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    Notre Dame vs. Massachusetts - Postgame Quotes

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    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    Nov. 18, 2012

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    Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    Opening statement...
    "I thought we did a lot of good things on the offensive side. I thought we could have rebounded a little bit better but we shot the ball pretty well, except from the three point line. We've got a lot of things to work on-it's early in the year, our first home game-we're still finding our way."

    On the defensive intensity...
    "We've really been working hard on double-teaming, running at the ball, and trying to make our defense get the offense to be really uncomfortable. That's our goal. I thought we did a pretty good job of that. I was disappointed we didn't take more charges. I think that's something that we really got to work at overall, but I thought we had a good awareness today of where the shooters were. We did a pretty good job of finding Massachusetts guard Emily Mital. She's a really good three point shooter, so I was happy with the defense on her."

    On Madison Cable not playing...
    "Her foot was bothering her. She had to quit practice yesterday about halfway through and it was a game-time decision. If it felt better today she was going to go, and after warming up she decided she couldn't go. Really up to the tip she was planning on playing but after the warm-up it was hurting too bad so she's questionable for Tuesday."

    On Natalie Achonwa, Markisha Wright, and Ariel Braker's performance...
    "I thought all three of them did some really good things. I thought Natalie Achonwa came out, she shot the ball well, she rebounded well, and I thought she was a really big presence for us. I thought we looked inside more, and I thought the guards did a really good job of looking in. Markisha Wright played a really solid game: four for four from the field. I think she's still finding her opportunities and we're trying to look for her a little bit more so I was really happy with her game. I think Ariel Braker really gave us a nice shot of energy off the bench. I think she worked really hard. She battled inside and came up with a couple of blocks and a couple of big baskets."

    On free-throws...
    "I think we're a really good shooting team, and I expect us to shoot that well every game. I think we're a much better three-point shooting team than we showed today."

    On the three point shots...
    "I thought we settled for some, and some were a little bit quick. I thought we could've had a better shot selection but overall I think we just need to practice a bit more and we'll be fine."

    On Kaila Turner's performance...
    Everybody is behind Kaila and we all want her to do well. She faced a little adversity early in her career and I think that she's rebounded from it so well. She's really an amazingly resilient person. She works as hard as anybody in the gym, wants to be great, and she puts the time and effort into it so I think that what she's been able to overcome has been great for our team because nothing can rattle her now."

    On looking forward towards Mercer...
    "I think at this point in the season we really want to concentrate on us and try to feel like we're running what we want to run. I was disappointed with our defensive rotation tonight so I think we'll work on that tomorrow and see if we can do a little bit better job getting some charges and helping each other a little bit more. I would say defensively we still have some work to do to get ready for Tuesday but offensively I think we're heading in the right direction."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Skylar Diggins, Senior, Guard

    On playing her friend from high school, Jasmine Watson...
    "I hadn't see her in a while so it was good seeing her. I've never played against her before so I really didn't notice it, just before and after [the game]. It was good seeing her though and I'm glad I got a chance to play against her."

    On the defensive performance...
    "Like Coach said, we've been practicing trying to get up and make the offense uncomfortable and it starts with the full-court pressure. I think it's my job to put pressure on the point guard and make her give it up and we were making other people bring the ball up. I thought guards like K-Mac, Jewell, and other guards that came in did a good job of pressuring their guards that weren't used to bringing the ball up the court. That triggers our transition and that's what we like to get in, we try to get a lot of possessions. I thought we could do an even better job putting a little bit more pressure in the half-court set but I thought we did some good things in our defense today."

    On the offense's performance...
    "I think we're a good passing team and we've got a lot of weapons, a lot of people that can score and shoot the ball so it's just a matter of finding the open player. I think that sometimes we over-passed a little bit, trying to think too much for each other, but I like that we're sharing the ball."

    Kayla McBride, Junior, Guard

    On what she's most pleased with from her performance...
    "Definitely the rebounds. I think Coach has challenged me to get in there. We have three solid posts, and I'm the next biggest guard, so I have to keep sticking my nose in there and getting those rebounds, and six honestly isn't enough in my eyes so I'm still working on that."

    On the shooting today...
    "I think our team does a really good job of finding open shots. We're a really good passing team so we just have to find the open gaps. We've been working a lot on breaking down, three-on-three, and just finding those open spots. I think it starts in practice and I was just hitting them today."

    Massachusetts Head Coach Sharon Dawley

    Opening Statement...
    "Obviously, we're disappointed in coming here and losing by as much as we did. We didn't take care of the basketball - we had 34 turnovers and dropped nine on the rebounding, which is a place where I think we could have come even. The positives we're coming away from here: I think our young players got some minutes and did some good stuff. But overall I was just disappointed we didn't play better today."

    On Notre Dame's defense...
    "It's definitely a good harassing-type defense. I think once it happens to you a couple times turning the ball over, now it's in your head, now you're tentative, and now that makes matters worse, not better. I think that's what Notre Dame does to you. I think that's where their defense is really good. They rattle you pretty early on, and then it's hard to bounce back, especially when you're a young point guard. But I think we did a better job when we had our inbounder bring the ball up. It eased a lot of pressure off our point. But from there we struggled to get into our sets. We wasted a lot of time getting into sets. Their defense is definitely bothersome."

    On UMass' improved shooting in the second half...
    "I think honestly we played better in the second half because we just decided to play basketball. I think we were more overwhelmed than anyone was willing to admit coming in. We came here to bring Jasmine Watson home, and I think everyone just got too caught up in the emotional side and where we're playing, who we're playing, how good they are, playing in front of a lot of family and friends. We have a lot of families here because we have a lot of Midwest kids. So I think we got caught up in the emotions, and sometimes you can try too hard and look awful. And I think that's what happened."

    Jasmine Watson, Senior, Center

    On playing in her home town...
    "It was a big game for me. I started the season focusing on each game. This one just was closer to home, so that was the main difference in this game. I tried not to treat it as the most important game of the season because we still have conference play. But I'm definitely appreciative of being able to play in front of my parents and for a lot of people in my family to be able to see me play."

    On Notre Dame...
    "They're just a team all together. Together, they're a great team. Separately it's different. It's just together they're a great team and they play well together."

    On how she played...
    "I was rushing it. I came in the game calm. Even my point guard, Dee Montgomery, we were talking to each other, we were so calm. I really didn't overthink it. They knew who I was on the team, so I could feel getting zeroed in on, which I should be used to. But I just felt that I didn't play my game. I wasn't dominating like I usually do, and I don't think that had anything to do with what they did. I think I was just rushing what I usually do well."

    On fouling out...
    "It bothered me a little bit because I wanted to play every second of the game. I mean, who wouldn't want to play every second of the game? I knew I had to continue to cheer on my teammates, and my other teammates were looking at me. I'm a senior, and I know my family's looking at me, so I just had to take a minute to gather myself and just still be a part of the team while I'm on the bench."

     

     

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