Opening statement: "Obviously just a really defensive basketball game and a physical game. Great battle, a great opportunity for us. We took a lot of shots. And I think, hopefully, we're going to learn a valuable lesson when we watch on film as we don't move the basketball and we don't connect and play together. And I'm very disturbed by that eight assists. I'm very disturbed by that. We broke out of what we do offensively. We were too one-on-one oriented and we paid a price for that. We had 69 shots, they had 51 - you can see that clearly. We didn't go to the free throw line nearly as much as you need to in these kinds of games, weren't aggressive enough in the paint and didn't get enough offensive rebounds to counter some missed shots. It's a great lesson for our team, a great lesson on what not to do offensively and how not to rush yourself and do some things that you didn't need to do."
On how Connecticut played defensively to limit Duke: "We just wouldn't reverse the basketball. They overload one side. They do a nice job of it. You've got to penetrate, kick, get the ball to the other side of the floor. I'm not sure I can find a ball reversal in the entire film. I'll look for it tonight. But you've got to move the basketball. You've got to shift it and bring it other places. You can't just play off the bounce. I think, for us, we've got a long history of great assists ... You don't change how you play because you play different people. You have to impose how you play. And we imposed ourself defensively. I thought we really shut down their transition. I thought 61 points was a good, strong defensive game. But in the same sense, I bet we might have been able to do better there. I'll look at the film. It's a great lesson for us. We need to learn. We need to learn how to play together and play off each other in those situations. We took a lot of rushed shots - off-balanced and rushed."
On what her team did well: "I like that we've got some more rebounding. Richa [Jackson] getting nine and Haley [Peters] picking up nine, and you see Chelsea [Gray] had seven. I like the six steals by Chelsea, and I like some individual stats. They're showing some action out there and some aggression. I like to see that. I just can't believe we shot that ball 69 times the way we did. I can't get over that. I will. I'll get over it."
On Kiah Stokes' performance coming off the bench for Connecticut: "Probably the difference-maker in the game. I didn't realize she corralled 12 rebounds, which is more than anybody on our team, and she's a sub off the bench. She deserves a lot of kudos for that. I didn't realize that she had collected that many."
On Duke's confidence in facing Connecticut: "I hope this team thinks we can beat anybody, and there's something wrong with them if they don't. I really hope they think that. And they're going to really regret when they see this film tomorrow, I assure you. They're going to regret some things."
On working deep into the shot clock on offense: "I think I'll take some of the deep into the shot clock considering we shot 69 times. If we hadn't done that, it would have been 75. The reality is you do want them to defend, and sometimes you've got to figure things out on how to move the ball. That's something that's a little bit different. Sometimes you go deep in the shot clock and you make some nice plays. There were some beautiful plays. I know they didn't all go our way. We missed a lot of layups. But it's important that we recognize how we did that, and we recognize that the shot clock is running down like we did versus quick shots that are just sort of thrown up there without good offensive rebounding."
On her team's perimeter defense: "There's a lot to take from this, lesson-wise. We defended a very good offensive team. They're an offensive team. And there were moments of great defense, in transition in particular. So I think you take all that. I'm going to be bothered by the hustle plays. They got the hustle plays. That's going to be very disturbing. They got more than we did in the game, and I think it's important for our team to recognize that these are the intangibles. These are the things that allow a team to have a history like Connecticut has or somebody else. These are the things that separate banners and not. And we've got to understand that, we've got to learn from that. We've got to be open to that and recognize that there's a lot in here for us to pull."
On what UConn's defense did: "They did a good job of clogging the lane a little bit. Sometimes we would take a little too many dribbles, and then a kick. It shouldn't be one dribble, kick, or follow, or something like that."
On how far the team is from 'narrowing the gap' against UConn: "Like Coach P just said, I think we're capable of beating any team that we play. We don't go into the game thinking 'Oh, I hope we win.' We come in the game with confidence."
On what the team can take from this game headed forward: "I think we could have held them to fewer points. That fuels our offense. I'll have to look at the film to really see what we can improve on."
On what can be done emotionally to prepare in the future: "We did go into lapses where we gave up easy buckets, and sometimes we had facial expressions that we shouldn't have had. We've got to just stay together with that."
On whether or not there were nerves coming into the game: "No, I don't think so. We've played in front of pretty big crowds all year. It's exciting to have people come out to the game, but once we get out onto the court, it's five-on-five."
On what the team did better this year than last, against UConn: "I think we played better defense than we did last year."
On whether or not the team played well for 40 minutes this year: "I wouldn't say we competed for 40 minutes. I think there were little lapses in the first half, and then a couple in the second half. Maybe it's closer, but clearly not enough. You need to play a team like that for 40 minutes.
On what caused the lapses: "I guess concentration - focus. If you want to beat a team like that, you just have to lock in to everything that you need to do for 40 minutes, and you just can't stop, and you can't get tired. It's not an excuse."
