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    Feb. 8, 2011

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    Notre Dame Women's Basketball
    Notre Dame vs. Seton Hall
    February 8, 2011
    Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center • Notre Dame, Ind.

    Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    Opening statement...
    "I was really pleased with the defensive intensity tonight. I thought that we had great focus. The press looked good and we really came out with some energy today. Offensively that was probably the best game that we have put together in the past couple games. I was happy with both ends of the floor. Good balance in scoring and again good defense."

    On the completeness of Skylar (Diggins') game...
    "I thought that she really passed the ball well tonight. She has been attacking the basket more, which is translating into getting better shots. She continues to get to the foul line and she's finding people for easy baskets. I thought that the pass at the end of the half was pretty spectacular. We have been working on getting the last shot of the half and she played that perfectly. She's really come along and I think she's just starting to peak."

    On her defensive message to the team the past couple days...
    "The defensive message was pretty intense, particularly after the South Florida game. I think it was a pride thing. We went down to South Florida and it was 75 degrees and we hung around all day Saturday and went out and just didn't really have it. I think we got it back today though, so I feel better about that."

    On the good shooting tonight...
    "When you get good shots, it's easier to make them. We shot 64 percent, but a lot of those were layups. We did a nice job of looking inside and attacking the basket. We only shot five three's so I thought our shot selection was really good tonight."

    On Natalie Achonwa...
    "I thought that she was a little unfocused early on, but she came back and played really well. I thought that she just looked a little unsure initially, but she worked her way out of that."

    Seton Hall Head Coach Anne Donovan

    On looking at the Notre Dame team and putting a scouting report together to try to attack them...
    "Well what we tried to do was concentrate a lot on their pressure, that their full court press is different than most that we see and that there's so much size at the point of it. So passing it from guard to guard as you attack the press; they make it very difficult to do that. We showed tape, we practiced it for two days and it went completely out the window. So their press definitely rattled our guards."

    On going up against a Muffet McGraw-coached team...
    "(It's) tough. You know I never saw Muffet play but from what I understand she was an extremely tough player. And that's what her teams are. Go back years with Beth Morgan and Katryna Gaither -- there's not been a Notre Dame team that's put a uniform on that hasn't been really hard-nosed, blue collar, and tough. That's who Muffet was as a player, so it's a trademark for sure."

    On how (Kandice) Green going out was really tough for the team...
    "You know it was. It's a really disappointing thing for me. We were going to struggle against Notre Dame period but when we lose our leading scorer...
    I expected it to be a long night, and yet I didn't expect us just to put our heads down, which is what we did. All confidence at that point was just gone. So the next 37 minutes were extremely long for everyone in this room, I'm sure, including me."

    Notre Dame Players

    Skylar Diggins • Sophomore • Guard
    On the team attitude tonight...
    "We had a close game with South Florida so I think that this game was somewhat of a statement. Coming back and playing at home, we really wanted to jump out. I think we played defense for the first five possessions of the game, but we finally got the ball and got it going. People were just finding each other today. Coach (McGraw) put an emphasis on making sure to push the ball up the court. I thought that we did a good job of getting the ball inside and finding good shots. It was a good team effort today."

    On the production of the guards...
    "I just think we're getting better every game. We watch a lot of film so we see ourselves a lot. We just try and strive for excellence, not perfection because we can't be perfect. This team is really coming together down the stretch. We're just trying to put together a run come tourney time."

    Natalie Novosel • Junior • Guard
    On the teams play tonight...
    "I think it was just the mindset that we came in with. We played a very good team game and everybody shared the ball. We got a lot of layups with the guards finding the post and vice versa. I think it was just a complete team game today."

    On the intensity no matter the score...
    "I think that just shows how much we have grown. I don't think we could have done that at the beginning of the year. Everybody is on the same page, zeroed in and focused when they come into the game. That is the type of play that were going to need down the stretch and come tournament time."

     

     

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