Post-Duke Game Quotes

Nov. 28, 2007

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb:

On the defense in the last 10 minutes of the game:
“Defense, defense, defense. I think Jess (Mooney) has the ability to play defense at a very high level. She just picked it up. Down the stretch, I think we all picked it up. She picked it up when Risper came out with four fouls. I think that was really important. Risper’s level of intensity was incredible and I think we were feeding off that. For Jess to be in there doing the same thing, really made it tough for them to score down the stretch.”

On getting an important win with a young team:
“I think it’s a great confidence builder. On the floor at the end of the game, we had juniors, sophomores and freshman and that’s it. That’s encouraging for any coach to see that kind of winning experience happen on your home court against a top-10 ranked team. It’s really important for the program. The only other win we felt as good about here was LSU last year on senior night. This ranks right beside it as far as quality wins at home.”

On the crowd:
“I thought it was a great environment. This is one of the best environments I’ve had and I think it made a big impact on the game. I think Duke felt like how we felt at Indiana State. We had not been in that environment. We had players on the floor who had never played in that environment. That’s what we kept telling our kids at the timeouts that they have not played in this kind of environment all year. They’ve been on the road, at neutral courts, and at home but they haven’t been in this kind of environment. I think especially down the stretch the crowd was very involved and they made a great sixth man. I think it really helped us a lot.”

On Jessica Mooney:
“She gives us a lot of offense. She creates havoc. She makes people go faster and creates offense. She created offense off her defense tonight and that’s what we’re looking for her to do. She also drove to the basket strong and got to the free throw line and attacked. This is the kind of team that is going to pressure you and you have to attack them and Jess did that.”

Duke Head Coach Joanne McCallie:

Opening statement:
“It was an interesting game to see two teams shoot almost exactly the same percentage from the floor. It was turnovers for us and free throws that we provided to Vanderbilt. Both teams played hard, but they found a way to get more opportunities at the free throw line. That was obviously significant.”

On having to play with Abby Waner in foul trouble:
“Abby’s done a great job of working her way back in. She had a serious ankle injury. She was very courageous against Connecticut because she wasn’t really ready to come back and she did. This is her second game back. I thought she fought hard and I thought she did a lot better on being balanced and as a runner on the floor. It’s a process in coming back. You do the best that you can. I liked her aggressiveness. Those things do happen. In the scheme of things, I go back to turnovers and I go back to team fouls.”

On the fouls Vanderbilt drew:
“Vanderbilt did a nice job of going hard to the basket. I thought they attacked more. We shot 11 free throws. We were 7-of-11. As a team, we have to get to the free throw line about 25 times or more a game. That’s an aggressiveness. That’s a physical piece of the game and it’s one we have to adapt as all teams do to be successful.”

On Jessica Mooney:
“She played a very good game. I don’t know if she exceeded what we expected. I think that’s her best game of the year. She’s a huge key to that team. Very valuable. I thought she played a terrific game. I don’t think we did a great job on her.”