Nov. 24, 2014

Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery

2014-15 University of Notre Dame Women’s Basketball
Notre Dame vs. Harvard
November 24, 2014
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center – Notre Dame, Ind.

Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

Opening statement…
“It’s difficult to come out after playing so many games and get our energy going. I thought we did a really good job in the first half to get out of the gate. We were a little slow coming out in the second half, but it was a great night to have the bench contribute. It was fun to see a bunch of people stepping up. Hannah Huffman had her career high and Madison Cable had a great game. Michaela Mabrey got us off to a great start and Taya [Reimer] did some great things around the basket. A lot of different people stepped up and that is exactly what we needed. It’s great to see what we can do when our two leading scorers are having an off night.”

On the team’s unselfishness…
“The most important stat to me is the assist-to-turnover ratio. I want to see a lot of assists and few turnovers. We share the ball really well. We are a team with great chemistry and they like playing together. They’re always willing to make the extra pass and that has kind of become our trademark over the last four years. I would like to pass less sometimes, especially around the basket, but we did a nice job tonight of sharing the ball.”

On the team’s progress at this point in the season…
“I think we’re probably a little further along than I thought we would be at this point. We’ve kept it really simple and aren’t trying to do too many complicated things on offense or defense. I think we need to put some more things in, but I think the veterans are doing a really good job of trying to bring the freshmen along. They’ve been a little more inconsistent, but the veterans have had that steady aim. We’ve had some phenomenal performances from the veterans, but in a stretch like this, you have to count on your veterans.”

Michaela Mabrey – Junior – Guard

On her message to the younger players…
“In stretches like these, we just want to play hard and execute. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. It doesn’t matter what the score is. We are always going to play our game. The older players have really taught that to the freshmen. We just need to play how we play.”

On what she likes about the team…
“I really like our chemistry. We’re extremely unselfish, and I think it shows throughout the game. We have three freshmen that can all contribute. They’ve really exceeded not only Coach’s {McGraw} expectations, but mine as well. We’re really going to need everyone this year.”

Taya Reimer – Sophomore – Forward

On playing with Brianna Turner and Kathryn Westbeld
“I’ve been really close with Bri and Kathryn. I’ve known them for a long time, and played with them and against them. Being at this level and playing with them now is really exciting. We get along so well and I think we’re all really versatile. It’s just really fun.”

On Mychal Johnson drawing two charges late in the game…
“I think it really speaks to the unselfishness of our team. Seeing her take two charges and sacrifice her body for our team despite being up by a lot shows how much she cares about all of her teammates. It shows how much we care about her too because we were all really hyped and getting excited for her. It just goes to show our chemistry.”

Harvard Head Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith

Opening Statement
“Onward and upward on to the next game. Notre Dame’s a great program; it’s a great tradition. We’re excited to be here. Very disappointing, but perhaps not unexpected in that where we are right now, this year, versus where they are this year. It was a tall mountain to climb. And we have a very young backcourt; kids who have never even played in a college game basically, other than my point guard {Ali Curtis} who starts for us. The entire backcourt has never really played. Some of them are even coming back from injuries, not to whine, but that’s not an ideal situation when you go up against a team as well coached, well drilled and athletic as Notre Dame is. You can have some inexperience in other places, but in your backcourt it caused us a lot of problems.”

On Notre Dame’s defense…
“Muffet does a great job. Those kids are the best in the country. She’s a mentor to so many. We knew what we were up against. I wish I had a little more experience before I step on a floor with Notre Dame. We, again, had some key kids coming back from injuries who only had one or two practices under their belt. So it was kind of a “no pressure,” “go for it,” mentality and it didn’t really work.”

On Notre Dame’s frontcourt play compared to film from last year…
“They’re different, without {Natalie} Achonwa. But Brianna {Turner} is, I think, if not the best in the country, one of the best in the country. She didn’t play a lot against us, thank you Muffet. She’s young, but she’s amazing. They find each other really well. Their blind passes to their forwards are amazing and they’re only going to get better at that.”