Women's Basketball

Postgame Quotes - Kentucky

Dec. 18, 2011

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Notre Dame Women's Basketball
Notre Dame vs. Kentucky
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center o Notre Dame, Ind.
Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

Opening statement...
"That was one of the most entertaining games we have ever played. It was just so exciting start to finish. The crowd was unbelievable and definitely contributed to the win. I think every possession was at about as high a level of intensity and we were full speed ahead the whole game."

On Skylar Diggins' three late in the second half...
"Skylar's three was the nail in the coffin. The three was huge and then to come up with the steal after it, I think that was a momentum killer for them. When she let it go, I just thought to myself 'it's in.' She proved what a great player she is."

On Kayla McBride and Natalie Novosel's play...
"Kayla and Natalie really stepped up offensively. They really played well. Kayla did a nice job handling the ball and they executed all we had worked on in practice in the last couple of days thinking they were going to try and take Skylar away."

On the atmosphere...
"It was definitely an NCAA Tournament atmosphere. The crowd was spectacular and we were feeding off the crowd. They made a huge difference. That is the kind of basketball we want to play."

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Natalie Novosel o Senior o Guard

On the win...
"It was a great win for me. I thanked every one of them. I'm just really happy; it felt really good to get that win and a little revenge."

On dealing with pressure...
"I think that shows our experience. We went to the National Championship game (last year) and I think that whole run helped us in big games and big atmospheres. I think just learning from that and being able to come home to this big game atmosphere helped us."

Skylar Diggins o Junior o Guard

On the big game atmosphere...
"I thought the crowd was the tool to get us going. They never sat down and we respond to that. I thought this was a great game to play in, and like Coach (McGraw) said, it simulated a somewhat Elite Eight or Final Four atmosphere."

On her three and the momentum change...
"I was set and I shot it with confidence; I knew it was going in. It was a great pass. We were starting to realize our sense of urgency was greater and we had to put them away because this is a team that is relentless and they aren't going to give up. We knew we really had to kick it in."

On rebounding...
"I know personally I didn't box out. That's something I need to work on, and the team as a whole needs to. It's a bad habit, and it's going to take time for us to get out of it. We've been working on it a lot in practice, and we have to start transferring that work in practice to the game."

On what they learned about themselves today...
"I think we are coming of age. We are growing and getting better every day. That is really from us challenging each other more in practice. We really stepped up the intensity in practice, really getting after it and simulating being in the game. If you make practice harder than the games we will play better in the games."

Kayla McBride o Sophomore o Guard

On her confidence on the court...
"I think most of that comes from feeding off of my coaches and teammates. They give me a lot of confidence. Having older players to look up to like Natalie and Skylar, it is a lot easier to play within myself."

On the coast-to-coast play...
"I think (coast-to-coast play) suits my ability in a couple of ways and it is also helping me grow as a player. Being out last year and not being able to play in these big game environments as much, I am still kind of learning, but I think this game helped me be confident and bring the ball up when Skylar is being double-teamed."

Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement...
"My hat is off to Notre Dame and what a fantastic team they have. They are well coached and they clearly wanted the game more than we did today. They played with much more precision, executed better and they were better coached. They had an outstanding game plan and they thoroughly beat us today. (I'm) very impressed with Notre Dame and we were beaten today obviously."

On lack of effort at times during the game...
"Everyone didn't play as hard as they could and that put us in a bad position and now you're putting people who played extremely hard and they didn't have much of a rest and they had to go back in."

On losing A'dia Mathies...
"You hate to lose any of your players, but she had a better second half than first. I thought she was in a little bit better rhythm and was doing a good job for us and I think we suffered from that."

On going up 75-74 but giving up an 11-0 run...
"We did not secure our defensive boards. Coming out of the timeout it was a three-point game and we asked our kids to not let the ball go long. We had them (Notre Dame) on the side and one of the easiest places to press and force them to the base line. The kids were playing hard but making mistakes, and then we gave up a straight line drive three and I think our team faded at that point."

Kentucky Player Quotes

A'dia Mathies o Junior o Guard

On what changed for you in the second half...
"The coaches and everybody said they had my back and we needed to be more aggressive in order for us to make a come back. Some of my shots fell down, but unfortunately I stayed in foul trouble. At the end of the game they (Notre Dame) made more plays than we did."

Samantha Drake o Sophomore o Forward

On today's game plan...
"I thought we had a good game, but it wasn't one of our best. We really need to work on finishing and staying together at the end of the game. We had some good plays out there on the court. We just have to fight through adversity and keep playing Kentucky basketball."

On playing Notre Dame...
"We reacted as if it was any other team. We didn't take them as they are better than anyone else and we just focused on us. We wanted to come out and play Kentucky basketball."



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