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Quotes: Duke 83, NC State 70
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/20/2014
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“That was a great game. Exactly what we need. We need a lot more of those games – the idea of playing a very quality opponent, the idea of a hot shooter again that we lost and didn’t find and the idea of making incredible plays on our end. Lex [Alexis Jones] showed great poise. I’ll bring you to the one play where she found Haley [Peters] for the three. She drew two defenders and made a beautiful pass. And then Tricia [Liston] just throughout the game always attacking and threatening, on her birthday, which is nice. And the seven rebounds are important because we need to get at least three or four rebounders. So we had the two with 10 and then Lex had six. So we need to grow that in order to become a better team. NC State is a terrific team. Like I said, we need more of those games. It’s this time of year and those kind of games.”

On defensive adjustments around the under-eight minute mark:
“I think we’re fighting to keep the pace that we want when we want it. North Carolina State held on to the ball a great deal – 25 seconds. And so you kind of had to push them, except for when 44 [Kody Burke] made her three’s. Then it’s kind of quick. But they really did do a good job trying to hold on to the ball, and for us we needed to push the pace and we needed to be consistent with it, which is harder. It’s just harder to do as the game plays, to get the pace that you want. I was very happy with our guards and with Lex leading the way because if we had some slippage, I thought we got it back quickly.”

On the team’s defensive effort on NC State’s perimeter players in the first half:
“The team, they were just doing defensively. We really got a good taste of that. I know we didn’t keep it up throughout, but that’s pretty hard to do. I thought our defense in the first half, honestly, it was fantastic – to hold them to 27 points. Everybody was part of it, held them to 20 percent shooting. It was a team effort because Elizabeth [Williams] was working super hard on 34 [Markeisha Gatling], as well as Haley on 44 [Burke] and others. And so everybody had to really take care of business there.”

On whether her team achieved the defensive balance she’s been looking for:
“Yeah, making stops and really getting after themselves to make those stops. That’s important.”

On how her team played to possession, not the score:
“That’s what we believe. As coaches call it, a ‘no scoreboard mentality.’ Unfortunately I think we had one and the shot selection was very poor at that time because of a lot of jump shots going up. So we didn’t have paint action or balance three’s. We had a lot of jump shots. And then defensively we weren’t communicating as well. So I think that’s a good lesson for us and I think that’s how it is. I expect all of these games to be very, very close and possession basketball games. If you look at our schedule, we’ve got nothing but great teams on it. And I think we lost our focus in that period of time and I think it’s a good lesson for us.”

On the importance of Peters’ offensive contributions:
“Haley’s a competitor. If you push this game as a competitor, then you’ll do all sorts of great things. I think playing as an offensive player or as a defensive player – basketball is so great and I think Haley played tonight as a competitor. You’ve got to go after people. You really have to take them on. And sometimes I see in players’ faces, they’re playing against themselves. I don’t like that. I like players that can be competitive and figure out ways to do damage. You blocked my shot? Okay, next time I’m going to come down and do something different. And I think tonight, for Haley, she was the ultimate competitor. Those are game winners left and right there, and that’s what she showed. I’m really happy for her because that’s who she is – she’s a competitor. And that’s where she has to stay – right there.”

Duke Guard Tricia Liston
On the NC State coming back after a 24-point lead:
“I think we just refocused when it got to the point where they caught back up. We started getting shots on the defensive end and then we started locating their shooters. Then we were executing on offense and kind of slowing down the pace and working the ball around and looking for a good shot instead of maybe rushing some things.”

On Duke’s offensive advantage:
“I think all of our guards had a size advantage. So, we were able to do some other things like that, but also with Alexis [Jones]’s quickness there was a lot of collapsing on the ball and stuff like that helped our guard play.

On playing on her birthday:
“I think this is only the first or second time I’ve played on my birthday. It’s a good birthday present.”

