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    Notre Dame vs. Duke - Postgame Quotes

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    FIGHTING IRISH

    Feb. 23, 2014

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    Notre Dame Women's Basketball
    Notre Dame vs. Duke
    February 23, 2014
    Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center • Notre Dame, Ind.

    Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    Opening Statement...
    "I thought Kayla McBride was just outstanding again today. She's had a phenomenal year, but with 31 points, she was just amazing and unstoppable. She played a lot of minutes, a little more than we wanted her to, but she just kept on going. It was a great game. Jewell [Loyd's] defense on [Tricia] Liston [was outstanding]. We were trying to hold Liston to single digits, and we were able to accomplish that. It was a big defensive play for [Jewell]. Elizabeth Williams played really well and had a great game today. But overall, we got off to a great start, and we came out the same way for stretches in the second half, so I was really pleased."

    On the accomplishment of clinching the ACC regular season title outright...
    "It's good for us to have a trophy now. To know that we accomplished something so far. We keep looking at the next game as the most important thing for us. So to come in our first year in the league and win it is really gratifying. Everybody has just had great moments all year long, so it's been very rewarding."

    On how Kayla McBride has improved this season...
    "She leads the team in assists. That's pretty amazing to both score like she can and also be a great passer. Her assist-to-turnover ratio is really good at around 2-to-1. For someone who never played point guard before and is filling in this year [is outstanding]. Today, you saw her playing inside. She played the four position, and she played the one, two, and three. She's so versatile and can do so many things. She's so incredibly coachable, both [Jewell and her are]. It's just so fun to be around them."

    On Notre Dame's success in forcing Duke turnovers in the first half...
    "Lindsay Allen did a really good job on the ball. We forced them into crowds and were able to get [in transition]. The thing we didn't do last time we played them was helping on the dribble. So we worked on that a little bit more, and I thought that we were able to get some tips and control the ball. Our help defense inside was much better. Defensively, we were just aware of where the ball was."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Kayla McBride • Senior • Guard

    On her impact leading the team with 31 points...
    "I contribute to my team. Each day, we come into practice, and I'm pushed and challenged, whether it's by Jewell [Loyd], Lindsay [Allen], or Ace [Natalie Achonwa]. And we're ready for every single game. I think that's why we've been able to step up to these types of challenges. Especially with the ACC being such a tough conference, you have to be ready. But I give all the credit to my teammates and coaches for having me ready."

    On Notre Dame's 20-2 run to start the game...
    "We had a lot of energy. You could feel it in the locker room before the game. We came out and were hitting shots, getting stops on defense, getting points in transition. I think we were just having fun. For a while there we were so tense in that stretch we had. But I think we came out and we were just playing with each other and for each other."

    Jewell Loyd • Sophomore • Guard

    On if the ACC regular season title offers a feeling of accomplishment...
    "We can definitely check it off our list, but we still have a lot of stuff to improve on and work on. We're just trying to stay focused and take it day-by-day."

    On her individual defensive assignment on Tricia Liston...
    "I was just really focused on defense and not wanting her to get any easy touches. I was taking pride in my defense."

    On her improvements on defense throughout the season...
    "I think it's just having that mentality that you don't want to get scored on. That's not fun at all. Knowing that our teammates are going to help you when you get hit on screens or are a little late [is helpful]. Our team defense was really good today, and I took it upon myself to make sure [Liston] had a tough day."

    Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie

    Opening Statement...
    "It was great game for us after the first five minutes. I thought that Notre Dame played very well. I thought we played super after the first five minutes. We did a lot of things well, but we turned the ball over too much and we didn't rebound as much as we would've liked to. It was just a great environment as well. This game isn't really our focus right now. We have the health of our point guard to focus on."

    On the impact of losing point guard Alexis Jones to injury...
    "It was a beautiful move for her. She went in for that left-handed layup that put us within seven and with a great deal of momentum. Notre Dame is a great team and we don't know what would've happened from there, but I guess I wish I could've seen it. She's an All-American candidate and a super sophomore and obviously we were a different team when she was gone."

    On performance of center Elizabeth Williams...
    "I felt that she wouldn't be denied, even when some things didn't necessarily go her way early. I just saw a person with great resolve. She wasn't going to stop. I really liked [Elizabeth's] approach to a full forty minutes. She continued to attack and her work was very important for us. I hope for {[Elizabeth's] sake that she'll take that because that was a very tough environment. They have a lot of very good players, and she really rose to the occasion and it was great to see."

    On rallying her team from 20-2 deficit in the first half...
    "I think this team has resolve. It was definitely a reflection of our leadership. They were definitely mad or frustrated, but they wanted to fight. Again, I wish everybody could've ended the game in a healthy way, but it was certainly a great basketball game."

    On performance of Kayla McBride...
    "Particularly, Kayla McBride played super basketball. She made it look easy because she's that great of a player. We were trying to stop her, but she played better than the last time we played them. Her game rose without question. Those three - McBride, Achonwa, and Loyd - they're pretty strong."

    Duke Player Quotes

    Elizabeth Williams • Junior • Center/Forward

    On Notre Dame's early lead in the first half...
    "We took some bad shots, some quick shots, which fueled their transition basically. We just need to learn how to be more patient early and just get into our flow early. I think that's what hurt us. Defensively, we weren't getting the stops."

    On her adjustments for this game against Notre Dame...
    "I definitely think I was more aggressive. I don't think I had that many shot attempts the last time we played. Honestly, I just had to go in the paint and play my game. Defensively, I tried to be more active than I was last time. Just running the floor and getting those easy buckets was a big help, and my teammates obviously did a great job finding me inside."

     

     

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