Uploaded Ad
Quotes: Duke 80, Albany 51
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 12/19/2013
BDN+ Premium Content
Related Links
Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“I liked the poise and focus of our team. The first half was a little, well, slow. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t as good as I thought it could be. I thought the second half was a lot better. Credit 25 [Shereesha Richards] for having 20 points at the half. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. She’s a really good player. She’s better than her league actually. She could play a lot of places and she could definitely play in the ACC. I was really proud of our team defense in terms of getting after 25 so that she only had four points and zero rebounds in the second half. I thought Chelsea [Gray]’s game was really poised and smart, excellent passing and excellent creativity from the high post area. So I was really, really pleased to see that. And Haley [Peters] was steady and aggressive. We’ve still got a long way to go with the rebounding we need to do and getting to the free throw line more often and things like that. I think we can pick up some of that on Sunday.”

On Ka’lia Johnson’s impact on the boards:
“Ka’lia works really hard. She’s a special player because she wants to play just like everybody else does and she’s always fighting. She keeps herself ready and then she goes in 11 minutes and leads us in rebounding with those five. It’s huge for us. We have to play to our strengths. We don’t have time for experimenting with things someone might not be as good at. We have to go to our strengths. For Ka’lia, rebounding is a strength of hers. She’s very good. She’s got a nose for the ball, she’s very athletic and she can get up and go get it. And she’s a tough, tough kid. So she doesn’t mind getting hit and banged and things like that. That’s important. We’re just trying to work to our strengths and she just really did.”

On getting things turned around after Albany took the lead:
“The team picked it up. They got focused and I thought got more aggressive. We got a few more steals. We created. I thought everybody off the bench was pretty key. Oderah [Chidom] came in and immediately got steals and created. Kendall [McCravey-Cooper] didn’t come in until later, but she was key with some very good defense. Amber [Henson] was good. Chloe [Wells] was strong. Richa [Jackson] was ready. So that’s important. We’ve got to have it, especially playing all these games this week. So it’s good to get ready for Sunday with that kind of confidence.”

On starting Jackson in the second half over Tricia Liston:
“If you’re not going to rebound, we’re going to move you. I mean, there’s just no way. It’s too competitive. What happened a couple of nights ago, if we didn’t learn from that what we need to do to be better … We easily saw that 20-point differential, and most of it is hustle plays and rebounding and these intangible things. So we’re going to get after it. [Liston] is a great player, she didn’t have a great day and if she’s not going to rebound, that might happen. But that’s life. I mean, that’s life in the fast lane.”

On anticipating a large crowd at Kentucky Sunday:
“From a gender equity perspective, our guys do it all the time. To me, it’s a great thing to play in front of 30,000. Our guys go on the road and play in front of that all the time. As far as I’m concerned, we need more of it. We just had a team come in with a big crowd and shut us up pretty good, so we know what that’s like. The point is, if women’s basketball is going to be a big deal, that’s exactly what we want.”

“We’re experienced in that. We’ve already been to Kentucky. We didn’t play a great game. That irritates me. We all remember, we all played at Kentucky before and we didn’t play a great game. So we get another opportunity. That’s good. But I feel we’re experienced and we’re used to that.”

Duke Guard Chelsea Gray
On any residual emotions from the loss at the start of the game:
“I think we just weren’t focused. Credit to [Shereesha Richards], she had 20 of their points in the first half. We had to pick it up defensively. I don’t think we were thinking about past games, we just weren’t focused and defending as well as we should have.”

On preparing for a sold-out Kentucky crowd Sunday:
“We welcome environments like that. It’s exciting. That’s what it’s going to be like in the NCAA Tournament and it prepares us for that in the long run.”

On Albany’s press helping Duke prepare for Kentucky’s pressure:
“I think we just have to be smart in our attack and not force anything and just take what the defense gives us and really feed off each other. If we have to shoot with three seconds left on the shot clock just with working the ball, that’s what we’re going to have to do.”

Duke Forward Haley Peters
On the quick turnaround from the Connecticut game:
 “It’s a tough thing to balance because you don’t want to be stuck on that, but you don’t want to forget the things you didn’t do well and what we weren’t happy with about that game. It was a balance and I think we did a good job handling it.”

