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Maryland-Illinois Postgame Quotes

Maryland Athletics
2-9-2017
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Head Coach Brenda Frese
Opening statement:
“I thought Illinois came in and played really hard tonight for 40 minutes. I thought in the second quarter you saw where we can separate it as a team and we were able to hold them scoreless for that last five-and-a-half minutes of the second quarter. I thought Shatori [Walker-Kimbrough] set the tone and was sensational through the night and I also thought our starters were extremely solid. Obviously Destiny Slocum did a solid job. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a point guard have 13 assists in terms of her sharing the basketball and loving to make that extra pass. We just have to continue to challenge our depth and our depth has to continue to improve and be consistent for us.”

On closing out the first half with 10 straight points:
“It was huge. You can typically find for us where the separation falls. I thought we were able to really dominate in that stretch on both ends of the floor.”
On how they shared the ball on offense:
“I thought we started taking what the defense gave us and I thought sometimes early in the game we were trying to make it harder than what it needed to be in terms of the turnovers that we had. I thought once we settled in we did a terrific job sharing the basketball.” 
On the team’s defensive effort:
“That’s an area we’re really emphasizing. I think we’re really starting to lock in in terms of how hard you have to play on both ends of the floor. I said that to Shatori during the game; I thought she really competed hard on both ends of the floor and it takes a lot out of you. What we have out ahead, we know we have to get in that kind of mindset in terms of competing that hard for 40 minutes.” 
On attempting to keep Brandi Beasley quiet during the game:
“I thought she had a tremendous game against us when we played over at  their place and it was a prideful thing on our end that we really wanted to lock in and take away some of the scoring opportunities she had. I thought we did a really solid job even though we let Andrews get off for a few too many but I thought we did a tremendous job on Beasley.” 
On all the milestones that were broken in today's game:
"It's incredible. When you talk about our two seniors it's a testament to all their hard work and consistency of what it takes each and every day. Both of them have put themselves in positions to be successful. When you talk about Destiny [Slocum], that's what separates her. She would rather make that big assist over anything she does. That's like hitting a three for her. It's being able to hit her teammates with the wide open pass. We cherish all of them in terms of what they bring to the table."
On why she made so many subs early:
"I thought we looked a little fatigued in terms of our starters in how we were playing. It was an early opportunity for our bench to come ready to play. I was disappointed in terms of, we always talk about the positive production that we have to bring to the table, uncharacteristic of our bench tonight. We have a standard that we set every time in terms of how we're going to play. Practices and shoot arounds and games matter. You have to understand the importance of everyone within the team."
On Illinois' coach saying that Maryland brings it every game:
"That's huge. That's really, really important to us in terms of how we approach every game. I know our starters embrace that and the level of consistency that they bring every single day. I know I said that Indiana was one of the most complete forty minute games that we played up to date. That's the thing. We want to continue to not play the opponent but to our Maryland standard every time we take the floor." 

Illinois Coach Matt Bollant
Opening statement:
“What a great basketball team. I have a lot of admiration for what they do and how they do it. They show up every night and I thought the difference in the game was that we had to finish the first half different. It was 26-18 and we were battling and fighting and then we only scored two points in the last six or seven minutes of the first half. To me that was the difference in the game. If we were going to have a chance we had to make every shot and shoot the ball extremely well. I was proud of the way we fought in the second half. I think to be down 20, we fought and we battled and didn’t hang our head. We did a good job on [Brionna] Jones, but we didn’t find [Shatori] Walker-Kimbrough and she got going. We didn’t take things away from her enough from her. She got way too many open looks, but part of that was how well they passed. They had 25 assists and they share the basketball. They go to the offensive boards so well, but give Maryland a lot of credit they deserve to be the second ranked team in the country.”

On whether the second half slump for Illinois was because of Maryland defense:
“Yeah, I think it was. Give them a lot of credit. We did not get a lot of great looks and we were trying to be patient and run good offense, but they get out in the passing lanes and physical with our cuts. It just didn’t feel like great looks. We missed a couple, but part of that was Maryland and we didn’t get any kind of rhythm going because they defend so well.”

On if the strategy of Illinois was to slow down the tempo:
“Last game at our place there was 90 possessions and you’re playing the second-ranked team in the country and four out of your top seven players are freshman, you’re probably not winning a 90 possession game. We tried to have a few less possessions. It also helps us have a better shooting percentage. I think a lot of teams get excited to play the second ranked team in the country and then they take quick shots and then get pounded playing a 90 possession game. To have a chance against Maryland you have to shoot a good percentage. If you shoot a lot of quick shots you probably aren’t doing that with their length.”

On whether Illinois prepared for Brionna Jones or Shatori Walker-Kimbrough:
“I think Jones just because she is shooting 73 percent in conference play. For us I would rather have a kid beat us making a three rather than shooting a lay up. Jones is not going to miss layups. We have to find a way to try and limit her and I think we did a pretty good job. We double teamed her and caused some turnovers. She didn’t get quite as many easy looks as she normally does. They did a good job finding Walker-Kimbrough and moving the basketball. They do a good job seeing what is there and taking what is there. I think we did a good job on Jones, but then they took advantage of openings on the outside.”

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