Additional Quotes WU18 USA 107, Canada 76
Head coach Dawn Staley (University of South Carolina)
On her thoughts of tonight’s game, including the back-and-forth start between both teams:
We knew Canada was going to come out and play extremely well against us in the beginning, but what we told our team was, ‘a marathon isn’t won in the first mile’. I like what we bring into this tournament over a 40-minute period, and I thought we responded. We got some great contributions off the bench. Napheesa Collier -- beautiful performance. It’s incredible to watch her operate night in and night out. This is what she does every single night; she doesn’t take plays off and that’s why she willed us to this win today.
On a strong performance by the USA to close out the first half:
We probably put on a more defensive mind; we went smaller. Napheesa at the four and whomever we thought could disrupt Canada’s flow. Marina Mabrey was in, Paris Kea was in, Mariya Moore-- she was in; so all those guards who don’t mind diving on the floor and getting into some players. They forced turnovers and created some easy buckets for us.
On advancing undefeated as the number one seed of Group A:
We’re ready for the semifinals. This team has gotten better each time and you can see it by the different contributions we’re getting from people coming off the bench; everyone is a starter in there. When you’re calling people’s numbers and they respond and answer and will us to win, then we’re moving in the right direction for semifinal play.
On playing Argentina tomorrow:
They play really emotional, and Argentina made big plays at the end of their basketball game today against Puerto Rico that showed they wanted to be in semifinals playing against us. Hopefully it will be a good game.
Recee Caldwell (Homeschooled/San Antonio, Texas)
On how close the game was at the beginning:
Our scrimmage was different, and we knew this would be different, too. We started with an 11-3 start, but then they came and punched us right in the mouth. I think they did a good job of giving us a good game, but I think our bench is really deep and I think that’s where we got them.
Paris (Kea) came off the bench and did a great job as a point guard. Marina Mabrey and Mariya Moore gave great energy and got some good buckets and steals, so I think we got them with out bench. Our bench is just so deep, and I don’t think anybody can compete with it.
Napheesa Collier (Incarnate Word Academy/O’Fallon, Mo.)
What did you think of tonight’s game?
I thought that we played really well despite being down in the first half. I think we played really hard to get back into it, and then gained the lead.
On closing out the half with a 19-4 run:
They were shooting really well from outside, and so we made some adjustments for that and found a way to stifle them.
On what clicked for her in the first half after scoring 20 of a game-high 22 points in the game:
I was just in the zone because we were down and everything was in overdrive trying to get us back in the game.
On playing Argentina tomorrow in the semifinals:
I’m so excited. Hopefully we go undefeated the whole tournament and win the gold medal.
Paris Kea (Page H.S./Greensboro, N.C.)
What did you think about tonight’s game against Canada?
I thought they were very competitive. We had never been down in a game yet, and they were a wake up call. We had to come together as a team, and it definitely helped us bond more. We saw a different side of each other. We figured out whom to call on and when to call on them.
On whether there were any nerves during the game:
I don’t think there were necessarily nerves; we just had to rely on each other in order fight back.
Mariya Moore (Salesian H.S./Richmond, Calif.)
What were your overall thoughts on today’s game?
We knew we had to come out aggressive because we had already scrimmaged them, so we knew that they’d bring it harder this time. We just had to play all 40 minutes hard.
On getting a tight game and fighting for every point:
We were definitely prepared for it to be tight and close; we were prepared for it to be a good game.
On a strong finish to the second quarter:
We focused on defense and trying to anticipate the next pass. I think we got a lot of steals at the end of the first half.
On playing in the semifinals tomorrow as the number one seed:
We’re definitely feeling good, but we know we have to focus. We haven’t scrimmaged Argentina, but we know they play hard so we have to do so as well.
Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas)
On how the USA got off to a competitive start:
It was a competitive start; Canada stayed with us the whole first half. There were a lot of fouls called. We had to adjust and play better defense.
On closing the first half on a 19-4 run after being down by two with about six minutes left in the second quarter:
We started to press them a little bit, and I think they got a little hesitant and were trying to get crazy passes. We were able to get them in transition and make easy layups.
On advancing to semifinals tomorrow:
It’s great to come out number one on our group. We’re ready to take care of business tomorrow.