March 7, 2015
2014-15 University of Notre Dame Women’s Basketball
Notre Dame vs. Duke
March 7, 2015
Muffet McGraw: I thought Jewell Loyd took over the game. Five baskets in a row. Had some amazing offensive production. Then the offensive rebound off the missed free throw I thought was just huge to really seal the win. But she was, she was just simply amazing. Which she has been all year long, but I thought in that stretch, definitely the best player in the country. But really pleased with our freshmen, Brianna and Kathryn really came out and gave us great minutes inside. We were able to out rebound them, which is a really great accomplishment, because that’s great rebounding team. I think Elizabeth Williams is a phenomenal player. Just really hard to guard and did a nice job inside. But I was really happy with the way we defended Greenwell today.
Q. When you took the timeout, Duke had cut it down and then that was prior to when Jewell took the game over, was that buy design or did she just do it?
Muffet McGraw: We talked about driving the ball and I thought we got her in better position and she really was aggressive looking to drive the ball. Came off a couple of screens for some open jumpers. I thought we did a little better job helping her get open at that point.
Q. The key to the game for you was getting off to a fairly decent start while Duke couldn’t do anything. What led to your dominance in the first few minutes of the game?
Muffet McGraw: Michaela maybe was on fire at the start. I think she hit at least two of the threes early on. We got out to get a little bit of a lead. But not that comfortable, considering they had the same lead on us at our place. So we knew it wasn’t exactly insurmountable. But I thought Michaela really stretched the zone out a little bit.
Q. What did you what was your game plan as far as the rebounding? What did you want to do rebounding wise? It seemed like you just brought everybody in there to try to offset what Duke had.
Muffet McGraw: That was one of the keys to the game. But we really felt like it was just going to start with a box out and that’s something that we haven’t been doing especially well this year. But I thought we had just great intensity and focus on the box out. I thought Kathryn in particular really did a great job. Bri was able to go get some balls but I thought Kathryn was really physical inside.
Q. Jewell, on that final play, where you got the rebound between the two Duke post players, what were you thinking on that play, just go up and make a play on the ball or was what was going through your mind when you got that rebound?
Jewell Loyd: I heard the Duke player say, she’s by herself, so they were going to pinch on the other side, so I just knew I could at least get in there and make a tip out and luckily it was a bounced right to me. So I just went up there and got it.
Q. This people look at this team and it’s really an incredibly young team, when you stop to think about it. From the perspective of a freshman to the perspective of a Junior, what do you see your particular roles in handling on this team?
Jewell Loyd: Well, I just try to lead by example. We’re very young but we’re very motivated. It makes it easier when you have underclassmen that want to learn and step in and do their role. Early in the year we found out when our roles were and we embrace it and we want to just be productive and help the team have success.
Q. Kathryn, following up that question for the gentleman, what do you see as your role on the team and things like that?
Kathryn Westbeld: Just as much being a freshman just as much as I can help with anything, really. Rebounding was a big role of mine and scoring when I have the opportunity. And also just I think, every day just learning from the upperclassmen, Jewell, watching her. Just how motivated she is, that just kind of helps us as a team all together and us underclassmen a lot. So, really just looking up to them.
Q. Kathryn, did you think that you might have had this many points and when you went in there, what did you try to do to offset what they were trying to do rebounding wise?
Kathryn Westbeld: I mean, just looking coming to the game we saw that the middle was open a lot in the zone, so that was really where I was focusing on scoring. But my shots weren’t really falling too well. So just focusing on the defensive end and I think that’s the way I contributed the most.
Q. They give you a lot to handle with their size and stuff like that; do they not?
Kathryn Westbeld: They’re a pretty big team. (Laughter.)
Q. Coach, how huge were those two rebounds off the missed free throws at the end?
Muffet McGraw: That was the game. I thought that rebound that Jewell got really was the game. That was a tight situation. You needed to score, you miss the free throw, now we can run some more clock, get back to the free throw line. And then Bri getting the next rebound, I think that was kind of the dagger.