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March 5, 2010
Postgame Quotes - Duke
Mike Finn: Sitting next to me is Coach Joanne McCallie, Jasmine Thomas, Karima Christmas and Joy Cheek. Coach, if you are ready.
Joanne P. McCallie: Well it was a great game. Great basketball game, and very interesting game. I just love the second half, the 7-minute stretch where our team focused and did a great job defensively. I love the attack of Jas and Joy and Karima; they were very aggressive looking to attack which is always good. Rebound-wise, I think we could have been more dominate. It was a very physical game, and that was a battle. And getting after the ball was something that we certainly needed to do there. Not too pleased with turnovers, I think we are a better team than 20 turnovers, but I like our attack and finish and composure down the stretch and some of the key plays made down the stretch. And Joy made key plays, and Jasmine did. So game-wise it was a great game and we are excited for game two.
Coach, how strange was it that you had met Maryland in the latter part of the Tournament the first couple of years you were here, how strange was it to meet them in a 1-8 match up?
Joanne P. McCallie: It was different. I think they are a very, very good team. They are enormously talented. And they have the best inside player in the league on their team, plus the best 3-point shooter, proven by her statistics. So for us it was a very challenging battle, but they are a talented team. And I guess it was strange, you know, because we have met them later, but it seemed appropriate to play them I guess. That has been sort of the characteristic thing. But the most important thing I think is our team and how we are growing. Again the composure piece and some of the critical plays that were made down the stretch, that’s what makes March a lot of fun.
Can you talk a little bit about the job of Krystal Thomas did defending Kizer down the stretch.
Joanne P. McCallie: That is great point. Krystal came up huge for our team. Her focus for moving her feet, she had great body positioning. She had great intelligence where she did not foul. Krystal has been working hard. I know she wants to have a complete game defensively and offensively but she gave our team an enormous amount of lift today without question. It was exciting for us. I think we all felt that on the floor. And the guard energy also picked up because there was so much confidence about the interior, and I think the stops down the stretch were some of the best stops of the game.
Coach, a lot of people are saying that Maryland needs two wins to be an NCAA tournament team, do you think they are an NCAA tournament team?
Joanne P. McCallie: I can't make that judgment. What I can say is their talent is phenomenal. Kizer is one of the best runners in the country. There is no doubt about that. You know Bjork is one of the best 3-point shooters in the country. I think 24 (Tchatchouang) is sort of the difference maker right now as a freshman and she is playing mature basketball. I think they are an outstanding team and they are very, very good. I would love to see them in the NCAA Tournament. But I don't know how they are going to weigh the ACC schedule. That is their glaring issue.
Jasmine, you guys have been this far many times talk about where you are, and taking that last step to win this title issue?
Jasmine Thomas: It feels good to come in here and grind this win out and move on. Like we have been doing all season. We have to take what we didn't do well in this game and transfer it to the next game in the NCAA tournament. We have teams that we are familiar with. It's not about executing and doing X's and O's, it's who wants it more. That is what we have to prove this year that we want it more.
For any of you players. If you could tell me a little bit about the match up with Georgia Tech and what kind of game you expect?
Jasmine Thomas: I think it will be pressing physical play. They have a really good forward in Ardossi, and they have great guards, and I expect them to play the same way they have been playing, aggressive. And they have a good slashing guards and it's going to be a battle.
I know Kizer was in foul trouble was there anything special you all did against her that put her in the foul trouble or was it just the flow of the game?
Joanne P. McCallie: I think our posts were impressive and it was a very aggressive game. So you know I think we went at her. It was good to have her in trouble. She is an excellent player. You know, it wasn't necessarily a game plan. I think I give a lot of credit to Joy and a lot of credit to Bridgette, Krystal, and Allison. There was just a lot of people trying to get in there and attack, as well as some of the guards.
Postgame Quotes - Maryland
Mike Finn: To my left is Coach Brenda Frese, Lynetta Kizer, Anjale Barrett, and Lori Bjork. With that I'll give it over to Coach Frese to have an opening statement, Coach?