Duke Guard Alexis Jones
On the blind pass to Richa Jackson:
“I just knew that I could slice through and I knew the girl was trying to plug the shooter and also trying to dig in on Richa. So, I just made it look like I was about to pass it out and then I dumped it into Richa.”

NC State Head Coach Wes Moore
Opening Statement:
“I’m proud of the comeback and I’m proud of the effort in the second half but we are playing in the best conference in the country. We are playing against the team ranked 7th in the nation on their home court. We played 40 minutes and for whatever reason they came out with a lot more energy and more aggression. That’s what bothered me. They were trapping and we were getting it out of the trap and then casually swinging it when we needed to be making them pay for trapping. In the second half we had a much better effort. Kody Burke was obviously a big part of that the way she shot the ball. We just have to hopefully learn from it and realize we have to be ready when they tip it off and the final horn if we are going to be successful playing in the ACC.”

On Duke’s second-looks:
“I thought that was the difference really the last few minutes. I didn’t realize that we were actually down 24 and cut it to 4 and then we gave up a couple there too down the stretch when we really had a chance to do something. We have been doing better the last couple games, against Carolina we had a really good effort on the boards. Before that against Clemson we have been doing better. We knew [Elizabeth] Williams, her motor runs when it comes to offensive rebounding. She got some big ones for them. [Haley] Peters got some rebounds but that definitely was a key factor in this game was the offensive rebounds and the easy points.”

On Kody Burke’s performance:
“That’s the reason we had a chance. She got us back in the game and gave us some momentum and our kids fed off of that. Somebody asked me earlier on the radio what the difference was and the last 10 minutes and a big difference was Kody. I’ve said to a lot of people every time she comes out like this I am really happy for her. Every time I walk through Reynolds this summer, whether it is 9 in the morning or 9 at night Kody is in there shooting. Every one of those she knocked down she earned them. She worked for them.”

On defensive strategy against Duke’s bigger players:
“We knew they would try to post our guards up. Even [Tricia] Liston and [Richa] Jackson are both 6’1 we knew they would definitely take us in there and try to post us up. I thought our guards did a pretty good job against that mostly tonight. We tried to stress to our post players you are going to have to help down some when you get the opportunity. We understand. We aren’t quite as long on the perimeter so we are used to having some match up issues. Liston, probably my fault in the first half we should have chased her a little more off of picks so that led to some open looks for her. Williams really most of her stuff came off of offensive rebounds. She had seven offensive rebounds so we have to do a better job on her so that hurt us size wise. Everywhere else I thought we held our own pretty well.

On cutting deficit from 24 to 4:
“You’ve obviously used a lot of energy to get there. But we had some momentum and you could feel it. We started trapping pick on the ball and we either got a turnover or two or forced them to take some quick shots. We got away with it for quite a while and they finally after a while one time got it out of the trap and hit Peters in the corner. I thought that was the big shot. I think that bumped it from four to seven and we had gotten away with playing the pick on ball that way for a good little while and she really made us pay for it on that shot. You’ve obviously used a lot of energy to get back there. This team has done that most of the year. We need to get off to some better starts because we seem to have to fight from behind a lot but we did the same thing Sunday. We can come back and make it interesting but didn’t quite make it over the top with it.”

NC State Senior Forward Kody Burke
On her fantastic shooting:
“It seemed like what Coach Moore said that when you’re in a slump that kind of inspires you to give more energy so, and trying to translate that offensively and get the team going offensively because the team wasn’t going. I mean it was a good game for me as far as shooting the ball because I was in the slump the last almost four or five games, as far as shooting.  It’s nice but I was hoping it would translate to a W.”

NC State Freshman Guard Markeisha Gatling
On playing against the front line:
“I feel like I didn’t really have that great of a game tonight.  But I just tried to help the team as best I could.”

On preparing for the ACC tournament:
“I guess we are taking it one game at a time, we aren’t really concerned about the ACC tournament because we still have three more ACC games.”