December 8, 1998

On the game: “Connecticut is a great team and made us play poorly but we played poorly ourselves. We are a much better team than we played tonight. They shot better than we thought they would from three-point range. It seemed like anyone who shot it, made it. They’ve got great talent and coaching. It is impressive that they are so young and playing so well.”

On being tired: “Being tired is a state of mind. After they came out and hit a couple of threes in the second half, we felt tired but we really weren’t.”

On the Connecticut press: “We didn’t handle the pressure. We definitely panicked which was something I wasn’t expecting. We practiced for three day and knew what was coming but we continued to try to dribble through it.”

On playing in front of the large crowd: “They wanted to win so bad to please the crowd but we tired too hard to make them enjoy the game and come back again.”

Connecticut Head Coach Gino Auriemma Quotes

On the game: “It was pretty impressive the way we played. It just amazed me that we had 16 steals and forced that many turnovers. These games during the regular season just tell you where you are at that time. This doesn’t indicate where we are. It was a test and we passed it.”

On pressing Notre Dame: “Notre Dame generally has been a hard team to pressure. Last year we didn’t press them at all in the BIG EAST championship. Tonight we executed our press well.”

On defending Ruth Riely: “We spent a little time in practice on ways to defend her. I thought if we pressures their guards, it would make it difficult for her to get the ball. We came at her a bunch of different ways and got her out of her rhythm.”

On Notre Dame: “They are an excellent team. Sheila McMillen played the best she has ever played against us. I’m disappointed we only play them once. Our fans would love to see us play them at home. I wouldn’t be surprised if we play them again in the BIG EAST championship.”