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Duke vs. Auburn Postgame Quotes

Nov. 18, 2010

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Auburn Locker Room

Head Coach Nell Fortner

"It was a tough game for us, no doubt. I think we learned a lot tonight though. The season is early and we have to continue to learn against teams of this caliber. We saw tonight that we are capable of having a lot more defensive pressure put on people and we will definitely try to capitalize on that but we have to take care of the basketball better. There were too many turnovers and not knocking down free throws, to help keep your confidence in the game. I was really pleased with the effort. I thought we played hard but we are just going to have to keep getting better."

On Duke's Pressure in the second half...
"It was like they took a timeout and came out a different team. Their pressure was really ramped up big time. It caused us to be hesitant with the ball and created some turnovers and they capitalized on it. I thought they ramped the pressure up. They are quick athletes. They are long, they're big and they make you pay for your mistakes. That is an experienced team right there and that paid off for them. Their half-court zone was pretty good, too. "

On bleeding the shot clock...
"It wasn't like we were trying to bleed the clock shot, we just had to work it because we weren't getting easy looks, so it just took us a while to get that look. Their zone was big, we couldn't see and we didn't have much of a post presence today, so to strictly rely on trying to create things from the outside, it just kind of narrowed our opportunities."

On the student attendance tonight...
"I thought the student's attendance was awesome. I was just so pleased, I really was and hopefully they'll come back. Hopefully they'll realize it is still early in the season and we are going to get better. I think as hard as we play. They appreciate that but it was great seeing them out there. No question. "

Alli Smalley, Sr., G

On finding her way throughout the game....
"I got into foul trouble early, so I had to sit down pretty early in the game. When their defensive pressure picked up, it was hard for anybody to really get some good, open looks. We had to really work for them, so I really didn't get many good looks until later in the second half."

On playing tough teams early...
"I definitely think it is good for us. Any time you can play against a top 25 team that is going to help us, because we need that experience. We have five freshmen. We need to play the best competition that we can play against to help us when we get into SEC, and also for post season play. I think it is very good for us."

Morgan Toles, Soph., G

On the play of Jasmine Thomas...
"She looked faster than ever. She was probably one of the fastest guards I have ever guarded. We play the Crushers every day, which is our male practice team, and she was faster than half of the guys. I couldn't tell at all that she tweaked her ankle. She played a great game."

On playing tough teams early...
"I think the SEC is the toughest league, for women's basketball. So playing these tough games will prepare us defensively, offensively and all around so we get to see our strengths and weaknesses early."

Duke Locker Room

Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie

"I like our teams fight very much and I liked Auburn's fight as well. I am very proud of our team's poise down the stretch and our execution. Any time you can shoot 50 percent from the floor, it shows good decision making. Defensively, to hold a team to 50 shots in a game and disrupt things for them, I think that is good too. I have a lot of respect for Auburn, I love Auburn, it is a great place. I was very proud of our team and Jasmine Thomas', Karima Christmas' and Krystal Thomas' leadership. They were on their game, focused and brought along two first year players with them."

On Auburn's new arena...
"This a great place. Auburn fans should feel very fortunate. It is a nice size and I fell that the crowd is loud and it should be very interesting for basketball."

On controlling the paint throughout the game...
"I think it was the players working together. The decision making of the guards to not pull the trigger too quick and be able to get the ball down there. Also, the aggressiveness of our post players demanding the ball. So, I think with the guards getting in there and the post players being aggressive, it was that combination."

On Jasmine Thomas' performance...
"She was amazing. She has had some adversity with an ankle injury. She came out and played about 35 minutes, because Jasmine is a person who has really high standards. Jasmine is a terrific player, one of the best in the country, an All-America candidate and somebody that we can count on to lead, be vocal and also to produce great numbers."

On using the full-court press...
"We like to do a lot of different things, because we are a multiple-defense team. We like to press and run. I think we did a great job, too, of attacking their press. Pressing is an important part of the game. I think it can make the game fun and change the tempo. Our team did a great job when we did some things pressing wise. We did a much better job setting our press breakers. It is good to get this experience, especially in an unfriendly environment."

On the performance of the freshmen...
"I think they were fantastic. I think they played hard, smart and they played like veterans on the road. I think they feed of our senior leadership, which made everyone understand each other on the floor. I am really proud of their poise. I know Haley Peters was a little frustrated with some foul calls, but she was aggressive. I thought Chelsea Gray did some very nice things, getting fouled and making free-throws and she had a pretty big three at a critical time.."

Jasmine Thomas, Sr., G

On distributing the ball...
"That's something we've been working on. We still don't have the assist-to-turnover ratio we're looking for. In our first two games we had one time out where we had a poor assist performance and we've been talking a lot about finding an open player and taking the easy shots. We had a lot of easy shots tonight, but we need to be more patient and those shots will go in."

On ankle injury...
"We were in practice before leaving to come here, and I came down on my foot and turned it the way I always turn it. This has happened before, it's not a big deal, it's just a little sore, but I think it'll be fine."



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