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Quotes: Duke 68, Oklahoma State 59
Thursday 03/26/2013  -  Duke Sports Information
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Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Opening Statement:
“What a great women’s basketball game. I’m really, really proud of our team’s second half performance and composure. I think we pressed a little bit and wanted things too much sometimes, and pressed a little bit and would forget to play together. I think that occurred a little bit in the first half. Second half, very different story. Everybody was on the same page, everybody going the same direction and I thought it was just a fascinating thing to observe and watch and be a part of because Oklahoma State is an excellent team, a really, really good basketball team … I was just proud of this group, to stay together like they did, to fight. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t great, but it was certainly gutsy. And gutsy and resolve at this point are pretty critical elements. I thought Elizabeth [Williams] fought back. She was frustrated early but just came back really, really strong and probably played the best basketball at the most critical moments of the game. I thought Haley [Peters] was just all over the place – rebounding, defending, hit probably the game-winning shot, giving us some separation on that right baseline – incredible. And Chloe [Wells] was a game-changing performance in all ways. She worked so hard on defense. I think at one point she stalled them and they stopped moving and there were a couple turnovers and things of that nature. I really thought Chloe was the engine to making it go. So we’re excited. We’re really, really happy to go to Norfolk. Really happy to be in the area where Elizabeth and Ka’lia [Johnson] are from. Just a fun time of year, and it’s about just playing together and enjoying that opportunity to play together for as long as we possibly can.”

On her team’s performance in the second half:
“I think when we play like we did when we were down 13, you’re going to wear them down and you’re going to change things up and you’re going to try to wear people down and also keep them off balance as much as possible. I’m really proud of Chloe in particular because she was the catalyst and instigator of a lot of anticipation, which the team was able to feed off of. And Lex [Alexis Jones] as well.”

On her mindset at halftime and what she told her team:
“The only time I was concerned was when I was sitting on the couch before going in to talk to them, to really think about what I wanted to say. I was trying to read them and understand exactly why we were in that position. And I talked to my assistants about it. As a coach, there are things you are very upset about – layups, for example, transition defense. But I elected to not go there. I dropped the first half and [said], ‘This is what it is. This is what we’re going to do.’ We don’t have a lot of experience at this. And that was more the approach. So that was when I was most nervous as a coach, was when I was trying to make the right call at halftime in terms of what was I really feeling, because it was such a weird game. It was weird the transitions that we gave up and then the three at the end. It was just a weird first half so I had to think about that for a second and I thought we were in great shape after that. I thought it would be a lot of fun and it was.”

On seeing her team respond strongly to the halftime deficit and approach going into the second half:
“The joy of this team is incredible. That feeling of just coming together, because it wasn’t pretty or perfect. It wasn’t like we came out and shot 80 percent and razzled dazzled. We had to fight. It was a blue collar comeback. That was guttural, that was gutsy. Just when we got a little bit of momentum, they hit a shot. So it was very, very hard. Really, it was a 16-minute deal to turn that thing. And so I just felt such joy for this team. I think Chloe said it best – we’ve been through hell and back. With Amber [Henson] never getting to play – Amber’s supposed to play. With Chelsea [Gray] – I mean, it’s been incredible what we’ve endured and how we’ve continued to find the best out of it. This is a very moving experience and we just want to play games. We’ll be happy the rest of the way to get any game because that just means you get another one. I’m thrilled for this team. That was a hard thing that they did, that was really hard.”

On the team’s scoring burst late in the game:
“I think at that point, just great time and score execution, getting the ball in various spots. There were various people that scored during those times. And the team was hungry, the team was mad. They had a great feel to them and so they were screening well, moving the ball well. And one in particular is when E[lizabeth] scored in almost half a second. It was an urgency piece that you need to feel at that time, and it was great. We’ve never been down this year. This team has never been down and been able to come back, I mean never. And certainly we’ve never been down by 13 at halftime of any game. It was all a new experience and I’m glad we could have a new experience because it will bode well for this year and years to come. Lex [Jones] learned a great deal as a point guard today, as a young point guard, and so did some of the other kids. It was a great experience for us.”


Duke Center Elizabeth Williams
On what Oklahoma State was doing defensively and what Duke did to counter that in the second half:
“They didn’t do anything too out of the ordinary. It was just a matter of being strong with the ball and taking care of it, I was way too careless with the ball. In the second half we held each other accountable as a team and made sure we took care of the ball and played for one stop at a time.”

On team’s mindset defensively in the second half:
“I think we realized in the second half that we weren’t getting the stops we needed to get. Our shots will fall eventually, that is just the way the game goes sometimes.”

On playing in Norfolk in the next round:
“I think it is going to be pretty cool to play in front of my high school coach and all the people who supported me throughout high school. I’m excited.”


Duke Forward Haley Peters
On encouraging her teammates during the first half:
“I thought our fight wasn’t that great in the first half. We went away from things that we normally do very well and didn’t play together as well as we could. We had defeated looks every now and then which I thought was strange because that isn’t something we’ve done throughout the majority of the season. I talked to Alex and told her to try to focus on stopping them one possession at a time, one score at a time. The focus really shifted to defense. We are a talented team and when we play defense we are very good. I was just trying to get people going on that end of the floor. I thought Chloe was just as important, if not more, than I was in that regard. I think we came out with a pretty good mindset in the second half.”

