Opening Statement: "It was a great second half for us playing more of our game, inside and out attacking. I didn't think the first half was necessarily bad; I think we just took too many quick shots and put ourselves in a position where we were running back on defense too many times in our transition defense. We lost [Krystal Saunders] in the first half, happy to keep her at 15. Happy to really work hard on [Stefanie Yderstrom] and [Morgan Stroman] as well. I was just really proud of the team for the second half. That's the direction we have to move to get 40 minutes of that kind of really aggressive basketball. I thought Tricia [Liston] was absolutely huge; very confident, always attacking. She's very calm on the floor, and knows the game, knows how to play it. Chelsea [Gray]'s defense, particularly her steals, I know she scored well. They were huge, ignited the whole team. She got us in some neat transition and broken play opportunities, and those are a lot of fun."
On winning by 40 after trailing by 10: "I think the team just changed a little bit of their perspective. I think that we were unhappy at half time relative to our shot selection, our transition defense, and spotting up with a hot shooter, and I think that it was pretty obvious to everyone that those were the problems and we needed to fix them quickly and not being down at half time on the boards by one. We're still trying to get a much better board production and so I just think that there is that disappointment at half and a total refocus in attack mode. I think that we really came out and attacked in the second half and also mixed some things up defensively. The team played hard the whole time, and every time we would substitute someone in to give someone rest, that person gave us energy. That was really a good thing. People off the bench were fired up and they were coming in doing what they do. I think that's how it happens. We're still trying to play at our level. It's a challenge for us to figure out a way to get it done and to do it every possession."
On Ka'lia Johnson's rebounding: "Yes, that is her game, and that's a beautiful thing. There are a lot of things KJ can do, but she really is committed to rebounding. She's had games with seven and then dropped off for a while. I just hope she can really commit to that because I think that is something Ka'lia can do every game that she plays. She is that good of a rebounder. She gets to the ball quickly. She has a little bit of an instinct of where that ball is coming off and that was a tremendous lift to the team. She had a very good practice the practice before, and it was great to see her continue just being so productive."
On Alexis Jones' double-double: "Yes the rebounding was huge. Those seven offensive rebounds were quick as a catch. She gets in there and gets that ball and that was a helpful thing because at the half we weren't exactly rebounding. She had six at half. Our guards can rebound. Chelsea can rebound. Alexis can rebound. Tricia can rebound. I'm not going to say Chloe can't offensive rebound, but she can pull up some 'D' boards. We've got to use all of our bodies because we've got bodies that can do it so that is really great to see."
On what was discussed at half time: "How they scored, and we didn't like that. We talked about rebounding. We talked about scoring. A little bit about offense and moving the ball because we had some turnovers. We didn't have a lot of assists. We only had six offensive rebounds so we just talked about that kind of thing, getting after it, and being tired of being in that position like being down in rebounds at half and that sort of thing. You have to battle for 40 minutes."
On getting out of her shooting slump: “I think just overall being aggressive and playing off of my teammates a little more and going inside out and settling down and not feeling rushed. It also started with my defense. That just ignited it.”
On the enthusiasm of the crowd helping provide a spark: “There was a point in time when we were on a run and the crowd was loud and everything so it was helpful. It was exciting.”
On what changed defensively for Duke in the second half: “I think overall we were being more aggressive and reading each other and talking. That was key. If they were setting screens we had to know who was helping off and everything. It was good.”
On Miami’s layups at the start of the game: “Partly [it was because of poor communication], but also we have to make one-on-one stops, not let them in the paint and help out when we need to help. We just have to do what we can out there.”
On what was going so well in the early part of the second half: “I think our defense [was playing well], especially with Chelsea [Gray] on the steals that started the fast break. Once we got one it kind of sparked everyone and then it pretty much kept going from there. We were getting stops and then we were working the ball on offense and getting good shots and then we were knocking our shots down. Everything was kind of meshing together well and we just didn’t look back after that.”
Miami head coach Katie Meier:
Opening Statement: “I don’t think we competed in the entire game. I thought in the first half we just caught Duke flat. We had a great performance by Krystal Saunders to keep us in it. But I still didn’t like how we were competing. I didn’t think we were physical enough. I didn’t think we played hard enough. We just didn’t have it. And it just needs to matter more, and it didn’t matter more. I really had a miserable time coaching that second half because I couldn’t get a spark, I couldn’t get my energy players to play with energy. Duke’s hard enough to prepare for anyway – they’re talented enough, they have enough weapons they beat you with. It’s hard enough. But I never thought I’d be in Cameron Indoor Stadium begging for effort, coaching effort, where you couldn’t coach the game plan. I’m as unhappy as I’ve been all year and I’m going to see what my team’s made of in the next couple days. But Duke did play a great game. They hit some wide open shots, and I just wish they’d at least had a hand in their face when they were hitting them, and offensive rebounds were just far too easy. It was if Duke wanted the ball, they just got it, and Miami said, ‘Here you go.’ I really do believe as a coach that the teams that I’ve put together, even when they weren’t as talented, they’ve played with great effort. This was not great, nor was it effort, and so the game plan kind of went out the window.”
On how she can get her team back on track after the loss tonight and the close loss to North Carolina: “That’s the softest response to something like that, like we were victims or something. I’m surprised by it because I thought we recovered well and learned our lesson. We played hard in that game. But I guess when things don’t work out for this particular team right now, we’ve got to complain about it and cry about it a little before we resolve and get a little bit of toughness. I know that it’s there. If I didn’t think it was there, I would just be like, ‘Well, we don’t have it.’ But I know it’s there, and that’s why I’m extremely disappointed and something dramatic has to happen in the next couple days with my team.”
On Krystal Saunders’ performance: “It was time for her to sort of step up and hit those shots, so it was really exciting. I’ve got enough balance to where I can say I’m happy for her because that’s a big part of us moving forward. We had three consistent performers up until the last couple games. It’s been Stro [Morgan Stroman], Stef [Stefanie Yderstrom] and Pep [Shawnice Wilson] and they’ve been double figures in every conference game and they’ve been really getting stuff done. Stef is obviously 1-for-22 in her last two games, and that’s not something that I can really game plan for. But, she always plays with effort. I thought Pepper and Stro were just a little stone-faced tonight and just weren’t the same. Had a couple performances from the bench that gave us a little bit of energy, but coming out of halftime, it just didn’t mean enough to us. And that’s insulting and I apologize.”
On how the first half compared to the second half: “I do think we followed the game plan and we did some things to kind of keep Duke off-balance and not get their fire going and to prevent runs and switch defenses. So there was stuff. It’s just that when push came to shove, Duke decided to shove and we just didn’t shove back. I kind of felt that throughout the game. I just didn’t think Duke had gone after us as much, and when they came after us, we didn’t respond.”
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