March 6, 2015
2014-15 University of Notre Dame Women’s Basketball
Notre Dame vs. Miami
March 6, 2015
Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw
I was really pleased with our defense on Motley. I thought we did an outstanding job. Jill guarded her for most of the game and I thought really limited her touches. I thought we were very aware of where she was when we went to the zone and were able to have somebody on her most of the game. I thought Williams really played well for them, Williams and Thomas both played well for them. But I was really pleased with our overall effort, just a really great team effort offensively. I thought we shared the ball really well. We got a lot of people in double figures, Brianna with the double double, Madison Cable giving us great minutes off the bench, and then I thought Taya had an exceptional game as well as Jewell.
Q. Obviously you’re motivated for every game, but was there special motivation for this one?
Muffet McGraw: Yeah, there was. I think any time you lose a game, that’s the team that you want to play again. I think it’s tough to beat a team a couple of times, was glad we didn’t have any of our double opponents, again, because three times is really too much. I thought that match up was a good one for us.
Q. Did your team do so well that you hadn’t done well in the loss?
Muffet McGraw: Well, we did stay out of foul trouble. That was, I thought, really key for us, to be a little bit smarter in containing the ball because they really drive the ball well. I thought we rebounded better, we didn’t turn it over as much, we defended better and we shot the ball much better, and I think that was our worst shooting percentage of the season down there, and it was nice to see us back up around 50.
Q. When we sat at the lunch table at media days, you told me you had a lot of questions about this team. Are you surprised how dominant they have become?
Muffet McGraw: No, I’m not surprised. I think we definitely played better sooner than I expected. I thought the freshmen really did a great job early in the season. I thought in December and January were going to be kind of our learning experiences with all the tough games that we had. So I was a little surprised at how quickly they figured things out and got comfortable. But when you have a player like Jewell Loyd who’s the best player in the country, she makes everybody comfortable.
Q. Taya, what’s it mean for you to come out and play this game considering all you were going through back the last time the teams played?
Taya Reimer: I mean, we knew that this was a big game coming in. Miami is a great team, but we definitely wanted to get them back. We all were really motivated for this game, and just wanted to attack them and get the W.
Q. Coach said you were more she sensed that you were more focused the last couple days of practice. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?
Taya Reimer: I mean, Coach talked to us in practice a few days ago about this is a new season, and now it’s one and done, lose one game and go home. I think that all of us have really tried to refocus and get in that mindset because, I mean, you can’t really mess up. Just paying attention to all the details, all the little things.
Q. You play Duke now. Talk about the adjustment, if you feel there is one. Do their length and their defense?
Muffet McGraw: They gave us a lot of trouble last time with their length. I thought our passing was not as sharp as it was in some other games. I think we learned a lot from that game. We played well defensively. We didn’t play as well offensively I think because of their size. They just have so many big bodies around the baskets and limiting our passing angles. I think this game we have a couple of new ways to attack them.
Jewell Loyd: Yeah, like Coach said, they’re really long so we’ve got to make sure we play team ball and play Notre Dame basketball. Taya Reimer: Exactly. They definitely are a very long team, like we’ve said already. But just make sure we’re attacking them and just knowing how to go at their length.
Q. Jewell, talk a little bit about where the team has come from the last time you played Miami to now? What was the difference in your eyes?
Jewell Loyd: I think we just played team basketball. We were having fun, we were communicating, something that we’ve been working on all year, and we knew where the shooters were, and we just came together, and we wanted to fight for each other and fight for Notre Dame.
Q. Coach, do you think you beat an NCAA Tournament team today?
Muffet McGraw: You know, I’m not familiar with their schedule and RPI as much, but I do think they’re an excellent basketball team. I think they have great athletes. I think this league is certainly worthy of having eight teams in the tournament. I thought Pitt and Miami both deserve a really good look.