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Jan. 12, 2014

Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw

Opening Statement
“I thought that was a fantastic game. Natalie Achonwa and Kayla McBride played terrific games and carried us most of the day while the rest of the team was lacking in offensive firepower. I thought Faith Randolph played really well. We expected her to play well and expected her to shoot well and she was very, very difficult for us to guard. Sarah Imobvioh had a phenomenal game for UVa inside. It was just a great game. We hoped for a nicer welcome to the ACC, but UVa was a very tough opponent.”

On Notre Dame’s poor shooting stretch in the first half:
“I thought our shot selection wasn’t great, but we also missed a lot of layups. Sometimes we needed another dribble or needed to gather a little more, mostly the guards, but we really drove it but couldn’t finish. We took for some bad shots, settled for jumpers instead of going inside which I felt was our advantage against that four-guard lineup.”

On Virginia’s run after Notre Dame stretched the lead to 13:
“I thought we got a little cushion then all we needed to do was defend and rebound, and we weren’t able to do it. That Virginia group just came back hard. I know they came back from about 16 down against Virginia Tech, so they’re good at coming from behind. They had a really good plan for the game. I think we relaxed too much, made some bonehead plays that led to turnovers and breakaway layups.”

On Faith Randolph:
“We put our best athlete on her but that didn’t help us at all. We had a plan for guarding her that we didn’t follow so I was disappointed that we couldn’t contain her a little more, but when she gets hot there is no stopping her.”

On UVa’s upcoming game at Virginia Tech:
“I think it’s senior leadership. Look at these two right here [Natalie Achonwa and Kayla McBride] and we wanted the ball in their hands late in the game. Natalie got free for a couple of layups, got to the line and made some free throws. That was really key for us. Then we got a few stops, which was the hardest part of the game for us.

Senior Forward Natalie Achonwa:

On her matchup with Sarah Imobvioh:
“She’s really physical and aggressive. After the game I saw I had 12 missed boxouts, so ill get in trouble for that, but she’s really aggressive on the offensive boards and did a great job rebounding.”

On her 16 rebounds:
“I was really just trying to get offensive rebounds- that was the biggest thing. We were finding our shooters, and if they happened to miss once in a while then I’d be there.”

On Notre Dame’s senior leadership:
“I really like the relationship between Kayla (McBride) and myself, and really among the whole team. I think we’re at the point where we just look at each other and know it’s time to get going. I think that’s where she’s better- just making sure we have energy and are ready to go.”

Senior Guard Kayla McBride:

On her layup late in the game:“I was just trying to get in the lane, get to the free throw line and make something happen. It was late in the shot clock and I just wanted a ball screen and tried to get to the rim. I was just in the moment and was ready for the ball if it came out, but it fell in.”

On her game:
“I was trying to find the gaps, and my teammates were doing a great job of getting me the ball in good positions. I love the free throw line area, and when I get around it I feel the most comfortable.”

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