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Additional Quotes: USA Women’s World University Games Team 90, China 75

  • Date:
    Jul 6, 2015

USA head coach Joe McKeown (Northwestern)

On the game:

It was a hard-fought game, and the Chinese played really well, shot the ball really well. I thought we had that one stretch where we were in transition, and then we hit a couple of threes to really open the game up. That was really important. I thought our defense in the fourth quarter was really solid.

On the play of the second unit:

“Nina Davis, Courtney Range, Katie Hempen, Sydney Wiese, they really helped us and gave us a shot in the arm. We’re going to need that. I think we’re one of the deepest teams in this tournament. It was great for them to make a difference tonight, and moving forward we know that our depth, to me, is probably our biggest strength.

On establishing an inside presence:

It’s so important. I thought Mercedes [Russell] had stretches where she was just dominant. With Brionna Jones, Nina Davis and, of course, Erica McCall, we have a strong rotation there. They work hard on the glass and are able to change people’s shots. Getting the ball inside and working from the inside out is the best way for this team to play.

On the fourth-quarter finish:

Defensively, we were able to guard them a little better. I thought Sydney [Wiese] and Aerial Powers both came in and did a great job of guarding [Di] Wu after she had hurt us. We did a much a better job down the stretch.

On facing the Czech Republic next:

It’ll be a great game. They’re a team that can score a lot of different ways also, inside, out, from the 3. They execute really well. We have to keep playing the way we’ve been playing and doing the things that we do. We’ve got to take care of the basketball and try to make it tough for people to score on us.

 

Courtney Williams (South Florida/Folkston, Ga.)

On the 14-0 first-quarter run:

We just tried to follow the game plan. We wanted to keep pressuring them and play good defense. We were getting out in transition, and when we play in-and-out, getting it to our post players, we can knock down shots. 

On the fourth quarter-finish:

It was very important. I think you can take the momentum from one game today into the next game tomorrow.

 

Nina Davis (Baylor/Memphis, Tenn.)

On the play of the second unit:

We have twelve of the best girls in the country, and each one of us has talent. Each one of us can do different things. Sometimes you need that spark, whether that spark is for five minutes or 20 minutes, every team needs it. I want to be that spark, so we can get going and continue to keep going.

On the team overcoming a slow start:

We have USA across our chest, and we know everybody is out to get us. We have to prove a point that we’re not trying to be beat and we’re trying to win a gold medal. It’s good for us because it gives us confidence and helps us continue to believe in each other for the whole game.

On facing the Czech Republic next:

It’s a quick turnaround, and we don’t have much time. We’re not on vacation, and we all know why we came here and that’s to win a gold medal. And with twelve of the best players in the country, we all have that goal. We’ll be ready to play tomorrow.

 

Mercedes Russell (Tennessee/Springfield, Ore.)

On establishing an inside presence:

I think it’s very important because we have a lot of height on our team, and we have some talented posts that finish well around the basket. One of our main keys to every game is to go inside-out because once we get the ball inside, defenses start collapsing and we can get it back out to the guards for good shots. It makes us all harder to guard.

On the 14-0 first-quarter run:

We needed to calm down a little bit. We were trying to play too fast on offense, and on defense we needed to communicate more to get stops. We were able to do a better job of that, and it led to that stretch.

On the quick turnaround vs. the Czech Republic:

We have to make sure we get a lot of rest. We won’t be up all night. We have tired legs already with two games in two days, but with one more tomorrow, we’ll hydrate a lot and get a good meal with lots of rest.

 

 

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