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Quotes: Duke 87, Winthrop 45
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/22/2014
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“I just want to say that it was such a great, intense, and fun game for our team. Winthrop is just such a fiery team. They never quit. They play so hard, and I thought our team did a terrific job. I remember watching them play South Carolina, and how Winthrop came all the way back and made it a closer game. I just loved how the team continued to focus on what we were doing despite the efforts they were trying to make obviously. The best stat that we have is the 21 assists. That’s got to be some kind of world record, and with no point guards on the floor. I guess that’s the funny thing; we’ve gone from no point guards to all point guards. I’m just proud of the team for passing the ball. Tricia Liston was just great, very steady. She always is. She’s always a great competitor and then Kendall [McCravey-Cooper] and Oderah [Chidom] were just tremendous. They are now sophomores here before me. They have moved on and have played terrific basketball. They play well together, they play well with their teammates, and I just think that like Kendall has to run with it because that kind of performance is what motivates the team. We get very, very excited about our potential and what we can be, and hopefully this game provides a direction, and I like the direction we’re moving.”

Talk about what it means moving forward with four or five post players on the floor:
“Yeah I mean it’s a great team. This team is really enjoying playing together, and understanding what everybody can do. It’s only really game six for us. There’s room for growth every time you walk in the gym.  It’s just enjoyable to coach a group that enjoys playing together so much, and enjoying looking for each other when they’re passing the basketball. You know we’ve faced different challenges as you saw at Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and Notre Dame. With Winthrop the challenges are different, but the key is to be the same. The key is to be that same team that’s done a great job passing the ball, with better transition defense, and overall just playing smart. So it’s an exciting time for us. We just got to keep focused, stay in the moment and really work on seeing how we can build on our game.”

Talk about how Kendall McCravey-Cooper has advanced and changed her game recently:
“You know Kendall is very intense, and she is a fighter. I mean she is a terrific fighter, but I think sometimes that intensity can take her to a place where she may not let the game come to her so I thought that what we saw today was her fabulous intensity, but a little bit of patience and poise in her passes and in her decisions. I think that just comes through time. We’ve had so many challenging games. You know we’ve talked about the strength of schedule, number one in the country.  That may never happen again, and that’s an incredible thing. Well that means we’ve been playing against so many great teams all the time and that’s an ultimate challenge, I think, for our team and especially for the first years, and now they’ve played for a while. They’ve started to figure it out and they truly are sophomores. They had their spring break, they had their sense of coming back, and so it’s really a great thing. It’s exciting for them and it’s exciting for the fans to think about how you know them. They’ll be sophomores next year. They’ll be a lot of fun to watch through the years, and how they develop.”

Duke Guard Tricia Liston
On motivation coming in to game and threat of an upset:
“We had the same mentality coming in that we had to win all of the hustle plays and we had to stay with the little things … the intangibles and stay on the rebounding. That was the focus that we had … this was the first game that we had and the only game that we technically had so that was a big thing for us. That’s good that you said that because that means we were doing a good job.”

On early tip-off:
“All year, three days out of the week, we practice at 8 a.m. or 7 a.m., so I think that’s something that has helped us out a little bit but also we practiced early yesterday and we got to bed pretty early last night and woke up this morning there wasn’t any pregame nap or anything like that. We were up, we ate our pregame meal and after that we kind of just put on loud music and from there we were just up for the rest of the day trying to have high energy from the start.”

Duke Forward/Center Kendall McCravey-Cooper
On early success in game and preparation for game:
“I didn’t do anything different for preparation of this game. I just went out and knew what I had to do. I had to put the team with me … we had to carry each other so the early success came from knowing that my team needed me and I needed to do something.”

Duke Forward Oderah Chidom
On adjusting to getting more minutes:
“This year we’ve had a lot of adversity with the team. Our coaches and our other teammates have been implying that some other players need to step up and that just gave me an opportunity to be more comfortable. My confidence has grown since I have been given that position to play more.”

