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March 25, 2016

Muffet McGraw

Brianna Turner

Lindsay Allen

Lexington, Kentucky

Stanford - 90, Notre Dame - 84

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us for the press conference for the Notre Dame women's basketball team. We're joined by Muffet McGraw and Lindsay Allen and Brianna Turner. Opening comments from Coach McGraw.

COACH MCGRAW: I thought Stanford was the better team today. They played extremely well. I thought (Erica) McCall was phenomenal, and we just didn't have an answer for her in the first half. Defensively we just couldn't guard them. I thought we made a nice run in the second half and then they threw in the bank 3 almost from half court, and that was pretty much the game.

But proud of the way we fought. Our seniors had a great season, a great year and we've been on the other side of this, and now it's our turn to go home early and work on next year.

Q. Brianna, obviously you came alive in the second half. What were they doing in the first half to hold you in check and what was the difference in the first half?
BRIANNA TURNER: I think the first half I wasn't as aggressive as I needed to be. So in the second half I just tried to come out and be aggressive.

Q. Brianna, with Erica McCall, what does she bring that you may not have thought you were going to get from her in terms of defending her tonight?
BRIANNA TURNER: She was just making all her shots in the first half and she was really great rebounding.

Q. How much difficulty is it to defend her when she's hit those 15-footers where she just doesn't work from the post and she can stretch you out from outside?
BRIANNA TURNER: I'm just willing to get a hand force. I needed to get closer to her and make sure I had a hand in her face no matter how far out she was.

Q. Lindsay, I know you had a the long streak of close games and also had the knack for coming out on top in these games. What was going through y'all's mind in the fourth quarter? Were you all still thinking you had a good shot even going down? Just what was the difference this time that you weren't able to come out on top in the close game?
LINDSAY ALLEN: Yeah, I don't think we ever panic in those situations. We figure out a way to dig down deep and get stops and convert on our offense. But you can't spot a team with that kind of shooting percentage in the first half and expect to kind of dig your way out of the hole in the second half. It was tougher because they still shot really well in the second half.

I think it was just us kind of figuring out a way to dig deep and they couldn't do that. And they shot timely 3s in the fourth quarter that were just hard to overcome.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for coach.

Q. Muffet, Erica's Erica, but what kind of night did Kaylee Johnson have? Were you expecting that from her at all? What was your game plan with her when she started to get going?
COACH MCGRAW: Yeah, she played really well tonight. I thought she always rebounds pretty well. She shot it probably a little better than she normally would, and I think when you're having a night like this, I think every team has a game like this where everything's just going your way and shots are falling and you're getting a big lead. So it's kind of contagious, and I think it infected her as well.

Q. You mentioned Erica McCall. Was it a stark difference from what you saw from her tonight and the player you saw last year in the Sweet 16?
COACH MCGRAW: Oh, yeah. We knew that coming in, we saw her on film and she's definitely improved her face-up game and her release. She could shoot when she was guarded. She wasn't always wide open. She did a really good job of just mixing up her shots and moving well without the ball.

Q. How would you assess Brianna's performance tonight?
COACH MCGRAW: I thought she had a great second half. She had a double-double. We were going to her more in the second half. Took a little while to get going, but offense wasn't a problem tonight. It was really defense. I thought she probably didn't play as well defensively as she normally does.

Q. Coach, congratulations on a great season and great run even though you've lost. In this game, late in the game you got to within two or four points there and they got away from you again. Describe how it got away at that point.
COACH MCGRAW: Yeah, I think Lindsay mentioned it. They hit a dagger 3. We were focusing in on finding (Karlie) Samuelson and (Lili) Thompson and I think (Brianna) Roberson hit a 3 from the corner late in the game that really kind of got us. Then I think (Marta) Sniezek went down with like a coast-to-coast layup and nobody guarded her, and she went right in for a layup. They got us 5-0, and that was key. The 3 that Samuelson hit with the shot clock going off with two seconds left and banked it in, that was one of those nights for them. They managed to make big plays. They made the free throws down the stretch. Did everything they needed to do to win. I think normally you have to have the other team help you out. When you're trying to come back, they have to miss some shots and we just couldn't get them to miss.

Q. (What were) some of the things you said to your girls and the young women after the game was over in the locker room?
COACH MCGRAW: It's been a great season. Not to put our heads down. Stanford played a great game. They were the better team today. We've had a great season. We've had a nice run, and hopefully that will motivate us to come back next year. And so proud of the seniors and what they've done for our team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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