Post-Notre Dame game quotes

Dec. 30, 2008

Recap | Box Score | Notes

No. 20 Vanderbilt 57 – No. 6 Notre Dame 59
December 30, 2008 – Memorial Gym
Attendance: 4,374

Melanie Balcomb, Vanderbilt Head Coach

On Being Involved in a Team’s Comeback (on Offense or Defense):
“We have been involved in both sides of a comeback and I wish we would have been able to stop Notre Dame today. We’ve had a bigger comeback than that against Georgia a few years ago in the SEC tournament. Big leads are hard to keep and even harder to stop other teams from taking it away. They crashed the boards with four people and we couldn’t stop them.”

On Vanderbilt Defense:
“We changed our defense practically 45 times. We were trying to match up with their offense. We changed that much because nothing was working. We were killing them in transition in the first half. But in the second half, the only way you can transition is if you stop them from scoring and we didn’t.”

On Christina Wirth:
“We needed to step up in the post. Notre Dame played great defense and so Tina had to take tougher shots. People other than Tina needed to score for us to win tonight.”

On Last Shot:
“Jess ran exactly what we wanted, we just didn’t make it.”

Vanderbilt Players

Hannah Tuomi, forward

On Second Half:
“Notre Dame came back more aggressive. We let them get on the boards and it went downhill from there. That’s where we lost our lead.”

On Score Awareness:
“A good player can feel the momentum of the game, feel it shifting one way or the other. I rarely look at the scoreboard, because you can always tell whether you’re play well or poorly, winning or losing.”

On Tying the Score at 50 points:
“Once we were able to tie things up, I felt that we needed to keep the momentum and it felt like we were just playing catch-up. We just didn’t follow up with the momentum once we hit 50.”

Christina Wirth, guard/forward

Opening Statement:
“This loss is very frustrating. We knew we could win, we’re both nationally ranked, and we were up by 22 at one point. In the end though, we were playing not to lose and that’s not how you win. We’re going to attack every game for the rest of the year.”

On Second Half:
“I just wasn’t seeing shots in the second half. We needed to run and attack. Every possession felt more important than the last and we just couldn’t follow through.”

On Offense:
“I had plenty of looks, I just didn’t knock them down.”

Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame Head Coach

Opening Statement:
“This was an unbelievable game. Our defense was outstanding tonight. Christina (Wirth) was great and so was Hannah (Tuomi), and we really had to step up to defend them. We had trouble in the first half packing our zone around them, but this is a huge win for us.”

On Defense:
“We had trouble matching up man-to-man. Doing a zone defense didn’t look good because they were too fast on transition, so we had to switch it up.”

On Christina Wirth’s Scoring Drought:
” Lindsay (Schrader) did a great job guarding Tina. We guarded her so well that she didn’t even score in the second half.”

On Comeback:
“We came back from 22 points down to win a hard-fought game. The veterans set the tone and got us on the path to the second half.”

On Inside Play:
“It took the first half for us to figure out we needed to play on the inside. In the second half, there was a great backrow cut by Becca (Bruszewski) and she had some great assists too.”

On Heading into Big East Play:
“We only had two home games in December and our three of our first four Big East games are away. We wanted a tough schedule to challenge ourselves to be the best in the Big East this year.”

Notre Dame Players

Becca Bruszewski, forward

On Change of Play in the Second Half:
“We didn’t play well the first half at all. Five minutes into the second half, we were ready. We were losing the battle of the boards at first, but we really came back in the second half with our offense and our defense.”

On Inside Play:
“We just started listening to each other. I would break away and just see someone open inside and dish it to her. It worked really well for us.”

Lindsay Schrader, guard

On Christina Wirth:
“After how well she played in the first half, I just knew she couldn’t keep scoring in the second half. I just went out there with the mentality that she (Christina Wirth) wasn’t getting another shot off in the second half, and she didn’t.”

On Offense:
“We were really rattled the first half for some reason. We took the lead Vanderbilt had personally and came storming back in the second half.”

Melissa Lechlitner, guard

On Second-Half Defense:
“Once we started scoring, our defense followed. In the first half, we just weren’t scoring and consequently, we weren’t playing fast enough defense when they were getting their transition points. But when you start playing good offense, your defense follows suit.”

On Heading into Big East Competition:
“This win is a huge momentum and confidence boost for us. It shows we can have poise, even being that many points down.”