Winthrop Head Coach Kevin Cook
Opening Statement:
“First off I’d like to thank each and every one of you for being here and covering women’s basketball.  I’ve been in the game of women’s basketball a long time, before women’s basketball was cool.  We thank you for all of your coverage which will continue to grow our game.  We’d like to thank Duke for hosting this pod here, you’ve been first class and we found out what a first-class team they had.  They did a good job on the game.  I want to congratulate them for that victory.  They’re long and they’re very strong, and they’re a great rebounding team.  On the flip side of that, I’m very proud of these two players sitting next to me.  I’m proud of every one of our players in this historic season that we’ve had.  And were not going to let this game diminish what we’ve accomplished this season.”

On the effect of Schaquilla’s fouls on the offense (dealing with Duke’s post players):
“You got that right, cavalcade, seemed like the French Foreign Legion to me.  They were bringing them in in waves.  To answer your question, that was one of my concerns, was that Schaquilla [Nunn] would get into early foul trouble.  In previous games, when she has picked up her second foul, we don’t like to gamble with a third—we stayed consistent to that. We haven’t had 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 coming at you, so it impacted us greatly on the defense end.  This was a good experience for her.  She’s got tremendous work ethic and effort, and this will motivate her to work better.  I mean, Duke is really good.  I think that makes them 20-0 now in first round games. That makes us 0-1, but we’ll be back.

On the experience of being at their first NCAA tournament:
“The players didn’t realize it was real until selection Monday, and they thought ‘wow, were really in this thing’ so it was exciting for them.  I was excited for them—our players, our staff who work so hard, our loyal fans who have waited three years for this moment.  Cinderella wanted a couple more dances, but unfortunately we have to go back to Rock Hill and begin anew for next year.  We’re certainly moving forward—the foundation now has been laid.  We have a good group of newcomers.  I do want to mention, Dequesha, is not one for individual stats at all—but these numbers that she put up today—she led the big South in offensive scoring for three straight years, assists for three straight years, player of the year for three straight years. With that, I want to wish Duke the best of luck as they go on in this tournament.  They’ve got a nice group.”

On Winthrop’s fans travelling from South Carolina to watch the game:
“And for across the country.  We want to thank everybody that showed up, and supported the game.  It really shows our players how many people care about them, and they were very supportive—I’m sure you heard them.  I was excited that they were here, a great group.  It’s all about building a fan base. It’s all about growing the sport of women’s basketball.  All those fans help.  Next year, for us to come back, I think you’ll see double the crowd.  I heard the Duke coach, Coach P., employing her fans to come out.  There is a gap right now in women’s basketball.  We’re trying to close that gap, just like they’re [Duke] trying to close that gap on Connecticut and Notre Dame, we’re trying to close the gap where we can have wins in first round games and get some upsets.  So again, I’ve taken up way too much of your time.  Thank you and we’ll see you next year."

Winthrop Guard Dequesha McClanahan
On what she and the team have accomplished in her time at Winthrop and what she hopes to leave behind:
“I don’t think I can write down, I mean it’s clear from our history. The stats show it, the records show it how much time we’ve put into this program from freshman year to now. I’d just say that we was a good group of girls that had the same mindset when we came in and our mindset showed these past four years… I’m just very proud of what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve established. To leave a last impression just I want everyone to see our hard work and how far we’ve come, and it’s a good group of girls.”

On what set Duke apart from previous opponents:
“They crashed the boards really well. They were a big group of girls, and we expected that. We didn’t crash as well as we wanted to. I think that’s what separated us. They got a lot of second-chance points. We didn’t take care of the ball like we usually do.  In this last game we just didn’t take care of the ball.”

Winthrop Guard Samiya Wright
On preparing for the NCAA tournament this past week:
“Obviously everybody’s been very focused.  Everybody’s been on the same page, just trying to get prepared, work hard in practice, following the game plan that Coach has laid out for us. Then at the same time it’s been exciting. This is a new experience for us.  We were excited and focused at the same time.”