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Quotes: Duke 77, Cal 63
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 12/02/2012
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“I think it was a real good physical game. Obviously in a lot of ways that was really good for us. I really liked the first 20 minutes relative to our defense and shot contesting. Anytime you can hold a team to 22 percent shooting that’s outstanding. It’s hard to keep up though too against a very very good team like that. So that’s something that we’re working on, that consistency and trying to play 40 minutes and not just 20 minutes or 25 minutes or something like that. I really liked Chelsea’s [Gray] leadership. I thought she dictated the aggressiveness on the floor and that’s very important to us. The rebounds, the assists, the charges – all those are pretty remarkable to accomplish in a game like that that was really a feisty and quick game. So that leadership was very important to us. And from Tricia’s [Liston] perspective anytime she gets eight rebounds in a game like that that tells her she can get rebounds anywhere because they are a very good rebounding team. When our guards are rebounding like that that’s important to us. I’m really glad [Allison Vernerey] got seven [rebounds]. Eventually when we start doing more rebounding that can make us a much stronger team overall. But a good game for us and also great preparation for our game on Thursday [against Georgia Tech.]

On the team’s defensive performance in the second half:
“You have to give credit. I think we didn’t play as aggressively. We played a little bit to the score too much. We had a lead for a long time. We have to get out of that. WE have to really want to make plays on every possession, but you also have to give credit to them. They were more attacking with a nothing to lose mentality a little bit when we’re up 15 or 14 or something like that. I think anytime you give up 43 points in the second half you’re not going to go home liking that. But I really did like our overall grit, savvy and toughness. That game was very physical.”

On Allison Vernerey’s play off the bench:
“Allison was huge. Her seven rebounds and her attacks. She looked very comfortable out there in a very physical game. We were in terrible foul trouble with both Hayley [Peters] and Elizabeth [Williams] in the first half. I thought both Sierra [Moore] and Allison [Vernerey] rose to the occasion. Sierra is quite undersized post and I thought she was doing a pretty good job out there. That was good for us. We got better as a team a little bit that way.”

On breaking California’s press:
“We love to be pressed and we haven’t been. Some of those plays were fantastic. One I can remember specifically is a bounce pass from Chelsea to Tricia as she finished and the spacing we had on the press breaker. I think that should always be an advantage for us if people press. I know there were a couple silly turnovers and some good hustle plays by [Brittany Boyd] running around tipping balls. There is no room for that if you want to be really good so I thought that was a good learning thing for us. But overall I thought we did a great job breaking the press and either scoring or pulling it out and executing something.”

On balanced scoring today versus scoring at Michigan:
“I think any day it’s possible to have five or six in double digits. I think we’re just trying to play really really hard and get better. There is a little bit more representation here I think today, but it was a very different game from Michigan. [Michigan] held onto the ball until two seconds on the shot clock. It was opposite of what you saw today where both teams were very willing to go so it’s hard to compare the games. You had to have so much patience and poise playing Michigan because you could just get frustrated because the game was slowed down so much. I think we’re much more comfortable in this game in terms of this kind of flow.”

On not shooting any free throws in the first half and 16 in the second half:
“I think our team came out and realized we hadn’t shot any free throws and we became more aggressive to the ball. We also got to play Elizabeth [Williams] in the second half and they were climbing all over Elizabeth. And they were all over Chelsea often. They also jumped on Tricia a lot trying to change things. It’s important to take that physicality and make it work for us, which we did in the second half. I was very upset with the fact that we had not been to the foul line in the first half. I was not happy about that.”

On outrebounding California:
”We’ve been working towards this. We’ve been having rebounding conversation almost too much. We’ve been working towards getting better as a team. This team caught our team’s attention a little bit because they realized ‘wow these guys can really rebound the ball’. We just got to get that mentality no matter who we play. We rebounded better because we knew they could too. What we got to do is rebound great no matter who we play. I’m not surprised at all. This just touches the tip of the iceberg. You look at Haley [Peters] and Elizabeth [Williams] with five. They both can get 10 or 12 and if we can keep Tricia [Liston] at eight and Chelsea at 8,9, 10 then wait a minute you’re becoming dominant. Now this becomes a very tricky team to play.”

Duke Junior Tricia Liston
On the benefits of having multiple rotations:
“I think it’s huge.  I think our bench is really deep and you can sub almost five in or five out and when we’re healthy we’ll have enough bodies to do that. But I think the different combinations that we can make when coach subs different people on the floor are pretty much hard to match up with.  You can go big or you can go small.  At every position you have a different strength, someone can do something that someone else can’t. I think that’s a big thing for our team being so versatile and being able to play with multiple people on the floor at one time.”

