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Quotes: Duke 82, Clemson 45
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/10/2013
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“I’m really proud of our team’s effort in the second half. I thought we dictated the tempo and also played better ‘D’ and did a much better job moving the basketball on offense. That was obviously the highlight of the game, the second half, and Chelsea [Gray]’s ball distribution. I’ll say it again; I’ve always been saying it. Chelsea is the best passer in the game, male or female, at the collegiate level. There’s no question about this, and I think it’s important that people recognize this because most people would think it would be a man doing that. I think it’s really great how she can look for her teammates, and also the connection she has with Elizabeth [Williams]. I think that’s a special thing on a team, and Elizabeth has such great hands and the ability to finish. I think that’s really fun for Chelsea, I know it’s fun for Elizabeth. It’s also fun for the team as a whole because the ball gets spread as well. So one half for us of pretty good basketball, and we’ll try to go for more than that on Sunday, and try to build to a 40-minute attack.”

On how her strategy changed for the second half:
“I think the team came out on a mission to play our game. It’s important to play our game, and I think the team came out. We were much more efficient on offense. We actually ran things. We got the ball inside out and created, and Chelsea led us in that direction. Defensively, we were more intense. We were being intent on the ball, pressuring the ball more, and causing them a little bit more discomfort. So it really just was an intensity thing I felt like more than anything else; not necessarily a technical thing.

On if their plan was to rush the other team:
“Well again, we felt that we kind of played a little casual the first half. You know, we took quick shots, we didn’t rebound, and there was a casual nature to what we were doing. I know the team felt it, and what’s great about it is they did something about it.”

On the difficulty of keeping up the intensity as a coach, day in and day out:
“From a coaching perspective, definitely not because you know the scheme of things, you know where you need to be as a team regardless of your opponent. You respect every opponent, but you also in your brain or plan against whatever their best opponent is; you are always striving to be a whole lot better. It’s about us. We have a lot of really talented players, and we are working on our technique, we are working on our toughness and our aggression. It’s a lot of effort to get that out of each other nightly. So we have a lot of work to do to our game, and it’s just definitely not hard to be passionate and wanting more.”

On whether there is anything significant that they need to do better:
“Oh yeah, rebound. I’ll hit you with that one right there. You have to get all available rebounds especially on a defensive side. You can shoot the ball better offensively and not limit your offensive rebound opportunities by shooting well, which is great, but there are D boards. They shot 34% for the game; they shot 27% for the half. That’s important stuff that you get every available board to control the ball in the game, and so we’ve not come close in that area.”

Duke Guard Chelsea Gray
On whether the team felt a sense urgency early in the second half:
“I did.  I felt the sense of urgency.  We weren’t playing our best Duke basketball at that point. I was getting in the lanes a lot and they were helping us a lot.  I was able to drop it off to so Elizabeth [Williams] or another teammate or kick it out and we were able to get the shots in.”

On whether she felt the momentum shift during Duke’s run in the second half:
“The momentum shifted our way and it felt good so I just kept going at it.”

On how Clemson’s defense affected the team in the first half:
“I think they were getting into the gaps and into the paint a little too much.  We weren’t keeping them sideline and posts were helping up and they were getting easy dump downs.  Our rebounding wasn’t as efficient.  I thought that was key going into the second half that we had to limit.”

On whether it is difficult to maintain a high level of intensity throughout a game:
“I agree with Coach.  It’s exciting to play with my teammates.  Just us continuing to grow throughout the season and trying to be more aggressive and trying to reach our potential – that’s what we’re aiming for. “

Duke Center Elizabeth Williams
On what is was like to be on the receiving end of Chelsea Gray’s distribution:
“I thought it was fun. Chelsea’s the type of player that if you make a play on the defensive end and get that block she’ll reward you. So it was always nice. I love playing with her. I think our teammates feed off of it as well.”

On her defensive rebounding:
“That is not good at all.  I just have to get to the board. It’s kind of a mindset, rebounding.”

Clemson Head Coach Itoro Coleman
Opening Statement:
“Duke’s pretty good. I felt like we played a good first half. We did enough to be in the game. I felt like in the second half, I think it was after the second media timeout, Duke made a run and we weren’t able to bounce back from that. But I’m proud of how the girls fought. We didn’t give up.”

On the performance of Duke’s Chelsea Gray:
Chelsea Gray is a good player and what makes her great is her vision on the court. She did a good job of beating the post players. She found people that were at the basket. She has a great eye. And my hat’s off to her.”

On what her young team can take away from how it played in the first half:
“I felt like the first half, we had composure. I felt like the second half we lost our composure. When you play against good teams, your margin of error is very slim. And so that’s something that we need to take from this game. Regardless of the score, regardless of the run, we still have to focus on what we want to do. Some of the things that we were doing in the second half, turning the ball over, we weren’t setting our screens. I know the girls just want it so bad. But the way that you get it is by executing. And so that’s something we have to take from this game.”

On whether Duke’s high tempo affected her players:
“Duke, they pressed us in the first half and it didn’t really bother us. I think in the second half, they pressed us, we turned it over and we lost our composure. Did they speed us up? We didn’t handle the press well, so I guess you could attest that to them speeding us up but it has a lot to do with just us. We felt like once we got by the first line of their defense, we had numbers. And we saw that in the first half. In the second half we didn’t. And then once we got it down, we just didn’t run a play, we didn’t run a set. And that’s what we need to get better at. But Duke’s a good team. They’re No. 4 in the country for a reason. They have a lot of good players that can do a lot of different things. And like I told the team, when you play against a good team like this, we have to execute. We have to be on the same page the whole time, defending that. That just has to be key. I felt like we gave up too many points in the paint. That’s another thing I felt like we can learn from this game.”