Connecticut 91, Holy Cross 36
Nov. 14, 2007
College of the Holy Cross
Head Coach Bill Gibbons
"I always said I liked playing UConn early in the year, but this year I wish we had played them before Maya Moore got here. The reason we play this game, and we are probably the only team in New England who wants to play this game, is because I feel that it does make us better. It certainly made us better last year, when I thought we competed and really hung with them in the DCU Center for 32 minutes. But in the past, even when we've gotten blown out, my kids have bounced back from the game and gotten better. That is because of the character kids I have. We got beaten by 55 once and went back and won 18 out of 19. We played them a little later and made the NCAA. As tough as it is to swallow, and that's a great basketball team, I thought for the most part our kids competed. I thought my two captains and our three freshmen really competed. We just didn't shoot it well and you have to make shots against them to stay in the game. Once we started missing shots, it kind of kept slipping away. But, I'm not discouraged. Maine is the biggest game of the year. I told them that we have to find a way to go up to Maine and scratch and claw and dig to get a win so we can get on a winning streak. I still think this game will make us better. You may call me nuts but that's the way I feel because of the quality of our kids."
On Maya Moore:
"I was talking to my good friend Dee Row (UConn Special Advisor for Athletics) and I was talking about how special she is. He said that if she were a guy she wouldn't make it to her first exams because she'd be in the big leagues and that's probably right. What impressed me about her was that she's not only a scorer but she's a terrific defender and she passes the ball. She gets it. Very few freshmen on this level get it and get what Geno's (Auriemma) trying to do. She gets it right away, which is scary. She's in the upper echelon."
Senior Guard Laura Aloisi
On playing UConn and Maya Moore:
"I think all of those players are so athletic and we knew coming into this game that this was one of the top teams we would play this year. We just came out and gave it our all. I don't think it was just one particular player, because all of them are incredibly athletic."
University of Connecticut
Head Coach Geno Auriemma
What are your overall thoughts on the game and Maya Moore?
"She just has the knack for being around the ball. It doesn't really matter what position she plays, she's always in the right position to make a play. She just has that gift. I think in that respect that I'm not entirely surprised. The only thing we can be surprised at is how quickly it happened; in just one half of a basketball game she can create that many opportunities. It's hard to do."
Do you think that the veteran players look to get Maya (Moore) the ball?
"I don't think it's that hard to get the ball to someone who's open all the time. Even if they aren't looking for her, they have to give it to her because she's always open. And she never misses. Other players out there miss easy lay-ups. That's what drives me nuts about women's basketball: these guys miss lay-ups. She never misses those easy shots."
Were you aware how close Maya (Moore) was to the freshman scoring record?
"I didn't know how many she had. I don't keep track of those things. It's happened to me a few times before. I sometimes forget they keep track up on the score board."
Do you know how ready you are for Stanford?
"I think you just have to go play the game and see what happens. The only way you can be ready to play is to play them this weekend first and then go play them next Thursday. I don't think they've played anybody like us. They played the US National team this weekend so they might have a little bit of an advantage. They beat Rutgers, but Rutgers isn't like us. It's a great non-conference game."
Freshman Forward Maya Moore
Can you talk about your shooting in the first half?
"When we run, I think that we are at our best. I am just so excited and happy to be on a team where we have point guards who can push the ball like Renee (Montgomery), Ketia (Swanier), and Lorin (Dixon) do. So like Renee said, I was running and they were finding me. I was getting used to the bright lights of finishing down low."
You only played four minutes in the second half; did you realize how close you were to the freshmen scoring record? Did you care at all?
"I was not really concerned with that, I really did not know how many points I had in the first half. Brittney (Hunter) was especially excited for me so I figured that I had a lot of points but I was not really focused on that. Whoever had the best shot was the one who was going to take it and I think that we executed our offense really well overall."
On the two game start
"Today I felt that I came out offensively a lot quicker and that is something that coach wants me to continue to do, to come out and be an offensive spark off the bench. We are playing well and I think as the season goes on, our offense will continue to get better and we are going to continue to try to dominate inside. So I am happy with the way that I fit in and done my role in the first wins."
Junior Guard Renee Montgomery
Can you talk about Maya Moore's performance today?
"She always seems to be in the right spot. You know coming down the floor that you are going to have her on your left or your right and she is going to finish and I think that's great."
You heard a lot about Maya Moore before she got here, did you think that she was going to get off to the start that she did?
"Actually, yes I did because I saw her a month before we started playing so it wasn't a surprise when we actually started playing real games. She always runs the floor and her work ethic reflects in the game."
Can you talk about the teams start getting ready to go to Paradise Jam?
"I think it's great, not only for how the score is because we've been winning by a large margin, but it's how we are getting our points and the kind of shots we are getting. The majority of our points were lay-ups, and if we can get those points we will take them all day. I'm just happy with our offense, everyone is being real unselfish giving up an open shot for a pass and we are running the floor. We are doing the things we prepare for in practice and it carries over into the game."
How do you think Maya Moore's ability to get down the floor hurts defenses?
"It is definitely hurting a lot of teams, because a lot of times she plays power forward and guards a player taller than her who can't keep up and I think a lot of times that is what gets us going, when she beats her man down the floor and creates a mismatch."
Can you talk about the competition so far?
"I think it's more fun to play a team that is going to challenge you, because when you play against a team that is tough and plays hard you get a lot out of it. It's great to play a team that has the same talent level as you because both teams are going head-to-head and it comes down to which team wants it more. It tests you personally in your mental and physical ability and I think that's better."