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Quotes: USA 97, U.S. Virgin Islands 46

  • Date:
    Jun 17, 2021

Game Story

USA head coach Dawn Staley (South Carolina)
What are the expectations for the next game?

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to win each game that we play. That pressure applies because we are in the semifinals. And we look forward to whatever opponent that we’ll end up playing. And we also know that the target is always on our back, so we got to come out and continue to play connected, linked up basketball on both sides of the ball. And we look forward to the challenge of playing in the semifinals.

Did you accomplish everything you wanted to accomplish?
We had some goals set at the beginning of the game. We wanted to have a single-digit defensive quarter. We didn't accomplish that in the first second or third quarter. I think we accomplished it in the fourth quarter. We wanted to play fast. I thought the Virgin Islands team did a great job. They pressured us, slowing us down by jamming the rebounder. I thought we didn't adjust till probably a little bit later in the third quarter, where we just picked up our speed. We changed the speed of the game. We moved up and down the floor quickly. We got some easy buckets. We created an opportunity to get our bigs involved, and they converted for us. I thought the US Virgin Islands team did a great job rebounding with us for three quarters, and then we opened it up out to a plus-22 on the boards. So, I was proud of our team being in that position having to fight that their way out and to set us up to play in the semifinals.

Grace Berger (Indiana/Louisville, Ky.)
Did you guys accomplish what you wanted to on the court today?

We always just focus on ourselves and trying to get better each game, and I think we all came out and did what we were supposed to do on the defensive end, and we were able to knock down some shots and just got better to get ready for tomorrow.

What are your thoughts about the semifinals?
We know the competition is just going to keep getting harder and harder. We know we're a young team. We're an inexperienced team, but we're just going to follow the game plan that the coaches give us and try to just keep building on today's game.

Veronica Burton (Northwestern/Newton, Mass.)
Do you guys accomplish what you want to do on the court today?

I think we came out pretty strong. A big focus for us right now is just saying with high energy and playing like we're playing our best basketball every single game. So, I definitely think we made some adjustments along the way and came out with a win.

How is the team feeling heading into semifinals?
We know it's going to be a competitive game, no matter who it is. We're definitely putting a lot of focus into the scout and into our preparation. We’re excited for tomorrow, and just got to focus on the next one.

Elissa Cunane (NC State/Summerfield, N.C.)
Being able to play here with other college players and of course represent the United States, how does that make you feel?

We're all from different colleges, but when you step on the court, we're all playing for something bigger than us and that’s the United States on our jersey. It's been really cool to bond with all the girls, some of them I've never met before, but I follow in their careers. So, it's just been fun to play with them, connect with them on the court and move on from that.

It looked like you wanted to take their inside game away from them and force them to shoot more from the outside where they've had some problems in the past tournament games. Was that the case?
We definitely wanted to protect the paint as much as possible. Those are more high-percentage shots than the 3s they haven't been shooting well in the tournament. So, we wanted to force them to drive and attack inside where we have some size on them as well. So that was a little bit of a game plan.

Destanni Henderson (South Carolina/Fort Meyers, Fla.)
Do you guys accomplish what you want to do on the court today?

The win was very much what we needed. I feel like we just got to continue to play as a team. Once we keep that going, goals will be set high for us.

What are your thoughts headed into the semifinals?
No matter who we play, I'm just going to go out and play hard, play smart and play to win and just have fun with each other.

Naz Hillmon (Michigan/Cleveland, Ohio)
Did the team play well today?

I thought we played well. There are some points of emphasis going into the next game that we could fix. Throughout the tournament coach has been telling us that we are trying every day to get a little bit better, and today I felt like we were better than our last game.

Haley Jones (Stanford/Santa Cruz, Calif.)
Did the team execute what it wanted to do today?

I think that there's room to grow. We had a lot of things coming into the game that we wanted to work on. I think we did some of those things. I think we can improve on our just intensity overall and the pace of the game. We didn't play the pace we wanted to play at, so there's room for improvement.

What are your thoughts headed into the semifinals?
We got some work to do tomorrow. Whoever it's going to be, it's going to be a good game. Games are really going to get harder from here on out. We're just excited to keep going and show what we got.

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