Duke Postgame Quotes
April 5, 2006
DEBBIE BYRNE: We'll start with an opening statement by Coach. And then I would like you to address your questions to the student athletes first, please.
GAIL GOESTENKORS: Just congratulations to Maryland. I thought they played an outstanding game. I thought early on we were the aggressor and I thought we did a great job. But I thought as the game wore on they became a little more comfortable and when Toliver hit that shot at the end of regulation, that was tough for us. But I just give them all the credit in the world. They didn't panic when we went up 10 and stayed with their game and came out on top.
DEBBIE BYRNE: Questions for the players, please.
Q. Mo, what was the feeling at half time and when did you feel the momentum shift?
MONIQUE CURRIE: I don't know. We felt great at half time. I think we thought we were playing pretty well. We wanted to do a better job of rebounding, but we felt like we were in a good position to win the game if we continued to play like we played that entire half.
I think Maryland had the momentum for almost the entire second half. We didn't really get a chance to go on a run and they went on a couple runs. And they hit the big shot to take it into overtime.
Q. Monique, I know it's difficult so quickly after the game, but can you sum up your feelings and in having your career end and then what happened tonight.
MONIQUE CURRIE: I don't know. Well, clearly right now I don't feel very good about how things ended. It's a tough loss. I think we tried as hard as we could and we left it out on the floor and that's all that you can really ask for. But it really hurts right now.
Q. Mistie, what did you see change in the second half?
MISTIE WILLIAMS: They went on a run and it shifted the momentum. That's about it.
Q. Monique, you said that you felt they had the momentum the entire second half. Was there a point that you noticed where it really did start to shift or was it something about the start of the second half?
MONIQUE CURRIE: We scored the first basket of the second half. I think. And from there we were for the most part exchanging baskets.
We didn't really get the stops that we needed to get to maintain the lead that we had. And they just slowly crept up on us and took the lead.
DEBBIE BYRNE: Ladies, thank you very much, we'll let you head back to your locker room. Congratulations both of you on an outstanding season. We'll go to questions now for Gail.
Q. If you could just talk about that momentum shift that they made, because you were sort of trading baskets and they just kind of all of a sudden, they were tied with you guys. Was there a point where you kind of started to see that shifting and then catching --
GAIL GOESTENKORS: I think it was gradual. I think they just continued to gain more confidence the longer they played with us and they just cut into the lead. Like Monique said, our defense in the second half was not nearly as good as it was in the first half. They were better in the second half. I think they became more comfortable. And they were just better and they hitsome tough shots, but they have been hitting those shots all year.
Q. Were you surprised at all how cool their freshmen played under pressure, they have been good all year but at that stage of the game with that whole season on the line?
GAIL GOESTENKORS: I seen it too many times. Every time their games go to overtime, they won every game in overtime. So I've seen many instances where the pressure is really on that they come through.
Q. When you do have a lead and then you are going back and forth and just swapping baskets and not getting that stop, you guys didn't look like it was sort of frustrating you or bothering you, did you get any sense that your players were sort of getting a little frustrated that they couldn't get that stop?
GAIL GOESTENKORS: No, I think we all felt like we were fine and we were going to get the stops we needed. They were hitting some great shots. And sometimes you play great defense and a kid hits a fadeaway three, there's no defense for that. They hit some really tough shots. So I told the team not to be frustrated by that. They're great players, they're going to hit some great shots. And as long as we continued to score on our end, eventually we would get the stops we needed. I think we all felt that way. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way.
Q. Did you think you missed a chance to bury them in the first half? You must have missed eight or ten lay ups and had a number of occasions to make it a 15 or 20 or 25 point game?
GAIL GOESTENKORS: Well, that certainly would have helped. We were so excited coming out of the gate. We got great looks and didn't make them pay for it. So I think that probably would have helped us a great deal had we put those easy baskets down early and gotten an even bigger lead.
Q. You've come close before, but never this close; you guys were six seconds away. How much does this one hurt?
GAIL GOESTENKORS: Well, I don't know. I just feel utter disappointment right now for my players and specifically for my seniors.
Q. Before their final possession in regulation who did you want to stop or was there someone you were expecting to take that shot for them?
GAIL GOESTENKORS: They have some great shooters. We know Toliver has hit a bunch of big shots for them, but they got so many, Shay Doron, they have been going to her, she had been hurting us on numerous occasions down the stretch. So we really had to play everybody. And we switched on all screens, because we knew they were going to set some screens on the ball to try and get somebody open, and Ali ended up on Toliver, and she had to shoot over a 6'7" person and she did.
DEBBIE BYRNE: Gail, I'll let you go back to the locker room and again congratulations on a great season.
Freshman Guard Abby Waner
"Freshman or not, that's what I had to do and I feel like I let my team down, but we're going to come back fighting next year. Somebody has to win, somebody has to lose and Maryland played a great game."
On Duke's seniors:
"They never gave up and they had faith in this team from day one. They stepped into roles that they weren't comfortable with. We just had some great seniors on this team and I feel like I let them down in their last year of getting them a national championship, so hopefully I'll be able to make it up to them sometime in the future."
Junior Center Alison Bales
"I thought we gave Maryland everything we had. They had an excellent game and they came up with the big shots when they needed them."
On the second half:
"They had a stretch from the field when it looked like they were shooting lights out. Today Maryland was just showing what a good team they are."
On Kristi Toliver's three-pointer to tie the game at the end of regulation:
"You know, Kristi Toliver, being a freshman, that was a huge shot for her. I was the one on her. She was behind the line a good step at least. To win a championship, you have to be able to hit big shots and Maryland did that today."
Senior Guard Jessica Foley
"Maryland started hitting some shots and found ways to score inside. We set a lot up on the boards in the second half and that really hurt us down the stretch. Harper and Coleman were able to make some big plays off offensive rebounds."
On Maryland's comeback in the second half:
"I think that one of our biggest problems tonight was in the first half, we had the opportunity not to be up by 13, but to be up by about 20 or 25. We missed some easy layups and I thought we played great in the second half. It was a hard-fought battle and Maryland went on their runs and we were expecting them to. They hit big shots at the end."
On Toliver's game-tying shot:
"It was a huge shot...we thought we had the championship at that point. It's kind of what won the game."
Senior Guard/Forward Monique Currie
"I'm just really disappointed with the outcome. I think we played hard, as hard as we could and everybody left it out there, but it just wasn't enough. Maryland really took advantage of our breakdowns on defense and we could just never catch back up."
On Duke's mindset after Toliver's game-tying shot:
"It was a tough shot. We played it as well as we could and great players make big shots and Toliver did that. I felt comfortable and I felt good going into overtime, but again, they beat us."
On tomorrow's WNBA Draft:
"I really haven't had time to think about it. I was really focused on tonight's game, but I have to move on to the next phase and whatever there is out there for me. I don't know how happy I'll be tomorrow."
Junior Guard Lindsey Harding
"I was really off-balance and kind of behind the backboard, but it came off right. It just rolled out."
What did Toliver do differently in the second half?
"I think in the second half she shot a lot more and I was more aggressive in the first half defending her, but then I found myself in foul trouble and I couldn't be that aggressive in the end so she just got a lot of good shots off."