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Quotes: North Carolina 89, Duke 78
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/10/2014
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“It was a great basketball game, a lot of offense. A great one for the crowd relative to offense and excitement that way. But for us, giving up 89 points at home is very bad.”

On the team’s struggles defensively:
“Defense is something that this team generally wants other people to do. We don’t get into defense. We’re playing defense to get the ball back on offense and with the exception of Elizabeth [Williams] and her blocked shots that are intimidating, we’re not taking charges, we’re not getting into defense. Our transition defense has been awful. The difference in the game is transition defense – getting back, locating people. People were wide open when they shouldn’t have been. Just by talking, that’s communication. All those things are really, really important. But I think that defensive leadership on the floor, demanding, pointing, executing is a big issue for us.”

On what she can do to help the team solve some of its defensive issues:
“You mix up defenses. You can change things. You saw us get right back in the game after halftime. We had a few changes of defenses there. And then I feel like we were in a position to do quite well from that standpoint, but then there were some transition breakaways so suddenly instead of being down five, you’re down eight or nine. You can look at that critical part of the second half and understand that. Our team’s got to want to play defense. If we don’t, this will happen again.”

On what her team did better to start the second half:
“We mixed things up a little bit, denied 23 [Diamond DeShields], they turned the ball over. There were some things going on there. But overall, it’s got to be a team defensive effort. There are no gimmicks to defense. You can gimmick some things, but the bottom line is you’ve got to get it done. 15 [Allisha Gray] took over. She did a great job, as we know that 23 [DeShields] did a great job. But I think 15 [Gray] was the difference maker in the game. That’s clear in terms of how she was getting her points and where she was looking.”

On the next step:
“It’s how bad you want it, how bad you want to fight. I think it’s an important lesson. The conference is much improved this year. It’s no secret we lost three guards in Chelsea [Gray], Chloe [Wells] and Becca [Greenwell] this entire year. It’s like, what are you going to be? How are you going to create? How are you going to demand? I really enjoyed the game. I thought it was a great basketball game. I thought it was a great game for us to come back. We’ve been in situations where we’ve been down 16 in an NCAA Tournament at home and come back. I’m not concerned about that. But I did not like our sensitivity. I think in this game, you’ve got to be very hungry and you’ve got to go through walls. We really didn’t do that. We kind of did, but we didn’t really get after it. And that’s evidenced by the lack of charges. They go to the basket out of control a lot. There should have been more charges, there should have been things like that. And then, frankly, we should have charged more, if we were aggressive enough to the basket. That’s the kind of game it was. And so it’s a great lesson for us. It’s interesting – they lost three in a row … They lost some tough games so they probably learned from that. But I hate to lose to learn. That’s not a good thing and that’s not what we want to do.”

Duke Guard Tricia Liston
On being down by one:
“I don’t even know exactly what play you are talking about, but I feel like we had a lot of times where we were down by three, or five or one, as you said. Then we gave up a three or an and-1 or an easy bucket on the other side and it stretched it right back out. Every time we got close, we weren’t getting the stops to tie or go ahead.”

On the mental impact of never leading:
“I don’t know if it should affect us, I mean it shouldn’t. You should be able to have the same defensive focus and energy for 40 minutes or however long you are on the court. I guess if we go back and look at some things, I guess you could say that is maybe attributing to our lack of defensive pride at this point and not getting the job done.”

On preparation for the next game:
“I think we will watch film and practice on the things that we didn’t do well. On our off days, we will have to refocus and really think about what everyone has to do individually to change and where we want to go as a team. The next game, like you said, is just as big of a challenge for us. We are going to have to regroup, come back, get back after it, and decide what we want to do for the rest of the season.”

On having a week break:
“I think it is always nice to, once in a while, have these breaks, both physically and mentally. With our schedule that we have, playing Thursday and Sunday or Monday night games, I think that it is always good.”

On losing to UNC for the first time at home:
“I mean, it doesn’t feel good.”

Duke Center Elizabeth Williams
On the mental impact of never leading:
“I feel like we made it a bigger deal psychologically than we should have. We were only down by one point. It wasn’t like we were down by 10 in those situations, but, like you said earlier; we didn’t focus enough to get the stop. I don’t think we were worried as much about the offense. Our paint shots have a high percentage shots, but when you go on the other end and give up a three and continue to do that, I think that is what really affected us.”

On UNC’s defense:
“I don’t think there were many huge defensive adjustments made by them. We didn’t do a good job of taking care of the ball offensively a lot of times. Overall, I think it was more our mistakes, in terms of not taking care of the ball, than what they changed defensively.”

North Carolina Associate Head Coach Andrew Calder
Opening Statement:
“First I want to thank Coach [Sylvia] Hatchell again for giving us a motivational speech and Coach Anson Dorrance who spoke to the team yesterday who gave a tremendous speech also. It was very inspiring.  What I want to say about Duke, they’re a very talented basketball team and well coached and we wish them the best of luck.  As far as the Tar Heels, these girls worked extremely hard the last few days.  We went after them and they responded, and we went after them. They worked extremely hard and we’re very proud of them. As we know, in the end, players win games.”

