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Additional Quotes: USA Women's Pan American Games Team 75, Brazil 69

  • Date:
    Jul 16, 2015

USA head coach Lisa Bluder (Iowa)

On the game:

You never want to lose a lead like we did, but we went through some adversity, and we didn’t panic. Everybody stayed calm. We knew we could battle back, and I thought that was really good for our team.

Bre (Breanna Stewart) was Bre, she was outstanding from every area, but Shatori (Walker-Kimbrough) really started us off very well in the first quarter with her 3-point shooting. That was really nice to see her coming off the bench and giving us that great spark.

On going down by two points:

I thought we handled it very well. Again, you don’t want to give that (lead) up, but it happened, and we handled it. And it is good to have that to go back on now. If it happens again, now we can draw upon this experience and know that we handled it before, let’s just stay calm, regroup here and start over.

Did you feel like the team played unselfishly?

I don’t think we got our high-low game going as well as we have been. And we need to do that, because we are so good inside in the high-low game. And they did a good job on Alaina, but Alaina helped us on the rebounds. Even though she only had two free throws, she helped us with the rebounds along with Bre.

On the USA defense:

I though Brazil was extremely patient running their stuff. The shot clock would almost be down, and then they’d get a high-percentage shot. So, yes, I thought we executed hard on defense, it was just that they are a very experienced team. They have been playing together a long time. They know how to read off of each other very well, and those posts are extremely experienced.

 

Alaina Coates (South Carolina/Irmo, S.C.)

On the game:

I think we came out with a lot of energy. We just needed to execute more on the defensive end. We did really well shooting from the outside. Some of our inside shots just weren’t going in. Brazil is a really physical team. The refs aren’t always going to call it your way, so we had to get used to the physicality. Overall, I felt like it was a good win for us.

On her eight rebounds:
I was focused on getting rebounds, especially as the game went on, knowing they were being physical. I just made it a point to go and get the rebounds, so I could get second-chance opportunities for my teammates. 

What do you think allowed Brazil to get back into the game?

I just feel like at one point they had more energy than us. They went on a run, they started hitting outside shots. I feel like there was a moment when we hit a lull, but after that, we were like, ‘this is it.’ We can’t let them do this anymore. We rallied together and got our energy and our spirits back up, and we went out there and were able to finish the game the way that we did.

 

Moriah Jefferson (Connecticut/Glenn Heights, Texas)

On the game:

It felt good. Everybody is always anxious. We have been here for a couple of days now, so we were ready to get on the court, and now we have the first win under our belts.

On Brazil:

I knew after the scrimmage they were going to be really physical. I think we withstood their runs well. We knocked in shots when we needed them, and we got the win.

On going down by two points:

We got a couple of stops, hit some shots, and I think we had control after that.

As a guard, do you feel like you have a lot of options on the floor?

I think a lot of guys stepped up tonight. Linnae (Harper) hit a big 3-pointer when it counted. Courtney (Williams) came in and got some nice buckets, and she got fouled going to the hole. Guys put in a lot of minutes. I think Alaina (Coates) did a great job boxing out and getting those rebounds for us. We just need to keep playing hard and playing physical.

 

Breanna Stewart (Connecticut/North Syracuse, N.Y.)

On the game:

I thought the first game was exactly what we needed. Brazil gave us everything they had.

On being down by two points:

The entire game we felt like we were able to control the game. They were making some difficult shots. We just rallied, rallied together, and we wanted to get a stop, a score and another stop and take it one possession at a time.

On the team’s depth:

Whether it was Shatori (Walker-Kimbrough) knocking down some 3s, or Moriah (Jefferson) making shots, there are a lot of people who will step up. This is a really deep team. If we were a college team, it would be ridiculous. The fact that we have so many high-profile college players on this team, it just shows how dangerous we can be.

 

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (Maryland/Aliquippa, Pa.)

On her role in the win:

I just wanted to make an impact as soon as I came in. Coach talked to me before the game, and I was ready for whatever I had to do, whether that was getting a steal, locking up on defense, rebounding or hitting shots. I had to find something to impact the game, and today it was hitting shots. It worked out well, and we got a good win.

On the game:

You could tell that they definitely wanted to win as bad as we did. They have the same goal as us. They are going to do whatever they can to win and represent the country on the front of their jersey as well as possible.

On being down by two points:

Moriah (Jefferson) came into the huddle and was like, ‘That is it. That was their run. Now we respond.’ We had to get stops and score, and we were able to put it together.

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