Additional Quotes >> USA 79, Australia 78
Kazan, Russia • July 13, 2013
Sherri Coale (USA and University of Oklahoma head coach)
On the last few minutes of the game:
We had a 16-point lead and kept fouling and giving them three-point plays, sent them to the free throw line, and we were giving up second shots, all those things that lead to a comeback, when all you have to do is keep them in front and make them take contested jump shots. And then on the offensive end, I thought we panicked a little bit when we couldn't figure out a way to stop them. We got away from what had been working for us and panicked a little bit. The lack of time that we've been on the floor together sort of showed there at the end. We weren't really sure of each other.
On Crystal Bradford's game-winning shot:
Crystal is a game player. She is just a kid that makes plays. She wanted the ball, she wanted to be in the game, she wanted the ball in her hand, and I'm not surprised. I was surprised she missed the first one, but I was not surprised that she got her own rebound and put it back, because she hung 34 points on me (at Oklahoma) in the NCAA Tournament, so I've seen it.
On the last stop to win the game:
I tell you what, that 14 seconds felt like forever. And then we did everything right, and I though came up with the rebound, and they called a jump ball and we had to defend them for seven more (seconds). We had not been really good in defending their inbound plays. For a split second there, I thought about changing the way we were guarding on the inbound, but I felt like the most important thing for our kids at that point was to be sure, and so we stuck with what we had been doing and got them to take a tough shot and came up with the rebound somehow. We've been given a gift.
On advancing to the gold medal game against host Russia:
We have to have better energy to start the game. I don't think we took Australia's offense seriously enough in terms of how well they play together. And then the one thing that we've been doing so well -- time-out, adjustment, adjustment -- we didn't do tonight. We would talk about changing the way we were guarding them, and we would go out and guard them the same way. And we came out of a couple of time-outs and had a set-play called, and didn't run that play, which is odd because these guys have been really, really good with that. I don't know if it was that we played super late tonight, if it was getting caught up in the Russia game that was before, it could be a million things, but you can't make those mistakes against Russia.
Crystal Bradford (Central Michigan University/Detroit, Mich.)
On the game-winning basket:
I knew the seconds were winding down. We had an offense that we had already set up (with) a play, but we didn't execute it, so at this point we started cutting. Somebody cut and they weren't open, and I saw that if I cut I would be open. When I got the ball, and it was time to go. I side-stepped and saw that I was open. I thought the first one was going to go in, so I didn't expect to get the rebound, but it came off, and I grabbed the rebound. I knew I had to go up strong. I didn't even want to shoot free throws. And I went up, and I made it, and I was excited.
How did it feel to see the clock hit zero and get this win?
It felt great. I felt good, but doing it for my team .. and not even doing it for our team, we are doing it for our country. Everything we stand for that shot was determined on, so I just feel good, and I'm thanking God for it.
Bria Hartley (University of Connecticut/North Babylon, N.Y.)
How was the team able to pull out a win?
We're a little bit disappointed in ourselves, giving up a 16-point lead. Especially since we started so well in the second half, and we just kind of let them come back and make free throws. But credit to Australia, they played really well and they made the right plays. But in the end we made the right plays. We got the box out and got the rebound on that last shot. A lot of times you seal games like that. It's the second rebound that kills us, so we were able to finish tonight.
On the USA's dominate third quarter:
Definitely after the first half, we thought we had to come together, everyone had to get a pace, and I think we did a better job of boxing out in that third quarter. We got rebounds and we were able to push in transition. I thought Odyssey did a great job of getting to the basket. That was part of our game plan. We knew they really couldn't keep us in front because we are more athletic than them, so Odyssey did a great job of breaking her man down off the dribble and finishing.
Odyssey Sims (Baylor University/Irving, Texas)
On winning on her birthday:
I did have a good birthday. It was a good way to have a birthday. I had fun with my teammates today, and on top of that we got the W, so I'm more than happy.
On her 20 points:
I just came out sluggish in the first half, kind of let the refs get in my head, bumping and stuff. I came out more aggressive and had a mentality that I was going to put that ball in the basket, and I did that when I came out (in the second half).
On fighting for the the second-to-last rebound:
They were crashing the boards the entire time. I knew that their big girl was going to shoot it, didn't really know where it was going to fall, but I was under the basket. I was in the right place at the right time. I thought I had it, and they called a jump and they got it back. I had momentum, thought I had the ball, but the refs called (a jump). I just stayed with the play, and played it out the last seven seconds.
On securing the last rebound of the game:
It was the same thing. I just knew that they were going to crash. I was in the right place at the right time, and I knew I couldn't take any possession off. It was critical, and I had to play until the clock was over.