On how various rotations impact her play:
“I mean it helps a lot definitely.  When you get someone like Chelsea [Gray] on the floor you know they’re worried about her so much that she’s driving and everyone’s collapsing and she has a kick-out. With E [Elizabeth Williams] it’s the same thing.  She’s getting doubled or tripled and that just opens up things for everybody on the floor especially me.  Being an outside player it helps a lot when you have people on the floor with such credibility like these two and my other teammates. It opens everything up.”

On how Duke was able to pull away after California’s early lead:
“I think we just kept fighting, kept battling.  I think they got a little tired.  We had some transition buckets right in a row and I think they kind of got down a little bit after that.  At the beginning I think we gave up a couple O boards on the possessions.  We tried to give up one shot and let that only be one shot for each possession.  We tried to push the tempo a little bit and run our stats and we were getting good shots.  At first we might have had a couple forced shots but once we started running our offense things were really opening up and we were finishing and making plays.”

Duke Junior Chelsea Gray
On whether she celebrates taking a charge or making a nice assist more:
“It’s kind of the same but a charge is more of a game changer.  I feel like the energy from the bench and my teammates, it provides a little bit more.”

On the physicality of the game:
“We knew it was going to be physical and it was going to be a bloodbath out there and we just had to focus on rebounding and getting stops when we needed them and being protective of the ball a little bit more.  We got a little careless at some points and they would come from behind us and get a steal or something.  Overall we did a better job in the second half of dictating the physical play.”

On playing against players she knows:
“No I wasn’t over excited.  It was an adrenaline rush going out there and seeing familiar faces on the other side, but once we got out on the court it was more of a battle and the best team wins.”

California Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb
Opening Statement:
“Thank you all for coming.  We appreciate it.  We know how supportive you are of women’s basketball here.  It was a great environment.  We scheduled this game at Duke with a lot of intent and a lot of purpose.  I think, while we are disappointed to not have played better in that first half and come away with a win, I think the team is going to get out of it more than they even realize.  Duke is really, really good.  They’re such a complete team.  They showed that when Elizabeth Williams got into some foul trouble and they were still just as dangerous.  I like how our team responded in the second half, I thought we played a little bit more of our brand of basketball.  Thought they really locked in at halftime.  With a team like Duke, you can’t put yourself in that kind of hole because they are that good.  We’ll take a lot away from this game, and hope to be in this type of situation again both in our own conference and in our post-season.”

On the effect on the team when Allison Vernerey contributed well after Elizabeth Williams got into foul trouble:
“I don’t think so, I mean I don’t think they were aware.  It was more a matter of, we started off pretty hot and they were hot.  And then we missed a couple of shots and I think that made us tighten up.  I think that maybe we started to rush things too, thinking that we have to score right now versus locking in defensively.  I think what makes Duke so good is that all five players on the court are a threat.   [Allison] Vernerey coming in and hitting a couple of shots didn’t surprise me, but obviously for them that is what makes them dangerous.”

On Duke’s defensive effectiveness and the transition from press to zone:
“Duke is one of the best transition teams in the country.  We knew that coming in and I actually thought we did a pretty good job of slowing down Chelsea [Gray] in transition.  I mean Layshia [Clarendon], you know, gave her some trouble.  Just kinda split the court apart in transitions.  I thought we did a pretty good job just limiting that.  Our inability to make shots in that first half when they went to the zone was a problem.  I think we turned it over 13 times in the first half.  Their zone was really lengthy and it bothered us.  We didn’t get the looks that we wanted right away.  We got some good looks, but we just happened to miss them.  So I think it was maybe a combination, rushing a little bit after we missed some of the initial ones.  There is no question that their lengthy zone leads to their transition.  When we turned it over, it was hard to stop them in transition.  But when we had a shot and a chance to guard them, we did alright.”

California Sophomore Brittany Boyd
On whether Duke forced her into the role of scorer rather than disher:
“I believe it was more of me attacking and they kind of left me open in the middle.  I was looking for my teammates, but usually I don’t get that a lot and it’s easier for me to dump it off.  I was just taking what they gave to me.  Just made something happen with that.”

California Senior Layshia Clarendon
On why California had such a better second half compared to the first:
“Like Coach said, I think we really dialed in.  Basketball is a game of runs, so we played them even in the second half.  We kind of calmed down.  Maybe nerves, maybe you know going up 13-12 on them.  We were making every shot, you’re on a high, and then you miss a couple.  You’re playing the number four team in their house, but I wouldn’t say rattled.  We all can score and we can all do so many things that we can get like ‘I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it.’  It’s just a game of runs, and we lost it there for a minute.  I think that’s going to be a growing point later.  Just staying together when things get rough and you miss a shot, instead of kind of splitting apart.”