Postgame Quotes: Delaware 60, St. John's 59

Jan. 2, 2013

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Head Coach Joe Tartamella

Opening Statement:

"It was a great game, obviously you want to be on the other end, but it was a great game. I'm really proud of these kids, they played really hard tonight. We've had some adversity through the year, losing players to injuries, but their play today proves how hard they've worked over time. Their week of practice and the level of focus they've had over the last couple of weeks have been fantastic. We left a few things out their point-wise, but I couldn't be prouder of our players today."

On turning the page to BIG EAST play:

"People forget about who we don't have. I didn't envision us without Eugenia [McPherson], and I didn't envision us tonight without Mary [Nwachukwu]. I'm so proud of these guys because we knew what we were trying to accomplish and what we still can. We know who we are, and it took us a little bit to find that little niche, now it's just a question of execution. In three close games we can talk about a million things; we've left a lot of points at the rim, whether it be a layup or free throws, there's a lot of things that we have not finished that bring that game down to a possession or a shot. I'm very happy of where we are, aside from wins and losses, where we are as a team heading into the conference, I feel pretty good about where we are as a group."

Senior Guard Shenneika Smith

On winning the close games:

"It's all about digging down and getting that one stop. Pulling together like we did previously in the UCLA game and today, they hit tough shots and we've got to take our hats off to them, but we played a great game and just needed that one stop."

On the team finding its identity:

"We have our own identity. We're a transition team that likes to get out and run. It's not our identity that's making us lose. It's that one play or that one shot or that one box out. It's just the little things, we've got to continue to build and practice and work on the intangibles to get that one stop."

Senior Guard Nadirah McKenith

On getting ready for BIG EAST play:

"We played hard out there, I'm proud of our team because we gave a good fight. We just have to put this behind us and get ready for the BIG EAST. We have to keep practicing hard heading into the BIG EAST and try to win some games."

Delaware Head Coach Tina Martin

Opening Statement:

"That was one heck of a college basketball game. It's two teams that at the beginning year thought both of us would be in different places that were currently are. But two teams that went to the NCAA Tournament last year and you saw the heart and the determination of both teams and how good the players are. I think that St. John's is going through that transition period. They lost a couple of kids, one in particular that hurt them, (Eugenia) McPherson with the ACL and it's going to take them a little time to kind of find themselves, but they certainly are competitors. On our side having Elena (Delle Donne) helps our cause a lot. We are not where we need to be offensively yet. We are making some mistakes, we are making some wrong reads, but I would not want to go to battle without my team. I love my kids because they are competitors and step up on the floor. This is our third game in five days. Going up to Dartmouth and New Hampshire, winning two games vs. Villanova and Duquesne, then traveling down here and playing St. John's on their home floor was definitely a challenging schedule and I will not do that again. I'm going to blame that on my Associate Head Coach Jeanine Radice. I'll give her the credit for this scheduling mastery. I tip my hat to St. John's. Those kids showed why they are a quality team and I know they will turn the corner eventually. He (Joe Tartamella) does a great job. This is his first year but I have a lot of respect for him and for the St. John's program."

On St. John's as a team:

"They are making an adjustment right now. It's up and down for them with people they have lost, people that are injured, people that are out. You look at Shenneika Smith and Nadirah McKenith who are two All-BIG EAST type players. Those kids will rally their teammates, hopefully. I don't know them personally but I would think the quality players that they are, that they're going to rally their teammates. They'll figure out a game plan. They're very much a dribble-drive team and he needs a couple of the big kids to step up and rebound the basketball. They got the quality guards in BIG EAST play to make some noise in that league. They just have to consistently get some big post players. The younger players will grow and get where they need to be. I think Smith and McKenith will put this team on their back eventually and they'll find a way because that's what great players do and I consider those young ladies to be very very good players. [Tartamella] is definitely trying right now different things to get the most out of the team. You have to understand when you lose a quality player you really do scramble. You have to put people in different spots, you have to figure out where you can get more offense from. There is a lot of things coming into this year that he was not expecting. Same thing when Elena (Delle Donne) went out. We were scrambling for a couple days trying to figure out where we were going to get the points, who do we need to move around, and that makes a slippery slope as I like to call it. They'll figure it out, they'll get their feet under them and I think those two ladies that I mentioned will lead them."




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