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UConn/Ohio State Quotes

Dec. 19, 2016

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UConn head coach Geno Auriemma

On offensive execution:

"I need to take some happy pills to see the offense that everyone else sees. I’m not exactly happy. It gets a little hairy out there at times, but what we do which I like is we go in these stretches where everything we do is really good and we capitalize on maybe six or seven things in a row and that's just enough to get some separation between us and the other team." 

On the third quarter:

"We knew she was difficult to guard [Kelsey], we knew we could not stay the same the whole game and think we were going to be able to do it. We had to change things up a little bit...once we got that under control we talked about it at half how the game was going to be won by offensive possessions. Once we got Napheesa going, Lou was already going, it was fun to watch."

On Kelsey Mitchell and the comparison between last year and this year’s matchup:

"The guys she had to play against last year were much better so she got in foul trouble right away. Some of the guys she was guarding were not as hard to guard as the ones she was matched up with last year. The toughest thing for a great offensive player is supposed to be a smart player and not foul. We spend a lot of time talking about how to defend someone like that, you don’t."

Sophomore forward Katie Lou Samuelson 

On Crystal Dangerfield:

"Yeah it was really important for her to play the way she did and she makes plays like that in practice. She's got a lot of ups and downs like every freshman, but today was a really good day and I think just the fact that her confidence is staying up and she knows that she can make those plays in these games. It's going to be really good for her moving forward."

On offense in 3rd quarter:

"Yeah the third quarter was really key for us in this game. I think we kind of blew it open and we knew that they were going to go on runs, but we knew that we were going to go on runs too and once we got that run in the third quarter we decided we wanted to keep it. We weren't going to let them back into the game."

Sophomore forward Napheesa Collier

On Kelsey Mitchell:

"We came out of half time really emphasizing that she had 19 points and we knew she was going to do that. We tried to stay up on her and not let her shoot open threes like she was in the first half."

On her progression from last year:

"Yeah I definitely feel a lot more confident than last year. As a freshman you are just getting used to stuff and it's so much different than high school and just having that year under my belt has helped me a lot."

On this year's 10-0 start:

"Yeah I am really proud of this team because we came in with people thinking one way, but I knew we had a good team and I know the girls on the team and I really proud on what we are doing so far."

Freshman guard Crystal Dangerfield

On her performance tonight:

"I think it went well. Just being able to know that they were going to go on runs and that they had such a deep bench and just not letting that overwhelm me and then just stay in the game."

On Kelsey Mitchell:

"You just have to give her credit for her skill in the offensive end and just know that she is going to make plays, but you can't let that get you down. You have to go back down on the defensive end and just try to get a stop."

Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff

On UConn’s scoring blitz in the second half:  

“To their credit, we came out of the locker room flat, but they took control of the game, but in general they got 28 points off of turnovers, and that was the difference. I thought our defense was actually ok, our kids played hard, but we just did not execute well enough offensively, and they are the best team in college basketball taking those turnovers and converting them into points.”

On his star player Kelsey Mitchell:

“She was terrific tonight, really attacking with great balance and creating shots for herself. She stayed within the offense and got other people involved. I thought she was outstanding tonight.”

On whether he thought he might use more full court pressure:

“You know, I did, but I didn't want them to get easy shots but if I had to do it again, I might have tried it a little more because they didn't have a lot of depth coming into the game

On what UConn did differently to guard Kelsey Mitchell:

They changed their defense up a little bit, applied a little more full court pressure but my teammates did a good job of making plays