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Quotes: Duke 60, St. John's 42
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 12/09/2012
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
On the Game:
“Nice battle out there today, obviously defensive oriented no doubt, and I liked our team’s presence on defense.  I liked the fact that we stuck with some things and did a pretty good job on [Shenneika] Smith, who’s an excellent player and capable of big games.  Not as good a job on [Nadirah] McKenith, but certainly a great team defensive effort overall to hold them to 42.  Offensively we weren’t exactly at the level of things that we like to do, and that’s a good learning lesson for us coming off of Georgia Tech and coming into New York and learning how to perform in different arenas and different situations relative to preparation and whatnot.  Elizabeth [Williams] battled hard, Haley [Peters] battled hard, and I though Ka’lia Johnson was a big x-factor off the bench for us.”

On the game’s start:
“We came out pretty flat defensively initially and traded baskets.  And, you know, give them credit for doing a good job there.  And I just thought defensively we were a step slow and not really focused on what we were supposed to be doing out there.  So it was an interesting start that way.”

Duke Sophomore Elizabeth Williams
On recovering from her injury:
“Yeah I’m feeling good, just trying to get in a rhythm.  I tried to go out and get a couple rebounds early just to get some momentum.”

On playing in the Maggie Dixon Classic:
“It’s just an honor to even be in the Maggie Dixon Classic, and I know all of us read up on her before we got here.  So it’s been a really cool experience for us.”

Duke Junior Haley Peters
On playing in the Garden:
“It’s really unbelievable to have the opportunity.  I think you could see a bit of jitters that we had early on, shooting some air-balls and things like that.  I mean it’s so cool.  We just walked down the hallway to our locker room and there are pictures of Elton John, John Lennon, and Beyonce.  It’s really cool. It’s an honor.  Our whole team is just really happy that we have the chance.”

St. John’s Head Coach Joe Tartamella
On the Game:
“Our staff, as much as the score doesn’t really indicate it, is actually pretty happy with the way we finished the game, especially in the second half.  At the start of the game, we didn’t match their intensity, one, on the glass and, two, even in transition.  But we talked about limiting their opportunities to score off turnovers.  We allowed them to do that – I think they had 17 points in the first half on turnovers and four points in the second – and same thing on second-chance points.  They had probably about 90% of their baskets were, I believe, either second-chance points or off turnovers in the first half.  We were happy with the way we came out in the second.  Obviously, we wanted to win the game.  We did show some growth today.  It’s nice to have [Nadirah McKenith] back on the floor for us, playing at the Garden, getting [McKenith] back to health, and Shenneika [Smith] back to health too- that was a big plus for us.  I though Amber Thompson also gave us some quality plays today.”

On changes in tempo:
“I think part of that was that we had some impatience- even earlier we had a little bit of it.  We were able to get some stops though to curtail them scoring. They got on the glass and we actually had chances where we got the shot we wanted and we didn’t finish the play.  I think that Duke does a great job feeding off turnovers and in transition.  If we didn’t limit those things, especially in the second half, it would’ve been the same as in the first. I think that, on their runs that they had, they were able to get second-chance opportunities by either scoring on the put-back or getting to the free throw line.  I thought the biggest part of the game was the last two minutes.  There was an 8-0 run where we had two breakdowns where we allowed them to hit two three’s and then get a layup on the break in transition.  I thought that was a really big piece going into the half.”

St. John's Guard Nadirah McKenith
On her role and Duke:
“It’s my job to lead my team and try to make plays or find my teammates to get them involved in the game.  I just saw an opening for me and I had the opportunity to take some shots and make them, but I’m going to try to get something for my teammates for.”

“Duke is a great team.  We just have to work on some things- take care of the ball and limit turnovers.  Me, I have to do a better job of taking care of the ball as the leader out there on the court. Duke is a great team.”