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    Notre Dame vs. DePaul - Postgame Quotes

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    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    Nov. 26, 2013

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    Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    Opening Statement...
    "I thought that offensively it was an entertaining game for the fans, but from my perspective I was incredibly disappointed at our lack of defensive intensity, our inability to guard the ball, to find the shooters in transition, pretty much the whole defense. I thought the second half was better; we did a really good job keeping Megan Rogowski to three (in the half) so that was good. It looked like we wanted to outscore them, which is not what I want our philosophy to be. It was great to have `Ace' (Natalie Achonwa) back, she looked like her old self today, she did a lot of good things, rebounded, scored and ran the floor, and Lindsay Allen had a good game with six assists one turnover. What a phenomenal job by a rookie point guard."

    On adjusting to an intensive, street-ball style offense...
    "We tried to work on it at practice where we couldn't get our scout team to make enough shots, so I think we thought `Oh we're doing a pretty good job they're not making shots', and then when we got to this game they made those shots and we got caught flat-footed quite a bit. It was difficult with just one day in between (one practice between Penn and DePaul games), but I thought we did enough good things to win, but we don't want to just outscore people to win."

    On starting the second-half with a scoring surge...
    "We got them to turn it over and miss shots. We didn't do a lot differently defensively, they made some uncharacteristic turnovers and only had 14 for the game, and they had a stretch where they missed open shots, they turned it over and we capitalized. Credit us with being able to score, but defensively we didn't do much more."

    On how the depth of the bench affected the game...
    "I thought that Madison Cable did a really good job in the second half, Mikaela (Mabrey) did a really good job in the first half, Taya (Reimer), 14 rebounds and the double-double, just a great job by her, I think we may have been able to wear them down and they got into some foul trouble, which definitely hurt them. I feel good about our top eight right now; we need the bench to be ready every game. If Mike (Michaela Mabry) and Maddie (Madison Cable) can keep doing that great, but we need them to be ready for every game and to play some major minutes. We've got some great guards but we don't want to play them 40 minutes a game if we don't have to. We hope that our depth is going to be a big factor for us. I like the rotation, there's some people in the top eight that I don't like to play together, so we're working on that, but Mike's doing a good job backing up the point and Kayla (McBride) can back up the point, so we have a lot of versatility that we can work with."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Natalie Achonwa - Senior - Forward

    On being healthy after knee injury...
    "We have a great team of doctors and athletic trainers that have really helped me to get back to the point that I'm at. I think I still have some more work to get the strength back in my legs, but I'm just thankful that my team and my coaches believe in me and that I'm at the point where I can get some minutes and contribute."

    On lack of rust after injury...
    "I was thinking about it too much last game. I wanted to be back so bad that I was overthinking the game. I just let it flow a little bit more today."

    On feeling back completely from injury...
    "I wouldn't say that I am back to the point I was before. It is a day-by-day process and it is continuing to get better. It was a good knee day, as we call them. I am trying to get that strength back, and I think it will be a season long thing. I will continue to get better."

    On more good knee days than bad...
    "We have had some great knee days lately. As long as we stay team skinny knee I'll be okay."

    Jewell Loyd - Sophomore - Guard

    On creating a fast pace game...
    "I think that we just feed off of that energy. I know that Ace (Natalie Achonwa) is a really big communicator, so she gets us going. She says so many things at the right times, I think that we can feed off her. Definitely for me I feed off her."

    On passion on the court...
    "I think we are getting meaner, and it sometimes comes out. I think when Ace is out on the floor you can definitely see that. Every game there is room for improvement. So you never want to settle, you always want to improve."

    Kayla McBride - Senior - Guard

    On creating a fast pace game...
    "I think it starts in practice. I know Jewell and I get really competitive in practice and I know that neither one of us likes to lose, so if we see our team struggling, even Ace too, I feel that we need to turn it up a notch and really get everyone else going."

    On the second half...
    "I think it was just our defensive intensity. We started to actually guard them. That is how coach put it in the huddle. We were able to get out in transition and get some easy buckets. From then on, we just guarded them."

    Head Coach Doug Bruno

    Opening Statement...
    "The Notre Dame - DePaul rivalry has had a long history and now it takes a new turn and twist. We're playing in November. I can't remember the last time we ever played Notre Dame in November. It's always been late January, February or March. It was a great opportunity for our team to be tested against one of the top three or four teams in the nation. I really believe that. I think UConn is the best team and then Notre Dame, along with Duke, who is from the same league. Notre Dame's a really good team. I thought our players came out and played fearlessly. I thought we showed toughness. We didn't control the beginning of the second half and there were too many panic possessions. As much as we are a high scoring team, we can't take shots that have no chance to go in the basket. Even the highest scoring teams still have to take shots they're going to make. I thought we got in a bit of a panic mode in the second half, but Notre Dame's a great defensive team. They always are."

    On his offensive mission...
    "We have a way that we play. We really come after people and I really didn't know that I wanted to come after Notre Dame tonight like we'll probably come after everyone else in the country. I think we can also play a little bit more conservatively and we were trying to play more conservatively. We wanted to score the ball, but I didn't think it was going to be our advantage to be chasing them all over 94 feet. I made the decision to use the zone and we zoned as long as we could, but chose to play it more conservatively. I just wasn't sure we were going to be able to run them on their home court, all over the court, and have that be to our advantage."

    On Notre Dame's second half lead expanding throughout the game...
    "Notre Dame comes out at halftime and they're going inside. They try to get the first bucket in the second half at the basket and we knew that and didn't defend it. Offensively, of the first three possessions we made a basket, if I'm not mistaken, and then had two turnovers right away. Jessica January had a turnover and I think Chanise Jenkins had one right away. They capitalized on both of those. Kelsey Reynolds said it best when we were preparing for Notre Dame. What Notre Dame does efficiently is make you pay for your mistakes. When you have the opportunity to make layups you better make them against Notre Dame and you can't just turn the ball. One of our themes tonight was to not let Notre Dame have points off our turnovers and that's how the second half started. We turned the ball over and once we were down 12 or 13, because this is a young team that's got some youth to them, players start thinking they can make the 13-point play. Now they start taking some shots that Superman couldn't make. That was a big part of what happened."

    DePaul Player Quotes

    Megan Rogowski - Junior - Guard

    On going into halftime...
    "Obviously, we missed a lot of lay-ups that we could've made, but we were happy only to be down by four. We wish we could've made them, but there's nothing we can do about it now."

    Kelsey Reynolds - Grad. Student - Guard

    On coming back to her hometown area...
    "It's always great to come home. I love that we can host the team. We had them at our house the last time we were here and then we had them at a restaurant this time. During the game, I love that there were 20-plus people from my family here. It's always great to see the support. I love showing my teammates the College Football Hall of Fame and other things around South Bend that are cool and unique."

    On her team and the future BIG EAST tournament that will be in Chicago...
    "We're really excited about the tournament being in Chicago. I think we have a great fan base and it's going to draw a lot of people. This team has an edge. Our goal is to win the BIG EAST and I think everyone is on board with that. They're motivated and you can see it everyday in practice. It's very competitive in practice and I think the team is really close as a unit. Everyone can laugh and have a good time, but when we're on the court we know we have each other's backs and that we're going to go hard. I'm excited."

     

     

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