March 22, 2009

MINNESOTA QUOTES


Head Coach Pam Borton

On the win today …
“I’m really proud of our team and I’m really happy for this group to be able to pull off this win today. It was a great team effort. Everybody contributed on both ends of the floor in a great college women’s basketball environment. It was a great win, and we did all the necessary things to win this basketball game.”

On Katie Ohm’s performance…
“Great players step up at this time of the year. She’s been with this program for four years. She redshirted her freshman year, so she’s got a lot of experience. When you get into the NCAA Tournament, your veterans and your best players on the team need to step up and make shots.  She was pretty deep, but she’s hit a lot of those throughout the course of the year. In the first half she was wide open, then they guarded her a little better in the second half and she did take deeper threes. With Brittany and Jackie both being out, Emmy [Emily Fox] and Ohmy [Katie Ohm] both stepped up and hit shots right when we needed them to.”

On Emily Fox’s performance…
“Emmy wants to play fast. We’ve really got to control the tempo, and I think that’s what Brittany does such a great job at. When we beat Ohio State at Ohio State, Brittany played ten or twelve minutes that game and got in foul trouble; the same thing happened. I thought Emmy did a great job controlling our team and executing and reversing the basketball. Everybody stepped up and made shots. This game was a lot like the one at Ohio State because we executed, we attacked when we needed to, we slowed down when we needed to, and people stepped up and hit open shots.”

On what she told her team in the huddle…
“We were still ahead, and that’s what you have to remind your players of. We told the team that Notre Dame was going to go on a couple runs in the second half, and they did coming right out of the chute. We just had to weather the storm. They’re a very good offensive team. They’ve got balanced scoring. We knew something like this was going to happen, but we just had to step up and make shots. It’s composure, poise, and them believing that we could win. It helps when you’ve got players who can go out there and make big shots like Katie Ohm and Emmy Fox.”

On preparing for Notre Dame and Texas A&M…
“I know nothing about them [Texas A&M] right now, so hopefully my staff did their job. My total focus was on Notre Dame. We had our work cut out for us, playing on their home court. They’re a great basketball team- very well-coached. They’re a very athletic team, a great defensive team, they’ve got a great post player inside. Both their post players are very, very good. We’ll get at some film later on today.”

On defending Lindsay Schrader…
“It helped that Lindsay Schrader got in foul trouble in the first half. She picked up two really quick fouls. I thought we did a great job. She hit a very tough pull-up jump-shot on the baseline, but I don’t think we gave her anything easy. We didn’t put her on the free-throw line. We kept her off the boards. I think those are her strengths.”

On Zoe Harper and Brianna Mastey…
“I think those two players in particular, Zoe [Harper] and Brie [Brianna Mastey] are probably the two most-improved players in the last two weeks. I don’t know if Brie, being a freshman, just woke up, or the light bulb came on, but she started figuring things out. She’s very athletic, she’s very strong, and the best is yet to come for her. Zoe works extremely hard. We as a staff had a tough decision whether we were going to start Zoe or not instead of Jackie. Zoe’s been playing very, very well. We just didn’t want to mess anything up. We knew Zoe was going to play a lot. Those two players have played tremendously in the past two weeks because of how hard they’ve been working.”

On what her team did well in the game…
“I thought we did a great job attacking and being the more aggressive team. We did a great job in transition at the beginning of the game. We scored in a lot of different ways in the paint with our post players getting offensive boards. I don’t know how much scoring our post players got in the paint, but I think we were the more aggressive team.”

Emily Fox • Senior • Guard

On starting the game with momentum…
“I definitely felt that we got off to a great start.  Unfortunately during the season it’s been one of our downfalls, so it felt so good to be out there.  I could tell the crowd wasn’t in it until they started to come back a little bit.  I think that was a big key for us to get that momentum right off the bat.”

On staying calm during Notre Dame’s comeback
“I felt like we still had control of the game.  In our huddle we would just tell each other ‘we’re fine, we’re fine.’  We had to keep that calmness and know that we were still in control.  They went on their runs, but I was really proud of us because we weathered the storm.  We didn’t let them come totally back.”

On Brittany McCoy’s leadership…
“I felt Brittany did a great job controlling the team in the first half, and I felt that was why we had such a big lead.  You could tell we were missing her leadership out there on the court.  As a guard, I knew I needed to step up and control the team.  I felt we stuck together, but you can definitely tell we need her in there.  Brittany is our starting point guard, so she runs the show.  When she’s at the point, I feel I’m more of a number two guard and look to score a little more.  I feel nothing changes expect we do miss her leadership out there.”

On overcoming their panic…
“We don’t want to go home.  I know I want to play another game; our whole team does.  It got a little shaky in there when the crowd got into it, but we had a bunch of good players that stepped up.  I thought Katie hit some humongous shots.  People just stepped up and made their shots, and we didn’t get scared.  I always say the last four minutes is our time, and that’s when we can control the tempo and take over games.  We did a great job with that, and we just wanted it more.”

