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Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie

Opening Statement:

“I thought we got better, we had improvements.  We came out more aggressive in the second half and I thought our defense was pretty good in the first half, while the turnovers were not so hot.  We have areas to improve on. I thought Elizabeth [Williams] was steady and aggressive for us.  Her shot blocking was phenomenal.  It was really neat to see her attacking as well as blocking shots.  As for Richa [Jackson], she was steady off the bench.  Again, we have six starters on this team and when Richa comes it really mixes it up.  I thought she did an excellent job as well.”

On defense and fouls in second half:

“We had some fouls, and I know it is hard because the officials are trying to work it out.  We had some fouls that we need to work out too.  We switched up defenses a lot, so it made our opponents think.  There were excellent things we did on defense, while there were things that we were behind the ball on. It’s all part of the game; it’s only November and we are all figuring this out together. But the biggest thing is turnovers.  I don’t like turnovers like that. We are far too good of a team to have 21 turnovers. It should be 12 or 10 turnovers per game.  That makes a substantial difference among other things out there.  Alabama hustled, they never quit, but at times we were a little careless. Chloe [Wells] was strong off the bench as well.  We are building depth and finding out our rolls on the court.”

On overall stats:

“We had improvements in our aggression.  Also we are having improvements with the balance in our defense.  You have to be balanced to take charges. I think we are capable than a lot more steals than 15 with the quickness we have.  At the same time it is all about timing. In November you just want to like direction you are moving.”

On depth of team:

“If we are really moving the ball and finding each other we can have eight players scoring double figures.  There is no doubt we are building depth.  I am not concerned about our scoring but rather the efficiency of our scoring.  21 turnovers is not good.”

Duke Guard Richa Jackson

On advantages to coming off the bench:

“I think it is an advantage being able to sit and watch the game, and learn what the refs are calling, what the team needs for me to come and do whether it’s defense or rebounding.  I feel like you learn a lot by sitting on the bench and actually watching, it helps you a lot when you actually get in the game.”

Duke Center Elizabeth Williams

On first half offensive success:

“I think we were moving the ball really well in the first half offensively, and initially we were getting stops early. I think we were getting transition buckets after some quick stops, so I think that really fueled us.”

On her role in the press:

“It’s just about communicating with the guards in the front and the guards in the back, and being able to protect the basket and be smart, and not to foul or anything. Hopefully with our pressure we can force a quick shot and get the rebound and go.”

On turnovers:

“I’m not really sure today because a lot of the turnovers we had were unforced, just throwing the ball away, stepping out of bounds, little things like that. We just have to come in more focused and not let that happen.”  

Alabama Head Coach Kristy Curry

On Duke’s defensive pressure:

“I think that was the concern coming in. I think they’re just so big and physical at every position. You look at huddles and it’s amazing to see the size and physicality. And they do a great job: they do a great job of changing their defenses. Obviously they’re so well coached and that size and athleticism with the ability to change their defenses and all be on the same page, great communication, it’s why they’re so successful.”

On the most important thing to take out of the game:

“Obviously, it’s a new staff, it’s a new group, we’re there to build it back, and we’re going to have some lumps and bumps. Our first three games we ended up against NCAA tournament teams, and three teams picked to win their league, so with us right now it’s about brick by brick and finding the little joys in every game and just working as hard as we can to build it back. Being in this environment is completely different and we’ve got seven kids who have never played a college basketball game before so the first three games we’ve taken our lumps but we’ll be better for this, a blessing in disguise. Credit Duke, obviously they’re a Final Four team, picked to win their league and number two in the country for a reason. We’re not there yet, but we’re working to get there and we’re going to find the little bitty victories every day that we can. Khadijah Carter was a positive for us today and Karyla Middlebrook from the line. It’s the little things right now, so credit Duke and move on and be better and get ready for Wisconsin on Thursday night.”

On Alabama’s defensive adjustments:

“We want to be really active with our hands an do the little things. I think that there are two things we can control: the intensity on the defensive end and rebounding the basketball. Obviously we didn’t rebound it very well, but credit Duke and their size and their athleticism. But we want to be effective in everything we do and the kids are playing hard for us. We’re playing hard and that’s all you can ask.”

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