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Quotes: Duke 90, Virginia 55
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/16/2014
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“That was a great team, aggressive effort. Everybody contributed, everybody attacked. We tried to keep pace. We’re trying to push the tempo a little bit foul line to foul line. I thought we did a better job of doing that. I did think everybody was in attack mode – Tricia [Liston] hitting the boards like she did, competing like she did, really from the inside out, boarding and scoring and what not. Richa [Jackson] was dead on, very balanced, just did a great job staying balanced and attacking in the paint. Really everybody, if you look at Elizabeth [Williams] with her six blocks and four assists, which is a great thing to see Elizabeth doing, finding her teammates. The rebounding, 50-36. Obviously lots to work on but it’s great to be out on the floor. I think it’s where we’re happiest after all the kids have been through. I think that’s the best place to be, is on the floor.”

On what she told the team after losing Chelsea Gray to injury:
“The team talked as a group but I didn’t have to emphasize anything. What are you going to say? We all took it. We all took it to heart, we’ll continue to take it to heart. We miss her a lot. She’s a great coach on the sideline. She’s very into it. But it fuels the fire, something out of your control happening like that, to an All-American. That’s an unprecedented thing. From our standpoint, we’re just going after our best basketball. We’re just going to go after it. I feel very confident in this team that everybody can do their own thing. There’s no replacing anybody – that’s not how it works.”

On whether she has had to adjust personnel in roles due to the injury:
“You just go. We attack with what we have. We’re a very talented team. There’s a lot of people that play a lot of spots, and it’s not like we just have five players or something. We have a lot of players. If anything, it just reminds you of the opportunity you have to play. That’s the lesson – that life deals these kinds of things out. And for us, every time we hit the floor it’s an opportunity to play. And I think that’s what it’s more about. I’m very confident in this team, the point guards we have, the shooters. We’ve got a lot of very good players.”

On being able to adjust to different defenses Virginia presented:
“It’s fun to watch. The players really executing, it’s fun to watch. But it’s about pace. I felt that although they had a lot of different defenses, they were on their heels a lot. And it’s about pace and tempo. And we have the opportunity to play the game at a quicker pace foul line to foul line. We’ve been talking about that and seeing that on film and stuff, but not really doing it. In other words, lulls where we just kind of slow down. We really pushed each other tonight to go, to be foul line to foul line at quite a clip. And then to make the decisions accordingly. So I felt that we were really leaning forward, as I would say, offensively. We were moving and we’ve got the different players to do it. P [Liston] was pushing the ball great. Richa can really go. You look at Lex [Alexis Jones], she’s flying down the floor. And then someone like Oderah [Chidom] – we didn’t always connect – you saw Oderah run down the floor and we missed her and it was a turnover. But that’s a turnover that I really like. She’s running the floor. Then you saw Elizabeth tear down the floor. Nobody’s faster than Elizabeth when she gets into fourth gear. And so that whole idea of pace. We’ve got to keep that going. We’ve got to get people on their heels. There was a fast break bucket that P [Liston] made where the kid tried to defend her but she was backing up and P just put it in. That’s an important piece of us offensively. And you can see that pace can mean for great shooting. Fifty-six percent is very good shooting because I think the team was making good decisions on what to do next with that pace. You saw Richa fly down the floor with pace. There’s nobody that could have stopped her. She could have stopped herself. Sometimes I think we stopped ourselves in the past and we can’t do that anymore, not with the experiences that we’ve had and where we’re going. We’ve got to go full tilt.”

On the team’s defensive activity leading to turnovers:
“Our man-to-man defense was excellent tonight. We’ve been working hard on making that better. That’s been kind of soft. That’s a problem. So we went after that. I thought that we sped them up as well with different presses and different things. But it’s all about grabbing the tempo and never letting it go. And a team, you can almost feel them breathing heavily to catch up. And actually I think it was the first time this year we’ve forced that on a team for a long period of time.”

Duke Guard Tricia Liston
On team focus:
“Focus, had been a focus since the beginning of the year, just putting together two halves where there were no lapses, and I think today was one of the closer games we had to that. Like you said from tip to tip, and you know with Chelsea [Gray] out it just gives you a little more motivation and something else to play for, but I think it’s also a sign of the team coming together. That’s what we did today out on the floor, and that’s where it need to be for us to be playing our best basketball. So just working from the past games where we hadn’t done that, I think it shows we are a lot closer to the team we want to be at the end of the year.”