On the player’s bounce back after previous losses:
“Again, that’s back Coach Hatchell talked about mental toughness as did Anson Dorrance, and I think they responded tremendously. But in the end the players did it.  They got together and said, ‘You know what, we’re going to make a statement and we’re going to make that statement tonight.’  We showed our pride being Tar Heels tonight.  They did a tremendous job.  One thing about [Diamond] DeShields here, who went this afternoon at 1:15-2:00 an intense workout on her own for 45 minutes and then we had shoot-around.  That’s the commitment and that’s the winner’s mentality that she has.  All the rest of them were out there early shooting, don’t get me wrong, but we’re talking about an intense 45-minute workout before shooting today and I think that majorly paid off.”

On the team’s 3-pointers:
“We had good ball movement against Duke.  We thought we could swing the ball and attack after we reversed the ball and we had some pass opportunities and we thought we took advantage of that and we could shoot those.”

On the bench players' roles in the game:
 “The bench players gave us very high energy and they did what they could do to help us get great ball movement and defend and that was their role coming in and helping them shoot the basketball. They did a very tremendous job in that. But what she was referring to, Coach [Hatchell] actually talked to the team about Michael Jordan talking about playing in another facility and act like there’s a glass around it and nobody can touch me while I’m out there in this 94 by 50 feet, rim is 10 feet high and you just got to be in that moment, in that game, in that 94 by 50 feet, and they did a good job.”

On the team’s performance:
“I know it’s Duke-Carolina, but as I said from day one, we just want to improve.  We’re excited about the win, don’t get me wrong, but we improved tonight.  We improved and we want to keep carrying that on. We had a chance to be really good at the end.  That was our goal, every game. Even though we struggle some games, there are things we did well and we build off of those.  They were hard.  They worked hard the last couple days in practice. I’m just telling you, weight room, it was brutal. It wasn’t easy but they responded.”

North Carolina Freshman Guard Diamond DeShields
On the atmosphere in Cameron:
“Well, Cameron is just historically a tough place to play in, so I didn’t expect it any less tonight. But what I didn’t expect was that I didn’t really care, and it didn’t bother me one bit. And I’m proud of my teammates for having that mental toughness and it didn’t seem to bother the rest of the team either. So I’m really proud of our mental toughness tonight. We knew that they were going to be tough, the crowd was going to be on us, you know, I shot an airball, laughed it off, so I’m just glad to know that I’m maturing in that sense, not letting the crowd get to me, and it’s just me and my four teammates on the court, and you know, that’s all that matters.”

On journeying from the Syracuse loss to tonight’s win:
“I think it was something we needed to experience. And for us, losing can be losses, and they can be just that or they can be learning experiences. And I think for us, I think we bounced back and learned from every single one of those losses and we grew together as a team, so I’m thankful for those losses at this point because they really helped us and I’m not sure we would have played as well as we did tonight if we would have won those ball games. So I think it lit a fire under us, and it showed tonight. I’m tired of losing, we’re tired of losing, so I mean we came out tonight and did whatever it took to get the win.”

On shooting an airball:
“I thought it was hilarious, because I knew they were going to tear me up, like I knew they were. But like I said, that’s part of the experience coming here, like I will never forget this. I’m so happy that I got the chance to play here, and do it with my teammates and win here. You know, winning here is not easy and winning here is not common, and to be a part of that group of winners who come in here, face the crowd, face a great Duke team, Duke always has a great team, and to be able to win, that’s a part of history, so I’m proud to be a part of it, proud to be a part of this tough conference, proud to be a part of the history that’s come through Cameron Indoor; I’m proud. I’m proud.”

On getting a career high:
“I mean, it’s all the credit to my teammates; they found me. I created a couple shots when we needed them, but they did a great job of getting me the ball. In the second half, I was getting face-guarded so it was harder, but I took advantage of the opportunities that I had and I knew that I needed to perform in order for us to be successful tonight, and so like I said, I just gave it my all, and it worked out pretty good, I’d say.”

On the psychological importance of not allowing Duke the lead:
“It was extremely important because most games, we don’t even start off the way we started off tonight. Xylina [McDaniel]] hit a three, you [Allisha Gray] hit a three, we started off shooting well, and that’s never happened. In my mind, I was like, “runs are going to happen, runs are going to happen,” and it was just self-discipline, something we talked about yesterday and today, and just being able to look over to your left, look over to your right, see your teammates, and they shake their heads like, you know, we got it. So it was a team effort, and I’m just proud of my teammates! I don’t know what else to say, it was a team effort, we did it together, and it was really exciting.”

North Carolina Freshman Guard Allisha Gray
On the atmosphere in Cameron:
“You just gotta play your game. Like Coach Calder said, when you get on the court, it’s just you, 94 feet, a 10 foot rim, and it’s the glass around the court, so basically it’s just you and your teammates, you focus on the court and tune out the crowd.”

On the team maturing together:
“Well, you know, once you reach college level, talent is not going to work anymore. You have to go on your ability and have a higher basketball IQ, and the team definitely has a higher basketball IQ so we just come together with hard work and we’ve learned how to play with each other and you see when we play with each other, big things happen, like this win.”