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March 3, 2017

Joanne P. McCallie

Lexie Brown

Oderah Chidom

Conway, South Carolina

Duke - 68, Syracuse - 46.

JOANNE McCALLIE: Really proud of our team, particularly the second half. I thought we really came out very strong and aggressive. The rebounds were important to us. A lot of different people rebounding. I get a real kick out of the fact that Kyra Lambert led us in rebounding. I think that speaks volumes for what rebounding is in terms of hustle play and everything else, so that's great.

You know, good game for us. Slow start. Not really the first half that we wanted. But the team really connected in the second half and really executed.

I thought Lexie's game was just, as Lexie does, very poised and directing and leading, and showing the player that she is in this league, a pretty special, special player. And then, of course, Oderah is a senior, just so many good things, blocks and rebounds and attacking and all that type of thing. We're hoping to learn from this one and get after it tomorrow.

Q. You mentioned how Lexie is a special player. This is a tournament you want to try to win, but any added specialness to this in the fact that she didn't win Player of the Year and Peterson did and you shut her down?
JOANNE McCALLIE: Well, we can't put any energy there. I mean, our energy is to try to get two more games. What I can say is Lexie's actions speak for themselves, defensively, offensively on both sides of the ball. She's an elite player, one of the best in the country, and she's just working on her game. Always trying to get better, great work ethic, pushes her teammates, and just has a great intensity about her. That's where we've got to put the energy, and I think things come.

Individual things come, and maybe there's bigger for this team, bigger, better things for this team, and individual things will come.

Q. Obviously 18 is not a good number in terms of turnovers and offensive rebounds for them, but what does it say about your team that you guys were able to have sort of a sluggish game and still win by 22?
JOANNE McCALLIE: It says that we need to learn how to play two halves. That's what it says. 18 turnovers -- we had 11 in the first half. I think we had 10 in the first quarter. Something about not playing for a long time, coming off a Sunday game, and we just had to get things going.

I really wasn't worried about it, but it was disappointing because we don't like to turn the ball over. And they are a very good offensive-rebounding team. They're very good, and we didn't win that battle. We wanted to win battle but it's terrific that we held them to 23 percent. There's a lot of offensive rebounds when a team is shooting 23 percent. So the reality is the defense was really fabulous, and that stat really sticks out because they're an excellent team.

Q. Similar game, you held them to 25 percent at Cameron, 23 tonight. Does your zone defense -- I've watched you all season long. Does this zone defense play any better than it does tonight?
JOANNE McCALLIE: Well, it's the people, it's not the schemes. I prefer to use the word "match-up" because it's a lot more complicated than a zone. But what I would say is that it's the people, the people doing it, Lexie and Kyra are tearing at it, and they're really sending intensity and cutting down gaps. Becca is really working her quickness in there as well. You saw Oderah and Kendall not foul, move their feet, block shots, and so what I see is they're just all playing off each other.

So many times you talk about offensive poise, but you've really got to have defensive poise, and we let 11 get away from us tonight. We weren't very happy about that. She really did, she shot the ball well, but it's the defensive poise and it's the leadership from Lexie and Kyra, Becca. Crystal was very good tonight. When we can put Crystal in and get even more intensity thrown out there, that really helps the entire team.

So we're a work in progress, but there's no doubt that it's the players. It's about the players and how they play together on the defensive side of the ball.

Q. Oderah, you get Miami tomorrow, very strong inside, physical team. Talk a little bit about that matchup, what you expect.
ODERAH CHIDOM: We recently played them. They have a lot of great guard play, a lot of strong post play, very physical team. I think we're going to focus on defense and rebounding, doing the same things, shutting down the gaps, they're really good at penetrating, and just watch film tonight and then get ready for them tomorrow.

Q. Lexie, on that, you guys played this Syracuse team not long ago and you were able to sort of replicate what you did against them then. How do you do that on a short turnaround against a Miami team?
LEXIE BROWN: Yeah, I think we just have to be open to learning, see what we made mistakes with, see what we did well. Honestly, we just have to come out, play hard. It's postseason, they're not the same team they were a week ago. We're not the same team we were a week ago. We've just really got to focus on ourselves and coming out, playing hard, like Oderah said, play defense and focus on rebounding.

Q. Lexie, talk about your first ACC Tournament and what does it mean to play a game in it and be a part of this and obviously have a successful first game?
LEXIE BROWN: Oh, yeah. I played in one my freshman year, as well, but we lost early, so that wasn't fun.

No, it's been a really nice experience to be back in the ACC, and I think it's just really fitting that the entire tournament is like in a different location. I'm on a completely different team, so it's going to be a completely new experience for me.

This season has been the most fun I've ever had, and to be here with them has been so amazing, and for us to come out and play the way that we did, I can't be prouder of my teammates.

Q. Oderah, you and Kendall were the only members of the team to make a late run in the ACC Tournament. How important is it to you to get back to that stage?
ODERAH CHIDOM: I think it's just feeding off our teammates. Everyone doing their part, playing their role. Everyone giving energy. It's a lot of fun when everything is going well, and then also when we do have slip-ups, everyone is super supportive. I think it's just a really strong team concept.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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