UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma
On USF’s Courtney Williams:
“We did a pretty good job on her in the second half. The third quarter we did a great job on her. I don’t think she scored in the third quarter, but that’s hard to do. One person couldn’t guard her. She just gets the ball and does what she wants to do. She gets the ball and then scores.”
On Breanna Stewart scoring:
“We don’t really need Stewie taking 25 shots, but if that’s what it’s going to take, that’s what we’re going to do. I’d rather not. I’d rather everybody else get a lot of good opportunities, like if we can get all five of our starters to be somewhere between 10 and Stewie’s 20.”
On changing the game plan at halftime:
“We changed a couple things, stuff that we wanted to run that would slow it down a little bit. We thought it would be good for us and get us into a much better rhythm.”
USF Head Coach Jose Fernandez
"I thought those first 20 minutes, defensively I thought we did some good things. We took four charges in that first half. For the most part we did well on the glass. Then in that third quarter, UConn came out and had a 6-0 run, but that first possession there were three or four offensive rebounds. That didn't happen in the first half and that's what we talked about in that media timeout. They just exposed us...I know our guys are disappointed, because when you are up at the half against the No. 1 team in the country then you come out and play as poorly as we did in the first three minutes...now they (UConn) really exulted themselves and came out with a different pace. They assaulted the glass in the third quarter. I think we have to go back and think about what we need to fix for next Monday night."
On the play of Breanna Stewart in the second half:
"I thought she was really good. She was really good in that third quarter. Also, I think our guys were leaving the floor against her. The guys that left the floor weren't going to block her shot so she was able to take a rhythm dribble into her jump shot or drive to the rim. There were a couple of times that she had those tip-ins. She was 3-for-12 in the first half and then she finished 10-for-13 so that was pretty good."
On the fact that all five positions for UConn can score and how can someone stop that:
"I think you need people who are versatile. You need to keep them in front of you. Here's the thing, neither team shot the ball particularly well, but I think both teams defended each other pretty well. Both teams were 9-of-32. I think both teams defended one another. But their the type of team that isn't going to go a long stretch without scoring and I thought they were very efficient...I thought those second and third opportunities in the third quarter really hurt us."
USF guard Courtney Williams
On her start to the game and what changed in the second half:
"Coach just told us to play free, and that's what I think we did in the first half. The zone really flustered us. We didn't play like that against a zone all year. I feel like that's what it was. The zone really made us lose our mind."
On how it helps them in case they see UConn again next Monday:
"It's helpful. It shows us what we need to work on, and we've got a lot to work on."
On if the struggles against the zone surprised her:
"People throw zones at us all the time and I feel like at the beginning we always get a little flustered because it's different. We didn't attack two people to get other people open. We didn't move the ball."
Senior forward Breanna Stewart
On closing the first half:
“It sounds like the new headline story. You know shots weren't falling. A lot of that was my fault. I missed a lot of shots in the first half, but I think that the way we came out in the second half, they weren't ready for that.”
On the mindset of the team in the second half:
“Well I think we knew what we needed to do. It's just the sense of going out there and doing it with a sense of urgency and aggressively. We were playing more aggressive, we were getting more shots, more offensive rebounds in the second half. If we do that it makes the game a lot more fun.”
On the importance of being pushed by USF:
“It's huge. I think that they're a team whose obviously very good and very aggressive with how they play. You know it's supposed to be March, because it's a leap year, and you know that was the type of game you play in March and I'm sure we’ll see them again very soon.”
Sophomore guard Kia Nurse
On her play today:
“I mean I was happy with myself today, not in the first half but in the second half I was a lot happier. I think I played with a lot of confidence in myself and just tried to makes reads and make plays and my teammates helped me out with that a lot.”
On her offensive game this season:
“A lot of times I think I'm just over thinking, if anything. I just have to continue to have confidence in myself, I can shoot the ball. Make sure I get in the gym and put up extra shots and see the ball go in the net a couple times. I have to remind myself I do so many great things other than that, so I try to put a little more focus on defense and making sure I'm going to have a tough matchup every game. Making sure I'm slowing them down as much as possible and then make plays for my team. Obviously, they'll make plays for us and we’ll just get an open shot.”
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