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Quotes: Duke 84, Maryland 63
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/17/2014
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“Just really proud of our team and the defensive effort. Great 40-minute effort for us, defensively and in all areas. I thought that was fantastic. We had 33 and 35 deflections – our deflections were up. Still working on our steals, getting a little bit more so. But defensively everybody was super. I thought it was great to see Haley [Peters] play multiple positions defensively. She was an ‘X-factor’ in the game. I know if you look at the stats you might overlook that, but she was absolutely critical in this game because of where she played and the timing of where she played. She actually did things today that we practiced very little. But Haley’s energy and intensity really made it go for her. I was really happy with Lex [Alexis Jones]. Lex was very smart, very competitive, very smart and did many, many good things out there in directing things. And Elizabeth [Williams] played with a lot of poise. I really felt she took a lot of hits, more elbows than an overworked plumber. And she had four steals. Just proud of the team. We’re getting better. It’s a special time of year. All these teams are really good and it’s kind of fun, it’s like an NCAA Tournament every time you play.”

On the play of her front court, particularly freshmen Oderah Chidom and Kendall McCravey-Cooper:
“They really did respond. Oderah’s worked her way into a very special sixth-player role for us. When she goes in, she can go in for a variety of people and we kind of shift a little bit. She was very consistent, very confident out there. And I was really, really happy with Kendall. That was something, frankly, I want to get her more in the mix in terms of the rotation. She really responded well to that. They’re both very, very physical players and not afraid … There was one sort of emotional moment where Kendall put the ball back in or something happened at the other end and it showed in her spirit, like her soul. The team, I thought, got a kick out of that because we haven’t always seen that from Kendall. She’s a real fighter. So they’ll be playing more and more as they focus and do what they do. We have a pretty big team when we go with that lineup.”

On having a week off prior to the game:
“For us, it was great. If you look at our schedule, it’s been pretty brutal from the very beginning. It was important. I think it was painful. When you don’t do something you want to do, and then you have a week to think about it, sometimes it’s nicer if you’ve got a game coming right up. So we had to kind of suffer and handle the comments and handle how we felt about things. I think that’s made us stronger. And I think we’re looking forward to playing quickly again on Thursday.”

On her team’s improvement defensively:
“I think you have to give credit – Carolina played very, very well. You have to always give credit that way. But I’m going to give a lot of credit to the way this team came back after that because we had a hard discussion on Tuesday, we had Wednesday and Thursday off and they just killed it on Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Defensively, as Lex said, the defense was back. And I guess we went deeper today. Everybody has to adjust. It’s not just one player. As a coach, I had to evaluate everything I did. I was bound and determined to make us a deeper team today. That was going to happen, and it did happen. The point I’m trying to make is we all owned it, we all suffered through it, we learned and I think we can just, when Elizabeth talks about smiles, we pay for those smiles. We paid a heavy price to get back to that place – ‘Okay, this is us, let’s go.’ And I think the leadership by Lex, by Elizabeth was outstanding. They were balanced and they were fighting. And that was the only thing we asked, is that I just want everyone to fight for 40 minutes – that’s it. I don’t care what the score is, what’s going on – we’ve got to really fight. And I remember one play, I almost fell over when Elizabeth dove on the floor at the other end. I’m not sure what happened there. I was mouth agape. Don’t get me wrong, Elizabeth hustles. But that was another level. She was dangerous and on the floor. When I saw that, I said, ‘This is going to be a good night.’ There were a lot of intangibles going on there.”

On Richa Jackson’s role:
“That’s a special one because she just did so well on both sides of the ball. She’s trying to guard 25 [Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas] when we were in our man, particularly in the first half, more than the second. Richa was truly a special senior because she was doing the hardest thing – trying to find 25, which is pretty hard – and yet she was scoring. There was a nice connection between Lex sees everybody pretty well. Richa’s got to get used to those passes because a couple times Lex found her and she tried to get used to it. But I think her productivity and the way she was on both sides of the ball was the best it’s been, and that’s what she’s capable of doing. So that was really fun to watch.”

Duke Guard Alexis Jones
On the team’s defense:
“We were really aggressive on the defensive end. We caught mistakes and had people jumping and flying for ball fakes. We were all aggressive. We were helping each other out a lot, which we worked on a lot this past week. We worked on helping each other out when we needed help. I think us helping each other out made us focus a lot more on our defensive end.”

Duke Center Elizabeth Williams
On Alexis Jones:
“[Alexis] is our point guard and our leader on the floor. For her to display that type of energy, it really gets a lot of us going, both offensively and defensively. She did a great job pf leading us. It was really nice to see that confidence in her.”

On recuperating from the UNC loss:
“We worked hard in practice this week. We had a couple days off, but also a couple days to really go after it. I think one of the biggest things for us is to have fun and enjoy what we are doing. I think when we play hard on defense; we have always been a solid defensive team. We just tried to relax and do what we do.”

