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Quotes: Duke 99, Purdue 78
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 12/05/2013
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“I thought from a team perspective, the second half was more what we were looking for defensively, rebounding-wise and also scoring-wise and attacking. I love the fact that we had 27 free throws and that we were aggressive. Particularly the thing tonight that was so impressive was just going to the rack very hard. Chelsea [Gray] did it, Alexis [Jones] did it and Elizabeth [Williams] did it – really kind of pushing through there. And I thought that was excellent. Elizabeth doesn’t always do that, and when she gets the feel that she can do that, that’s going to really change our game even further and grow her game. So those are really the positives. I don’t like their points in the paint. They had too many points off turnovers, second-chance points – I don’t like that very much. Like the fast break points and then their bench outscored us – I never like that just on a pride point of view. So it was good, it was a good, solid game. Again, Chelsea leading us with nine assists and five rebounds and looking for her teammates as much as she does. We’re getting better and we’re excited to get back on the road.”

On Alexis Jones’ matchup with Purdue’s KK Houser:
“I think Lex is a great competitor. She gets angry, internally angry. She gets fed up, and I think that’s a very important thing for our team to get, is fed up. I think that’s really good. I think, obviously, Chelsea has that in her too – she gets fed up. You have to have that when things aren’t going your way. And it’s not about perfection. Everyone talks about, ‘Yeah, I played a perfect game of basketball.’ I haven’t seen a perfect game of basketball, ever. But the reality is you just have to do certain things over and over again, repeatedly for good habits. I just think Lex is a good competitor. She’s not about to back down from somebody. I don’t think we have players that do that.”

On Jones carrying the team through a tough stretch:
“I think Lex can carry our team. I think Chelsea carries our team, too. I think it’s important that you be ready to carry your team for whatever length of time you have to, and one day that we all carry it – everybody together, everybody lights up together, on the same page completely. That’s a special game. You can tell it when you see it.”

On what improved defensively in the second half:
“The team, the mindset. We were different. We were really trying to make stops. We were just playing in the first half – it was like a playground game. And that’s fine in the summer. But that’s not fine if you’re trying to be a special team, and that’s what it was – it was a playground game. It turned into focus and get stops. And then Elizabeth sat the whole first half – that hurt us. That’s always going to hurt us if Elizabeth’s on the bench. That was part of the problem. We had some freshmen post players in the game. They were making some wrong decisions defensively that hurt us. Our guards were getting beat and they were putting pressure on those freshmen to make the right decisions. So there were a lot of lessons that were clicking around in the first half. But I just didn’t feel our focus on defense until the second half. I thought the team just made an adjustment there.”

On the return of Haley Peters:
“It’s great. And the fans were terrific. I thank the fans for making such a fuss when she was introduced because I know she appreciated it. Just great to have her back and I do think she took a little time but she got to her feisty self. It was nice to see.”

On the influence of Ka’lia Johnson:
“I was mad about our team defense and defensive leadership. And one thing that Ka’lia always does is she’s got this energy about her. And so I want to get her in. I wanted to see what she could offer. I thought she rose to the occasion. The stats don’t really tell the story there. But you’ve got to have people like that that will try to raise the energy a certain way.”

On the team’s depth and how the bench provides a boost in the second half:
“That’s going to happen. But we’ve got to figure out a way to play two halves. If we’re just going to be a pretty good team, we could play a half here and again. And we do have depth. But it depends what standard we’re going for. Because we can win ball games and play a lot of people and wear people out and play a half. Or we can be an elite, special team that plays two halves and people can’t deal with us. I think that would be the kind of team we want to create – both halves counting significantly there.”

Duke Guard Alexis Jones
On defending Purdue’s KK Houser:
“I really wasn’t thinking anything. I was just going with the flow of the game and just trying to get stops and get us back in the game. Just going with the flow on defense and on the offensive side.”

On her improvements from last season to respond to pressure:
“I’m more confident about myself and I’m just more aggressive.”

On what she learned about responsibility last season during Chelsea Gray’s absence:
“I think it brought out my personality in the game. Basically I just had to get out of my comfort zone at that time.”

Duke Guard Chelsea Gray
On what changed at halftime:
“Defensively we couldn’t stop them at all. Rebounding-wise, we were even on the boards at halftime. And those were the two things that were hurting us. We don’t really focus too much on scoring because that’s just got to come. But defensively we weren’t where we needed to be.”

On what led to several turnovers by Duke:
“They’re very aggressive and disruptive … We just needed to calm down and go with the flow and run our offense.”

On the contributions of Ka'lia Johnson:
“She’s like a little spark plug when she comes in and definitely lifts up the team. We needed that at that point. It came on the defensive end and in rebounding.”

Purdue Coach Sharon Versyp
Opening Statement:
“They were able to come down and get a 12-point lead and that’s kind of when things turned, and shooting percentage in the second half was very poor so that’s how they were able to outrebound us that much; we shot the ball poorly and then we got beat on the boards by 15.”

On strategy coming in:
“I think our quickness at the guard spot would be an advantage, but the first half was great. Great energy and really got some steals and did some really good things. They have great size, and we have great quickness, so that really worked in our favor. Second half, we took too many risks, taking long shots when we had wide open lanes to the basket. We need our guards to break down the middle because then our post players will get layups. Defensively, when we tried to double [Elizabeth] Williams a little bit, she’d turn on the baseline. Our second half defense broke down especially in transition defense.”

On turnovers leading to easy baskets for Duke:
“Yeah, the key to the game is that they had 29 points off our turnovers. We only had 10, so that’s a 19-point difference. That’s the game right there. We forced them to 20 turnovers. Both teams had 20 turnovers, so everything looked good except they had layups and we had tougher shots. So that’s what it came down to was our turnovers.”

On Duke’s depth and size:
“Well they’re just big. I played 11 players tonight, and they’re just big. Every time someone comes in, it’s a different skill set. Whether it’s quick, whether it’s big, it could be at one point that one player is 5’10” and the rest are all big so you have to utilize shot fakes and be able to shoot over that length. So they have that depth, and we do too, but obviously their skill set in the last ten minutes was better than ours.”

On Richa Jackson’s impact:
“She plays that 3-4 so we’re going to leave her open to shoot the three. She will cause problems because she can play the three or the four and can go inside or outside. ”

Purdue senior guard KK Houser
On first half offensive success:
“I think we were just taking advantages of us being a little more quicker than their guards, and just the open shots, we had a few more open shots in the first half. We had better shot selection.”

On what changed in the second half:
“They adjusted and we didn’t adjust to how they adjusted.”

On lesson to take from game moving forward:
“We need to play a solid 40 minutes. Take care of the ball down the stretch, and then just better shot selection.”

On Purdue’s post play in the first half:
“I thought they did very well with their shot fakes and taking it up. I don’t think they scored a lot the first half, but they were really poised for us and got the guards good shots.

On her long-range shooting:
“I always think that when I come out early and I’m hitting threes, they have to come out and guard me and that allows  me to attack off the dribble which I like to do. Then once they step up I’m able to kick it to my teammates.

Purdue sophomore guard April Wilson
On it being a “40-minute game” and Duke’s depth:
“We only played 30 minutes this game, and we have to play the whole 40. [Duke’s depth] played a big factor; fatigue shouldn’t be an excuse at this point, and we should’ve had a lot of depth too.”