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Quotes: Duke 74, Miami 64
Friday 02/24/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie

Opening statement:
"It was just a great basketball game. I was proud of our team and our effort. I really liked our aggressiveness in the second half, particularly the rebounding. Miami is an excellent team, as you know. Boy, do they have some shooters. I can't say we stopped them, looking at the stats, but hopefully tried to slow them down a little bit. They're exceptional, with their shooting quickness in particular. But I was very proud of our team. I thought Elizabeth [Williams] was on it, just on it, and also got hit a lot out there. There was a lot of physical play, but she maintained her composure out there very well under tough circumstances. And again, Chelsea [Gray] was just spot on with the ball movement, finding her teammates, making decisions and also getting on her teammates a little bit if we shot too quickly or did something that wasn't the best thing for us to do. I'm really excited, it was a great team effort. We have a game on Sunday, so that's two games we're trying to get this weekend. That will make us a better team if we can get it done."

On the 22-5 first half run that staked the Blue Devils to a double-digit first half lead:
"If I recall, just excellent vision, moving the ball well on offense, finding each other. They like to double up a lot, and I really credit Chelsea. We were mismatched a lot out there, where they had a big on our guard or vice versa, and instead of calling an offense, Chelsea just fed the mismatch. This happened with Ally [Vernerey], this happened with Haley [Peters], and it actually happened with Elizabeth a couple of times. Her mindset was very savvy."  

On what happened during Miami's late-game run, and how her team regained control:
"Teams are going to make runs and games are never over. The games that we're going to play now, when you consider the game on Sunday, then conference play and then the NCAAs, you're not going to blow people out. I mean, you might, but not really. And so I think our team was ready for anything that would happen, and give them some credit. They made some hustle plays. At that time [Shenise Johnson] was doing a good job for them. She's a senior, a WNBA player and she made some plays, particularly off the boards. The key, though, is stopping them. I thought our team did a great job, despite some things that weren't quite as sharp, like a quick shot or a turnover. They stopped and said 'Let's focus.' That leadership came from Chelsea and it came from Elizabeth and some others."

On Duke's 50-16 advantage in points in the paint:
"It's funny, I was looking at that and feeling like maybe we should have won by more. That's a credit to Miami and some of the things they can do, but that is an awesome stat, relative to the NCAA tournament, relative to making runs, you absolutely have to have points in the paint. I loved that. I was also looking at the shooting percentage, and causing them to shoot 33% is another big key. That's the right direction for us to go in, especially against a great team like Miami."

On the case for Chelsea Gray or Elizabeth Williams for ACC Player of the Year:
"You can absolutely make that case, and it should be one of those two, when you think about the impact on a team. No team has faced as much adversity as this team has faced, number one. Two, they're finishing the season so strong. They've both had triple doubles and no one else has done that. On top of that, I also believe that we have played the hardest schedule of anyone in the league. Remember, BYU is just trucking along out there in the top 25. We opened with them. I think Chelsea is one of the very best point guards in the country, and nothing is going to change that. I think Elizabeth is one of the very best post players in the country and nothing is going to change that either. I do think it's a unique situation, and I hope they will be recognized."

On the adjustments made to compensate for diminishing depth:
"The adjustments have been extraordinary. Chelsea is downplaying it, but she has to handle the ball a lot more. She's having to handle the ball more and make decisions under duress. On the flip side of that, you have Allison playing everywhere. Suddenly, she's the multi-purpose defender playing the top. The changes have been enormous and the team has handled them well, all things considered. They don't seem to care, they just play."

On whether the adjustments have made her players better:
"I think it does make everyone a better player. I really do. With Chelsea, she needed to be pushed and forced to make the decisions that she does. And the same thing with Elizabeth. I think crisis clarifies relative to our adversity."

On her thoughts on Sunday's game:
"It's a great opportunity for us to work some things. We can work on our rebounding again, and it gives us the chance to treat it like an NCAA tournament weekend. You have to take two and celebrate and move on."  

Sophomore Chelsea Gray

On her lay-up in the closing minutes that boosted Duke's lead to 69-64:
"It was a play called Single Double. It was kind of a clear-out but it also gave me an option in case they collapsed in the middle. Tricia [Liston] was coming off a screen, and I saw they were going with her, so I just followed her tail and was open in the middle." 

On whether or not she thought that Miami was surprised that she didn't burn more of the clock:
"I think they just wanted a good stop and to be able to push the ball and score. We scored, so we just had to get that next stop and get the rebound." 

On whether controlled aggression without silly mistakes against Miami's pressure was a key to the gameplan:
"Yes and no. We wanted to stress rebounding. Granted, we didn't really out-rebound them, but as far as turnovers, people were composed and coming back to the ball. They were making the right plays at the right time, always threading the needle. So, we did a good job of taking care of the ball, making our passes and running our plays the right way whenever Coach asked us to."

On her composure during Miami's late run:
"Coach emphasizes that we have to keep the same mannerisms throughout the game. Through the highs and lows, you just have to keep an even keel for the whole game."

On how she has had to adjust her play in the wake of Duke's injuries:
"We've gotten in better shape, knowing that those minutes are going to come. Richa Jackson was playing an awful lot of minutes. I also look to my teammates more. Sometimes Tricia can bring the ball up the floor and I will go to the wing, or else Shay [Shelby] can bring the ball up. So we just try to spread the wealth a little bit more and feed off of each other."

