Additional Quotes >> USA 103, Sweden 72
Kazan, Russia • July 12, 2013
Sherri Coale (USA and University of Oklahoma head coach)
On the difference in the second half:
Our defense in the second half was much better than it was in the first. We kept the ball in front and forced them into taking contested shots. We did a much better job on the defensive glass. They are a tremendous offensive rebounding team and go at it very hard. If you can block them out, then you have an advantage in transition on the other end. That was what we were able to do in the second half.
On the play of the USA bench:
That’s the great thing about having this squad; everybody on your bench can play and they’re capable of changing games. They’re all impact players in their own programs back in the states, so they’re prepared for that. They see themselves as being able to change the flavor of a game.
ReShanda Gray was tremendous tonight. She came in and defended the post with great activity. She blocked out, she scored a couple of times at the block through a lot of physicality. I though Ariel Massengale played just as tremendous at distributing the basketball and staying in front of a guy who is very, very hard to guard. We were able to go to two point guards a lot which is such a luxury because everybody on the Sweden team can put the ball on the floor and get to the rim so we were able to have two point guards in the game for the majority of it which helped us defensively.
On preparing for the semifinals:
This group of kids, they have been so good about doing exactly what we ask them to do. They really have—we ask them to focus, they’ve got to do this, and they do exactly what we ask them to do. I think they understand the significance of where they are. There are some experienced guys in Kaleena, Ariel, Odyssey all being down this road before, so they take care of the locker room. That will be the key against Australia or Canada in the next game is making sure that our focus is on them and we don’t get ahead ourselves. And that’s what we’ve been very good at, taking it one game at a time.
Jordan Hooper (University of Nebraska/Alliance, Neb.)
On the difference in the game:
I think our energy and intensity level was a little higher than theirs and we just kept going at them. They would make their runs, but we’d make runs right back at them, so we just matched their intensity level with more energy.
On the game being more competitive than the final score indicated:
They just did what all the other teams (we’ve played) haven’t done yet; they hit outside shots and took it inside, they passed it, and they just executed really well. The other teams didn’t do that, but they did. The score didn’t really reflect as tight as it really felt.
On what it says about the team to win by 31 points despite it being a competitive game:
We have a lot of heart, we have a lot of energy. We’re ready; we really want this. I think no matter what, they throw their punches and we just fight right back.
Ariel Massengale (University of Tennessee/Bolingbrook, Ill.)
On the team’s run in the third quarter to take control of the game:
I think we just locked down on defense. We knew they were a great team and that they would came out of the half very strong doing what they do best; I think, as a team, we just clicked and came together and got stops when we needed to which allowed us to push in transition which is what we like to do best.
On adjusting to contributing off the bench:
It’s a humbling process, I would say, but any one of us here is capable of starting and it really doesn’t matter who starts or who finishes, as long as everyone is out there contributing. At the end of the day, we only have one goal and that’s to win a gold medal.
Theresa Plaisance (Louisiana State University/New Orleans, La.)
On how Sweden challenged the team more than the first three opponents:
Sweden brought a lot of physicality and a lot of height. Going against No. 10 (Danielle Hamilton Carter), she was a great competitor; she did a lot of things in the low post and high post that were challenging for us defensively. They were very consistent with their gameplan and stayed strong the whole time which was tough for us to play against.
On the difference in the second half:
The difference was definitely rebounding. We struggled in the first half, letting them get too many offensive rebounds. They had, I think, 14 in the first half and we shouldn’t give up that many the entire game. ReShanda Gray stepped up big for us and did a lot of little things that don’t really show up on the scoreboard. Those were really the keys to victory.