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Additional Quotes: USA U19 Women 93, Canada 45 (quarterfinals)

  • Date:
    Jul 24, 2015

Chekhov, Russia

USA U19 head coach Dawn Staley (South Carolina)
On today’s game:
I’m really proud of how we got off to a much better start than in other games. I feel that we’re peaking at the right time. I thought Crystal (Dangerfield) did a tremendous job at the top of our press, getting her hands up, getting deflections and getting steals. We were then able to get buckets to continue the effort that it took to take the wind out of Canada’s sails.

On the USA’s bench outscoring Canada 43-22:
Everybody came in with a certain level of focus. Our coaching staff talked to them a lot about this being an important game, because it’s a game that leads us to ultimately getting what we want, which is to win the gold medal. Hopefully we will take care of business tomorrow and get into the finals. It’s going to take all of us to get it done. We don’t hesitate going to our bench, because we know that over the course of 40 minutes we can apply the type of pressure that’s needed to be successful in this type of tournament setting.

What was the key to the win?
It all starts with guard play for Canada. So, we needed to be disruptive and not let them get into their half court sets. When you’re able to let them run their half-court sets, they’re pretty good and they’re pretty efficient. We tried to speed them up and not let them look us over. We occupied them, occupied the person with the ball and applied a lot of pressure on her and cut down on her vision. And then it was just a snowball effect. If you cut the head off, the rest will follow, and I thought we did a good job of applying a lot of pressure on the ball.

You have played Spain twice since July 14. How difficult is it to play a team like that three times in less than two weeks?
It’s really tough, especially each time we played them, they lessened the gap between victory and defeat. Obviously they scouted us. But, we’re different from the first time that we played Spain. We’re a lot more aggressive in our three-quarter court press. So, they’ll be prepared a little bit better because they saw it in pool play. But, our depth is the thing that will carry us through this entire tournament, so hopefully we can exhaust Spain. Whoever they have in the game and whoever they bring into the game, we’ll put fresh bodies out there to wear them down. Although it’s difficult to play a team three times, I like who we’re bringing to the table in this third game.

Napheesa Collier (Incarnate Word Academy/O’Fallon, Mo.)
On tonight’s game:
We came out really hard in our press and forced some turnovers, so that really helped us get the lead from the beginning.

On the play of Crystal Dangerfield:
She’s awesome. I thought she really helped us score more points in transition. She was causing a lot of turnovers and got in their heads. So, she did awesome.

How important is it to have so many players who share the ball and distribute the points like this team does?
It’s amazing, because on other teams here, there’s only one or two good players. So, when you’re scouting other teams you only have to shut down one person. But you can’t shut down a whole team. So, I think that it really helps that everyone can score; everyone is so good.

How much fun is it to play with this group of players?
It’s awesome playing with this group of girls. We trained for about two weeks and not all of us knew each other when we came here, but we came together so quickly. I think we’ve grown so close over the past couple of weeks, so I’m glad I’m here with them.

What do you need to tighten up on ahead of the final two games?
We need to work on our turnovers. Sometimes we make bad mistakes, so that would be the one area that we need to fix.

On playing Spain for the third time in less than two weeks:
It’s really tough to play a team three times in that amount of time. It’s hard to play a team twice, let alone three times. We’re definitely going to have to be on our ‘A’ game.

Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas)
How were you able to take Canada out of its game?
We had a really good start. We really shut them down. We shut their main players down. Everyone did a really good job of playing defense against them, and we shut them down in that first quarter.

On the energy the team brought from the start:
It was good to see that we came out with a lot of energy. We haven’t been doing that in the past couple of games. We knew we needed to come out strong, because we beat Canada in Spain (on July 13), so we knew they wanted to get some revenge. It was good seeing us come out with a lot of energy.

You played Spain twice since July 14. How difficult is it to play a team like that three times in less than two weeks?
It’s always really hard to beat a team three times, especially a team like Spain. They have some really good players who we have to shut down. They’re going to be out for us because we’ve already beaten them twice. But, if we come out with the same kind of energy that we did tonight, we’ll be good.

Crystal Dangerfield (Blackman H.S./Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
How were you able to disrupt Canada from the start of the game?
Our starting group did a really good job of working our game plan. Then our bench was able to really keep after it. They had trouble against our press, and the zone was just causing them problems.

Do you feel as if the team is starting to peak at the right time?
I do feel that way. We’re starting to click on offense a bit better, and our defense is really starting to disrupt the other teams and our bench is getting stronger. Our rebounding is getting better. We know we really have to start to blocking out and going harder, because the games mean more and the teams are going to be harder, but I think we’re doing a really good job.

Was this a total team effort?
Yes. I thought we had a really good team effort tonight. We had balanced scoring; we had balanced rebounding. We were sharing the ball well. Everybody was playing really hard on defense.

What do you expect to see from Spain tomorrow?
I’m sure that they’re going to play a little bit harder, because they know that they’ve gotten beat twice and they may have that mindset, like it may be hard to beat a team three times. They’ll be playing with more intensity. I think they’ll be showing confidence, so they may hit a couple more shots. But, I think we’ll be fine. I think we’ll be able to calm them down and keep them under wraps.

Mariya Moore (Louisville/Richmond, Calif.)
How were you able to disrupt Canada from the start of the game?
I don’t really know what happened. I think we were into the mindset that we’re going into the medal rounds, so we had to pick it up and not go out slow like we did in some of our other games.

Do you feel as if the team is clicking better together now?
I think we clicked well from the beginning. We were clicking well when the team was just put together. But, I think we’re starting to know each other’s strengths more and personnel more, and it just helps us get better.

What will you need to do tomorrow to defeat Spain?
We’re going to definitely need to lock in on the scout tomorrow, move the ball well and control the boards.

On the play of Crystal Dangerfield:
I thought Crystal (Dangerfield) played really well tonight, especially with her steals. Usually when she steals it, she passed it off. Tonight she took the initiative to go in and get some points.

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