March 23, 2010
2010 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship
Vermont vs. Notre Dame
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Purcell Pavilion- Notre Dame, Ind.
Notre Dame Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Muffet McGraw
On the overall game performance...
"I thought Skylar Diggins was absolutely terrific tonight. She came out from the get go and decided that we were going to the Sweet 16. I thought she got herself off to a great start, her defense was outstanding. She had seven steals, 31 points, the first time a freshman has ever had those kind of numbers since I think Lindsay Schrader's twenty-nine points back in 2007. After we spotted them the 10-point lead when it was 20-10, I thought our defense really played well. Ashley Barlow and Skylar did a nice job on (May) Kotsopolous and (Courtnay) Pilypaitis and that helped. So I was really pleased with the way the team played from then on."
On how she was able to motivate Skylar Diggins tonight...
"I just told her about her almost double-double Sunday night and we talked about some of the emotional things as well."
On what she thinks the team needs to focus on to continue winning in the tournament...
"I would like to shoot the ball a little bit better than we have from the three-point line. I think our defense has been pretty good but we have had some breakdowns. I think defensively if we can improve a bit, we have played man-to-man primarily these past two games, so I think we will work on our zone a little bit more. Rebounding is always an issue for us. I thought we have done a pretty good job of taking care of the ball also. So I think we have been doing a lot of good things and I think a lot of people are playing well which helps, but I think we can always get better defensively."
Skylar Diggins - Fr - Guard
On if she felt as though she had to make up for the way she played on Sunday tonight...
"I don't think I was able to get into an offensive rhythm Sunday. I knew that this Vermont team was going to be really pumped up and tough to play, so I really wanted to come out strong and get us started into our game. I thought tonight we were also able to run and get out into transition tonight which is a big part of our game."
On the intensity level here at home court and how that affected the game...
"I think it is amazing that we had the opportunity to play here at home in the first and second rounds. Our fans really came out to support us and even though we were down they kept pumping us up and encouraging us. They wanted us to succeed and were anxious to explode so that helped keep us into the game tonight."
Lindsay Schradero Sr - Guard
On how physical she thought the game was tonight...
"I thought it was very physical tonight. They came out and made their shots. In the first half it seemed like they could not miss. They were shooting well but they were also tough on the boards as well, if they missed their shot they would go and get their own rebound and I think that is how they were able to get up on us. I think in the second half we took care of business and were ready in the second half and started rebounding. That has been our game plan all here, to get inside out and in the second half it started working and helped us get a win."
On how the veteran players can help the younger players prepare for the Sweet 16 ...
"After this win we are excited, but then again we expected to be here, and we expect to go further. My one goal is to make the Final Four. That is it, I just want to get to San Antonio and anything else beyond that is God's good grace. We have to tell these younger guys that we have to go on our emotions. We play with our emotions on our sleeve and that is how we pump each other up. Everyone on the bench also needs to be emotional, and I believe we have the strongest bench in the country. We just need to be doing what everybody should and keep our heads up."
On how the team can bring their swagger and intensity to Kansas City...
"Yeah we were ready for a street brawl tonight. I know a lot of people who are actually going to Kansas City. We have a great fan base and I just want to thank our fans for the whole season, they have been amazing. Going to Kansas City we have to just continue to play our game and stay focused. We have to motivate ourselves as well because the crowd cannot do it all for us."
Vermont Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Sharon Dawley
"Obviously we are very upset that we lost and we won't be continuing on to the Sweet 16, but what we talked about in the lockerroom, that was a goal and would have been fantastic to do and we are disappointed that we fell short of that. That by no means, changes what we did this year. This senior class is one of the most successful classes in the history of Vermont. Twenty-seven wins on the year, back-to-back America East Championships. It isn't going to be easy, but that is what we are going to take away. More importantly than wins and losses, I would not want to go to battle with anyone more than with our senior class. It is upsetting to lose, but I can live with that. The upsetting part is knowing that we will not be coaching these amazing young ladies again next year. We know we are sending them off to do amazing things. A couple maybe pro, a couple maybe in the business world, but they are winners and whatever they choose to do is going to be fantastic. I consider myself blessed to have coached them."
On the effectiveness of Notre Dame's press...
"It was obviously very effective. They timed it well and put pressure on. I think that is why they are as good as they are. Great pressure defense. They just play as a team, and they are pros at it. Their pressure D was great. There were times that we didn't help ourselves. I have to say on one hand it was great pressure and on the other hand we had to help ourselves a little bit more than we did. Some of those passes were errant passes and some recipients needed to come to the ball a little bit harder. I think this was a big stage, a big game, and a lot of nerves going off today. At this stage of the game it doesn't matter if you are a senior or freshman, I think a lot of nerves showed, so it is two fold."
On the physical style of play and her team's limited number of free throws...
"I guess I am surprised that we only took five free throws because I thought it was very physical."
On the freshmen's (Seto and Buschmann) performances and future...
"The freshman class has a lot to be proud of and build on. I think Kendra Seto and Lauren Buschmann are going to be tremendous players. They are two players that can really dominate in the America East, and we are really looking forward to the offseason and fine tuning their skills and making them more confident. They are remarkable basketball players and they are going to have great futures."
Courtnay Pilypaitis - Senior - Guard
On the team's fast start...
"We were aggressive at the beginning. We played like we normally do. I think when we got such a big lead, we were shocked ourselves. I think we stopped being aggressive. They turned up the defensive pressure and we just started turning the ball over and they started making some shots. They were able to setup their press which is their go-to and they killed us with that. We got away from what we were doing in the beginning."
May Kotsopoulos - Senior - Guard
On Skylar Diggins' performance and the impact it had on the team's game plan...
"I think their pressure was obviously a big factor. I would say that about 80 percent of her points were off of lay-ups and that was us turning the ball over and her getting out in the open. She is a very strong player, but I think we turned the ball over too much and helped her a lot. "
Alissa Sheftic - Senior - Center
On the accomplishments of the senior class over the course of their careers...
"I don't think I have ever been so proud in my life. I think that is why we are blue right now. It has been a great four years, and I think what makes it so hard is knowing that I am normal when I wake up tomorrow. I am no longer a student-athlete and I have to say good-bye. I think that is the hardest thing. I have loved working with all of the ladies through our ups and downs. I have never been so proud. I am very thankful I have had this opportunity, and I hope that we did Vermont proud. I think we did."