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Additional Quotes: Canada 81, U.S. Pan American Women 73

  • Date:
    Jul 20, 2015

USA head coach Lisa Bluder, (University of Iowa)
What are your thoughts about tonight’s game?

I thought our women came out ready to play tonight. I thought they did a great job, especially that first quarter was just terrific. Then we got in foul trouble. Alaina (Coates) and Taya (Reimer) both picked up fouls, and we had to put them on bench in the first half. Then when we started fouling, they were 13-for-13 from the free throw line in the first half. They went to their zone defense, and we struggled against their zone. Their zone hurt us. But, we went through a lot of adversity with this game – injuries, foul problems. We just did not have enough bodies to compete against them.

We’re you proud of the comeback by the team to almost even the score?
When we got within five, I thought we’re going win this thing. I really did. We were down 16 I believe, and we got within five, and I thought, ‘This game is ours.’ Then they got two quick ones after that. But we had too many turnovers tonight again. I feel like if we had more bodies, I think we would have been in better shape.

Obviously it was a huge game out of Kia Nurse; was it tough to contain her?
Yeah, she was on fire. I think she, and all the Canadians, were excited about playing on their home court. She had a lot of pride on the line. Being a UConn kid and having the two UConn players on our team, Bre (Breanna Stewart) and Mo (Moriah Jefferson). I thought Kia Nurse just played really, really well tonight. Just strong, aggressive and with the depth that they have and as many players as they play, it got her a little bit more rest during the week than we were able to give our players.

It wasn’t the finish you hoped for, but what does it mean now to see the way this team battled through the tournament to get a silver medal?
You look back to the last time, and I know it was a different scenario, but they finished seventh and Bre (Breanna Stewart) wanted this to be her redemption tour, and we didn’t get her the gold, but we got her the silver. We have to remember we’re a college group that has practiced for about two weeks going against a national team that has been basically practicing since May and playing on their home court. Those things we have to remember right now and be proud of the effort that we gave in giving the United States a silver.

Are you proud of this group overall?
They came ready to go today. I thought our team was extremely focused today, and I thought they gave us their best effort, and that’s all we can ask out of them. I’m extremely proud to have coached this group of women. 

Alaina Coates (South Carolina / Irmo, S.C.)
What did you think about the game?

I feel like defensively we could have done much better. Offensively we kind of made poor decisions on certain shots, and we of weren’t crashing (the boards). We weren’t really the same team that we were coming into this game, like we were throughout this whole tournament, and I thought that ended up being our downfall.

You made a couple of runs and cut it to five, did you think that maybe you were going to turn the corner?
I felt like even when were down by 15 that we would come back, cut into it and end up taking the lead, but things happened. The ball got turned over, a missed free throw, missed opportunities, stuff happens. It’s part of the game.

Obviously it’s a little disappointing, but are you still happy to get the silver medal?
Regardless, I’m happy of with we got. We’re a bunch college kids playing against professionals. We came in second, but we hung in there. I’m proud of what we did. Regardless, I wanted a medal. Obviously, I wanted gold, but at this moment silver is fine, too. For a bunch of young ones we put ourselves out there, especially for USA Basketball. 

Linnae Harper (Kentucky/Chicago, Ill.)
What did you think about the game?

It was a tough game. We came out ready to play. Canada came out ready to play, and unfortunately, we just fell short. It was a great experience overall. It was a great opportunity to be here.

You made a couple of runs and cut it to five, did you think that maybe you were going to turn the corner?
Yes, honestly I think we did. We always kept that fight throughout the whole game but it was just little mistakes that we made that kept Canada in the lead. We were almost there, but we feel short.

Obviously it’s a little disappointing, are you still happy to get the silver medal?
Our main goal was to get gold from the start, but second place is not bad at all. It was a great opportunity, and a lot of other countries would kill to be in our position. I’m going to accept the silver medal with pride and celebrate with my teammates.

Breanna Stewart (Connecticut/North Syracuse, N.Y.)
It was a tough game with Canada; what can you say about the game?

Obviously, Kia Nurse played really well. She just came out and was doing everything, whether it was 3s, driving to the basket and getting and-ones, that kind of stuff.  We had them for a second, and then they let the crowd and momentum get behind them and never really looked back.

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