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Quotes: Duke 71, Wake Forest 56
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/27/2014
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“I really liked our energy more in the second half. I thought the team just really picked it up, made some great hustle plays. I could think of several of those hustle plays and I think it really set the tone for the entire half. It was a good, strong defensive game for us overall. We attempted to slow down their go-to’s. Not so much – both ended up with 20. But I do think that we made them work very hard for the points that they got, so that was important. We’ll continue to work on offensive rebounding and our attack mode there a little bit, getting to the free throw line a little bit more. But it was super effort by everybody. I thought Haley [Peters] was fantastic, not only in our defensive schemes but attacking off the press and just being really, really aggressive. And Richa [Jackson] I thought played with a lot of composure, moved the ball, found people and also had a terrific game.”

On why she started Amber Henson:
“Amber has just done a great job defensively. I wanted to go with a bigger lineup. I wanted to move Haley out. Oderah [Chidom] and Kendall [McCravey-Cooper] are terrific, but if you ask me who understands our defenses better, I would tell you Amber.”

On Chidom’s rebounding performance:
“It was absolutely huge. She was everywhere. She was everywhere going after the ball, going after those o-boards. For anybody to have eight offensive rebounds in a game – in that regard, she was the player of the game, without question. What that does for our ability to get the ball back and do things, it was an incredible performance and I hope she can build on it.”

On whether Elizabeth Williams’ role has changed due to injuries:
“I think everybody has a responsibility. Sure, to handle the ball more, break the press, move the ball, make smart plays. I think everybody’s stepping up in that regard. It’s sort of everybody’s job to take care of the ball better, to make good decisions and to also slow down when we need to. There was a time in that game when we got going too fast. We got ahead of ourselves a little bit and they benefitted from that. We need to control the tempo and really make sure that the ball’s in our hands more than the opponent’s.”

On how Rich Jackson, Haley Peters and Tricia Liston stepped up on Senior Night:
“I think it says it a tremendous amount. They’ve all grown. They’re all just getting better every day and I think seeing all the things they can do … I think their games are stepping up to a level that will help them in the future – not just at Duke but when they go off to try other things. Richa’s going to have to handle the ball an awful lot at the next level. The same is true for Haley. And the same is true for Tricia. You’ve got to be a diverse player at any of the next levels. You can’t just be a specialty item. There are just not enough spots for that to take place. So I think it’s really important that they continue to grow their game and they all took full advantage tonight.”

Duke Forward Haley Peters
On shooting confidence:
“I was focused on being better on the offensive side of the ball. I think a lot of my turnovers come when I am hesitant and thinking too much. I just wanted to be aggressive in attacking. I don’t think I’ve ever shot eight free throws before, so I just wanted to be aggressive. I know that I’m better than how I played in our last game, and I just wanted to show it.”

On Senior Night and one of last nights in Cameron:
“Yeah, I would say the same thing. We have so much that we’re working on right now, and thinking about with their team.  There’s so many things we want to work at, and get better at. It’s hard to get too emotional about it being the end because we have so much left to do. It’s nice to have our families here, and we know each other’s families really well, so it’s really fun to see each other and everyone with their families. Once we started playing we had so much we had to find out about who we are. It was hard to think about it.”

On first game with the new circumstances:
“I don’t know about that. I think that throughout the game we were finding out more about who we are, and by the end of it we played to a little bit of how good we could be today. We’re just trying to figure some things out with what we have gone through, but we know there is so much more there for us to do. It was good to play that game and get a good win, but we still have so much that we can do.”

On advantages of playing zone over man defense:
“We’re just so long now that we can bother shooters without really running out at them and opening up the middle of our defense as much. It’s going to be hard for people to play against with how long we are. We have a lot of learning to do about each other, and we made a really good step tonight.”

On importance of Wake Forest putting up a challenge:
“I think they played hard and they have some talented players. It was good for us. We pushed the lead out, then they came back a little bit. We really held our own. People came in and made great plays off the bench, and people came in and made hustle plays. We didn’t fold at all. We really rose through it.”

On what is coming up for the tournament without key players:
“I don’t think we’re surprised at all that we could win without them. We have a lot of really talented players. I think it was more about seeing how it was going to look, and how it was going to fit together in our new season that we’re in because we are a different team without those two. I don’t think it was a surprise at all. We’re good and we’re big, and people are going to have a tough time handling us. It was the first step in scratching the surface of who we can be now. It’s a different team.”

On working as a unit:
“They are both incredible offensive players. Breaking people down and incredible passers. I think today might have been the most we have executed through our plays, and there have been a couple times we ran the shot clock down. We haven’t really gotten down to that much this year. We can really start to play really well together. We can only keep going up from here.”

