Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale
Opening comment:
“Well, I was as proud of our second half as I was disappointed in our first half. Just did not start the game emphatically, we didn’t play with confidence and we didn’t play with bravado. It’s hard to say why that happened. I think a lot of bad things stem from not doing simple, easy things. We missed easy a few shots around the basket, which we should not have missed. There’s not excuse for that. We let it affect our psyche and it just started a downhill spiral. That little spell in the first half where we turned it over, threw out of bounds, kicked it out of bounds, threw it to them was really the difference in the game. I’m disappointed in that because I know this group is better than that. We should be past that. With this many seniors, we should be beyond that. With all that being said, tremendous grit in the second half. These two guys (Aaryn Ellenberg and Morgan Hook) were really tough in the second half. Gioya Carter was fantastic. There are some good things to take away and Duke is No. 2 in the country for a reason. They’re very good, very athletic, they make plays and they make big shots.”

On the high numbers of turnovers in the first half:
“We kicked it off of our foot, we threw it directly to them, we sailed it out of bounds. It was just contagious and that’s when you need the leaders to step in and calm the waters and want the ball. I really thought so many things in that period stem from nobody wanting to score but Vegas. She was the only one shooting the basketball and the only one trying to do anything with it.”

On what Duke was doing to cause so many turnovers:
“Well, we let the zone affect our tempo. It was passivity on our part and most of those came from not being aggressive.”

On coming out stronger in the second half:
“We were much more aggressive. We were attack-oriented, which had been our game plan from the get-go. We had to go to a zone a little bit to try to create some turnovers and it did. It helped. We probably stayed in it a possession or two too long. You kind of have to use those things in pieces. Morgan (Hook) was a different player in the second half. She was super aggressive and she has to do that because she is one of our best scoring threats. She negates that when she is passive on offense. I thought our guard play all night was tough, physical, and very confident.”

On missing easy shots:
“I think they troubling thing for that is you don’t get in the gym and work on that. They can make them with their eyes closed. It becomes a mental toughness thing. It’s a demeanor. It’s a mindset. That’s something that a kid has to do. It’s a switch that they have to flip.”

Oklahoma Senior Guard Aaryn Ellenberg
On the turnover-riddled stretch in the first half:
“I think on my part it was a lack of being aggressive and making someone guard me before I threw the ball away.”

On closing in on Duke’s lead in the second half:
“Honestly, I wasn’t so much looking at the score as I was trying to play possession by possession, I knew we were down by 19 at half, or something like that, but it was really possession by possession for me. I saw it was 9 at one point, but then we would shoot ourselves in the foot or do something else stupid. At that point you just have to play possession by possession and just try to get it as low as you can.”

Oklahoma Senior Guard Morgan Hook
On the turnover-riddled stretch in the first half:
“Just like (Coach Coale) said, Aaryn (Ellenberg) and I both had five turnovers at halftime. As two leaders and seniors on the team, that cannot happen. We were the ones that turned it over, that bounced it off our foot and gave it to them and threw it out of bounds. It is our responsibility to be the leaders and to calm the storm, and as the point guard I did not do a good job in the first half of that at all.”

On closing in on Duke’s lead in the second half:
“Once we started going on a roll or something like that, just like (Aaryn Ellenberg) said, we would shoot ourselves in the foot, or we would contest them until they got down to six seconds and then they would get an offensive rebound, and that would just kind of take the life, or momentum. So, when we need an offensive rebound we have got to get an offensive rebound just to keep cutting it down each possession.”

On the slow start in the first half:
“I just think it’s the toughest thing that us seniors have to do a good job at. We cannot just string together just one half, it needs to be from the beginning and right out of the gate. We have to be those leaders that have to calm the storm and start it.”


Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
On the game:
“It was a great environment and a great game. It was cold here, and it was a great first half for us. We really dictated things in the first half. In the second half I feel like we did some other things, but we’re still working towards 40 minutes. It’s hard to get it. Oklahoma is a great team. They came out with a different mindset in the second half and did some great things. We didn’t get as many rebounds as we’d like to and we had a few too many turnovers, but I love how Tricia (Liston) was playing smart and talking to her team a lot. It was really good for us. Haley (Peters) was playing so hard. I don’t like the fact that Lex (Alexis Jones) was our leading rebounder with seven. I don’t like when a guard does that. But, we just have some things we have to work on, and we’ve got to get better. We wish Oklahoma a great season. I think they’ll do well.”

On her 500th win:
“People talk about 1,000 wins a lot at Duke, and it makes you feel very humble. I don’t know what to say, but what I will say is that I’ve had some great, great players and great staff while I’ve been here. It’s been great people to work with and great players to coach. It takes everybody. I’ve been in some cold places like Maine and Michigan State, but I’m happy to be in North Carolina. It’s been a great thing, but I still very humbled.

“I think it’s a number, but when I’m in a rocking chair someday I’ll think back on these things. I think it’s a number, but it’s about making relationships with people. I’m happy to have made it this far. I’ve made it 23 years as a head coach. That’s a long time.”

Duke University Guard Tricia Liston
On the first half:
“I think we were really focused on defense, especially transition defense, and we were matching up with the shooters a lot better than we were in the second half. We were making them work for all of their first half points, and I think that kind of frustrated them a little bit. We got some good steals, and we really had good ball pressure in the first half, so I think that gave us the edge that we needed.”

On her game:
“I just let the game come to me. There weren’t really any open 3s before that, but when there were I just tried to take my shots and knock them down. I think our fuel was coming from our transition steals and getting out in the open court and going from there.”

Duke University Forward Haley Peters
On the focus of the game:
“Our biggest focus was on defense and rebounding at that point especially without E (Elizabeth Williams). But yeah, just getting to the rim and the free throw line was a big thing for us. I guess we got there 33 times, but I think we could have done better than that. We had to stay aggressive and stay poised was our focus.”