On game flow and connecting plays:
“I think in the game we were forcing them to shoot some shots off balance and getting rebounds, which was fueling our offense and transition game.  We were going inside out getting it into Elizabeth Williams, and she is such a great player. You have to choose to either double her, or triple her, or let her go one on one. So that’s a big thing for us, starting from the inside out and seeing what happens from there and after we did that we were getting some open shots and open looks.  I thought Richa [Jackson] was awesome today attacking the basket. We were really focused on getting to the basket rather than settling for things that we may have in the past.”

On getting 10 rebounds in a half:
“That’s been a big focus of mine all year, but I think I have to give some credit to my posts for keepings [UVA’s] posts off the boards, and I was just running in and trying to go after it. It’s a mindset I’ve been trying to work on from last year moving forward.”

On the team’s performance:
“I don’t think it was necessarily stepping our games up because everyone is still doing what they do. It was just a collective effort and everybody did what they did very well tonight. We were clicking on all cylinders.”

Duke Guard Richa Jackson
On motivation after starting:
“I just wanted to remain focused and play with a lot of energy.  With Chelsea being hurt that was really sad for me, I took it pretty hard.  So I just wanted to come in and try to bring energy and uplift the team.”

On her layup at the end of the first half:
“When we got the stop there was around eight or nine seconds left, so I just wanted to push the ball and get a shot up before the end of the half, and Elizabeth had a great outlet pass. She fired it.”

Virginia Head Coach Joanne Boyle
On Virginia’s effort:
“I just give a lot of credit to this team. They are really good. I would correct you in saying that we played really hard. I thought this was one of our worst performances, in terms of effort. I don’t think we played hard at all. We practice harder than we played here tonight. I don’t think that we played at the pace we had been playing at against Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. We came out flat. We let our offense affect our defense. That is not to take anything away from Duke. We got ran on transition all night long. Early on, we got ourselves in a hole and against a great team it is hard to come back. I just felt like they picked up the pace and we never changed our pace. That really hurt us.”

On the second half:
“We had been running some Princeton [offense]… and they were taking some of that stuff away. Obviously, they are big inside, so they made us score from outside. We weren’t hitting tonight and I thought we rushed shots. We didn’t take shots in the flow of the offense. But again, I think anytime you set your defense and you rebound the ball and you hustle back and you dive for loose balls and get those things, your offense becomes easier. I think we just waited around to see if we were going to make baskets tonight and didn’t do the dirty work and Duke did.”

On Richa Jackson:
“She is more of a mid-range kid, but she does all the little things for them. She rebounds the ball; she gets out in transition; she dives on the floor for a loose ball; she sets great screens. She does the things that don’t show up in a box sheet.”

On future games:
“I don’t know. I think the thing that I am trying to get them to understand is that you have to build on your success. We are young; we have eight freshman and sophomores and it is a building process. What we have to stop doing is having a great game and then reverting back. As a coach, you want to build on a team and you want to build on your success. Instead, we have a great game and then a bad game and then a good game. We have got to get off of that rollercoaster and however we need to do that, I need to get them to understand that every game, whether it is a Duke or a Notre Dame, it doesn’t matter. They need to come out and give the same effort every night and then the chips fall where they may. But, I just don’t think that was our team tonight. Maybe it was some youth, but I don’t think that is completely the reason for it, but we have got to start building on our success and not a good game, bad game and trying to start that process all over again.”

On the younger players’ consistency:
“It is just experience. I think some of it is they just have to go through it and that is part of it. When freshmen become sophomores and they have a lot of playing time, they are so much better sophomores for it and part of that is just the process. I don’t know if there is any way to train them. They have to be out in it and just go through it. Hopefully, just like everybody else, team improves and they improve as the season goes on.”

Virginia Sophomore Faith Randolph
On the second half:
“I don’t think they did anything differently. I just think that we didn’t come out hard. Like coach said, our offense affected our defense and vice versa.”

Virginia Redshirt Senior Lexie Gerson
On Duke’s team:
“They are a great team. Duke is an all-around great team. They are huge, they are very big. They run transitions and they do all the little things, and that is something I noticed. One of the things that stood out to me was their assist column; they move the ball and share the ball. They play really well as a team. They absolutely outplayed us in every way possible.”

“We need to take any good that we have from this past game and then we need to forget it. We need to remember what we did at Notre Dame and move on. We need to have a short memory and then take on Florida State this Sunday and have a great game.”

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