Brenda Frese: I couldn't be more proud of this team. You know like I told them, I mean we battled, we competed for 40 minutes and we were right there. And then you talk about a play, a call, a possession, but we left everything out there. And I think that is the thing I am most proud of is to see this young team battle like they have in the last two days. We showed them we can play with anyone in the country and good things will happen for this team when we compete like we did today. You have to give credit to Duke. Their defense was tremendous. I thought it was again another physical game. I am just proud of our team in terms of how we came in and believed we could win this game.
Brenda, you got shot 38% was that where your functioning shots were falling or was it Duke's defense or a combination of both?
Brenda Frese: I think a combination of both. I mean they are very athletic and scrappy and day two for us in logging a lot of minutes and I think it's a combination of both.
Coach, could you talk about that last sequence both defensively and offensively for your decision not to foul and what Jackie may have seen with shooting the final shot?
Brenda Frese: Yeah, we thought off the free throw it was going to be a possession in terms of being able to get a couple of quick possessions. And so we wanted to stay straight up and be active with our defense. And then I think, obviously, I thought that you know Jackie felt like in terms of the flow the offense she was going to be able to get to the rim. And I think she lost track of the time in terms of having a couple of more durables to be able to go to the rim. But I liked our chances obviously on the run and the flow to not to let their defense get set up.
Lori, when you made the two free throws can you talk about your mind-set and what you had to do to close it out at that time?
Lori Bjork: Well we felt like we had been there before, twice before really against Duke with a couple of minutes to go. We were right there in the game. And I think everybody in our locker room believed we were going to win. And that makes it tough to take when you invest that much emotionally and think you have got it and believe you are going to do it and not being able to win, it's frustrating.
Until last year (Maryland vs. Wake Forest), the 8 or 9 team has never been in the ballpark against No. 1. And the blow out you almost won that game and did you remember that and take any inspiration from that in facing No. 1 or did it matter?
Lori Bjork: I don't think we were worried about what seed we were. We know when we see Duke on the jersey we are ready to compete and we did a great job of competing in 40 minutes tonight.
Coach, your team struggled through the regular season, but all three games you played Duke toe-to-toe until the end was it match ups, efforts or what was the secret?
Brenda Frese: I think, I mean obviously, you know we have great confidence against Duke. I mean when you look at the history between the two teams, we have had some big wins against Duke. When you talk about the National Championship and the ACC tournament, you know, we know we can beat them. So it's always a tremendous rivalry. I think obviously our kids believe that we can compete with them.
Coach, it's a long way where do you think you guys stand and what you are guys going to do to take your mind off that and get better?
Brenda Frese: You know, I think obviously this year the committee is going to have a lot of tough decisions to make. We have always talked about you can control your own destiny throughout the course of the season. I do know that our conference prepares us, you know, in terms of getting us ready for postseason play. When you talk about a 14-game schedule permanent partners for us with Duke and top-ranked opponents and it's a difficult stretch. But I think obviously, now we'll have to wait, we'll practice for the week. And we know we're gonna play in some kind of postseason. So we continue to practice to get better. That is what this team's motto has been all season long is to continue to keep working to get better.
Could you run us through the last couple of sequences there, I think it was under a minute you had a couple of shots, maybe under 30 seconds?
Lynetta Kizer: I mean just trying to be aggressive and trying to, you know, get to the basket, and just trying to score pretty much. And I don't know, trying to get a solid defensive end. I mean, it was just tough down the stretch. I mean we kept playing.
Can you talk about battling to the wire did you take any consolation from that at all.
Anjale Barrett: Anytime we play we're always ready to play, any team we're ready to play. just battling for 40 minutes, I'm proud of my team and we just wanted to go out and compete. We knew that we had a lot of confidence going into this game that we can beat them.
Lynetta Kizer: We went out and battled and I'm proud of my team for doing that.