Post-Game Quotes - Duke vs. North Carolina State
March 4, 2007
ACC Women's Basketball Tournament
#4 NC State 70; #1 Duke 65
March 3, 2007
DUKE BLUE DEVILS
DUKE BLUE DEVILS
THE MODERATOR: At this time we will ask Coach Goestenkors to make a brief opening statement and open up for questions to Coach and students athletes.
GAIL GOESTENKORS: I just give congratulations to NC State. I thought they played just a fantastic game, great passion, emotion, high energy. They hit, it seemed like, every big shot and just wish them the best. It was a tough game. Obviously not one of our better games and we will definitely learn and grow from this.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. For the Coach and the players also, there is a school of thought one loss prior to the NCAA won't hurt you. Is there any validity in that do you think? Will this have any affect on your NCAA play at all?
GAIL GOESTENKORS: Well, it hurts my heart but, you know, we know that we will learn from it and we will get better. So definitely better now than later.
Q. Coach, after Debbie Ryan's press conference yesterday someone asked her what it would take to beat Duke. She said the team would have to be physical and ultimately would have to be a bad day for Duke and a very good day for the other opponent. Do you think that's kind of the way it played out in this game?
GAIL GOESTENKORS: I do. I think NC State, they have been playing really good basketball lately. Tonight was no exception. And it wasn't one of our more inspiring efforts.
Q. Gail, it's going to be tough to match NC State's emotion obviously, but after the first five minutes did you feel the team kind of went on cruise control a little bit when they built a 10 point double digit lead?
GAIL GOESTENKORS: Yes, I think we started off real strong and looked good. We built that lead, but we didn't put them a way. Once they started to build some momentum they gained some confidence. We didn't match the early emotion that we had.
Q. Coach and players, could you sense that emotion? You obviously all know what's going on at NC State and the difficult odds their Coach is facing, can you sense that from the players as they played, can you sense that, Coach?
GAIL GOESTENKORS: I've seen it for, you know, gosh since Kay has comeback. Any game that you seen them play, they play with great emotion, great passion. So it's definitely there. This is not the first time that I've seen it. I see it every time they go I go out on the court.
Q. Coach, what did you think of the teams execution down the stretch?
GAIL GOESTENKORS: Well, it wasn't great. We had some key turnovers. One, Abby unfortunately slipped on a wet spot on the floor, that has nothing to do with execution, but it hurt our momentum. Then we had a turnover, miscommunication where joy turned the ball over when he had a one point lead. We had a couple of tough turnovers that cost us some opportunities for scores.
Q. Lindsey, in the second half you were held to only two points, what was NC State able to do defensively, in particular Ashley Key to you to stop you in the second half?
LINDSEY HARDING: I think that NC State had good help side. Every time I penetrated and drove they were right there. She just put good pressure on me.
Q. Alison, the shot with 30 seconds to go was that the plan, a good look, just take me through that?
ALISON BALES: What?
Q. The shot that you took with about 30 seconds to go was that the designed play? Were you happy with the look you had?
ALISON BALES: I mean it was a good look. I need to be able to hit those and I wasn't today. I need to be able to play harder the whole game. I need to be able to post harder. I think it was a good look. Coach was happy with the shot we took.
Q. Abby, would you talk about the affect on Fields on you, did she bear you down? It seemed like you got fewer and fewer good looks?
ABBY WANER: Yes, I think I was open the first couple of shots that I took, and they adjusted from there. She played good defense. I think again it's a matter of not turning the ball over as much and having the opportunity to get shots off. But, you know, they played a great defensive game as a team.
Q. For Lindsey, as the leader of this team, having tasted defeat for the first time, I don't know if you regroup after one loss or not, what do you need to do between the time now and when you start NCAA play to get going?
LINDSEY HARDING: We are definitely going to break down this tape and look through it all, having some hard practices coming up. I think just with this game, they played with so much more emotion than we did. And they were consistent throughout the whole 40 minutes. We were on and off with it. They got all of the hustle plays. I mean, what they did was just outworked us, out hustled us. Those are things that come from your heart and your passion. It's kind of a check to ourselves. Are we going to get outworked and not hustle for every worked ball. Every possession mattered to them. For us, I felt like we kind of took it for granted or didn't work as hard. So I think we are going to look back at this and not let any other team out hustle us like this again.
