Postgame Quotes

Maryland Athletics
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Postgame Quotes
January 27, 2014
College Park, Md. (Comcast Center)

Head Coach Brenda Frese

On tonight’s game:
“Like I told them in the locker room, I loved their fight. I thought we showed a lot of character, especially when we were down the deficit we were down. To be able to comeback and scratch and claw and play the way the way to give ourselves a chance in the second half, but we lost this game in the first half. To spot them with a lead, I don’t know what it was with our slow start, but give credit where credit is due. I thought Notre Dame came out and showed their experience and their poise early as well as late game down the stretch hitting big shot after big shot.”

On Maryland’s defense in the second half:
“We were disappointed with our defense to start the game. I thought we defended harder in practice then how we started. We came out with a better mindset and a lot hard ball pressure and started trusting ourselves on the defensive end. We made them have to take ore difficult shots under duress.

On when she thought the game started to turn in their favor:
“Obviously I thought when we started pressing them we were able to cause a lot of turnovers in our press and then we were able to get stops to scores. We ended the first half with six consecutive stops, so our defense was there. That’s what we’ve got to continue to count on in a 40 minute game.”

On Jewell Loyd:
“She’s so talented. She’s really explosive going to the rim. She hurt us with her athleticism and a couple tip-in plays. It was obviously an extremely difficult matchup for us. I thought she was sensational tonight.”

On taking momentum into next game vs NC State:
“Yeah, it doesn’t get any easier. Now the toughness that we face having to play two straight games on the road in conference play. I think the biggest thing for us is we have to jump out early. These slow starts are hindering us in terms of our performance. Our veteran leadership has to show the way for everyone on the team in terms of the way we have to start games.”

Senior Forward Alyssa Thomas

On her energy in the second half:
“I was just trying to come out with energy. We ended the half strong and we really had to come out with a strong start. It was all about bringing energy.”

On what they can take away from the game:
“I think it’s on us. If we had come out with the intensity in the first half that we had at the end it would have been a different game. Credit to them. They took us out early.”

On what she told her team during the game:
“The game is about runs. They came out early and had their run but we had to settle down and chip at it slowly. That started with getting stops and getting on the glass.”

Freshman Guard Lexie Brown

On taking big shots:
“In high school I was always the one to take the big shot and I wanted to take the big shot. It’s no different in college, but if someone else is feeling it then I’m going to let them take the big shot. Though if I have the ball in my hands I’m going to try to take it, but I’m not going to force anything either.”

Senior Center Alicia DeVaughn

On getting out to fast starts:
“It’s just trying to stay focused and positive and learn from this. We started off slow but we see how we kept fighting and only lose by however many. We knew that we could have won the game, but we just had to come out ready to play, because they came out ready to play.”

Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

On tonight’s game:
“If it’s possible to be disappointed after a loss [win], I’d say that’s how I’m feeling right now. I thought we completely lost our poise, which is so unusual for us. We got a 20-point lead in the first half with two of our best players on the bench and couldn’t sustain it in the second half. They got the momentum going early. [Alyssa] Thomas was unbelievable. She was fantastic. I don’t think anybody’s had a performance like that against us in a long time. She was just phenomenal. We made some big shots when we had to. We certainly weren’t going to get any stops. That was the only way we were going to win, was to outscore them.”

On defense:
“I thought [Alyssa] Thomas was just so active trying to get the ball. Second chance points were big. We couldn’t keep them off the glass. They got easy shots, they got offensive rebounds for easy shots and they got a lot of layups. I think the shot chart in the first half and toward the end when they were making the run, they were just making really easy, open shots. I was just so disappointed with our defensive effort.”

On Jewell Loyd scoring seven of last nine points for Notre Dame:
“I think we finally had a plan. We looked very out of sync I thought for a stretch there we tried to do too much with the ball. We tried to do a little too much out of the offense and then we got back into the offense, we were able to get her on the block. We got some nice drives. Michaela [Mabrey] hit a big shot. And Jewell [Loyd] also.”

On Jewell [Loyd]:
“I think she’s able to score around the basket and get to the free throw line more. She didn’t do that as much last year. She can get her shot a lot of different ways, but we really want her to score and take advantage of the defender.”

On Alyssa Thomas:
“She seemed unstoppable. I think we were trying to not let her get the ball. I know that sounds funny. We really were trying to front her and face guard her and we didn’t do any of those things. When she got it, we were going to run somebody at her but we didn’t do that, try to force her right, we didn’t do that very well and box her out which we didn’t do well either.”

Notre Dame Forward Kayla McBride

On sitting on bench with the fouls:
“It was hard to sit on the bench with the fouls, just as a senior in a big game in a great atmosphere. I just wanted to be out there and contribute for my team.”

On the last basket:
“Yeah, that was kind of impromptu. I saw DeVaughn was guarding me and I just tried to make a move and get a good shot that I was comfortable with taking and it happened to go in.”

On holding on to the lead:
“It showed a lot with us just to be able to push back. I think we were doing so many things unlike us, especially late in the second half I felt like and just practically the whole game. But I think at the end when we needed a bucket, we were able to execute the way we were comfortable executing which is why we were able to pull it out in the end. I think we just found people where they needed the ball on the block.”

On Jewell being able to create shots:
“Jewell has a knack for getting to the rim and she’s so athletic, she can do so many different things, she’s so hard to guard. She has a nose for the ball and shes going to get it, regardless of what you think. I think that she’s grown so much from freshman year to now and just her entire game. Defensively, offensively, rebounding wise and I’m excited to see where she keeps going.”

On tough road stretch:
“I think it’s a challenge for us. We’re still a young team although we do have three seniors. It’s going to be great for us down the stretch with the NCAA tournament, ACC tournament, I think that we’ve risen to the challenge so far but we have to get better. That’s what we have to do, get back into the gym, get back into practice and just focus on the next game and take it day by day.”

Notre Dame Guard Jewell Loyd

On what was working today:
“What coach said, just scoring around the block, trying to be patient, working the offense, and not trying to force anything. Really just trying to be patient.”