On the difference between the loss to Maryland and tonight:
"Everything we didn't do in that game, we wanted to do in this game. All of our anger was put into this game, and all of the things we didn't do well in that game we did well in this one. Granted, we still didn't rebound as well as we wanted, but we did get some key rebounds at the end of the game. We were not losing this game."

On how much the team feeds off of the crowd at Cameron:
"We get a lot of energy from the stadium and the students. It's a great house and it's great to have that behind you. But Coach stresses that you have to be able to play anywhere."

Freshman Elizabeth Williams

On how she handled the physical style of play in the post:
"It's to be expected. You just have to go out and play hard, but play composed. I tried to kick the ball out if I saw that I was being doubled or that someone was open. I don't mind the physical play. That's just college basketball, especially with the events coming up. I just have to maintain my composure."

On what it was like to play against a taller opponent:
"You have to be a little smarter. You can't just shoot directly over her, so I tried to beat her to the basket or go around her." 

Miami Head Coach Katie Meier

Opening Statement:
"Congratulations to Duke. Their points in the paint just absolutely killed us. We didn't turn them over as much as we need too. Let's turn them over. That's hard to do. They're really good. They have a great point guard and a really nice point guard to post combination, so a lot of your presses and a lot of your traps don't work as well because of the center of the court, they control the whole game. Elizabeth Williams can come out to half court, break down and get to the rim. So they control the center of the court, which is tough to press. But I will tell you what, we are not coming out of this game with our heads down at all. I thought we did what we needed to do. I am very proud of our effort. I am very, very proud of the game plan that you know we wanted to hang around, hang around and hang around, and then generate opportunities at the end. It was just how we scripted it. Even at halftime, I was like actually guys you would be surprised, but I wanted it to be eight or ten down. We were fine. Every timeout was hang around, and boy, we had the opportunities. We did at the end. We flipped the switch, and we turned into Miami. The pressure was on them. Yeah, you got to make those magical plays. We are never going to miss that three at the corner or those layups that we had around the rim. But we had them. We executed. It was a lot of fun. We are not going to hang our heads. It is a heck of a team. You know just a great environment and just a lot of fun. Some very big time players on that basketball court. Some really athletic and unbelievable basketball players. That is how it goes."

On waiting to all out press:
"Some. I do not want to give away all my tricks. Timing is part of it. If the team is comfortable ahead, they can break the pressure. They start to get a little hesitate and nervous, and your presses work better. That is just kind of the psychology of coaching the pressing team, too. I thought we did it at the right time to be honest."

On the seniors and senior day on Sunday:
"Wouldn't you just love to coach those three kids for four years. You just saw how hard they play, how much guts they play and how much pride they have in Miami. There wasn't a lot of pride at Miami when they showed up. I had it, but they weren't surrounded by it. They just weren't. They believed in me for no reason. For no reason coming off of nine wins [laughs]. I was so cocky when I went into her [Shenise Johnson] house. There is no way I would ever be able to do it again. I just laid out this vision and told her she wasn't good enough, and if she wanted to be great, she had to come play here. It is kind of hilarious looking back. If I knew how important that would have been, I would have choked that home visit for sure. I have had a great time with them. Everyone is like you are going to miss all these points, and I am going to miss the people. They are just awesome, and we have been through so much together and so much growth. I have grown more in four years than I ever have. We share so much. We know each other's weaknesses. It is just an awesome, awesome group of kids. They play with so much pride. There is a lot of love, a lot of love. You know I am going to be balling on Sunday."

On how tough it was to play at Duke:
"We didn't play great. We didn't play perfect basketball, but we still had opportunities. It is tough because of the energy. We don't mind that. I thought the first half we didn't start out. We were almost a little too composed. We really weren't Miami. We were composed. Our possessions were down. Our tempo was down, and then I was like okay, now go be yourselves. Pick this up a little bit. That is a part of playing here the first five minutes, the last five minutes of the half, the first five minutes of the second half and the last four minutes of the game. That is a part of playing here. It is an awesome environment."

On Chelsea Gray:
"When you have to put your center on the opposing team's point guard to take away the vision, you are in a little bit of trouble."

On if it is scary that Duke is that good this young:
"Scary, no. I am happy for them. I happy for the ACC. I think those kids are awesome. We want the best. We want this conference to be the best. We want our conference to be awesome. I don't have that mentality at all. I am not scared at all." 

On if it was hard being back here at Duke:
"I am so into my team. They were cute before the tip. The seniors said, 'Coach, how do you feel?' I said I feel just how I feel about Maryland. I love going to an awesome environment, and that is a big time team, but I care about you all way more than the fact that I went here."

Miami guard Shenice Johnson:

On what happened on Chelsea Gray's layup when Miami was down by three:
"I mean it's hard to contain her. One minute she is surveying; the next minutes she is at the rim. She is a very tall, dynamic guard. She sees the floor very well. It is tough to guard her when you have someone who 5-7 guarding her. She used her body well. She is great player. Great players make great plays."

On if it is scary that Duke is that good this young:
"When isn't Duke good. Duke is always good. "

On Miami:
"That is the reason why I came to Miami. We have always heard about the Dukes, UNCs, the Marylands. It is the whole reason I came here, so we can be mentioned. So we people can know who Miami is in women's basketball. Like coach said previously, she came into my house cocky. She really had nothing to back it up, but I really gravitated towards her and her spirit. I think that is what really led us all here. I really believed everything that she said. Everything has come to pass. Other coaches, when they came into my house, told me we were going to do this for you. She was like, 'what are you going to do for us.' I was like, 'oh wow, something new and different.' I liked that. I gravitated towards that. She has always been the same. She has taught me a lot more so off the court I would say."

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