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Quotes: Duke 67, Hampton 51
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/24/2013
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“What a great basketball game for us and a wonderful opportunity. It was a great environment. I really appreciated the Hampton fans. They were amazing, challenged us and also challenged our fans to be louder. I thought the band was incredible. The environment was honestly not a home court environment. It was just a great women’s basketball environment. I’m very proud of our team’s fight. Our defense in the first half was very, very good. Not as good in the second half, but the intensity was there. We built up a little bit better rebounding opportunities. I really like our poise and our focus when they challenged. I’ve been a mid-major coach before, and I’m sorry for Hampton that they were a 15 seed because they were trying to get their first NCAA Tournament victory, and they should have been a higher seed. They earned that by what they did over the season. They earned that by who they beat. They did everything right, and then they had to come play Duke at Duke. I say that, I’ve been there before. And my heart goes out to them because they’re trying to build a special program just like we all are. It’s just too bad because they’re a fantastic team. Some of those women could play on any team. They might be the most athletic team we’ve played, including our ACC teams. For us, getting back to our team, I thought Tricia [Liston] did a great job handling the pressure as they tried to pressure up to her. I thought she exploited that beautifully. I thought Elizabeth [Williams] was sharp and on point and just doing what she needed to do despite a few fouls that kind of set her back a little bit. I thought Lex [Alexis Jones] was as strong as could be. Just out there directing traffic, she was running plays when needed, she was creating when needed and she’s a seasoned guard. I really appreciated her effort as well.”

On the performance of forward Haley Peters:
“She was very, very aggressive and very attacking, particularly in the second half. She made some critical plays, a baseline out-of-bounds play. There might have been a sideline as well. Some things that Haley does, she’s such a competitor. She was ready to go when there was a challenge in the game, and that’s just how Haley is. She loves to fight and she was a terrific leader for us – vocal and by action. And I think she was having a fun time too. Our kids were ready. They understood the challenge at hand. You’ve got to really enjoy the moment in these games and enjoy the challenge because you’re always challenged in these games. The days where there are complete blowouts are gone. You look at some of the scores, they’re tighter than they’ve ever been, and that’s just a credit to the great coaching and the players out there. But getting back to Haley, I thought she was terrific.”

On the importance of the challenge Hampton presented:
“I think it’s great. The last thing you want is to get the impression that things are easy because they’re just not. This is a winner’s tournament. Everybody that’s in it is a winner. They’ve won their tournament, they’ve won their league, they’ve won big games. I mean that team destroyed LSU. You just have to know that as we talk to the team, there’s a competitor’s mentality which is very different than a fan’s mentality. I tell you, some of the athleticism, 24 [Olivia Allen] was a difficult situation because of her elevation. I don’t think she was necessarily open. I think she sort of leapt over the person that was contesting. You can leave people open – I don’t think we left her open. I think she is quite an impressive guard.”

On the contributions of the team’s role players:
“I thought Richa [Jackson]’s second half was more what she’s about. She was aggressive, she rebounded, she attacked. I was really glad to see Richa fight back in the second half because she did have a slow start. I thought Ka’lia [Johnson] gave us energy. Those three offensive boards were critical. And Alli[son Vernerey] as well. Alli’s a senior. She wants to play more. She’s sitting at the edge of her seat. She gave us great poise and some really tough plays around the boards.”

Duke Forward Elizabeth Williams
On Hampton’s decision not to double team most of the game:
“I think we did a good job of reading, especially Lex [Alexis Jones] and on screens when they did switch or didn’t switch. I just tried to go up and score to try to exploit that.”

On Duke’s run at the end of the game:
“I think it was really important to get paint shots, especially in a game like this. We want to create contact, try to get to the foul line and try to get the easiest shots we can get. Getting stops on the other end also fueled the run.”

Duke Guard Alexis Jones
On playing first NCAA tournament game:
“I was pretty excited for my first March Madness game today. I thought we handled the pressure well, I thought we came out ready to play. I just felt the energy we brought to the floor. I was excited about today’s game.”

On her mentality playing in her first tournament game:
“I needed to calm down and slow the game down a bit and run some plays, execute and take it play by play on the offensive and defensive sides.”

Duke Guard Tricia Liston
On the highs and lows of the game:
“I think one of the lows would be in the second half when we gave up so many points, specifically when we were only up six or eight. I think we need to be more poised and more consistent with our defensive mentality throughout the entire game. As for the highs, I can’t really pick out one, but there were a couple of times when we really moved the ball well on offense. I think everybody on the floor touched it, we reversed it back and forth and we ended up getting a good shot. Then we come back and get consecutive stops. Whenever we can get consecutive stops in a row and come down and execute, things are working well for us.”