On how Duke recovered to start the second half:
“I think people were challenging each other to step up in the locker room. We wanted to make sure we were fighting together. We talked about setting goals at half time for each media timeout but also recognized that it started at the defensive end. That’s when Coach came in and told us that we were just setting ourselves up for a big comeback. We knew we played a bad first half but we couldn’t focus on that.”

On whether any deficit would be deemed insurmountable:
“I don’t think so. We believe in each other as a team and know that it is something that we control. Other teams aren’t putting us in bad positions, it is something we are not doing well and that we work to address. I think we are really good at focusing on little things and individual possessions and not being overwhelmed by the big picture.”

On the team’s conditioning:
“I think a good amount of it since we run pretty hard. We have a lot of confidence in our defensive ability. We know that when we put our minds to it we can be a great defensive team. Knowing that frees you up to be aggressive. I thought Lex [Alexis Jones] and Chloe [Wells] were great at providing pressure at the top and, as Coach said, stopping them on a couple of occasions. It frees you up to flow in your offense better.”


Duke Guard Chloe Wells
On her thoughts as she entered the game while Duke struggled offensively:
“I was thinking that we had to reverse the ball. We usually shoot well when everybody gets a touch on the court. I think that we didn’t really have it in our minds to press to score, we just relaxed and waited for the right shot.”

On Coach McCallie’s message to her when she came off the bench:
“She told me to keep going and to get a breather when I needed it. I was playing so hard I was tired. She told me to keep playing hard and the shots will eventually fall. She also told me to keep fighting on defense.”

On what it means to play an important role in this year’s tournament:
“I think our performance today is a testament to all that we’ve been through as a team. Chelsea [Gray] has been hurt, I have been hurt, Richa [Jackson] as well. We just know how to fight as a team. When we go down everybody is still on the same page and I think tonight we showed that more than anything. Being here is the opportunity of a lifetime that I didn’t have last year so I feel really good.”


Oklahoma State Head Coach Jim Littell
Opening Statement:
“I am very proud of our basketball team. This is a group that has continued to get better as the year progressed. We continue to defy our depth issue, which got us in a little bit of trouble against a very talented Duke team. I thought we played outstanding for the most part. We made some mistakes taking care of the basketball, made some mistakes defensively. Good teams make you pay for that. Duke played extremely well in the second half. I don’t think it is necessarily anything we did wrong, we just ran out of gas tonight. We have been playing basically five people for the last two and a half months. I look at the numbers of what these kids have played. Playing a caliber team like Duke, depth becomes an issue and that was a big issue tonight. I told them to look at the big picture of what they have done this year. There was a first for these kids, Tiffany’s [Bias] group and on down, it is the first time we have won a game in the Big 12 Tournament. It is the first time we went to the NCAA Tournament. We came in here and beat DePaul. Our program is progressing and it is headed in the right direction, because of young ladies like this.”

On Duke’s run in second half:
“We were talking about the mistakes that we were making, turning the basketball over. Credit their defense for that. We made some lazy passes and it turned into easy baskets. I thought it fueled the comeback for them and got the crowd involved in it. It was some things they were doing to us as well as us getting careless with the basketball. For us to come in here, we almost have to play a perfect game to win this game. I thought we played pretty close to perfect in the first half and for four or five minutes in the second half. It is a tough draw coming out here, because of who they are and [Chloe] Wells came off the bench and was a big factor in the game. They have four kids, five kids who can score at every position. That is what makes them a top-five team.”

On what team did well against Tricia Liston:
“Brittany Marvel kid for us is a special talent. I just told her in the locker room that she gained so much experience this year. She is going to be a great player. We put her on her, told her to stick on her and she did great job. We didn’t give her [Liston] too many open looks. I think she got a couple off kick-outs on some offensive rebounds. I thought Brittany Marvel just did a great job. It has been like that for us all year long. A freshman for us was the assigned to guard the best player every night on the other team in the Big 12. When kids come into Division I basketball, the two things they struggle with the most are the physicality and the quickness. She has both of those. I think we just have an exceptional player.”


Oklahoma State Guard Tiffany Bias
On fatigue and Duke’s run in the second half:
“I feel that our turnovers really led to their momentum and I think that we weren’t taking care of the ball. That 1-2-2 press that they put on us kind of riled us a little bit and we didn’t take care of the ball and didn’t adjust to it well.”

On what Oklahoma State did well in the first half:
“I think we came out with a lot of fire and a lot of pride. I think that the second half we got a little lazy on the rebounding and they got second and third shots and open threes which really killed us. I think it’s just one of those things, just a mental breakdown, and we didn’t recover very well.”

On her defensive game plan:
Alexis Jones is a great point guard and has great handles, so it’s basically just playing solid, good defense. Don’t reach, you’d rather give up a jump shot than an easy lay-up. The game plan was basically just to play solid. When they pass it in the post you want to dig out, but get out to your man too.”


Oklahoma State Forward Toni Young
On what Oklahoma State did well in the first half:
“I think at the beginning we were a little slow rebounding and getting to loose balls, but after that we broke it down and started going after every ball. We’re a fast and good team and we used what we had to build a lead against them.”



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