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    FIGHTING IRISH

    March 18, 2012

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    2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship
    First Round - Raleigh Region
    Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center o Notre Dame, Ind.

    Notre Dame Quotes

    Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    Opening statement...
    "I was very pleased with the way we came out. I thought that we were ready and that we were fired up on defense. We made our first four or five shots and we never looked back. I think that we kept the intensity up the whole game. When the bench came in they did a good job. We did a good job attacking, and I am just very pleased overall. Our rebounding could have been a little better, but they are a very good rebounding team. I thought we did a decent job on the boards."

    On her team's passing...
    "We really played well. We have been working on our offense quite a bit. We were able to find the open player. We talked about areas that we wanted to look at, which was in the short corner and around the basket. We were able to get some layups early. We hit a few threes, which helped too. I thought we were very effective with our passing."

    On playing such a good rebounding team...
    "We talked about their rebounding when the bids came out. That was the first thing that we talked about in practice on Tuesday. The whole bracket here are just really good rebounding teams, so we knew that was going to be an emphasis for us."

    On the performance of Skylar Diggins...
    "She had a very complete game. I think she could have shot a lot more, but I don't think she was too unselfish today. She was up on the ball, and really created a lot of pressure. I think she forced some turnovers. She can really attack the basket. She got a few really good opportunities to get defensive rebounds. And that is very important. You don't expect your point guard to be your leading rebounder."

    On the performance of Kayla McBride...
    "I think she was very anxious to play in her first tournament game. I actually forgot that this was her first tournament. She came out very well. I thought she might be a little nervous, but she was fine right from the start. She got a good look at an inside layup at the start of the game, and I think that just got her going."

    On the bench contributions...
    "The bench really played well. Kaila Turner had four assists and no turnovers. She is playing much better defensively, and I think that she is leading more. I am really happy with the way she is playing. We really need Natalie Achonwa to play big minutes, and she did that for us today. We are really going to need her in the next game."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Skylar Diggins o Junior o Guard

    On her team's fast start to the game...
    "I think it was important for us to understand that they are a team just like us. It was important for us not to underestimate them, and to make sure that we had a good start. I thought we were pretty anxious because we haven't played in a while. We wanted to make a statement right off the tip. We wanted to control the tempo right away, and I think we did that."

    On her rebounding effort...
    "Devereaux [Peters] can't get fifteen rebounds every game. We boxed out. It has been a point of emphasis in practice. We were trying to just find a body. A lot of times we get caught watching a player running back. I think we are being more aggressive on the boards, and it helped knowing that they were the top rebounding team in the country. We knew we had to rebound to win this game."

    Kayla McBride o Sophomore o Guard

    On her performance...
    "I think I played well mostly because of my sense of urgency, and just getting into the flow of the game. It was important for me to know where all of my teammates were. I was just looking to get easy shots."

    Devereaux Peters o Senior o Forward

    On playing against a the best rebounding team in the country...
    "Rebounding has been an area where we have struggled. It has been an emphasis for the past week. If you saw our practices, you would understand that. We were very focused on rebounding today. We tried to box out a lot more. I think that the guards did a good job of boxing out today."

    On the efficiency of the offense...
    "One thing I can say about this team is that we are always looking for each other. Nobody is trying to be the superhero. We all know everyone can score, and we know where we like to get the ball. I think we managed this game very well. It was just one of those days where we were getting a lot of good looks."

    Liberty Quotes

    Head Coach Carey Green

    On today's game...
    "We would like to congratulate Notre Dame. They played a very fine game and executed well. We wish them the very best as they go into round two of the tournament. I am very proud of this particular team. They went through a lot of adversity early in the season. Making it to the NCAA Championship was something we dreamed of at the very beginning of the season. A loss is really not a defining moment, but it certainly has ended our season. I'm very proud of this group and their accomplishments and the leadership coming from seniors Danika [Dale] and Avery [Warley]. We were a little shell-shocked and did not execute what we needed to against a very talented team. I am proud that we did not just quit. We came back and fought a little harder in the second half. The way Notre Dame started off shooting the ball really put us in a defensive mode. We had to regroup. They did an excellent job rebounding. They also did an excellent job scoring in the paint and that really seemed to make a difference."

    On what Notre Dame did to start the game off...
    "They certainly started very well by going on an 11-0 run. I was really tempted to call some timeouts, but it was still early in the game. We were able to score a couple of baskets and get it down to six, which was still manageable. They really kept the pressure on us offensively. They were able to shoot a super-high percentage right from the start. They (Notre Dame) always want to start strong. We ran into a team that was very comfortable on their home floor and they shot the ball really well and that changes a few things. We never really were able to get any confidence as to what we should have been doing. It was a very physical game as well. We tried to warn our team about that. That is not a complaint; it is exactly what we are trying to prepare for. It's hard to simulate that in practice. "

    On Notre Dame's passing and its difficulty to defend...
    "As an offensive player, when you first receive the ball you face the basket and make quick reads. They are a good team that is looking for a good shot, so they catch the ball, face the basket, and look. If there is nothing there, they don't just shoot it. Instead, they understand their offensive and work to set the next player up. Great players can see the next play before it happens. They just do a great job of seeing the floor and sharing the ball. They had a lot of open shots, which makes the offense easier. Notre Dame made everything difficult on our end with their pressure defense."

    On Kayla McBride's play...
    "She was the one that our coaching staff said was the wildcard and the difference maker because she was difficult to matchup. She has many scoring opportunities. She rebounds well and led [Notre Dame] in offensive rebounds, which helps their cause. She has both the outside and inside game."

    Liberty Players Quotes

    Danika Dale o Senior o Guard

    On what the team did differently in the second half...
    "We worked to get our mindset recollected and worked to encourage our teammates. The game wasn't over at halftime. Everything restarts after halftime, and you still have a chance. We got that mindset into our heads that we would be able to pick it up. If we had that mindset from the beginning, I think it would have been a very different game."

    On her shooting strategy...
    I was just trying to be very patient and not rush anything like I did during conference play. Today, if I had a good show, and I was comfortable with it, I would take it. If I saw a better pass, I was going to pass it. It helped to have my teammates encourage me and give me feedback. It helped me to know that they had confidence in me.

    Avery Warley o Senior o Center

    On how the team worked to recover from Notre Dame's quick start...
    "My teammates regrouped. We worked to encourage each other as much as possible and change the mindset that the game was not over. They shot really well from the beginning. We just had to refocus on what we were able to do."

     

     

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