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 69, France 63

Panevezys, Lithuania ē July 24, 2013

Katie Meier

USA head coach Katie Meier (University of Miami)
On tonightís game:
We have a ton of respect for France. They match us athletically. They are better than us in pace of play and they controlled the tempo tonight. We couldnít impose our will on them, because theyíre a very veteran team. We had to play their game and break through our box of tricks. We had to dig through our half court offenses and our half court defenses and really execute. We figured it out, but it took a long time to figure it out. Theyíre a very sophisticated, high-level basketball club.

Was it good to get a game like that under your belt heading into the medal round?
I loved every second of the game. I loved coaching it, I loved the time outs, I loved the ebb and flow, I loved the special situations. I loved it. I was having a great time during that game because you think, whoís going to hit the big shot? Whoís going to make the defensive stop? What are we going to do on a certain screen action. There were so many questions that we had to solve and we really hadnít had to solve them yet in this tournament, so for me it was an encyclopedia of information to digest tonight and tomorrow before we play again on Friday.

On the 3-pointer by Alexis Jones, followed by the blocked shot:
Itís been fun in this tournament, because we havenít had a lot of big shot situations. We havenít had a lot of Ďwe have to get a stopí situations. But tonight you saw our pride rise up on the defensive end. The players solved a lot of issues for themselves. On the offensive end we actually executed very, very well. We had a lot of poise. Maybe we missed the shot, but executed it well. Then there was that extra Ö Lex hit the big shot, but Bashaara Graves was Chris Bosh. We were laughing saying Lex might be Ray Allen, but Bashaara was Chris Bosh, because she missed the shot, got the rebound and had the poise to kick it out to Morgan, who kicked it to Lex. It was a heck of a play. But, you know, theyíre veterans. Very poised. Very calm. I was proud of them for that. It was their game; they did a great job. The players finished that game for us.

On the play of veterans Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck:
They were great, they were great during the game, but in the end they had great looks. Itís good for us because they did not hit the big shot. They had them, they executed them, they just missed them. Somebody else stepped up. Moís (Jefferson) kick-out three was huge. Alexis was unbelievable, and then Bashaara (Graves) working the glass for us on that last possession. We executed very, very well, but it wasnít our first or second option, it was maybe our third or fourth that came through for us.

Linnae Harper

Linnae Harper (Whitney Young H.S./*Kentucky/Chicago, Ill.)
On tonightís game:
I think they scouted us really well. We played them in a scrimmage when we first got down here and I think their main goal was to stop us. They rattled us a little bit, but we ended up adjusting to it, executing more and taking care of the ball.

Was it good to get a game like that under your belt heading into the medal round?
Itís definitely something that we needed. Our previous games werenít so close, but this game really showed us that we need to come together focused, be coachable, listen to the coaches and take criticism, because the next three games are going to be very critical.

How frustrating is it when youíre getting good looks, but the shots arenít falling?
Itís very frustrating. You think you got it and you worked so hard to get the shot. But, most importantly to keep hustling not matter if your shots donít fall. If you play good defense, your offense will come. The fact that our shots werenít really falling, we adjusted well and we played hard defense and disrupted them on their offensive side.

Alexis Jones

Alexis Jones (Duke/Irving, Texas)
After missing four 3-pointers in the game, you knocked down that one at the end. Will you walk me through that?
It was at the moment when time was running down, so I just shot the ball. Iíve been shooting it and it finally went in the hole.

Morgan Tuck said she didnít know the shot clock was running down:
I realized the shot clock was running down, but I thought at first that Morgan was going to shoot it. Then I realized that she didnít know. So, I hurried up and got into a shooting position stance in case she passed it to me, so I could shoot it and try to make it.

And then you got that huge block on the other end:
I knew she was a shooter, so I just tried to play up to her and as soon as she put the ball back on the floor, I knew it was going up. So, I just tried to hurry up and contest the shot as best as I could.

How tough was Franceís defense to play against?
France was very tough on defense. They were very good. They disrupted us a lot with our cuts. At the beginning of the game they made us get out of our game, so we started to run other stuff, like back dooring, and we didnít really know what we were doing. They really made us get out of rhythm, but we got it back together. But, we also missed a lot of shots that were open.

Was that frustrating?
It was frustrating, because we havenít shot that bad in any game. So, it was frustrating because we were getting the shots that we wanted to get, it just wouldnít go in the hole for us.

Breanna Stewart

Breanna Stewart (Connecticut/North Syracuse, N.Y.)
How tough was tonightís game against France?
It was really tough. I think that was the most consistent team we played. They kept coming at us. They played great, but when it really came down to it, we really stepped up our defense so that they had a really hard time getting shots.

On the 3-pointer by Alexis Jones:
That was great. I wasnít sure she was going to get it off in time. I saw the shot clock and Morgan (Tuck) had it with two seconds (to go) in her hands, but I knew she just had to shoot it and I was hoping it was going in.

Was it good to get a game like that under your belt heading into the medal round?
I definitely think itís good. To play a team of that caliber in the second round is wonderful so it can get us prepared for the medal rounds, because teams are only going to get better. We might meet up with France again.

How were you feeling tonight, having to play so many minutes?
I was feeling good. I loved the time outs, itís nice to get some air and some water, but in a game like that you want to be in the game.

Morgan Tuck

Morgan Tuck (Connecticut/Bolingbrook, Ill.)
Was it good to get a game like that under your belt heading into the medal round?
I think so. We really havenít had a close game since we played our exhibition against Australia. So, I think it gave us a good feel of how the medal rounds will be and how we have to make sure that we really focus in and be deliberate on offense and defense.

With time winding down on the shot clock, you passed the ball to Alexis Jones, who hit the 3-pointer. Will you walk me through that possession?
I saw B (Bashaara Graves) get the rebound and I saw they were really collapsing, so I called for it. I didnít see the shot clock, but I saw Alexis wide open. So, I just passed it to her and she let it go and it went in.

How huge was the 3-point attempt that she blocked on the other end?
It was really big. That was a really big play that we needed. We needed a stop and thatís what we were struggling to get. I think she did a great job of being really tough on the offensive end and then coming right back and being tough on defense.

What can you tell the younger kids about what youíre going to face in the medal round?
Kind of like today, theyíre all going to be really big games. The teams are great, so we just have to make sure we have the focus like we had today toward the end of the game more. Weíre going to have games where each possession matters and not always games where itís a 30-point or 40-point margin.

A'ja Wilson

Aíja Wilson (Heathwood Hall H.S/Hopkins, S.C.)
On tonightís game:
It was a good one. We have respect for them; they have respect for us. We knew that when we came out after scrimmaging them that it was going to be a hard one. But, we came out and took care of business. It was a great game.

Was it good to get a game like that under your belt heading into the medal round?
I think itís really good, because we learned from it. Even though we won we can still learn from it. Itís something that will wake us up a little bit, because weíve been killing teams here. To have a close game, it knocked us back to reality. This road to gold is not about to be easy. It was a really good game to get under our belt.

How important are veterans like Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck to this team in a game like tonight?
They are the backbone to this team. They are coming off of a NCAA championship and they have great leadership. They really help us out. I know they help me out especially. Out on the court, me being a rookie and getting a chance to play with them and feeding off of them, itís just a positive all the way around.