March 17, 2001
Notre Dame Player Quotes
Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw
“I was extremely pleased with the effort today. I thought every single player on the team really came in, ready to play. The bench was absolutely outstanding. We wanted to go inside early, and I thought we were effective doing that. Their shooting really surprised us and forced us out of the zone, which we didn’t really want to come out of. When we went man-to-man I thought we stepped up defensively better.”
On the switch to man-to-man…
“I was a little disappointed I didn’t go to it earlier. I just kept hoping we would get out on the shooters. We were worried about foul trouble with Ruth (Riley), and that is where we did such a great job. We didn’t get into the bonus in the first half and I thought was a big key for us in the man-to-man.”
On the game plan for Michigan…
“We are going to probably play a little zone. Their post players are very strong, very big and I thought they were the difference in the game. I thought Michigan’s game plan was excellent to go inside late in the game when they needed to score. (Jennifer) Smith had an outstanding game and she will be a real challenge for us to guard on Monday.
Notre Dame senior guard Niele Ivey
On the switch to man-to-man defense…
“I think we came out real aggressive and we were upset that they had so many open looks form the three. We wanted to make sure that they had a hand in their face. I think that is why coach (Muffet McGraw) switched to man-to-man. It is something we are capable of doing and we stood up to the challenge. Everyone helped each other out.”
On Monday nights opponent Michigan…
“Michigan look like a very good team with a good chemistry. Their post players can guard well, so it will be a good game.”
Notre Dame senior center Ruth Riley
On Alcorn States defense…
“Since I have such a height advantage I was expecting the double team. It is something I have faced most of the year, so I knew it was coming.”
On sitting the bench most of the game…
“It is good to get some rest, but it is fun to watch the bench. We see how hard they work in practice everyday, and it was good to see them be able to show that on the floor.”
Alcorn State Quotes
Alcorn State head coach Shirley Walker
On her team’s performance. . .
“I’m going to say what I said here yesterday in the press conference. I tip my hat off to these young ladies. I thought we jumped out pretty good in the first two minutes of the game, but we had some problems with height. We had a game plan that we thought would work. We kind of got off the defense that we had talked about as far as the press that we had. I think we missed a couple of assignments, and it looked like Notre Dame had a good inside game, and they beat us on the boards. The height was a big disadvantage.”
On the home crowd. . .
“We have played in front of a crowd like that before, but I take my hat off to women’s basketball and Notre Dame. The hospitality and all of that was great, and it was good to see the crowd here for women’s basketball. I hope that it continues to grow. But altogether, wherever you go and whatever you do, you’re going to have to go out there and play. Nobody is going to give you anything.”
“I am very proud for women’s basketball, and this is going to continue to grow. As long as I live, I am going to do my best to work for women’s sports. I am losing five seniors and I want these ladies to know that Coach Walker is with them through thick and thin, and I love you. And I am proud to get Cherea from Denver, Colo.”
Senior forward Cherea Wood
On the height disadvantage . . .
“We had to pull out, We had to play to our advantage. I missed a lot of shots. Sometmes you make them, sometimes you don’t. If we were hot, I think we could have stayed in the game. I do think that they have some good post players inside, and it was pretty tough. We had a good showing. I thought we came out pretty hard. We weren’t going to come in here and just lay down.”
On their team’s three-point shooting …
“I think we have some great guards out front, T. C. and Daisha and Mo, that can hit that outside shot, which also made them pull out of that zone. I think our guards did real well. They stepped up pretty well. But we kind of got out of our offense a little bit. We took some quick shots early and too fast.”
On the home crowd…
“I think that’s one of the biggest things in women’s basketball, that the number-one seed gets homecourt advantage. Yes, Notre Dame has a very tough crowd. I think if you continue to have the number-one seed playing at home, it is going to be tough for the sixteen seeds coming in. We haven’t played in front of a crowd like that. It goes back to last year probably when we played against Tech. But the crowd did have a big impact on the game.”
Junior guard Taresha Coleman
On playing near her home . . .
“I had a lot of family here. It was a great experience. It definitely felt good to be here at home. We came out and we played hard. I think in the first couple minutes of the game, we gave Notre Dame a good run. We made them make an adjustment. We just missed some shots. Overall, I had fun playing.”