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March 8, 2019

Muffet McGraw

Brianna Turner

Arike Ogunbowale

Greensboro, North Carolina

Notre Dame - 95, North Carolina - 77

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw and student-athletes Arike Ogunbowale and Brianna Turner. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH MCGRAW: I thought offensively we did a lot of good things. We were able to see the mismatch, get the ball to Bri. She had a fantastic game, 11 for 15 from the field. Really did a nice job pinning and taking advantage of whoever was guarding her. I was disappointed in our defense, but I thought Paris Kea is a phenomenal player, a great guard and a tough matchup for us. She had another great game. I was happy we held her to 27 this time instead of 30.

Q. Coach, it looked like you tried a lot of different things on Paris -- zone, man, rotating defenders, even Brianna at stretches. What was the idea, just to make her work harder or did you feel like one was more successful than another?
COACH MCGRAW: I didn't think any of them were successful. I think we were trying to find something that worked and we weren't able to.

Q. Just talk about you guys lost to North Carolina last time. Do you feel like today you had some determination to get a little revenge from losing to them down here a couple months, a month ago?
COACH MCGRAW: Yeah, absolutely. I think we were happy to see them on our side of the bracket. And it was great to have Jackie Young go for almost a triple double. We clearly missed her in the last game. No excuses on that loss; they played well. And they played well today but we just shot the ball better today.

Q. We know that this is sort of the second season. In terms of marking the success and the steps that your team is taking as you guys go for the ultimate goal, what are your measurements, what are you looking at?
COACH MCGRAW: We're trying to find some people that wanted to defend. I think that's the thing we're probably lacking right now is the ability to shut down a really good player. We haven't really had that all year. We're trying a lot of different things see what we can come up with. But that's probably the one area that now I'd like to see improve.

Q. Players, been there, done that. What are you guys saying amongst one another in terms of reiterating what coach is hoping to see as you guys progress?
ARIKE OGUNBOWALE: I think we're just talking to each other, wanting to play hard, play together and try to execute Coach's and the rest of the coaching staff's game plan.

BRIANNA TURNER: I agree. We have to be able to get a stop. We're going to have tougher games down the road, too. We have to come together as a team and make sure we're playing hard on D and make sure we're winning the rebounding battle as well.

Q. Tomorrow, what's the most dangerous thing about Syracuse in terms of that matchup?
COACH MCGRAW: I'd say the 3-point shooting. They're so dangerous. But really Mangakahia, she's a terrific guard and she's a triple-double possibility every single game. She really can see the floor. She's got tremendous vision. She can score. She can drive it. She makes everybody on their team better.

And they have some really good weapons. So I think those are the two things that are my main concern.

Q. Coach, you mentioned a little earlier having Jackie, but it just seems like the way she's able to impact from every single level of the game, we're seeing that game after game from her. Can you sort of put that in perspective about how she's raised her level at everything across the board?
COACH MCGRAW: She really has. I think she's an incredibly complete basketball player. She can defend, rebound, score and pass. She can do everything, and we put her in a lot of different spots. In the last game, she played 1, 2, 3 and 4, depending on who is in the game. She can play the point just as easily as go inside.

She's kind of the glue that really keeps us together. She's probably the one common denominator that we like to have on the floor.

Q. North Carolina is going to be playing in the tournament for the first time most likely in four years in a couple of weeks. What sort of challenges do you think they can pose for opponents moving forward?
COACH MCGRAW: I think they're going to be a really tough out. I wouldn't like to see them again. I think that they can score in a lot of different ways. They can defend. They can run the ball. They can slow it down. They've got an inside/outside presence. They've got terrific guards. And I think they're going to be a really good team in the tournament.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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