2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11

Additional Quotes >> USA 95, Canada 46

Gurabo, Puerto Rico • Aug. 18, 2012

Katie Meier

Katie Meier, USA and University of Miami head coach
On tonight’s game
Canada could match our size a little bit and was probably the first team in this tournament that could do that. So, we tried to push tempo a little bit more than we had in the last couple of games. We were trying to keep our tempo up and get some points in the paint off of transition. A lot of times when people say points in the paint, they want to slow the game down to get the points in the paint. We felt we would get a lot of points in the paint if we stretched the defense a little bit, and it worked out for us.

On the intensity with which her team played:
I felt like every game we’ve seen another level from our team, some new type of focus or some nuance that they finally get or a concept that they apply. That’s what’s been really fun about coaching this team. When you don’t practice together all year, you learn a lot about them through game play versus practice. This is the second game in a row where we’ve made adjustments at halftime that we’ve never talked about before and then they go out and apply it.

On the USA’s unselfish play:
To me, the most stunning stat once again is that almost 68 percent of our field goals were assisted. We just keep sharing the basketball and we’ve got some tremendous finishers. It’s been fun so far.

On the play of Stewart & Tuck:
I think it was the first game that those two together really took a game over. They do it in so many different ways. At the end of the game we had Stewie at the two and Tuck at the three, with Bashaara (Graves) and Candice (Agee) inside. We were just huge. They just say, ‘okay,’ and adjust and adapt and fill in for you. They did a fantastic job. Those two players are as special as they come.

On Brazil, the USA’s gold medal opponent:
They’re a very passionate team and I think that’s going to be good for us. I think we are starting to show our emotion as well. Focus, we lost our focus midway through that fourth quarter and we needed to remind ourselves again to focus. I don’t think we can have two and three minutes that lack focus or we’ll be in trouble, because Brazil can really put a run together. They can put a 9-0, 12-0 run on you like that (snaps her fingers). It fuels their emotion and then they play at a higher level. So, we have to contain a real composure and focus the entire game. Yet, at the same time match their intensity and enthusiasm.

Lexie Brown

Lexie Brown (North Gwinnett H.S. / Suwanee, Ga.)
On tonight’s game:
I thought we played very well together as a team. (Our) coaches gave us goals and we got all of them, unlike yesterday. Today we really buckled down on defense and pulled out a big win. Actually, we did miss one goal. It was to limit their 3-pointers, which clearly we did not do.

What kind of goals did you have heading into today’s game?
We had all these schemes on defense that we really executed well. In the first half they had 20 points and 15 of them were 3-pointers, so we really kept them out of the paint.

On playing Brazil for the gold medal:
We know they’re very physical. We played them in Orlando (in May) and we’re going to have to go off a little from what we know from when we played them there and from what we’ve seen over the past couple of days. We know they’re really physical, really enthusiastic, they play off their emotions and their feelings. When they’re up, they’re up, but when they’re down, they’re really down. So, we just have to get them down and keep them down.

On the play of her teammates:
Michaela with her 3-point shooting is amazing; Moriah, her passing and executing the offense and running the team; Morgan Tuck is doing a little bit of everything. She’s an amazing player. She’s our glue player, really. She does all the little things and all the big things also.

Bashaara Graves

Bashaara Graves (Clarksville H.S. / Clarksville, Tenn.)
On advancing to the gold medal game:
I think it’s great that we’re into the finals and we get to play for the gold. It’s a wonderful accomplishment.

Do you feel the team is getting better each game?
Yes, I think so, because our defense is stepping up. We came out in the first half and did what we practiced on our defense. We denied the ball, but even though they got a lot of threes on us, we still had good defense.

On her play tonight:
I think I was just getting good looks. My teammates were passing it to me when I was open. I guess I was just hot today.

Breanna Stewart

Breanna Stewart (Cicero-North H.S. / North Syracuse, N.Y.)
On her game tonight:
I was just waiting to let the game come to me. I talked to coach before the game at shoot around and she was like ‘I have a feeling that tonight you’re just going to go off.’ Did I go off? I don’t know, but I was just doing what I do on the court and having fun while I was doing it.

Were you fueled a little bit by the loss to Canada in the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship?
Yeah, it definitely was fuel. Because obviously you don’t want to lose at these tournaments. At the U19s we lost to Canada. So, yeah we took that as fuel. We wanted to send a message to Canada that that was a fluke and it’s not going to happen again. I think we did that.

What do you need to work on prior to the gold medal game?
I think it’s just staying focused. We had a little point in the third quarter where we let up a little bit. We just have to stay focused and realize that we need to keep playing our game, no matter what the other team is doing. We need to keep doing what we do.

On the play of her teammates:
Everyone is contributing to the team in some way. Obviously we’re down guards, so me and Morgan are playing the three and swinging. Moriah and Lexie are doing a great job keeping the team under control. When Michaela comes in and plays point, she’s doing a tremendous job. She had 10 assists that one game. I think everyone’s playing really well.

Morgan Tuck

Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook H.S./ Bolingbrook, Ill.)
Were you fueled a little bit by the loss to Canada in the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship?
Yeah, a little bit. We talked about it a little bit earlier today during film that we lost to them last year at the 19s. We definitely wanted to come out and send a message. We definitely didn’t want to lose this game.

The team looks to be playing better and better each game. Are you getting a better feel for each other?
I think we’re getting a better feel for each other. We haven’t been together very long. So, as we’re playing games we’re just learning each other’s game a little better.

Do you think Canada was a little surprised with how strong you played from the start?
I’m not sure they were surprised, but I’m just glad that everyone was on the same page tonight and that we started off the game really well. Because sometimes we’ll start off a little slow, but I think we started off really well and played the game pretty well.

What were your goals heading into this game?
Our goals were to limit them on offense, definitely focus on our defense, because that’s what fuels our offense. We wanted to get transition points, points in the paint, outside-inside hitting shots. I think we did that pretty well. Of course we have to limit the threes that we’re giving up. That’s one thing we really have to work on for tomorrow.

On the play of her teammates:
A lot of people played well. Even if they didn’t necessarily score, they played good defense, made hustle plays. I think it was a great team effort.