Additional Quotes >> Canada 64, USA 52
July 27, 2011 • Puerto Montt, Chile
Jennifer Rizzotti (University of Hartford), USA head coach
On today’s game:
It obviously changes our path to get to a gold medal opportunity, but I hope it makes a difference in a positive way. Hopefully it wakes the kids up a little bit and proves to them that this isn’t the last two years where they’ve played against kids their age. We’re talking about 19-year-old kids who play in college. We just didn’t show the maturity today to be able to beat a team like Canada. They were great.
They did a good job of slowing you down at the half court:
We talked about the battle of wills in terms of the style that we want to play and they won. I said that to them at halftime. I said they’re winning the battle of style here. They want to play slow down. They want to make it a possession game. Not only did we succumb to that, but we were turning the ball over too much. In that kind of a game you really have to limit your turnovers, because you’re not getting as many scoring opportunities. I think they got the message. They’re disappointed, which they should be. None of these kids have ever lost a game in this kind of a competition, so now they know what it feels like and hopefully they’ll respond the right way.
There’s a good chance you’ll get Brazil in the next round. What do you make of them?
I know the outcome of tonight’s games will determine who we face. I think it would be a good game for our kids to bounce back to. We’ve had a chance to play Brazil this year. They played us really tough. They’re physical. They are a very different style than Canada, but probably a style that our kids would want to play. I told them there’s no easy games left. Everybody’s playing for a chance to win a medal. There’s no subbing. They’re going to have their best guys out there and we’re going to have to fight for everything that we get.
Do you think your team needs to take more risk for more reward?
I think they need to have a little more pride in how hard they play. Canada really outhustled us. Even at the end when we finally got it tied up, we got within a few points, they came down and got offensive rebounds or they stole an outlet pass. Being able to have the maturity to have the mental focus when it matters the most, not just be able to make a shot when we’re up by 20. You’ve got to be able to take care of the ball all the time. When we get it to 41-41 or whatever it was when we tied it up, that’s when we have to have that maturity to move forward playing well. It’s tough, because I am working with a lot of young kids and they don’t really understand that … they turn it over and think it’s okay. They don’t really understand how to value every possession. On a night where Bria Hartley really struggled, we didn’t have another kid step up, but we don’t really have another college-level guard. They’re still learning how to play at this level.
(University of Connecticut/North Babylon, N.Y.)
On today’s game:
Canada did a really good job of controlling the tempo of the game. They’re a team that likes to slow it down, run half-court sets. We let them do that and we didn’t really pressure them enough to get them out of that offense. They were in the flow the entire game and we didn’t disrupt that.
You were able to tie it up in the second half, but unable to ever take the lead. Did you run out of steam?
We just let it get away from us. We had to go that extra push. We tied it up, we had to get some stops, but we didn’t come through with our stops so they got the best of us.
On the USA’s turnovers:
They came out, they’re a very physical team and not a lot of teams have been that physical. It’s not something we’ve had to deal with. We’re not used to it and we didn’t adjust to it. As the game goes on we have to make adjustments and we didn’t do that.
The team has been up and down all tournament, how can you reign that in and pull together?
We need to find some consistency. We need to all make sure we get it together on the same page. In these next four days we have to get it together in practice, concentrate on what we have to get done in our last three games.
(Bolingbrook High School/Bolingbrook, Ill.)
On Canada’s quick start:
I feel like right now this team is playing very unpredictable. One night we’ll show one team, but then the next night we’ll show another team. That’s just a mental thing. We have to come together as a team. We have to be focused in warm-ups all day, during pre-game, watching film and during shoot around. We need to know that we’re here for something big and that every team is going to bring their ‘A’ game against us. We can’t come out here and play like this. This was a huge wake-up call for us. I think we’ll come out and be ready come the medal round.
On the team’s poor shooting:
It was poor, but that happens. Every night every shot’s not going to go in, but as a team there are other things that we can do to keep ourselves in the ball game. That’s why we fought back on the defensive end. But, when it mattered most, we had some slip-ups and that’s what cost us the game.
The USA tied the game up in the second half, but wasn’t able to take the lead. What happened?
Mentally, the referees, we let them get into our heads today. They weren’t calling things our way and Canada was focused, they were into the game and they had the mind-set of wanting to beat us. We let their will and their pride in their country be more than ours.
You still have a shot at a gold medal. How do you move on from this loss?
We have to get our heads back right. I know everyone’s down right now, but we have to realize that this is just a stepping stone in the process and our chances of winning the gold medal are not over yet. That’s what we came here to do and we have to get our minds right and do whatever it takes to get there.
(Cicero North Syracuse High School/North Syracuse, N.Y.)
On today’s game:
We started off a little slow, and they came out ready to go.
What was Canada doing to disrupt your game?
They did it with their two-three zone. They had that very compact in the paint. It was hard to get any movement in the post. They’re also very physical, which was hard.
On the USA’s shooting:
Yeah, it was frustrating. If you’re taking open shots and missing the ones that usually go in, it gets frustrating after awhile.
On the difference from the line (Canada shot 15-19 FTs, the USA shot 6-12 FTs)
They’re a great free throw shooting team, or at least they shot really well in this game. Free throw shooting for us is sometimes a little bit, we struggle with that. We just need to work on that and get better.
What can you learn from this game as you move forward?
That we have a lot to work on still. These next three games aren’t going to be easy. We have to play our hardest and our best and try to win.
(Bolingbrook High School/Bolingbrook, Ill.)
Were you a little shocked at Canada’s start to the game?
I don’t know if it was shocking. We didn’t really come out focused. By the way we were playing, we could tell that they were going to be up. We just have to go into the next game and be focused more.
You were able to fight back and tie the game, but got stopped:
I think it was turnovers and mental lapses. We were giving layups, offensive rebounds. Those kinds of things take away our energy and give them momentum.
Your team has been very up and down all tournament, what needs to be tightened up now that every game is a must-win game?
Just having a mental focus. Everybody needs to be on the same page. Everybody needs to, from the beginning to the end of the game, be focused the entire time.
On the play of her high school teammate Ariel Massengale against Canada:
Ariel definitely knew that she needed to step up in order for us to get back into the game. She did a great job of doing that.