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    Nov. 3, 2010

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    Notre Dame Women's Basketball
    Notre Dame vs. Michigan Tech
    November 3, 2010
    Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center • Notre Dame, Ind.

    Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    On the performance of the freshmen...
    "I was very impressed with their performances. I mean both of them came in and did a really nice job at both ends of the floor. Both of them had nine rebounds, so we've got to like that. That's something that we've been missing so we're very excited about that. And I know we've got a lot of things to work on, but I was pleased with the effort tonight."

    On how hard it is to defend against Natalie Novosel...
    "She is a really difficult matchup, even at practice. I think she's somebody that, because she can shoot the three, she's really tough to handle. She's really crafty with the ball, she's really smart and instinctive and she can read the screens and you can't stop her going one way because she can find a way to get there. I'm just so happy with the way she's coming off the screens, look at the score, that's something she's really been working on."

    On Skylar Diggins' performance...
    "Well she will be disappointed with that one turnover. I thought she ran the team really well. I thought we got the tempo that we wanted. I thought we got the shots that we wanted, and I thought we got the execution that we wanted. So I was really pleased. I thought she did everything she needed to do to get the offense running. She got her shots, she got her teammates shots, and even though we missed a few easy ones she had six or seven assists on the night so I thought she had a really good floor game."

    On how Skylar's intensity triggered the defense...
    "When she gets up on the ball it really makes everyone else want to get up on the ball. Brittany Mallory is somebody who plays really well off of that, and then when Fraderica (Miller) comes in that's just pandemonium and that's really going to create havoc there. Then you've got Devereaux Peters, at 6'2", getting in the passing lane. I thought Kayla McBride did a good job with her intensity, but I think it all starts with Skylar."

    On production off the ball...
    "We didn't (get enough production), not tonight, that's something where I don't think we gave them enough opportunity. That's something that we need to look at, and look at the offense and try to figure out how we can score more inside."

    Junior guard Natalie Novosel

    On continuing to be the top scorer every game...
    "Well, Coach (McGraw) tells me she wants me to score and rebound, so my main goal is to just get the ball when it comes to me and just take what I can get. I try and create different matchup problems for the other team. I think if I can do that then that's something that will really help us."

    Freshman forward Natalie Achonwa

    On the overall play of the freshmen...
    "Our entire team is very excited just to get the season started, but especially me and Kayla McBride, being freshmen. I think we were really trying to perform how Coach (McGraw) asked us to perform during the game. Kayla McBride did that, she came out and got to the basket and scored, and she found people as well. We just have great leaders on the team who we're trying to learn from, and I'm trying to take everything I can in practice from Becca (Bruszewski), and I know Kayla looks up a lot to Skylar (Diggins)."

    Sophomore guard Skylar Diggins

    On the team's cohesiveness...
    "We did a really good job of getting in to the opposing team and creating space and making sure that we could just get the ball. I think we crashed them really hard because of the intensity level that we were able to maintain on defense. Even on offense we did a great job of getting second-chance opportunities, and I think overall we played together as a team really well tonight."

    Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron

    Opening Comments...
    "They deserved it and they earned it. Obviously that was a little bit of a struggle against their height and their athleticism. I think we were a little shocked to start the game; there is no question. I had hoped that that would go away a little bit better than it did, but it didn't."

    On Skylar Diggins' performance...
    "She's fantastic. Her height and her athleticism is tough to defend. I mean you had to help off everyone else to make sure she didn't get to the basket, you had to have your hand up on the three. I mean, she's such a versatile player that everybody else has to kind of give something up to stop her. But that's what you have to do against a preseason All-American and one of the best players in the country. And we expected that, and she's a great player, there's no question."

    On Natalie Novosel being a tough match-up...
    "We were small in that area. We can't teach that. You can't teach them to be any taller than they are. We got some stops to start with, and we gave up offensive rebounds. That was a huge thing. One of our goals was to limit them to one contested shot. Unfortunately, 26 offensive rebounds later, there we are. I thought we did a decent job getting them to miss to start with. But then we didn't box out and we gave them a ton of second chance opportunities and that was a big thing for Novosel, to be able to crash and get an extra chance every time they got an offensive rebound."

    On graduating five starters and this season being a learning opportunity...
    "You tell them and you stress that. I have to remember that too. The University of Notre Dame gave us an unbelievable opportunity, and we're very grateful for that. The good thing about this game is that it doesn't count, and if for a second we thought that anything that happened to us last year would happen to us again this year just because we're Michigan Tech, I think we learned today that that's definitely not the case. This is the best competition we've ever played against. I had hoped we would play better, unfortunately that did not happen. But we have two weeks to get better until the games start counting. And we're going to take those next two weeks and take everything that happened today and learn from it and get better over the next 14 or 15 days."


     

     

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