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    Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech Postgame Quotes

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    Feb. 17, 2014

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    Notre Dame Women's Basketball
    Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech
    February 17, 2014
    Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center • Notre Dame, Ind.

    Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    Opening Statement...

    "I think next year we're going to have senior night first day of classes, August 27th. And there won't be a game, but we'll celebrate the seniors' last season. I feel like every year it's the same with the emotion of the moment. I thought we got ourselves together in the second half, but the first half was pretty rough. Thanks to Jewell [Loyd] for keeping us in the game. I thought she played very well - almost a double-double. And I thought Lindsay Allen had a spectacular floor game - really, really did a great job against the press. And Natalie Achonwa on her senior night after the emotion of `O Canada' came up with another double-double. Just a fantastic second half all the way around."

    On the team holding Georgia Tech guard Tyaunna Marshall in check...

    "Yeah, but she rebounded well, though. She's a great player. She is so hard to guard. She comes off the screen, curling, to the rim, she's strong, she's active and she's athletic. She had 11 rebounds. That's a phenomenal stat for a guard - 19 points, 11 rebounds. She pretty much got her average. She struggled a little bit in the first half. I thought we did a better job on her in the first half, but we just could not box her out. She was pretty much unstoppable. And then [Aaliyah] Whiteside, 19 points in the second half. We didn't have an answer for her. I was really disappointed with our rebounding effort. The rebounding was just poor. 26 offensive rebounds are not going to win us a lot of games."

    On how Georgia Tech was able to find success rebounding...

    "They were quick, and they were physical, and we didn't match it. We didn't really attempt to box out. I thought our rotations were poor. I think we've got a lot to do rebounding-wise, especially in the post."

    On the play of the underclassmen...

    "I think on this night we generally rely on them. I think it's pretty much that way every year. Jewell (Loyd), Mic [Michaela Mabrey] hit a three, Lindsay Allen made a couple nice drives and got to the free throw line. I thought they were definitely contributing, trying to keep us going. I thought our problems were the turnovers that were leading to points for them, some uncharacteristically really bad decisions with the turnovers."

    On Ariel Braker as a role player on a team with so much talent...

    "I think that's her job. She really just needs to rebound and defend. She's got a good job because she's very good at those things. She's kind of a glue player. She doesn't need to score, she doesn't need to get a lot of attention. She's really happy to play that kind of role. She's kind of a blue-collar worker out there. She'll dive for loose balls, so she'll come up with a big steal just about every game or a blocked shot or something big every game. And we really need her to do that. She's having a really great year. She's a little bit in the shadow and I think the unsung hero of the team."

    Notre Dame Players

    Jewell Loyd • Sophomore • Guard

    On taking over the game when the upperclassmen struggled...

    "I knew we were going to get something going later on in the game. I didn't want to force anything. I just stuck to the game plan."

    On how she took advantage of the Georgia Tech defense...

    "Cutting to the middle, attacking when we could off the press and trying to make open shots."

    On getting into transition...

    "Our point guards did a good job with throwing it over. So you had K-Mac [Kayla McBride] finding open gaps, and our wings cut through the middle, so it made it easier for them to find us and we were able to make good passes."

    On Kayla McBride's evolution as a passer...

    "She's a dangerous passer. She looks up and she finds you, and that's something that no one really notices about her game because she's such a great scorer. But she can definitely pass the ball."

    Natalie Achonwa • Senior • Forward

    On her emotions on senior night affecting her play...

    "I don't know if I'd say emotional, but it takes a toll on you just having that break in your warm-up and getting out of your routine. But it was actually fun at the same time. We got to enjoy it with our teammates and our coaches, that moment, but then it kind of got us out of our rhythm too, so it just took us a little bit to refocus and get into play mode."

    On the senior day presentation...

    "When we were coming out, everyone was like, `Don't cry when they play the video.' But K-Mac [Kayla McBride] and I were laughing at the video, at how young we looked in our freshman year. But then the `O Canada' really was the touching part, and I was really grateful that they did that for me.

    On Jewell Loyd taking over the game...

    "K-Mac [Kayla McBride] made a couple of those passes to her, and Jewell was doing a great job of running the floor and getting in the gaps. We rarely ran our offense, so that pump fake and then finding the open gaps worked. Jewell did a great job getting open."

    Georgia Tech Head Coach MaChelle Joseph

    Opening Statement...

    "First of all, we saw tonight why Notre Dame is the number two team in the country. I think their depth is critical to their success--you look at a great player like (Kayla) McBride who does not have her best game, but the other players around her were able to step up and help lessen the burden on her and Jewell Loyd. Obviously Jewell also had a great game and came in and showed why she is one of the top players in the ACC. But I am really proud of my team, I thought we battled until the end and continued to get better. Though we did not shoot the ball particularly well tonight, we were able to get some hustle points and to be able to out-rebound a team like Notre Dame is a credit to my players and their effort on both ends of the floor. I thought that Aaliyah Whiteside had one of the best performances of her season despite my go-to players Kaela Davis and Tyaunna Marshall not having their best games. When we shoot 31 percent from the field, it is tough for us to win games, especially against a tough team as good as Notre Dame.

    On the team's effort and number of hustle plays...

    "We pride ourselves on playing hard and that is one of the things that we can always control. We can always control how hard we play in our second and third efforts, and we have only been outrebounded twice this year so it really is something that we take great pride in and something that we built this program on, along with defense. Our players come in and they know that we might not always make every shot, so if we can beat people to the 50/50 balls and second chance points then we will put ourselves in a position to win.

    On overcoming Notre Dame's defensive strengths...

    "They are very physical as a team and I credit that to their upperclassmen and their seniors for understanding how to play the game within the rules, and I thought they bodied us and pushed us off line at times and we were not able to get direct lines to the basket. We are a very quick, athletic team and we like to get up and down the court and go North to South very quickly, and we were not able to do that tonight. I thought that they did a very good job of, again, pushing us off line and making us shoot off balance shots, rather than being able to get direct lines to the basket.

    Georgia Tech Player Quotes

    Aaliyah Whiteside • Sophomore • Guard

    On her performance in the second half...

    "I was trying to be aggressive, trying to get to the hoop and they kept fouling me. I tried to take shots that I normally take, rebound hard and make my free throws. I felt that overall I played hard and focused on crashing the offensive boards."

    On losing their early lead...

    "I thought we should have kept being aggressive. We definitely could have jumped out to a bigger lead and we did not take enough advantage of their slow start."

    On rebounding individually and as a team...

    "I think practice is a big part of our success because we go up against really tall people on the practice team, and because we have to go against each other in practice, I think we get used to going hard on the boards and that is one thing that we really focus on. For me, I think of it as a way to get extra points for the team because I know the shots that my teammates take and go hard to the offensive boards when I know they are shooting."

     

     

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