Q. Coach, NC State only had 4 turnovers in the second half. Can you talk about your team's defense and what you think they needed to do that they did not do in this game?
GAIL GOESTENKORS: Yes, we're usually very good at disrupting our opponents, and getting tips and steals. And tonight, and again, I think that goes back to just really working hard and playing with great passion. They ran their sets. And they had so many pull up jumpers. I don't think I seen a team hit so many pull up jumpers all night long. So they did a good job taking care of the basketball. We were not as aggressive I think defensively as we normally are. THE MODERATOR: Anymore questions?
Q. Gail, in the first half it seems like NC State was able to get in the middle a lot, that's something you really stress, what did you see as happening?
GAIL GOESTENKORS: They just put their heads down and penetrated to the middle, broke down our defense. Something we've been focusing on and we are usually pretty good with and didn't do a good job at all today. And they made us pay for it.
Q. Abby, can you talk about your shot at the end with about 8 seconds left?
ABBY WANER: Yes, it was a stupid shot. I thought there was less time on the clock than there was. That's a mistake on my part. I don't know why, but whenever I need to get a shot off quickly, I always fade back for some reason. It's something that I definitely need to work on. It was a decent look but I probably could have created a better look with 8 seconds on the clock for me or for somebody else.
Q. For Alison, in any way, do you feel like with one loss the pressure is off, that whole undefeated aspect of the season, or does that have any affect at all?
ALISON BALES: Our goal was never to go undefeated. At the beginning of the season that was never a goal of ours. I think with this loss it will make us work a lot harder than we might have at practice even knowing that we have to go back out there and prove ourselves. I'm not sure how much it will affect us like that.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
NC STATE WOLFPACK
THE MODERATOR: Joining me, NC State head coach Kay Yow and student athletes, Khadija Whittington and Ashley Key. We will ask Coach Yow to make an opening statement followed by questions for Coach and the student athletes.
COACH YOW: Well, first, I just praise the Lord that I can be here and be a part of this this year. That I was to come back. And I'm so grateful for that. This game to me was like a fifteen round fight. We took an early punch, got back up, and hung tough. We were on the ropes a lot. But at the end we were able to, you know, get the knockout. I mean, as you know, the game could have gone any way. Our players just hung tough with a lot of confidence, a lot of focus and energy. These two, Ashley just really stepped it up. She had the job of guarding Harding most of the night except for a break she would take on the bench. I thought she did a great job on the defensive end. And then she really came through with some big baskets for us. KD was on the boards for us. She ended the season as the only player in ACC conference with a double double against ACC competition. I mean here she did it again tonight with a double double. So, I mean, and not only these two, Sasha Reaves hit two big free throws at the end. And GG got some critical rebounds before she fouled out. Shayla Fields handled the ball. I can't say enough about them. It was an incredible win for our program.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach and student athletes.
Q. Ashley, can you just go through the emotions right now, and also how did the win against Carolina kind of help you out late in the game this time?
ASHLEY KEY: My emotions, I can state them just after like the UNC game. I'm not an emotional person. I mean a couple drips fell today. But I think that it's an amazing win for an amazing Coach and for an amazing program. I think we came out and we represented what NC State is about and our backing by our Coach. I mean I don't know really what else to say.
Q. For Khadija, you turned your ankle it looked like at one point, you split your lip, but you kept playing through everything, how did you to manage to keep going?
KHADIJA WHITTINGTON: This is a big game. This is ACC time. I don't have time to be hurt. Coach Yow kept coming up to me, you got to get through it, you got to get through it. And I tried to see if the trainer could tape over my ankle brace, but I had to take it off and come back the second half. I just played through a lot of pain. So it's normal.
Q. Ashley, talk about your defensive performance tonight and also the shot at the end to give you guys the lead?
ASHLEY KEY: My defensive performance, Lindsey she is a great player, I just wanted to try to make her shots a little bit more difficult, use my size, a little bit. As anybody knows any given night, she can go off no matter who is on her so I wanted to try to make it more difficult for her. The shot I took was an on open shot, it felt good when it left my fingers and thank God it went in.
