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Quotes: Duke 71, Maryland 56
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/11/2013
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“Just a great, physical game, an excellent game to help prepare us for the NCAA tournament and the way those games go. So that was really important to us, to be physical and also to play against a physical team. I love the fact that Elizabeth [Williams] led us in rebounding, played so many minutes without getting into foul trouble but was able to be really strong and physical. Love to see Tricia [Liston] with six rebounds. That’s just so important to us, to have our guards get rebounds and be attacking. I just thought she was great, despite the other parts of her game, which I also thought she was attacking as well, as E[lizabeth] did. Chelsea [Gray], love to see her elevate her game the way she did. Fourteen free throw attempts, to be able to do the things she did on the floor given the attention she was drawing I think is phenomenal and an important message to her in terms of her ability to elevate in such a physical game. It was a great team game overall. Obviously we didn’t shoot as well as we normally do and you have to credit the game. The game was a little bit funny, back and forth. We didn’t get as many assists – it wasn’t all pretty but it was a 40-minute battle. And that’s exactly what we needed. We needed that kind of game.”

On Gray’s seven-point run to put Duke back on top in the second half:
“She gave us a little psychological boost. It was great. It wasn’t surprising, though. We’ve all seen this of Chelsea. She’s a great player and it’s great to see her have those moments and take advantage of them.”

On the physicality her team demonstrated:
“This was a great, great step for us in the process of getting better – no doubt about that. Every game is, but this one in particular … I love a physical game. I love a game that emulates an NCAA tournament, and I love any game, to be honest with you, when you can learn and play and advance what you’re doing. We got better today. This was an interesting game for us. And it wasn’t perfect. The film’s going to have all sorts of interesting messages to us, but it was physical and it was tough and it was a grind-out, and that’s good.”

On Liston, Williams and Gray scoring the majority of the team’s points:
“I just think they were in a great attack mode and taking full advantage of that. Richa Jackson was in attack mode and her shots didn’t fall, but I loved her shots. She was in the paint and she was battling, and if those had fallen we’d have easily had four in double figures. The idea of battling and attacking is really important, and I thought that the experience of Elizabeth – she’s played in a lot of different kind of games – so has [Liston], so has Chelsea. So that’s what I saw – I saw experience and attack mode, and I did see it from Richa. And I thought Allison [Vernerey] was super. Talk about an ‘X’ factor. She came in, mixed it up, brought high energy, boxed out, played like a senior and gave us just a lot of lift too. I realize her stats aren’t fabulous or anything but that was a very valuable 12 minutes. The others will learn. [Alexis Jones] had to learn a little bit tonight, Chloe [Wells]. There’s some lessons there in games like that, but that’s alright. They’ll learn and they’ll catch up to speed.”

On forcing Maryland’s Chloe Pavlech into turnovers:
“She’s a young guard. She does a great job for them. We tried to really, as much as we could, pressure her. A lot of times the ball went to 25 [Alyssa Thomas] though. She’s tough to pressure, but we definitely wanted to just be in attack mode on defending 15 [Pavlech] and we did a horrible job on 40 [Katie Rutan].”

On the strength of her team’s interior defense:
“Our interior wasn’t bad. There was a lot of movement and a lot of deflections. It was a little crazy in there on both ends … But again, that’s really good. That’s what it will be like.”

Duke Guard Chelsea Gray
Talking about the cause of sloppy play:
“We had to slow down and play our way. We tried to come back and play the game the way we wanted to.”

Talking about the teams response after falling behind to Maryland:
“I did. We started getting stops on defense and then converting on offensive. We started executing and getting easy scores and got the lead back.”

Discussing her career-high 28 points:
“It felt good. I still had only three assists and three rebounds so there is definitely plenty of space to improve.”

Discussing taking charges:
“I have to fall a certain way or else I’m not getting back up. When Tianna Hawkins ran into my chest it hurt really bad but I knew I had to get up, there was still more game left to play.”

Duke Forward Elizabeth Williams
On her second half adjustments:
“I just tried to keep posting up hard inside and being aggressive. Things started to open up in the second half, I was finishing better. I also think the guards did a great job of getting me the ball.

Difference in rebounding between tonight’s game and Virginia’s game?
“In the Virginia game we weren’t as focused as we should have been in the first half. Boxing out first and getting the ball was really something that we had in our minds going into the game.”

Duke Guard Tricia Liston
On responding to Maryland taking the lead:
“I think we had to be more aggressive on defense. We got a couple of steals in a row and were able to bring it down and score on offense. I think we just needed to calm down and take a deep breath, take care of the ball and execute. We were rushing things and taking silly shots. Once we calmed down we got the stops and executed on the other end. We did a great job at that.”

Maryland Head Coach Brenda Freese
Opening Statement:
“Obviously I am proud of how our team fought tonight. I am disappointed obviously. I don’t think the score is indicative in terms of how this team fought and how they played tonight. Obviously the late free throws after the technical and the ejection, but I am proud of how we battled, hung in there, and fought for 40 minutes in a hostile environment, in a physical game. I thought we battled, and we are going to take some great things out of this that we can take responsibility with in terms of turnovers and our rebounding, but I am proud of the fact that we left everything out there.”

On the Matchup of Haley Peters and Tianna Hawkins:
“I will have to go back and watch it. I think they probably neutralized each other, two great players in terms of how they were defending each other. Tianna [Hawkins] had an atypical night in terms of how she played, but knowing Tianna, she will bounce back. It was a game in which our bigs didn’t get a lot of touches in terms of the pressure they faced all night.”

On the Ejection:
“I am always going to fight for our players, that is obvious. If I see a concern that one of our players is going to be injured, which given our numbers, that is going to be a concern. I am always going to fight for our kids, to protect them with any type of play that would cause injury.”

On Duke’s Chelsea Gray:
“Obviously she is an extremely difficult matchup. She is strong, she is physical, she definitely had her way with us. She was able to attack off the bounce, you know did a great job, I thought reading screens, coming off of it, and making plays. That’s what great players do. I thought she was terrific tonight.”

On Fatigue:
“I don’t know about that. There was a lot of stoppage in play, they got to the line 22 times, we got to the line 11, so I think there was plenty of stoppage. It never really seemed like there was a good flow in the game so in these types of games, in these environments, I think players go on adrenaline, and I really didn’t think [fatigue] was a factor.”

On Duke’s Defense:
“Great ball pressure. Anytime you went to drive you weren’t going to be able to get to the basket so it takes away driving lanes, it takes away the ability in terms of your offense, so credit them defensively in terms of what they were able to get done.”

On Struggles Away From Home:
“Every team loves to play at home. There is a comfort level in terms of being in your own building. I wouldn’t say I am really worried about how we’re playing on the road. I mean our two losses have come to Duke and North Carolina. With our roster, with a freshman starting point guard, being put in these elements. And for Chloe [Pavlech] this was her first time playing at Duke, and I’m sure Alyssa [Thomas] can share stories of her first time playing at Duke. It is a different element that you have got to get comfortable with.”

Maryland Forward Alyssa Thomas
“It was just an off shooting night, not making shots that I usually make. A lot of things would go in and out, but that happens.”

“Absolutely. We expected it to be a very physical game, and I think we responded really well. We didn’t get down on ourselves, and when they threw punches, we just kept going.”

Maryland Guard Katie Rutan
“I don’t think it was them that made us have those turnovers, I just think it was us just rushing and not playing our game so we can fix that. That is easy.”

“As the game goes on, they weren’t falling at the time so I just have to fix that too I guess.”