Zoe Harper • Junior • Center

On the importance of rebounding in the game…
“I think second chance points are huge for our team.  Pam said that whoever is going to rebound is going to win this game.”

On her role in today’s game…
“Jackie, one of our freshman had a really good game too, but when she got into foul trouble I knew I had to step up.  What Jackie does is rebound, so then I knew I had to go in and rebound.  Everyone stepped up today.”  

Katie Ohm • Junior • Guard

On her three-point shooting…
“I just go out there and shoot.  I think that is my role on the team.  Pam says when in doubt just shoot it.  I just take the shots when I’m open.  I think our guards did a great job, and the posts kicked it out allowing me to shoot when I was open.”

On guarding Lindsay Schrader…
“She’s a good player.  She’s tough.  She got a couple of quick fouls, which helped us out a lot.  It wasn’t just me; it was a team effort.  It was team defense.  It helped that she wasn’t in the game.”

On the importance of rebounding in today’s game…
“I think towards the end of the year we kind of got away from rebounding, but in practice lately we’ve really been working on it because we knew this would be the key to the game.  I’m really proud that everyone boxed out.”

On being in the zone…
“I can definitely feel from game to game when I’m not shooting well or not.  I think when it goes in that I can get in the zone.  I can definitely feel a difference.”



NOTRE DAME QUOTES



Head Coach Muffet McGraw

On the overall game performance...
"Same old story- every game, can't defend the three point line.  We didn't contain the ball and the most disappointing thing though was that we had such a great crowd.  It was a fantastic crowd out there today and we didn't give them their money's worth.  Our effort was bad and really disappointed that we came out and dug ourselves that really big hole in the first half.  They were very aggressive, they attacked us, we got back on our heels and we never really settled in defensively, which, as you all know, has been a problem for us all year long.  Really disappointing to lose on your home court, to get upset by a lower seed and to not be playing on Tuesday.  We expect a lot more of ourselves."

On Lindsay's injury...
"She hurt her back and she was done for the game at that point.  I think the thing we miss the most was her intensity.  Obviously as our big rebounder at eight rebounds a game, we missed that a lot.  That was probably the biggest impact when we they had made a run and not having a go-to person, they hit a 3 and when we looked at what we wanted to run, that's a time that we would go to Lindsay."

On Minnesota's performance...
"Even with Lindsay, I'm not sure we would've won that game.  They played extremely well, and [Katie] Ohm in particular, I thought she was the dagger.  [Emily] Fox did what we thought she would do and Ohm did what we thought she would do and knew she could do and I thought she was the one who really won the game for them."


On Lindsay's foul trouble and the team playing without her...
"I thought defensively, Minnesota played a great game. I thought they were very, very physical and I don't think we've really seen that.  We thought we were a physical team, but they were physical and then they packed it in a little bit so we really just lost our rhythm offensively.  I thought we put the ball on the floor way too much, even when Lindsay was in there.  We dribbled way too much, I thought to start of the game we never got into our rhythm.  We kind of got soft and got away from what we've been doing all year long."

On the team's defense...
"We are a team that feeds off our offense so when we score, we feel good about what we're doing at the other end.  We're backwards in that.  We need to get excited about our defense and not worry so much about our offense.  I think that's a little bit of immaturity and hopefully they'll learn from that."

On Notre Dame's lack of rebounding...
"I think when you really need the ball and you miss a block-out, its really deflating for the entire team and we missed a lot of block-outs.  Just basic fundamental things that we've worked on that we should be better at and we weren't.  That's so disappointing to see that because time's running out, you're playing against the clock and its so vitally important that you get that rebound and then you just don't get it, its deflating for the people that are doing their job."

On using this loss as motivation going into the off season...
"Things are going to be different next year.  You look at the defense and its my fault, I have got to get them to guard better.  I think when you have a deeper bench you can sub more and you have more competition for spots and I think that'll help us next year."


Ashley Barlow • Sr • Guard

On the impact of Schrader missing in the second half…
“She is a good player.  We look to go inside to her for some post ups.  We missed her presence on the defensive and the rebounding end as well.”

On the loss of momentum caused my Minnesota hitting key shots…
“It drained us a lot and as you can see we never got over the hump.  That’s the story; like coach said.  No defense, can’t win.”

Melissa Lechlitner • Jr • Guard

On the first few minutes of the game…
“It was our defense; just like coach said.  It was the same story all year.  We cannot guard people and it was our defense; plain and simple.”

On preparation for Minnesota’s Emily Fox…
“The scouting report told us exactly how she played.  She is a great shooter and she can do it off of the dribble.  She is one of the best players on the team.  Obviously we didn’t look at the scouting report, because she did exactly what we knew she was going to do.  We prepared for it all week long during practice and when it came down to it we didn’t get it done.”

On the comeback mentality and maintaining composure…
“We came down and hit some good shots.  We got a couple of AND-1s just like the game plan at half time.  We were just going to take it one possession at a time and chip away a little bit, but when Ohm hit those two back-to-back threes that was really the game breaker right there.”