On how Hampton prepares team for rest of tournament:
“I think it was a great game for us. Hampton is a great team. They are very athletic, very skilled and they play hard. I think this was a good game for us and a good test for us. Also, this game will be good to challenge us for further games. They had great ball pressure and we had to do some things that we hadn’t done in the past couple of games. I think this will really help us grow and prepare us for our next game.”

Hampton Head Coach David Six
Opening Statement:
“Tough to end that way. Certainly proud of my ladies. We fought back, cut it to, I don’t know if it was six or eight. I felt like we gave Duke a moment of pause. It’s tough; they’re a great team. Hats off to them, Coach McCallie and her staff. We fought all year. I said yesterday, that it’s not what they call you. It’s what you answer to. I said that nothing this weekend would make me think I was a 15 seed. My mind still hasn’t changed. We weren’t a 15 seed.”

On what he addressed during halftime and what the team did to help Hampton get back into the game:
“I thought that we just attacked more. We saw some things, but it’s very difficult, obviously, to hear in there to make the adjustments on the fly. We got the ball in the lane a lot more. We attacked a lot more. We set some screens to free up Olivia (Allen). Keiara (Avant) got going. We got some turnovers in the open court. The adjustment was getting the ball in the lane.”

On the differences between the first and second half performance:
“I think we definitely were settling. It’s a big stage. At halftime, we talked about, ‘this is what we do. Let’s not do anything different.’ We obviously made some adjustments. We saw that the middle of their zone was open. She (Coach McCallie) opened up man-to-man. We talked about, if they came out in man-to-man, what plays we were going to run. We were able to get off to a good start. We were able to turn them over defensively in the second half. We got after them well. I told them I thought we were backing up too much. If we have to go out of here, let’s go out of here moving forward. I thought that they did that.”

On what differences he sees in his program between now and four years ago:
“The first thing is, I thought that the first year, maybe the kids were overwhelmed a little bit on the big stage, first time for them playing in the NCAA Tournament. Also, I believe I’m a better coach after four years in terms of knowing what it’s like, being able to prepare them better. I thought that we did that. We knew that we were well prepared. Preparation for us is the key. It’s been the key all year.”

On what is the most difficult thing about defending Duke:
“They’re big. They are going to pound inside. A lot of depth. It’s hard when you double down and you make a good play and they reverse it and they get a three. Naturally, when you see that, when you know that you’ve covered all bases and they hit a three it deflates you a little bit. That being said, I thought that in the second half we got after them defensively and forced them to turn the ball over. If they can be rattled, I thought that they showed that our defense was affecting them a little bit.”

Hampton Forward Keiara Avant
On what Hampton was doing different offensively in the second half:
“In the second half when we went into the locker room Coach Six said obviously we were taking a little too many jump shots. It was more important that we get to the holes, try to get them in foul trouble. Pretty much during halftime we just knew that if we could get inside we could get them in foul trouble and that we would definitely have a shot at coming back.”

On dealing with Duke’s size when Hampton closed the gap to six:
“Coming into it we knew they were obviously oversized. Our goal was to try to push them off the block, get them out of the three-point range and we knew that we could deny them on the perimeter. Definitely defensively if we could have gotten them off the block a little more instead of letting them post us up inside it would have definitely made a difference in the game.”

On the atmosphere when Hampton was down by six points:
“Whenever you get that close – we were down 20 – coming back to six we’re high energy, we’re motivated, we actually see that we can actually pull this thing through. Being able to come back within six points we just had a lot of energy and we knew that we could pull through.”

On possessions with the chance to cut Duke’s lead to four points:
“We were just trying to play within our offense. It wasn’t really one set person that would try to get open shots. When we got it to cut to four, there was no set person to say, ‘Hey, I’ll take that shot.’ We were just playing within our offense, running screens and whoever was open would get that shot.”

On her career and playing for Coach Six for four years:
“I had a great four years at Hampton. I don’t regret any experiences that I went through. I’ve got four MEAC championships, I’ve made it to the NCAA four times, so me and Coach Six’s ride has been awesome.  He gets on me, but I know it’s only to make me a better player actually on and off the court. We’ve been on a long ride together. It’s sad that it has to come to an end, but I know he’s definitely made me a better person and a better player throughout the four years I’ve been at Hampton.”