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Quotes: Duke 58, Louisville 55
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/02/2017
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie

Opening Statement:
“That was a great defensive battle and a low-scoring game as you may expect. Louisville is obviously a great team. It was very physical. There were things we needed to do better and things we need to work on, we could start with the rebounding situation. I like the fact that we took care of the basketball, especially because it was a physical game. There was a lot more we can do in terms of getting to the free throw line and offensive rebounding in particular. But I’m very, very proud of our team. You have to be able to win ugly. You have to be able to make things happen when things are not looking very pretty. This was not a pretty game. It was wonderful that you look up and some of their shooters didn’t shoot as well as they had. We’re really going to have to look at [our defense on Louisville’s] Mariya Moore because she had too many good looks. I was very, very proud of Rebecca Greenwell because it was a difficult game, but she continued to focus and made probably the biggest shot of the game on that finish. It was a put-in. I’m really proud of that. She got beat up all night long. The same thing with Lexie [Brown]. We got a little bit off balance at times because it was really physical. I’m really proud of her effort. Kyra [Lambert] I thought again was just spot on. Her rebounds were key and her steals were fantastic. The same with Lexie’s steals for that matter. Our backcourt was solid. It wasn’t pretty, but that’s not what really matters.”

On the mental toughness displayed by her team tonight:
“I think they do a great job. They recognize it’s a long game. I think at times we were frustrated. But when we settled into that fourth quarter, there was a different kind of focus. It was a more clear focus and also we were ready to really attack. I think it’s important to have a strong fourth quarter. Our players have a lot of experience with Kyra, Lexie, Rebecca, Oderah [Chidom] and Kendall [Cooper]. It’s a battle. You have to stay even keeled."

On Kendall Cooper’s performance tonight and key block near the end of the contest:
"Kendall’s confidence she showed and steals she got were great. She’s really coming on, trending. She’s working harder and getting more relaxed in her role. That’s a great thing. It’s amazing how these kinds of games come down to single, solitary plays. They’re just the little things that happen out there. If you looked at them in isolation, you wouldn’t think it was any big deal. But it is. That’s the nature of the game. I think Kendall is coming along and she really can help us. She can help that rebounding stat. We didn’t have enough post rebounding in this game. That’s a big problem and we can work on that.”

On Duke’s free throw shooting:
“I know I feel really good about our players on the free throw line, even if they’ve missed one earlier. I the fourth quarter I think it’s different. I feel strong about all our players, especially our guards.”

On Duke’s post defense:
“It’s a team thing. Today we played a lot of match-up to try and take away the inside passing angles to those players. It starts with the guards. When you’re playing in the post, you’re connected at the hip with all five players. Myisha Hines-Allen got away from us a little bit with that double-double. But Cortnee Walton struggled a little bit more. The idea is that those paint points are critical. It’s interesting we tied in paint points with them. You don’t want those easy paint points going to any team. I have to give our team credit for the multiple defenses we’re working on and can play. If we would have just done a little better job on Moore, then it really would have come together nicely. It’s always team defense, whether we’re playing man or not. The way we have to play in the post and front, it’s everybody connected. I thought for the most part they really struggled to get shots. We were pretty effective. Now we have to rebound the ball. In the second half, I thought the team hustled more and ran down rebounds more. I definitely thought we were more aggressive in the second half. Getting experience will be key. That game was very physical. Our stronger post players, like Kendall, Lyneé [Belton] and Erin [Mathias] were about to go right in and score. There was just a need for a stronger post, and then maybe an Oderah [Chidom] or Leaonna Odom. They did not play well together in that situation. They needed to use their quickness more. I feel strongly that they can do that, but they needed to use their quickness.”

On Duke moving forward as a team:
“Moving on, big games only really occur in March and April. Nothing is really big about this one. There are so many games to play. What we learn and how we move forward from this game will be the test for us. I’m excited to go on the road. I think we’ve been home a little too long and are we’re a little too comfortable. I think going on the road will be perfect.”