On missing early shots affecting the defensive effort in the early minutes:
“Maybe, but that’s not the way it should go. If we’re not scoring, our defense should be sharper. And when our defense is sharper that should feed us on offense. I think what Chelsea said was right. We just weren’t focused and I don’t know that it was because we were missing shots, I think it was just a general thing.”

On preparing for a sold-out Kentucky crowd Sunday:
“It’s exciting. That’s why you play here. I know I’m excited. Becca [Greenwell] is excited to go home. We’re all excited. It’ll be fun.”

Albany Head Coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson
On the team’s game plan:
“Obviously [Duke] adjusted and did a different press breaker. Then they started pressing, so I think they came at us with the same plan we had for them. Their press rattled us a little bit too. The first half was great. I thought the first half was great. Obviously it was fun to watch [Shereesha Richards] and the way she played and the way we competed. I knew in the second half, what was going to happen just in terms of coaching with Joanne [McCallie] for four years. I knew what she was saying in the locker room, so I knew they were going to come out really hard. We just didn’t handle that very well.”

On playing Duke after the Blue Devils played UConn:
“Joanne’s a great coach. I knew she was going to have her team ready and I knew that … I learned from Joanne. I learned a lot from Joanne when I was coaching with her for four years. She always taught me and the team and all of us and we always say it, ‘Never look at the name on the shirt.’ Never. Because somebody like this young lady [Richards] could play at a lot of places. She’s a great player. And it doesn’t matter what the name on the shirt is just the five players on the floor. I knew Joanne was going to be prepared. I knew Al Brown, he’s great at scouting and I knew he would be prepared, too. I knew at halftime they were going to come out a different team.”

On expectations in conference play:
“Me and Joanne are cut from the same cloth. We want to win. We expect to win, and she expects to win … Obviously we play this game for a reason. Last year we played Michigan State at this time. I think we lost about the same. We learned from it, and we got better and we got tougher. We reminded them of the Michigan State game all the time. Last year we played in the NCAA Tournament against North Carolina, and we were up the whole game. That’s why we play these games. And obviously we play against people who are classy that I enjoy being around. I wanted [Richards] to see herself play against the best players. This young lady was fun at there to watch against some of her players. She needs to know that. She needs to know those kinds of things. And Tammy Phillip, No. 14, she’s crashing boards and getting rebounds against women that are [double] her size. Tammy needs to know that she can do that every game in our conference. And she better not let up. We only have one great shooter on our team - little No. 1. The rest aren’t great three-point shooters. [Margarita] Rosario is, but she felt a little crowded up on top in their 3-2 zone, so she didn’t shoot the ball as much. To be honest, we really wanted to eat the ball a little more. Not take quick shots where they would go 100 miles per hour. We knew transition was their game. I thought our game plan went well in the first half. Second half wasn’t as well. I didn’t think [Richards] got the ball … obviously Megan Craig didn’t play great. She’s just finally coming back. This is her first game from her being out for 10 games. So she didn’t look great tonight. But she’s got to get better. We do these games so they can see how good they are and where we need to go from here.”

Albany Forward Shereesha Richards
On her performance:
“I’m sure it wasn’t easy because there’re two people and they’re going to come and double team. But I just found a way to score. My guards passed it in to me. I’ve just got to find a way. If not, I kick it back out and rotate the ball around. Just hopefully find a gap and we attack.”

On her thought process during the game:
“Honestly, I wasn’t really thinking anything. You’re in the game. I was just thinking, ‘Next play.’ We got to fight knowing we’re the underdogs. It’s Duke. Everyone’s cheering for them. So I wasn’t really thinking anything. It was more just play go out and give it your all.”

What the team learned tonight:
“A lot of stuff. First off, we need to stay together more. Fight when it gets tough. Do the little things. That’s about it.”

On Albany’s guards:
“They know that if the open shot’s there, they should take it. We didn’t want to have a fast-paced game. We just wanted to work the ball around and hopefully get good shots. We didn’t want to just make quick shots. Just run back. We wanted to slow the game down a little bit. Make good passes. They know if they have the open shot, they should take it. I don’t know want goes through their mind. I may have an idea, but I don’t really know what goes through their mind when they’re open.”