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March 10, 2019

Muffet McGraw

Jackie Young

Brianna Turner

Jessica Shepard

Greensboro, North Carolina

Notre Dame - 99, Louisville - 79

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw and student-athletes Jessica Shepard, Brianna Turner and Jackie Young. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH MCGRAW: We came in with a goal of bringing the trophy back to South Bend and I thought we played really well in every game of the tournament, offensively especially. Just a lot of different weapons, a lot of people scoring. Got great performances from these three every single day. I thought we were really steady on offense and definitely came ready today. I thought that was a huge win for us, and probably gets us to play in Chicago, which was another one of our goals. So we're thrilled with where we are right now.


Q. Coach, I'm curious what sort of a message you think this game sends to the other teams across the country who will see the scoring and what you guys did this weekend?
COACH MCGRAW: When you beat ranked teams by as much as we did this weekend, I think it sends a great message. We want to try to set a tone, but it's a new season. Everybody's undefeated. We've got to take care of business every single game. I'm glad we sent a good message. We can enjoy a couple of days off and then get ready to get back to work.

Q. Jessica and Brianna, I believe you guys scored 72 points in the paint today, which is a season high. Can you just talk about that and just the way you two worked together throughout the season and then this game in particular?
JESSICA SHEPARD: I think coming into the game we knew we had a mismatch, I think the guards just did a good job passing the ball inside. I can think of all of them making a great pass in. And obviously getting to play with a great player like Bri makes it really easy. You can just throw it up to the rim and watch her go get it. It's been a lot of fun this season.

BRIANNA TURNER: I think we really took advantage of how they were guarding us. A lot of times they went four guards, so we knew someone would have a mismatch. And also just Jackie taking the ball full court, going in for easy layups. I think we really executed and took what the other team gave us.

Q. Coach, looking back on the two ACC losses in particular, Notre Dame and Miami, what did you learn from those and what did you sort of tell the players about that that got you to where you looked as dominant as you have this tournament?
COACH MCGRAW: I think the first thing was we're coming in as the defending champs and that's something that we've never done with this group. So it was a different attitude. I think the regular season seemed a little less important at times to them because we just were anxious to get to the tournament play.

Going to North Carolina, I think that showed us two things: One, we've got to focus and be ready for every game on the road, which we generally were; but without Jackie, that kind of showed us how important she is to our team. To go to Miami, they're a really good team. Miami's got a great team. Hof's played really well and they did a lot of really good things and we didn't.

We didn't shoot the ball well, didn't pass the ball well, didn't do anything well. Our focus was off. I credit both teams, Miami and North Carolina.

There's a lot of good times in the ACC. Paris Kea is a terrific player, Hof is a great player. There's a player on every single team. I think it taught us to be ready.

Q. Jackie, one of the things that Coach Walz said watching you guys, you're the player that he worries the most about in terms of how many things you facilitate out on court. Can you talk about that, what you do out there in terms of not just looking for your own offense but everything else you do for the rest of the players?
JACKIE YOUNG: Yeah, I think I'm just really willing to do whatever it takes to help our team win. And whether that's guarding the best player on the other team, rebounding, scoring, passing, whatever that is, I'm willing to do.

So I don't know, I think early on I'm just -- for this tournament I think I was just looking to attack early so I could get my teammates open and look for Marina and Arike on the 3, and then have passes for Jess and Bri on the inside. And if I'm scoring they're going to guard me a little bit tighter so I'm able to dish the ball.

Q. Coach, a year ago you guys, everybody was, like, wow, how are they getting through all these injuries. You were sort of the underdog. I think it's the exact opposite this year. And that's a different mentality. Can you just talk about how well your team's handled that sort of pressure to be the defending champ?
COACH MCGRAW: I think it's been kind of a transition for them to learn how to handle that. I think they've done a really good job of that throughout the year. It's just different going into every single game they celebrate when they beat us as if they won the national championship. And you've got to be ready for that. You've got to bring your best game every single night.

We're where we should be. I think right now we had a couple of bumps in the road this year. Last year it was just so fun being the underdog. But this year we have the big targets on our back. It will be different heading into the tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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