Redshirt Junior Guard Rebecca Greenwell

 On what she was able to do better in the second half compared to the first half:
“It was a broken play game … We were trying to run our sets and were just not able to get any open shots.  We were trying to constantly move, catch them off guard.”

 On beating both Kentucky and Louisville from her hometown state:
“It feels great … especially after going 0-2 against them on the road last year.  It is a sweet, sweet feeling to come back and get a little revenge this year.”

Junior Guard Lexie Brown

 On her defensive mindset to focus on the defensive end of the floor:
“Defense is the number one thing on our list going into each game.  It is all about effort and energy.  It does not matter if we have shots falling or not.  We go into each game with a defensive mindset.  When we stepped it up and got stops and steals our offense came a little easier.”

On what she was able to do better in the second half compared to the first half:
“I was just trying to get the free throw line.  We were trying to kick our defense up a notch and get some steals. We were playing more aggressive.”

On whether the free throw streak ever comes to her mind:
“Oh yeah … only because they tweeted about it after the last game.  I had no idea before that.  It is a little more pressure.  It made it a little easier to focus on it because of the high pressure of the free throws and when they were shot. Now every free throw is going to be pressure; because I want to keep the streak going.”

Sophomore Guard Kyra Lambert

 On filling up the stat sheet and the role she played:
“It’s all about effort … I was trying to be all over the floor and do what I need to do to help my team win. It worked out this evening.”

On confidence gained from making daring plays like her layup late in the fourth quarter:
“In a possession game like the tonight’s game was, we just try to stick together no matter what the ups and downs.  Coach calls it ‘stuff’ that happens.  We just try to fight through it and stick together.”

Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz

 On defense on Rebecca Greenwell:
“I thought all of our kids did a really good job defensively throughout most of the game. The few times we had mental breakdowns when we would go and double and leave Rebecca or Lexie [Brown] open and they made us pay for them. Those are the things we cannot do when we’re playing on the road against a team like Duke. I thought we followed the game plan and stayed focused. We did a great job but give them credit because they took advantage when we had breakdowns.”

On finding key shots:
“I didn’t feel our kids were hunting for anything. We were just looking for good shots and we took a lot of really good shots but unfortunately the ball just didn’t go in. We didn’t shoot as well as we normally do and when you play a team that is in zone for 40 minutes, you have to knock down an open shot. The thing we have to get better at and improve on is taking care of the basketball. We turned it over 19 times and four times on out-of-bounds plays which is inexcusable and something I need to do a better job of teaching. You cannot turn the ball over 19 times and expect to win.”

On three-point shots:
“Mariya [Moore] shot the ball well. She stayed confident throughout and normally, she doesn’t turn the ball over like she did tonight. It is very seldom that she will turn the ball over three or four times a game. To have seven is very uncharacteristic of her. I was very proud that she shot the way she did but now, we have to refocus on making sure we take care of the basketball.”

On ball movement:
“I thought we got great shots. Unfortunately, we missed them and we have to knock down open shots. We had some situational basketball that we didn’t do very good at. At the end with 16 or 17 seconds left, instead of going for a three, we drove for a layup and made it. You want to foul before the ball gets thrown in bounds and unfortunately, it gets in to [Lexie] Brown’s hands who is a great free-throw shooter and knocks down two free throws. You have to put pressure on someone else to knock down free throws and that is something we will continue to learn. We will watch film from this game and regroup. We have a very big game against UVA who is playing extremely well right now also so there is no time to feel sorry for ourselves.”

On positives:
“I thought we rebounded really well but unfortunately we came up with 11 offensive boards and four second chance points. If you’re getting offensive boards, you have to be able to finish.”

On Duke’s defense:
“Starting off the game, we missed three layups and those are when you need to be focused and finish.”

On beginning the second half:
“We scored a layup. I watch teams when they come out at halftime. We have done that once or twice before.”

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