Duke vs. Michigan
Duke vs. Michigan StateMarch 26, 2006
NCAA Womens Basketball Championship
March 26, 2006
Head Coach Gail Goestenkors
Were just excited to continue to play on. We knew were coming up against a strong team in Michigan State with a proud tradition. Overall, [I am] just extremely please with our effort, specifically in the second half. I thought in the first half we trapped their screens a bit on the ball and they made us pay for it. They did a really nice job and hit the open shots. We knew we had to lock on defense in the second half and I think we did. That was really the difference in the second half, our defensive play in particular. Just glad to come away with a win.
On shots from the left corner in the first half:
We wanted the baseline. They run a 3-2 matchup. When they were, we knew the baselines were the weakness in that zone. Our guards did a good job of penetrating and skipping it out.
On the depth of team:
I think its quality depth. A lot of teams have a lot of players on their team but I think our bench is pretty productive, probably as much as any team in the country.
On how team is playing now and peaking:
I think when we lost in the ACC Tournament it was really tough for us, but very motivating. We had the two weeks to get better. We knew that we had not yet peaked, so we made the decision we were going to work on the little thins and get better. And that our best days were ahead of us. Thats kind of the philosophy that we have that every game were going to get a little bit better.
On coaching with and against USA players and potential of matchup with Connecticuts Brittney Hunter:
Im not even thing about our match ups now. Ill go home and watch this game. Weve been so focused on Michigan State, we havent even thought about it. Brittneys obviously a great player. But its not about Brittney Hunter, Connecticut or Georgia. Im not too concerned about it.
On defending Michigan States Liz Shimek:
Shimek was one of the focuses this week. We knew she is their first or second leading scorer of all-time. We know shes really capable, so we really focused on double-teaming he whenever she got the ball and denying her whenever we can. I think our post players did an excellent job of denying her the ball and trapping her and forcing some uncomfortable shots.
On potential match up with Connecticuts Brittney Hunter:
She got injured pretty early in the season so we didnt even play together that much, but shes an excellent player. Shes very capable and really aggressive. Potential match-up, I dont know, we didnt prepare for either one but well be ready for whoever we have to play on Tuesday.
On teams performance during the last three games:
We felt we havent peaked at all this year. We knew it was due time to reach our full potential. I think were definitely on track to peak right now and what better time of year to do that. Im very proud of my team and the way were playing. Were all dedicated to rebounding and playing great defense and our offense just comes to us. If we can continue to play that way during the tournament, I think we well do a pretty good job.
On the energy Abby Waner brought into the game in the second half:
I think they brought a lot of engery in and I think Abby did an excellent job. She was really confident in her shot and thats what we need from her, especially when she was open. She took her shot. When we have her hitting like that well be fine.
On coming off the bench:
Thats been a focus for us all year. I think one of our biggest strengths is that we like to run and press. That comes from our press. We like to wear people out. I think thats evident at the end of the game when were still running the floor.
On where team is comfortable:
We play a lot of pressure man to man. But as far as just changing up we dont want any team to get comfortable with our defense, adding more size inside, or having Abby coming in and being quick. We want to keep them on their toes.
On hitting the 3 at the end of the half:
We set up a play for Lindsey to penetrate and anytime Lindsey penetrates all the teams collapse because shes really capable of finishing. Shes one of the best finishers in the nation. She kicked it out. I think anytime you can score going into the locker room it provides a lot of momentum.
On keeping control of the ball:
To win games you have to take care of the ball. We know that a lot of our turnovers in the past have been unforced. I think we were patient. We pushed when we needed to. We played more under control and Im really proud of us for doing so.
Coach Joanne P. McCallie
I thought obviously Duke played extremely well. They looked terrific out there. I think it was interesting their balance. It seems like Monique Curry can do anything she likes to do because there is so much balance.
We obviously didnt play as well as we would like to play but you have to credit Duke.
I also want to say two women to my left are two amazing women. Totally built and revitalized basketball at Michigan State. If its possible for two women to shake the world these women have done that and the great state of Michigan. We are so proud of them and how much we appreciate everything they have done for Michigan State.
Questions: At end of game when you got in huddle for last time anything special said
Lindsey: Nothing really special said. Bringing it together one last time. We didnt want to go out this way. Duke is just a great team. They had a great balance.
Question: Liz did they do anything in particular to slow you down
Liz: Duke they did play a great game. They were a very physical team. They are a tall team, very physical team. Not going to take anything away from them. They just played very aggressive and stuff. Duke just outplayed us.
Question: Can you talk about the game in the second half when the game got away from you?
Lindsey: Obviously not how we wanted to come out in the second half. We talked about focusing more on defense. Focusing more in the second half. Really comes down to possession of the basketball in the game. We just didnt take care of possession well.
Questions: What did they do to make it so hard for Liz to get those five shots?
I think Lindsay said it pretty well. They are a pretty big team. We tried to get Liz to step out a little bit and use her from a high post more but I think they did great job being aware of Liz was on the floor. We definitely want Liz to have the ball. And we certainly wanted her to shoot more than five times. You have to credit Dukes defense. I dont think you credit one thing. You have to Credit different players from Duke # Mistie Williams, Alison Bales & Chante Black. How they were pretty aggressive towards Liz.
Question: What do you play against someone who only plays for more than 30 minutes?
Obviously their effectiveness inability to disrupt their shot making was the most critical element. To shoot 54% for the game 57% in second half thats the factor that fatigues you more than people do. The shot contesting, defense errors, things like that and not getting to people were the most critical. Not going to win too many ballgames if youre shooting 54%.
Question: Can you talk a little about Aisha
I liked Aishas attack; I thought she had a great attack. Thought she needed a little bit more focus. Turnovers were huge. She showed great leaderships. The positives by far outweighed the turnovers. But for Aisha to take that next step to be great it will involve that savvy ability to kick it out and to attack. I think she is too great of a player to have 6 turnovers. I thought she was very confident. A competitor and one of our best attackers on the floor.
Question: Coach can you talk about the way Duke attacked your zone
I think it was an excellent balance attack. They worked the basketball. They had 22 assists. Thats a credit to them. They didnt shoot too quick too often. I think their hi-low game is outstanding obviously because of their size. So we would have liked to have done a better job there.