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March 6, 2016

Muffet McGraw

Brianna Turner

Lindsay Allen

Madison Cable

Greensboro, North Carolina

Notre Dame - 68, Syracuse - 57

MUFFET MCGRAW: I am so proud of this team and what they've accomplished, what we've been able to do this year. We've faced some adversity early, and we just kept moving forward. We found a way to win. We've got so many different people that have contributed. These three have done the lion's share of a lot of the big games, but we've had so many people off the bench contribute.

But I think a lot of the credit goes to the senior class. This class has really reinforced our culture. They've been tremendous leaders, and they set the tone. They're incredibly unselfish, great teammates, great team players, and they have really, really helped our chemistry, and it's the best it's ever been. It's a great group to be around. I love working with them. They come in ready every single day, and I'm just so proud of them right now.

Q. As you were doubling Briana Day down low, how successful do you think that double was and how well do you think you played defensively against her?
MUFFET MCGRAW: I thought we played well defensively pretty much the whole game, maybe second quarter on. I thought once we got out of the zone, I thought we looked a little better. We were switching all the screens, so we had a guard on her inside, and we were trying to bring help from the post player, and I thought we were pretty effective when we did it.

Q. About a week ago you said this team exceeded your expectations. What do you expect of them now?
MUFFET MCGRAW: I haven't told them that, so that's a surprise for them, I'm sure.

You know, I just expect big things. I always expect big things from this group because they never disappoint. They have high expectations themselves. They know where they want to go and they know how hard it is to get there. They're willing to put the work in and they have the attitude and everything we need to get there.

Q. Yesterday you said that the press is the first thing that stands out about Syracuse. What was the key to beating that today?
MUFFET MCGRAW: Well, Lindsay Allen having one turnover. I think that was the key. She had the ball in her hands the majority of the time, and Hannah Huffman as the in-bounder bring the ball up. I thought those two did a great job of handling the press. It is one of the toughest presses in the country. They turn people over at a rapid rate, and they are just a great defensive team.

I thought the key to the game was handling their pressure and then getting out and guarding them on the three-point line because they're a tough match-up. Peterson had a great season, Butler is one of best shooters in the country. They're so athletic, they play hard, they play together. They're a terrific team. I think they're going to do well in the tournament.

Q. Coach, in your program you have a premium on leadership. Can you talk about Lindsay's leadership and specifically on the court, and if the other two could throw something in, too, that would be great.
MUFFET MCGRAW: Lindsay is what I would call the quiet leader. She leads by example. She makes everybody feel calm because of her poise under pressure. Her face never changes whether we're up 20 or down 20. She plays hard every single minute. They have tremendous respect for her, and whatever she says, they listen. She knows how to say it, she knows when to say it, and she's done a remarkable job. I think the seniors are more the vocal leaders of the team, but Lindsay, no question, on the court, she's our leader.

MADISON CABLE: I agree. Coach pretty much said it all. What ever Lindsey says, we all listen no matter what. She could say the craziest thing and we would literally listen. In the locker room, we have a joke. We call her the goat, which is the greatest of all time, so that's Lindsay.

BRIANNA TURNER: I always get lost. I always look at LA and ask her what to do, and she always has the answer for me, so she's very reliable.

Q. Maddy, you always deflect any praise to your coaches and teammates. This award must mean something to you personally after five years.
MADISON CABLE: Well, yeah, it's great to win it, but I could never have won it without any of my teammates. It could have gone to either one of these people sitting next to me, and I mean, everyone played great and contributed, so I think that's what I'm most happy about.

Q. Coach, Syracuse came into this game on an 11-game win streak. How much different do you think this Syracuse team was compared to the one you played a few weeks ago?
MUFFET MCGRAW: Yeah, they were much improved. I think when we played them last time -- of course, playing at home, we were in our comfort zone, we were able to put up a lot of points. I thought defensively they played much better today. The press was a little different today, and I thought their zone was really hard for us to score on.

Q. Syracuse, like you said, they switched up the presses a little bit. How did you change that and how did your team adjust to that?
MUFFET MCGRAW: I think we were just trying to find the open man. We were focused on not dribbling and throwing the ball ahead, so we had same-side sideline, we had middle, sometimes we went opposite. I think Lindsay really -- she's in control. We don't have to give her a lot of direction. She goes out, she reads the defense, she sees what's open and we were able to get the ball there. We did focus a lot on throwing the it into the middle of the floor and I thought we were successful with that.

Q. In the first quarter, did you see something that enable Kat to get those four baskets or was it just a result of what was going on the floor?
MUFFET MCGRAW: We stressed going to the high post against the zone. We like to work the ACC area where it's painted on the floor, and I think she was a little surprised she was so open the second and third time. But she did a great job getting us started, and then that really opened up things when Hannah came in.

Q. Four conference championships in a row, winning this thing three years in a row, what does that mean to you?
MADISON CABLE: It's obviously great. I don't think that many people have done, but I think this year we're looking to take it a step further and maybe win the next tournament.

Q. Lindsay, how did your leadership style develop or evolve? Did you learn anything from somebody or is it natural?
LINDSEY ALLEN: I think I've learned a lot over the previous years from just the past seniors, especially this group. They work so hard, and they just bring so much to this team, both tangibly and intangibly that I definitely need to carry on with me next year. It just goes to the type of team that we have. Anyone can kind of step in and talk when they want to speak, and just things like that, and I think we're a really close team, and so everyone is willing to listen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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