Additional Quotes >> USA 64, Canada 50
July 27, 2009 - Bangkok, Thailand
USA head coach Carol Owens (Northern Illinois University)
On tonight's game:
In the first quarter we were really concerned with their size. They start a pretty big line-up and we had to decide what defense would be best for us. We felt like transition would be a key, we wanted to pick up a little bit full court to get the game going in our favor. Initially we started the game out slow and we had to pick it up defensively. We did that. We caught them by surprise by picking them up full court. It really disrupted what they wanted to do. I was very pleased with that.
They outrebounded us. We knew they were going to be a very good rebounding team. They have (Kayla) Alexander underneath and she was probably leading the tournament in rebounds coming into our game. That was important for us.
We wanted to get Kelsey Bone going, and she did. Sammy (Prahalis) really stepped up big and played a lot of minutes for us tonight. Not having Skylar (Diggins), we had to have some people step up. Kelly (Faris) stepped us for us, also Lay (Clarendon) did a great job of coming off the bench and contributing.
What did you talk to the team about in the first quarter time out?
We talked about our defense and we talked about rebounding. We talked about not settling for jump shots. The fortunate thing for us is that we were able to create some transition points off of our defense. I think that allowed us to set the tone with what we did defensively.
Are you worried about the lapses the team had tonight, both offensively and defensively?
It doesn't worry me overall. It worries me during the game. Overall if you understand the nature of our team, we're young and we're still learning to play together. We're like a roller coaster sometimes. Our goal is to be consistent and win every quarter. We talked about trying to win every quarter. There's still work to be done. We know every game is going to be a big game for us from here on out. We're really trying to understand that and be more detail oriented in our scouting. Hopefully we can grow through each game.
Kelsey Bone (Dulles H.S. /Stafford, Texas)
What was it like to go up against Canada?
I just remembered their personnel from last year. We had a good practice yesterday. Trying to remember a couple of their plays and knowing our personnel, we knew it was really important to come out and get this win today. We didn't want to get down in this pool like we did in the last round. Knowing their personnel and remembering everything that we go over.
What did the team do well and what do you still need to work on?
We did a really good job of knowing their personnel throughout the whole game. We knew who to stop to do what. We kind of got their best player off of her game and kept her out of it. We did a good job of slowing down their key players and were able to capitalize on that.
What did coach Owens talk about during the time out in the first quarter?
We are a team that sometimes has a tendency to come out a little slow. It's hard for us to dig ourselves out of a hole late, so she wanted us to pick up our intensity. We knew that once we picked up the intensity and started getting it going, once our posts and our guards started hitting some shots, that they wouldn't be able to guard us one through five.
This was the first game you've put on full court pressure for an extended period of time. Have you been working on that?
Yes. We kind of knew that with their personnel, they hadn't been pressured a lot throughout the tournament and their guards weren't going to be expecting it because we haven't shown it. So once we pulled it out, we got a lot of turnovers right when we did it. It was very effective.
What have you been doing off the court?
A little shopping. We went to the Friendship Party last night (with all the other teams). We've been hanging out with everybody and having fun.
Shenise Johnson (Miami, Fla. / Henrietta, N.Y.)
On the USA's defensive pressure against Canada:
Canada doesn't really have a designated point guard. They really didn't have anyone to handle the ball. A lot of their players are 5-10 and up, so it was easy for us to trap them. Our press was pretty good.
Do you think you surprised them with that full court pressure?
Yeah, I think the coaches made a good call on that one. Seeing their personnel, we kind of held it off early on and then we put it on at the right time.
How is the t