On having a week break:
“I can’t really remember the last time we had a full 40-minute defensive effort. It is encouraging and we are hoping to keep it up the rest of the week.”

On communication on the floor:
“I thought it was pretty solid on and off the ball. Everyone was talking. Coach talked about the ball has eyes and if you put a lot of ball pressure then people can’t make passes. So just being loud and aggressive in that way and constantly talking to each other saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got your back here,’ so people can go all out defensively.”

Maryland Head Coach Brenda Frese
Opening Statement:
“Tough night at the office obviously when you shoot the percentages we did tonight and you give up on both end of the floor defensively. Obviously we struggled. I thought Duke’s experience was fantastic. They showed a lot of character bouncing back and really shared the basketball and played with a lot of confidence and made shots when they needed to make shots. They really played like a veteran group. I thought they were tremendous. We have to grow up obviously. We are playing a lot of young players and we continue to improve on the road. It’s a tough atmosphere and they made us pay for it.”

On low percentage of shots made:
“When you go 5-for-21 I thought we had a lot of great looks from the perimeter when you talk about their match up. We’ve seen a lot of zone and we’ve had a lot of success against Syracuse and different teams that have thrown zone at us. The games that we’ve struggled, when you see the percentages we didn’t really have anyone who shot the ball extremely well. You have to be able to find a way.”

On lack of shots later on:
“We got hesitant with our shot with too many players thinking about their shot wasn’t falling in. When you score 63 points on the road you’re not going to win a lot of games. You have to be able to solve something on one end of the floor or the other but again credit Duke. I thought they were tremendous tonight they played with a lot of energy, a lot of poise, I thought they showed their experience and they were really consistent through the night.”

On Duke’s move to 2 or 3 posts:
“I thought it was a tremendous move. I thought especially in the second half they were able to get so many second chance opportunities. I remember that and the and-1 plays with a lot of us defensively out of position, long plays, 3 point plays and those second chance opportunities.”

On early sloppy play:
“My guess when you watch our team we still have a blend of young kids who are playing here for the first time. When you are talking about some of the turnovers we have and the play of two of our freshmen starting there were nerves. I think from their end, losing two games quite possibly could have been their psyche. It was definitely an uncharacteristic start for both teams.”

On missed opportunities:
“Disappointed in the easy plays we could have made for ourselves. I think sometimes you can make a game bigger than it is and that is an area we can definitely improve in.”

On Alexis Jones’ play:
“I thought she was fantastic. She played with a ton of poise and you could see that with her swagger out on the floor. She was in command. I thought she instilled confidence in her team and I thought that was huge for Duke tonight.”

On competing amongst top teams:
“We talked about that. Obviously I thought we were a lot more competitive against the top two teams [UConn and Notre Dame] than we were tonight. I think for us first and foremost we have to be better on the road. That’s an element for us that’s inconsistent. At times we are really good and at other times, those elements impact us. We have to continue to grow as a team. We have a lot of players, a lot of depth, a lot of talent, and it has continued to grow as a team and learn from each of these moments we are a part of.”

On future growth:
“No question. When you look at our last four games and you compare it to tonight this is a step back. We have a lot more road games to finish out this month, the February before we have conference play.”

On switch to pressure being earlier:
“No question after you saw all the turnovers. They typically don’t turn the ball over like they did tonight so it was kind of a surprise. You’re always going to second guess that when you see the success we have.”

Maryland Senior Forward Alyssa Thomas
On Duke’s defense:
“Just face guarding, making it hard for me to catch it, nothing that I haven’t seen before.”

On knee injury during the game:
“I went up for a rebound, and when I came down my leg was straight and someone backed into my knee, but I will be okay though.”

On quick recovery:
“I just stretched out.”

On the Duke-Maryland rivalry:
“Like coach said we’ve had a lot of battles with them [Duke], home and away.  It’s always fun to play against them because you know it’s gonna be a great game, definitely gonna miss seeing Maryland and Duke play but I am sure they will meet up again.”

Maryland Freshman Forward Lexie Brown
On the atmosphere in Cameron:
“It wasn’t as loud as I thought I would be but definitely the atmosphere, it was great, it was fun to play in but I did let the crowd and Duke get in my head a little bit during the game.”

On second half offensive struggles:
“Nothing really changed we just weren’t knocking down shots like we were in the first half. Again I was just trying to get more people involved in the offensive which I probably shouldn’t have done considering how we were shooting but I think they [Duke] played pretty much the same, but they just came out in the second half with a lot more energy than we did.”

On the Duke zone:
“I mean also the fact the Elizabeth [Williams] blocked the first shot I took in the beginning of the game, but I mean that top part of the zone is really long so it does make it really hard to get a shot off.”