Additional Quotes: USA Women's Pan American Games Team 94, Dominican Republic 55
USA head coach Lisa Bluder (Iowa)
How did you think the team played against Dominican Republic?
I thought we played very well, especially right out of the gate. Sometimes you get a big lead like that, and I think it is hard to keep your focus. You saw that with a few too many turnovers on our side. We just had more skill tonight. We had more height, we had more physical play, and I think it obviously showed.
Once you had that big lead, what did you work on?
We worked on a little bit of our press, because we haven’t had a whole lot of practice time to work on some things. So, it was actually kind of nice for us to be able to work on our zone today, because we think we might need it in the future. – same thing with our press.
On the USA’s depth and being able to spread minutes around:
I think that was really important, especially since last night was kind of a stressful game, a high tension, physical game. It was nice to be able to give those starters some breathers, and especially Bre (Breanna Stewart) and Mo (Moriah Jefferson), who played significant minutes last night.
Was the team able to improve?
Definitely our zone defense, I thought we got better with that. I thought we did a good job on the boards, although sometimes it is hard to tell. Again, the competition was a little less tonight, and so sometimes those things are hard to tell. But I definitely think our zone defense, we improved on that. We shot the ball well, too, except from the free throw line.
On playing Puerto Rico tomorrow:
Our main focus tomorrow is breaking the press. That has got to be what we work on, and also working out of traps on ball screens. So, that is our main focus tomorrow. They are an excellent team, scrappy. We have a height advantage like we did tonight; we need to use that. But definitely working on our press breaks is going to be vital in shoot around tomorrow.
Caroline Coyer (Villanova/Oak Hill, Va.)
Talk about the game tonight.
I think overall as a team we played really great. It got a little sloppy there for a bit, but that’s to be expected. I think going forward we have to tighten up those sloppy patches, and we’ll be good.
Does that worry you at all that you guys let up a little bit?
I think in a win like that when you have such a large margin, should you let up, absolutely not. But we’re all still maturing, and I think that it’s always something to work on, maintaining that focus, and like I said we’re going to work on that going forward. But overall I think everyone played great, one through 12.
Did you work on some new things out there?
These types of games are always good because we’re able to work on some things that we aren’t able to work on, especially since we have such a short amount of time together. We haven’t been able to tighten up everything we have. It was really good to be able to work on some defenses and even some offensive schemes
Stephanie Mavunga (North Carolina/Brownsburg, Ind.)
How did you think the team played tonight?
I think we played good for the most part. I don’t think that we ever really let up. We got a little sloppy with the ball there towards the end and had a lot of turnovers consecutively. I think that showed on the stat sheet, and our coach talked about that. But I think that we played well as a team, really stayed focused. We didn’t take the team lightly. We came out here and played USA Basketball. So I think that really helped. We just had a dominant effort together and played really hard and played well with one another.
It looked like you were able to take advantage of your size.
Yes, that is something we were talking about this morning. We were working on a lot of high-low passing this morning, so I think that really clicked in during the game. You could really see it during spurts, and we were really getting excited about that on the bench. I think that working on that during shoot around this morning really helped us. We took advantage of our size for sure.
Did you feel like you could work on some things?
Yes, that’s something that coach said in the third quarter, ‘Don’t let up. We’re going to work on stuff. We’re going to take to work on the little things.’ We worked on a new defense we haven’t brought out yet, so we worked on that. I think going forward we should be good, because we got to work on some things we don’t normally get to.
Courtney Williams (Texas A&M/Houston, Texas)
How did you think you guys did tonight?
I think we did well. We came out fast. In the second half we kind of let down the tempo a little bit and intensity, and we started to turn the ball over, but that’s comes with the competition. If we’re playing Canada or a better team then I think we’ll keep the intensity, and we won’t turn the ball over so much. But overall I thought we did well
What were you guys trying to work on in the second half with that big lead?
We were trying to work on our zone and our press, our defense.
Did you do better?
Yeah I think we did do well. We’ve been working on it in practice, and I think bumping each other from corner to wing and stuff like that, I think we did real well. Caroline (Coyer) came in and hit a few 3s and gave us energy off the bench. I think our bench did well too.
You had a lot of depth, everybody was playing and sharing the ball, was that fun? Can you talk about that?
Yeah it was fun. The bench came in, and they gave us a lot of energy. The starting five didn’t really play at the end of the game because we were trying to get everybody playing time. The bench came in, and they did their job and they picked up where we left off.