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UConn-Duke Post Game Quotes

Jan. 21, 2013

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UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma

On the tenacity of Kelly Faris:

“It’s funny that what happened tonight was really…it was amazing on a lot of fronts, but especially that second half. This morning I watched last year’s Duke game at Duke and I came back and said to the coaches, you know last year at Duke we won by 16 but if Kelly Faris and Tiffany Hayes did not play in that game and we had just played with three guys and two walk-ons we could have won by 50. That’s how horrendous those two played last year at the Duke game. I was talking to the other coaches just shaking my head, thinking to myself that what are the chances that Kelly doesn’t remember that…of course she remembers that, Kelly remembers everything. It was indescribable those occasions, if you were watching in the stands you were fortunate enough to be watching that. If you were part of what Kelly Faris did tonight, you were part of something that people will be talking about for a long time. There have been a lot of great players and legends play in this building wearing the Connecticut uniform, but I don’t know if anyone has ever represented themselves, their family, and the University of Connecticut the way Kelly did tonight. I know there’s a lot of players out there that are really good...there’s a lot of All-Americans but man oh man, that was one for the ages right there.”

On expecting a 13-point run following Stefanie Dolson’s fourth foul:

“Yes I mean I thought we were playing pretty well and you know Stefanie is such a huge key to our offense. When she came out of the game, if the game was being played the way it was played in the first half it would’ve been a problem. Stewart finally started making a couple plays and we really didn’t miss Stefanie that much and that’s what we are going to need. We can’t rely on Stefanie night in and night out every single day. There’s going to be nights like tonight where we need people to step up and tonight they did…every single one of them.”

On the second half being so distinctly different then the first half:

“I thought the Penn State game we played a lot different in the second half than we did in the first half, but I don’t think to this extent or this magnitude. As coaches we are trying to accomplish a lot of things and sometimes it doesn’t always go that way. There’s a great line in the Thomas Jefferson book I’m reading right now that says sometimes your philosophical ideas have to give way to your philosophical ideas. You know my idea that we are going to play a lot of guys, we are going to give a lot of guys a lot of minutes and a great opportunity for them to play in a big game like this at home against Duke and then they are out there and you look at the way they are playing and you say why? So, I came out for the second half and Shea [Ralph] goes we aren’t going to do that in the second half are we and I said no. We put them in one at a time and took them out individually. What happened in the second half was we were able to keep our core for a long time and it really made all the difference in the world.”

Senior Guard Kelly Faris

On being a leader on the court:

“I don’t think we have one specific leader. I think we have a lot of different types of leaders. I think tonight we showed as a team how we feed off of each other and how much that can help us to accomplish what we need to do.”

On having fun in big games:

“I told the team in the locker room that it’s so much more fun when we play like that in the second half. We all felt it, everyone in the gym felt it. It was just something different and something fresh.”

On what changed coming into the 2nd half:

“I think it was just a lot of frustration of how we’ve been playing the last few games with the turnovers. We came in at halftime and it was 12 to three in terms of turnovers. We know how much we can do, we’ve done it before. It’s a matter of us just buckling down and mentally just bringing the energy.”

On Caroline Doty’s play:

“I think she did a great job organizing everybody and being that person to keep everyone calm, but at the same time, bringing the energy. She’s going to make smart plays on the court. She’s going to organize people on offense and get people to where they need to be, and still play great defense. Her big thing is that she brings the energy.”

Junior Guard Bria Hartley

On having so many versatile players:

“I think it helps us because we’re able to throw a lot of players at them, and it’s hard to defend that for the whole 40 minutes.  It allowed us to have fresh legs on defense and really helped us.”

On Geno Auriemma being fired up:

“He’s really excited when we play that well. We need to have more games like that to build on it.”

On having multiple leaders:

“It’s good to have different people to follow. If someone messes up then we all pick each other up. I think it’s cool, you see that dependency that we all have on each other. It’s just not just one person; everyone has their own little part in Connecticut basketball.”

Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie

Opening Statement:

“This is exactly how we’ve been playing all year. It was consistent and more of the same. We’ve played some great 20 minute ball but we’ve been pretty much non-existent for 40 minute ball. Give credit to Connecticut. They really played really well in the second half, Kelly Faris in particular. There were some great lessons to learn from.”

Can you explain what happened?

“It’s unfortunate. We were soft a little bit in the sense that we missed some shots. We didn’t have any rebounding on the floor. Forty-four to 25 will get you beat real quick. We had some missed shots and a classic case of not getting back on defense, their (UConn) transition got them going. Initially in the second half, we slept walked through that episode and they made layups. When that happens anything is possible. They are a great offensive team. They are very steady with their shooting across the board and obviously we weren’t. That fueled their development and they played very well and we didn’t respond.”

On the play of Kelly Faris:

“She’s really a special player. When you look at that stat line, 12 rebounds, we don’t have anybody that gets 12 rebounds. Twelve rebounds, six assists, 18 points, two steals – she plays like a senior. She plays with good experience and is a great example to a lot of young kids that you don’t have to have awesome size in order to get the job done. A lot of kids probably wonder if they can play at this level. I think she is 5-foot-11, maybe 5-foot-10, but the reality is that she gets the job done. She hustles and she plays very, very hard and she plays unaffected. I thought she was just great for her team tonight.”

Elizabeth Williams

On the game being a tale of two halves:

“Like Coach said, we’ve gotten away with that earlier in the season, whether it be starting off strong and ending badly or starting off weak and ending strong. We’re going to learn from it. We definitely needed to be more physical and come out with more passion than we did today.”

Alexis Jones

On her play in the second half:

“I guess I let my foul trouble get to me and I shouldn’t have let my foul trouble get to me. I should have kept playing out. Being in foul trouble, it just kind of carried on, but I missed a lot of shots I should have made, too.”