Q. Coach Yow, it doesn't get any easier tomorrow no matter what happens, and yet that seems to be sort of your program's working metaphor right now, that you faced a lot of odds both personally as a program this year. How are you going to use that attitude of this perseverance tomorrow, and I know you don't know who you are going to play, can you give thoughts on both teams and potential matchups.
COACH YOW: You know, I really don't know who he will play tomorrow because both of these teams, Maryland and North Carolina are quality teams. And by the way, Gail has done an unbelievable job with Duke. To go through the whole season undefeated, and to play some of the other opponents non conference games that she played. Beat Tennessee on their home court. We have a lot of respect. We have great coaches in our league. And we have some great players in our league. And so we know that tomorrow, no matter who we play is going to be really tough. I mean it seems like Latta yesterday was back on her game full speed. We know the Big 3, Carolina and then the others are very complimentary. I mean they can all play every position. The same is true for Maryland. Maryland is much like Duke to me. They shoot the ball really well with range, and also inside. So, you know, both of them, they'll just be terrific opponents no matter who it is. So we'll just have to go with our same mindset that we've had. I think we know what we have to do. We go with our strengths, you know, and try to make that happen. That's all we can do and we matchup. And if we are better on that day we get it. It can go down to the wire game, just like today.
Q. Coach, GG and Khadija were able to get a lot of points inside, was that part of the strategy during the time, that GG was in foul trouble?
COACH YOW: Will you just say that again?
Q. Half of your points came from inside the paint. I know that GG was in foul trouble. I was just trying to find out was that part of the strategy to keep pushing the ball inside?
COACH YOW: Well, we like to go inside. I think some of those points came in the lane with penetration. I think that we did a good penetrating with our perimeter players, and they scored well in there. But, yes, we have a big target with GG. We have a lot of quickness and explosiveness with KD. We are going to take the ball in and out. We just don't want to play on the perimeter or just inside. So we definitely, with certain plays are looking more to get it inside. And with other plays we are looking more to create with our perimeter.
Q. Coach, you made an interesting lineup change today. Keisha started the last three games, you started Shayla this game, can you talk about the thinking behind that. And also the adjustments that you made with Shayla after Abby hit her first three 3's in a row?
COACH YOW: Well, you know, yes, the reason we changed the lineup was because Ashley when Keisha starts, Ashley is at point. Ashley had Harding to guard. We just thought it's too much for her to have to guard Harding, handle the ball for this whole game, initiate. That's not her normal position. She is a wing. You saw how well she did from the wing today. But she played point for us all last year. But we were just concerned with that lineup, that she had to start that way. We just thought it was too much just on the one person. So Shayla had a great game yesterday, had some really great games for us, so we went that way because Shayla had actually played 34 minutes yesterday. So I think that was a good move for us. What was the second part of the question?
Q. Any adjustments?
COACH YOW: Yes, I had said to them before the game Waner is deceptively quick. She is quicker than you think. She is fast and she is quick. So, you know, don't misjudge that. And I think that right at first she was really moving and maybe we did misjudge just a little. But after, you know, a time out, we talked about it again. We really had to bust it to stay on her hip. I mean we couldn't get off of her. So I think we really picked it up.
Q. Kay, you were talking yesterday about the emotions that your team goes through and how it's just a part of the team now, just the way it is. Are you concerned in any way that this emotion is going to sap you at any point? You are going to have to keep going now?
COACH YOW: You know, you won't believe this, but this emotion lifts me up. I feel stronger with this, you know. And so, no, I don't feel like my voice, the problem was sometimes the chemo does this to my voice, which I just had on Wednesday. And then we had the games. So, you know, it makes it strained. But, you know, mid next week I think it will all clear up fine. I just need to get away a little time. But right now I'm like KD, we got to keep going. This is no time to stop. But I'm resting the team up. I don't get to go out and eat with them. I just have to stay and rest and just eat in my hotel, and then rest and doing what I need to do. But I feel better today than I did yesterday. So I'm getting away from that treatment, you know, a day longer. So tomorrow I'll feel better. The good thing was we had to play at 11 yesterday. That was hard. But today 2 is better. And tomorrow it's not until one. So all of that helps.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks you have much Coach, ladies.