situations and show us some of the little intangibles that she does. She knocked down some big shots tonight."

    On Notre Dame's biggest strengths...
    "Individually, every single player has an offensive skill set that's difficult to guard. We're talking about five potential All-BIG EAST players and I think they have two All-Americans as well. [Natalie] Novosel's skill set is right there with Skylar's [Diggins]. Every single player is very difficult to guard. They're difficult to guard off the bounce, from three point range, from pull-up jumper range and difficult in the post. Their ability to share [the ball] and their natural instincts to share makes their game beautiful, and it's something that all coaches would preach and work toward. Chemistry is an inexplicable function of the game, and their chemistry and experience together is at one of the highest levels we've seen at the college level in a long time. Again, I really think they [have a shot] at the final four."

     

     

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