Connecticut Head Coach Geno Auriemma
On Connecticut's defensive effort: "I say this all the time. When a team doesn't score for a long period of time, it is not just because someone is playing good defense. They had something to do with that. Some open shots just don't go in. The pressure of the clock and the score, I think gets to you after a while. If you can't get a bucket, then we come down and can't get a bucket. Then you can't get one. Then we can't get one. All of a sudden shots start to get a little rushed. Kids try to start make plays that they are not comfortable making. Having said that, this was a great defensive game for us tonight. Everybody that played had a hand in it. I think once kids took care of what was going around the basket; the game plan was to make them the jump shooting team instead of playing in the lane. Once the kids took care of that, then I thought we had the game going our way."
On what they were able to do holding Duke to a 25 percent shooting effort: "Our defense has been good all year long. We did the same thing at Baylor. We did the same thing at Notre Dame. This particular group, I am surprised, but we are a really good defensive team. Maybe the fact that we've got four interchangeable players, we switch a lot of screens. It's difficult for teams to get comfortable against us because you might have a different kid guarding you every time down the floor. The effort was unbelievable. We kind of pride ourselves on that. We think we are the best defensive team in the country. Kids buy into that. They are not an easy team to defend. I think they are harder to defend this year than they were last year. The effort was unbelievable tonight for sure."
On what it means to close out a game like this against a top team: "Well, that is where teams start to grow a little bit. When you go on the road and play a really good team on their court, I think you grow up as an individual because you get to make tough shots. You make plays that mean something. You grow as a team because the last time anybody beat these guys here was us last year, I think. So it is not an easy place to win. I think we grew up as a team tonight. Hopefully that gives us confidence going forward. That's why we play these games though. Some teams may say, 'Well you don't want to play these kinds of games during the Big East part of your schedule'. But you play these kinds of games because they are great challenges. You love to play great teams on their own court on national television. It think it a great opportunity for the kids. That's why we do it, so we can experience nights like tonight."
On Tiffany Hayes' injury during the first half: "I didn't see it when it happened. We have this thing on our team that you can't be laying on the floor there like that, and expect to stay in the game. So you either get up and keep playing, or if you lay down, you are coming out. That is all there is to it. None of this where a kid lays there for five minutes and then plays the next 25 like nothing happened. You are either hurt or you are not. When she stayed down, I knew something happened. When she came out, she didn't look good. You guys saw that when you were out there. She didn't look good. That is why we didn't start her in the second half because the trainers wanted to take her back down there again to put her through the whole tests that athletic trainers have for these kids when they get hit in the head. They gave us the thumbs up and said everything was fine, but we were prepared to play the whole second half without her if we had to. When I came upstairs to start the second half, I didn't think she was going to play in the second half."
Connecticut Guard Kiah Stokes
On how this game builds confidence "I think it was just one game. I have to continue to grow, play hard, rebound and block shots that I know I can block to help my team."
On the advantage gained by playing with Elizabeth Williams this summer "Yes and no. I knew a little about her. But people change, when I got to college I changed, so I figured she had changed as well. Knowing her a little helped, but she is just an amazing player and you have to still defend like you would any other player."
On expectations to play games like this "Definitely, the crowd was amazing, it wasn't necessary for us, but the crowd was fun. The team was amazing and I think we played well tonight."
On the good start coming into the game "It helps a lot. Doing anything that will help our team is all that I can do. My teammates are getting a little more trust in me and I have to keep that going. I don't want to let my teammates down that's the number one thing."
Connecticut Guard Caroline Doty
On the meaning of win "I think it was just a great team effort, the fact that I was able to knock down some shots. It was great for my teammates to get me in the position for some open shots. It was definitely a confidence booster just like it would be for anybody else to hit threes consistently. But like I said, it was a great team win. Bria [Hartley] and Tiffany [Hayes] did a great job of getting the ball in the lane and our post did a great job occupying the people in the lane to allow me to get some shots."
On the packed January schedule "It would be a great time to just regroup and study about this game and previous games and try to get better and have some great consistent games going into the Rutgers game. We're ready for it; we want to keep getting better. We're going to try and take advantage of the time we have."
On improving before the postseason "We still have work to do this week, like I said before this is going to be key to finishing the last few games before conference play. I think we look great, our defensive efforts were there, if we keep that consistent and executing our plays and putting it all together. I think we have a good amount of time to keep doing that and if we focus on that we're going to have a pretty good run on the post season."
On getting comfortable following her injury "It was unfortunate with the knee bruise, but we're just fortunate it was only that minor setback. It felt good to come out and be able to feel comfortable and get that confidence back up. You take it one day at a time, one game at a time. I hope that I can come back and be consistent in practice and keep moving forward in the rest of the season."
Connecticut Bria Hartley
On the team effort "Everyone did a great job tonight. Tiffany [Hayes] was getting in the lane creating for people. Stefanie [Dolson] came in and did a good job. And for Kiah [Stokes] to come in and get some rebounds, because we had to focus on getting rebounds and for her to come in and get 12 rebounds that was a big step for her. And Caroline [Doty], we know she is a great shooter and for her to come in and hit some key buckets for us that's how you want to play on the road. We want to make sure we play well and play hard, you need road wins like this."
On responding to Duke's runs "Previous games on the road, it came down to us executing and today we were able to execute and get off the runs and score on offense."
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