Duke Guard Richa Jackson
On Senior Night and one of last nights in Cameron:
“I wouldn’t say so per se. All of our families are here, and we go into every game really with the same mentality on the same stuff. It’s a special day, but we know we have other games in Cameron, so I feel we were just more focused on the game. After the game is really when we can enjoy it, spend time with your family, and have a great day.”

On playing 37 minutes:
“I just took advantage of opportunities that were given to me. I just try to keep working hard and stay positive. I know Coach P always believed in me so I knew eventually I would have a chance to step up. With Chelsea [Gray] and Alexis [Jones] being out was very hard for us to go through, but we grew as a team. Personally, I just want to come in, and be there for the team, no matter what that consisted of. I feel like we’ve grown and matured, and we have to get better, but I feel like we’re going in the right direction.”

Wake Forest Head Coach Jen Hoover
Opening Statement:
“Obviously we are disappointed with the outcome. We were really excited about the opportunity to come in here; we played really well here last year. We came in very confident. I thought we were going to be really aggressive. I was really proud of our kids. I thought we were going to do that early. They are a very good basketball team that has faced a lot of adversity and every time they’ve got to pull together a little closer and other people are going to have to step up. That’s obvious that some seniors did that today, in particular Haley Peters.”

On opportunity with Duke’s injuries:
“We felt like we had a great opportunity even before Alexis [Jones] got hurt. I know these two [Dearica Hamby and Chelsea Douglas] have confidence playing against this team and we feel like at this point in the season on any given night if we play our best basketball we have a shot and thought the kids were confident with that. Obviously when Duke lost her they had to be devastating for them. It’s a shame.  We really thought it was a great opportunity. I thought rebounding period really hurt us. We tried to press a lot and turn them over and thought that was really effective. You give them a lot of credit. They were strong and tough with the basketball at different times. Kids stepped up and made big plays when they needed to.”

On size and length of Duke:
“We talked about that. They were going to be one of the biggest teams on the floor and we expected them to play all zone. We knew they weren’t going to try to match up or play any man-to-man against us. They didn’t have anybody that could guard the quickness. We talked a little bit about trying to penetrate against the zone. At first we struggled a little bit trying to get it inside, maybe their length was giving us some problems there and we really needed to hit some outside shots. Chelsea was able to hit some early which helped open it up a little but we really never go that second shooter going and I thought that really affected us because that allowed them to pack it in more against us.”

On hesitation of other shooters:
“I think at times we try to work the ball around a little bit extra trying to see if we can get Dearica open on the inside or move a little bit. We try to create and we tried to attack on the backside of the zone. I thought we did pass up a few shots. Most of our shooters are the kind where if they miss their first one, they are a little more hesitant and if they make their first one, they are a lot more trigger-happy. It’s one of those things where they have to get in the gym extra. These two know that. The more you shoot, the more confidence you get and the more confidence you have in a game. This time of year practices are only an hour to an hour and a half so there is not enough time to be shooting 100 3’s. If you’re not shooting extra right now then your confidence level is not where it needs to be. This time of year is tough for everybody. We have been going for so long, midterms are getting ready to hit. It’s hard to get that extra piece up.”

On foul trouble of Jill Brunori affecting rebounding:
“It was obvious that there was no answer for her on the boards and they are not the first team in the league to not have an answer for her on the boards. She is a relentless and tough kid. When you are talking about her ability to rebound and Hamby’s ability to rebound, you have your hands full. I thought it hurt; I thought the one foul was very ticky-tacky. I am not questioning calls but it affects us. Although I thought with our four-guard lineup we were much better. We had better movement we were spreading them out a little bit. We have to just keep getting better that is what this team has talked about all year. That is what these two [Dearica and Chelsea] want to do. We are getting ready for Syracuse on Sunday and we haven’t played them. Welcoming them into our league we have to find out who our first round match up.”

On shadowing of Tricia Liston:
“We talked about her a lot because for those of us who were here last year, I won’t say she single-handedly beat us but with 29 points coming off the bench last year and she is just so automatic when she gets an open look. Her two 3’s late were huge, they were at prime times. We talked about her a lot and a lot about Haley being a leader. I know she is a kid that after they got beat by Carolina she called a player’s practice and I know she is going to step up. Those kids have played together for a long time. They have a lot of confidence playing with each other and they did not want their senior night to be an upset. I thought some of the seniors really stepped up. Richa Jackson also had a good game. I thought our game plan was good; I thought for the most part we did a good job. We did key in on Liston quite a bit. With Elizabeth [Williams] she is such a good passer, we wanted one-on-one with her inside and not bring people to double and let her pick us apart.”

Wake Forest Guard Chelsea Douglas
On playing against Duke’s size:
“It was just the same as going up against other teams that’s big and couldn’t match the quickness.  It wasn’t any different.”

Wake Forest Forward Dearica Hamby
On the conditioning required to play 40 minutes:
“You know running is not an issue for me, staying in shape has never been an issue for me.”