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    Dec. 5, 2012

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    Notre Dame Women's Basketball Notre Dame vs. Baylor December 5, 2012 Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center o Notre Dame, Ind.

    Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    Opening Comments...
    "I was really pleased with the way we came out in each half. I felt we got off to a really good start and did the things we wanted to do defensively. Overall, I think we looked at the defense and shooting percentages, played the averages and did a pretty good job for the most part with what we wanted to do defensively. I think there were so many great teachable moments in this game. It's early in the season and there were so many things that happened that I thought we haven't worked on enough, and I just think we are going to get so much better. We didn't shoot the ball as well as we could have tonight, but Jewell [Loyd] was outstanding. She really played well. Skylar led us as she always does. Defensively, she did a great job and offensively got us into what we wanted to run. We have a ways to go, but there were a lot of good things to build on."

    On what makes you think you're going to be okay...
    "I thought the things we did defensively. I thought we played smart and looked at who we didn't want to guard and laid off them. Even though Prince made the first shot, we stayed with it and it was pretty much the only three they made in the game. I think we are still a work in progress. I think we tried to get the things we worked on in practice, and we missed some shots that we usually make. I think overall, offensively, we played better tonight than we did last year when we played them. I mean we were bad last year. I thought we were much better than we were last year with a much younger team, and they have the same team. I was pleased and I think we've gotten better."

    On gaining confidence moving forward...
    "I think when we watch film, there are going to be so many growing mistakes. Some of the turnovers that led to baskets for them, and a couple of times we got beat down the floor in transition. They made a couple of easy baskets that we can fix. All the things that went wrong today, I think we can fix."

    On being a performance where they think they can beat you...
    "When [Brittney] Griner started taking the free throw jumper, I think that is what we wanted her to take. I thought around the basket, until the end when everything was a three-point play, we guarded her really well. That was a positive, but if she is going to make that shot, you can't guard her."

    On Baylor's size being a problem...
    "We like that four guard lineup and we weren't able to play that as much as we liked, which probably hurt us tonight. It didn't help us rebounding, playing two bigs together. That was probably one of the more disappointing things was the lack of rebounding from those two."

    On points from four players...
    "I think we can win with four, but we need a little more off the bench. We still need that fifth, sixth and even seventh player that we can count on to help us score. I think Michaela Mabrey can do it. I think Kaila Turner can do it, and I think Madison Cable can do it. I think this was a big game for two freshmen, with Michaela and Madison. Kaila also got into foul trouble early, and that really hurt her. I think definitely they can score."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Skylar Diggins - Senior - Guard

    On confidence building game...
    "I think it was. It's the beginning of December and this is a great game for us to play at home. It gave us a lot of confidence and we got to see that players like Jewell can step up and have the game she had. I think the issue is the same as Coach said. We need contribution from the bench, but I thought that we could have won with the team we had out there."

    On Lil Wayne showing up...
    "It was a surprise visit but is great for our sport. Anything that can draw attention to Women's basketball is great."

    On having a freshman play on this stage against Baylor...
    "She's (Jewell Loyd) fearless. She has nothing to be afraid of because she doesn't know. We had a talk before the game and she's a great player. She knows that she is not a freshman. We don't treat her like she's a freshman. She's just a ballplayer. We always have talks about that. 'You know Sky, they're trying to talk to me because I'm a freshman.' When we get out on the court, your age doesn't matter, and Jewel is definitely one of those players who embodies that philosophy. She's a hard worker and gets in the gym and shoots."

    On shooting tonight...
    "I thought I took my shots and I don't think I hesitated. I don't think I was hesitating on my shot. I was just shooting it and it just wasn't going in. I was shooting it the same way, it just wasn't falling."

    On this game helping us down the line...
    "Definitely. I think this team has a lot of growing up to do and we have time. The thing about this team is we work hard and want to get better. We want to do well for coach McGraw, and I know the team wants to play well for each other. It's a learning experience. Am I mad? Yes, but when you go back in the gym, watch film and practice hard, you get ready for the next game. It just keeps going."

    Jewell Loyd - Freshman - Guard

    On how fast you got into flow of things...
    "I came into the game just thinking it was just another home game. I got into a rhythm early and I think just having confidence on the floor really helped us. It's all about staying motivated and my shots just went in."

    Baylor Head Coach Kim Mulkey

    On the test that Notre Dame's provided...
    "First of all, I want to compliment everyone that we have run into here. Everyone here has been very good to us. Notre Dame supplies a very educated and knowledgeable crowd. Sometimes when you go on the road you expect things to get ugly, but I really just want to compliment everyone that I have run into. From the basketball end, I thought we really got going with Brooklyn Pope. I don't know what it is about the Irish that brings out the best in her, but every time we play them she has a phenomenal game. We really had to weather the storm when we got down with everyone we had on the floor."

    On Skylar Diggins having a poor game...
    "It is early in the season. I was a point guard and I have always been very critical of point guards. Odyssey Sims is the best point guard in the country. And you can put that in your notes. What does she have to do to get that kind of recognition? She has played Skylar four times and has won every ball game. She has won a national championship. Odyssey didn't have one of her better games either, but she never stopped being tough on the floor. She never stops guarding people."

    On Odyssey Sims making things more comfortable for her as a coach...
    "We have a comfort zone since we had so many returning players. My comfort zone has expanded to more players. Even with Odyssey's injury, I was not afraid to put any of our younger kids into the game even tonight when we are playing in one of the toughest places to play in the country."

    On if her team made a statement to be number one again...
    "Let somebody else have it. All we want to be are champions at the end of the year. That has never been something that we have worried about. We just want to get to the final four and try to win another one."

    On the importance of playing in a hostile environment...
    "This team will play Stanford at a neutral site, at Notre Dame, and at Connecticut. The schedule is my best coach this year to keep my team humble, and to make us better."

    Baylor Player Quotes

    Odyssey Sims - Junior - Guard

    On tonight's game...
    "We started out slow, but I was excited to be back out there with my team. Sometimes we got down, but I feel like I kept them up high. We pulled together as much as we could, and we never got down on ourselves. We kept playing. We never gave up."

    On competing against Skylar Diggins...
    "It is always fun going up against great players, and she is one of the best players in the country. I always enjoy going against her. We don't really have a rivalry. It is just two great players going against each other."

    Brittney Griner - Senior - Post

    On developing patience...
    "I just try to let it come to me. I guess you could say that last year I started to become more patient. I have learned the importance of keeping the ball moving. Whatever I can do to help my team, I am going to do it."

    On making a run at the end of the game...
    "I just took it one play at a time. I was looking to post up strong when I had to. I got out of the post sometimes so they couldn't double-team me that much. I was just trying to help the team."

    On her comfort with Odyssey Sims...
    "It is always nice to see Odyssey out there giving everything she has. That trickles down to the wing players and the post players. She goes out there and busts it night in and night out."

    Destiny Williams - Senior - Forward

    On her return to Michiana...
    "It felt awesome tonight. I saw a lot of familiar faces out there, and that felt great. I am very happy and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to come back and play in front of my family and friends."

    On improving throughout the course of the game... "I know that we rushed a couple of shots in the first half. I felt like we were trying to keep the pace up, and we were not being patient enough. Once we got the ball reversed a little more, it really opened up the game for us. In the second half we made it to the free throw line more. We had great energy in the second half."

     

     

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