Additional Quotes >> USA 83, Australia 75
Sept. 29, 2010 ē Ostrava, Czech Republic
Geno Auriemma, University of Connecticut
On todayís game:
I think it was surprising. The first half, the first quarter especially, I thought we came out and played great and did a lot of really, really good things offensively and defensively. Played with a lot of confidence and I thought the second half was more like what I thought the whole game would be like Ė very, very physical, very difficult for either team to get great shots. We need to go back and find out how it got the way it did in the first half, and then why it was the way it was in the second half.
Iím sure, just like (Australia head coach) Carrie (Graf) feels like, how did it get one way in one half and the other way in the other half? Fortunately we both have three more games to play. So I think we can learn a lot from those 40 minutes tonight. †
Tamika Catchings Postgame
Coach Carrie Graf suggested yesterday that both teams might hold something back today. Did you hold anything back?
I canít speak for them. Itís not in my nature and itís not in USA Basketballís nature to do anything, except to win this game and do whatever we had to do to win the game. If you could guarantee me right now, before the game, that we were going to play Australia in the championship game, then Iíll tell you maybe we do and maybe we donít. But thereís no guarantee that weíre going to play them or theyíre going to play us. Tonight we wanted to play tonightís game on its own merits and do whatever we had to do to win the game.
On Liz Cambage:
The first time we played against them this year, she was really good. Sheís young, and sheís raw. It would appear to me that she gets better every practice because every time I see her, sheís better than the game before. Itís so difficult to guard her one on one. It doesnít matter who it is thatís trying to guard her, sheís going to be unbelievably difficult to play against tomorrow, next week, next week, next month, next year. Sheís going to be really hard to play against.
How much did you get out of the two exhibition games against Australia?
I donít know that either game was a real barometer for both teams. When we beat them in Hartford, they didnít have Penny (Taylor), they didnít have Lauren (Jackson). Thatís a lot to be missing. We didnít have some of our players. In Salamanca, they didnít have Lauren and we didnít have Sue (Bird). Those two games were good. They were good to watch; they were instructive in a way.
The only thing that I learned about those two games is that if you donít play really, really well when youíre playing Australia, youíre going to lose. Thatís what I learned.
Diana Taurasi Postgame
On Diana Taurasiís game tonight:
Dianaís a great competitor more than anything else. As good a basketball player as she is, and as skilled at basketball as she is, sheís an unbelievable competitor. Games like today are what defines great players when youíre playing great teams. Some players play great a lot of nights, but Diana plays great usually against the best teams. Australia is the defending World Champions, and I knew they would bring out the best in Diana. Her performance tonight didnít surprise me one bit.
On Korea, the USAís next opponent:
I donít think thereís an easy game in the next three, if youíre fortunate to play all three. If you lose you go home. No matchup is going to be easy. No matchup is an easy matchup. I donít know that South Korea will be an easy matchup for us because their style of play and our style of play is just so different. Weíll worry about them tomorrow. Today we were worried about Australia. Tomorrow weíll worry about South Korea and then weíll go from there.
Swin Cash (Seattle Storm)
What got the USA going on such a big lead in the first half?
Defensively we got out in the passing lanes, made them make the extra pass, and that really led to our transition game.
What was the difference in the second half?
Theyíre a great team. Theyíre going to make runs, and they made a few runs. We werenít being as successful in the backcourt. They got a few offensive rebounds. Overall I was really happy with our efforts. Youíre not going to keep a team like that down forever. Theyíre going to make runs on you, but the way we responded tells the story of the game.
Should you be worried about foul trouble moving forward?
Thereís no need to worry about foul trouble on this team because weíre one through 12. It doesnít matter if someone gets in foul trouble, we can bring in someone else. Thatís the strength of our team; we have so many numbers.
Does this game give you some confidence moving forward?
Every game has been not only a stepping stone to where we want to be, but itís also been a confidence booster. Every single game weíre getting better. Weíre starting to be more cohesive out there playing and building chemistry. We still have three more games to get our goal, and weíre just going to take it one game at a time.
Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun)
On the way the post players started the game:
We were wanting to come out and be the aggressor. I think thatís just one thing that we try to do, going out there and running up the floor hard.
Do you feel that the team is unstoppable when you play with that attitude?
Yeah, once we start and have that mindset going out there, I think we are unstoppable. Mentally it just starts with us.
On the differences in the second half that led to the USAís struggles:
It was just us relaxing, not keeping it going. I think thatís about it.
How does it feel to move on as the No. 1 seed out of Group E?
It feels good. But, like the veterans said, this doesnít mean anything. We just have to keep taking it one game at a time.
Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky)
As a team I think we started off very well, got the ball moving, knocking down a couple easy shots and utilizing what we do well.
On guarding the 6-8 Liz Cambage:
Itís something different. Sheís a big body you have to go up against. Sheís very physical and you just have to get after her, if not then she will embarrass you and Iím not trying to get embarrassed.
What did you learn about your team, what do you take away from this game?
First of all, just knowing what we can do as a team and continue that energy in the second half and just think about what Australia did in the second half and utilize that. Make sure we cut down on our turnovers and do what we do well.
Are you feeling more comfortable out there? You seem to be getting back in the flow of things.
Yes, Iím feeling very comfortable. The first few games trying to get back it was more of a rush and not taking my time. I was doing a lot of stupid things. I was talking to my assistant coaches and getting some input and how they feel about what I was doing on the floor. I took that into perspective, I took it in stride and Iím just taking my time playing my game.