Feb. 25, 2016

Recap | Box Score | Notes | USATSI Photo Gallery

2015-16 University of Notre Dame Women’s Basketball
Notre Dame vs. Clemson
February 25, 2016
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center ââ’¬” Notre Dame, Indiana

Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw

Opening statementââ’¬¦
“I thought we did some really good things. I thought we could’ve got Bri [Brianna Turner] the ball more. Seven shots is just not enough. She didn’t play a lot but I think we can get her the ball a little bit more. Arike [Ogunbowale] continues to give us great offense coming off the bench. We need that scoring punch and I thought we needed it really badly today. I would have liked to have finished the game a little bit stronger, but overall I thought we did some good things. We got to the free-throw line and made our free throws. It was a tough game coming off of Florida State. We’ve got to be ready for BC. They’re a good team and they gave us a great game up there. We’ve got to really get back and get intense and focused.

On getting a share of the ACC titleââ’¬¦
“We’re not interested in sharing. We want to win it outright, so we have to get ready and we have to play a lot better than we did tonight.”

On Ogunbowale’s play off the benchââ’¬¦
“I think she’s the best sixth man in the game. I know the fans get excited when she gets in the game because she can get the ball to the rim, (and) she’s making threes right now. She’s doing so many things that are exciting to watch. It’s a real luxury to have somebody that talented coming off the bench. I know it’s great to get better. We get better when she comes in the game so it has been really good.”

On the freshmen have big minutesââ’¬¦
“I think I’ve been incredibly patient this year. I lost it a little bit today, but I think that overall, I can see the future and it looks so good. To know that the two of them [Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey] are the future of this teamââ’¬¦we’ve got Bri [Brianna Turner] who is just a sophomore. We’ve got so many young, talented players. It’s great to look at that and see how great we can be. I think my challenge is knowing that it’s going to be a process and I need to value the process because I see where they can be and I want to be there right away. Both of our freshmen have All-American potential – I just want them to get there sooner.”

Freshman Guard Arike Ogunbowale

On her mentality coming off the benchââ’¬¦
“Like Coach said, I just try to get instant offense. I need to work on my defense more so I want to come in and help and get defensive stops, but right now I’m just focusing on offense and defense and getting to the basket.”

On her ease with the offenseââ’¬¦
“I started off the season kind of shaky so I had to put in a lot of work to get better. I’m still trying to improve and I haven’t reached my potential so I’m still working every day for that.”

On getting used to the offenseââ’¬¦
“I just have to see what the defense is giving me. I’ve been hitting a couple of threes because people sag off because they know I like to drive. If they do come out, I just go to the basket. Coach wants me to get all the way to the basket. I’ve been stopping a little bit so she wants me to attack all the defenders.”

Sophomore Forward Brianna Turner

On lobs into the paintââ’¬¦
“I think the lobs were just there a lot. I feel like they were trying to push me on the high side so I tried to go backdoor for the lob and LA [Lindsay Allen] just caught me on the pick and roll and she always lobs it to me there. It’s just really great passes.”

On what she needs to work on for the BC gameââ’¬¦
“It was kind of a tough game for us up there last time. They have a really great post player [Mariella Fasoula], so really I think a key to our success is going to be shutting her down.”

Clemson Head Coach Audra Smith

On Clemson’s performanceââ’¬¦
“We came out making shots and we were executing our offense and then Notre Dame woke up. I know it was a short week for them. They played Florida State and they had to exhibit a lot of energy for that game. It’s hard with them coming in to play us and they looked a little bit sluggish to start. Then boom! They just woke up. They started making shots and executing their offense and got some things going in transition off of our misses.”

On starting the second half shooting 1-of-13ââ’¬¦
“We came out sluggish, we came out slow. But we get shots and we got shots. We had 12 more shots than they did, 60 to their 48. They just made more than we missed. We had opportunities at shots but we missed them and they got the ball back and that started it.”

On Notre Dameââ’¬¦
“They have a lot of kids that you have to be aware of. They can shoot the three and get to the basket. They also cut very well. Muffet [McGraw] does a very good job of teaching and they having been running that offense well for a very long time. They do a good job of reading. They are very good at reading and reacting.”

On only having eight players availableââ’¬¦
“That’s due to injuries and illness. Some girls had to stay back home.”

On remaining patient with a young teamââ’¬¦
“I just need to keep teaching. I’ve been in this situation before. I was at UAB for nine years and it was the exact same thing. I had to build a program. It takes time to build a program especially when you have young kids. I have one junior and she is not here. We played with all freshmen and sophomores. Even though it’s a long season, you would think that by this time you would see some progress, but they are still young. For most of the freshmen, their season was over by this time last year; they were coming to watch us play. The returners that are sophomores didn’t play extensive minutes last year, so it’s as if I have a whole brand new team. It’s just going to take patience.”