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Nov. 8, 2013

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Bucknell at Pitt, Petersen Events Center, November 8, 2013
Pitt 66, Bucknell 51

 Quoting Head Coach Suzie McConnell-Serio

Opening Remarks:
It was an interesting game to say the least, but it’s great to start the season with a win. I thought we did some good things throughout the game. We had two players with double-doubles—Asia Logan and Brianna Kiesel. That’s impressive on a stat sheet. We saw some good things coming off our bench. I thought Frederique Potvin and Chelsea Welch were a spark and did some good things. But Brianna Kiesel is the glue to this team right now. Her leadership and presence on the floor is transferring from practice to the game. She and I are always on the same page with what we’re running, what we need to do. She has such a focus that needs to become contagious across this team.

There were some struggles. Looking at the stat sheet, we were outrebounded 59-38 and gave up 24 offensive rebounds. That’s something that we work on and emphasize on a daily basis—rebounding the basketball. We ended up playing a smaller lineup. Long shots created long rebounds, and they were effective around the rim. We didn’t finish our defense with a box-out and pursue the basketball. That was a disappointing aspect. We defended the 3-point line well. We got in foul trouble early with some of our players and got out of sync a little bit. But this was a great game to learn from as we move forward and look to improve on the things we need to improve on.”

On coaching in a regular-season game for the first time at Pitt:
“It felt good to finally be coaching. I was hired back in April and was on the sideline for an exhibition game, but this was obviously the first real game. It felt good to be on the sideline and coaching in game situations. I also got a feel for things we want to implement into our system that aren’t in yet because we’ve gone at a slower pace. It was a learning experience for me to see how players would respond in game situations and what we need to do to get them better to handle those game situations.”

On how the absence of Marvadene ‘Bubbles’ Anderson hurt Pitt’s rebounding:
“Getting Bubbles back will be a tremendous help for us. Without a doubt, she is a presence at both ends of the floor. It definitely would’ve helped to have her on the floor for rebounding. She just changes the game. Her presence defensively causes players to maybe not attack the basket and post players change their shot; offensively now they have to worry about where she’s at and double teaming her, and that frees other players to be open. The way she’s been practicing and the way she played in the exhibition game shows she’ll be a difference maker for us. But she’s not the only answer to us rebounding the basketball better. That’s an entire team concept that we need to get better at.”

On if Pitt will rely on Brianna Kiesel, Asia Logan and Loliya Briggs to score a lot this season:

“Honestly I thought the minutes would’ve been more balanced. I don’t think it’s the expectation of this staff to have to play Brianna Kiesel 36 minutes. We are looking for players to step in, give her a breather and rotate with players coming off the bench. Obviously today she was a difference maker handling the basketball, defending and rebounding. I couldn’t take her off the floor. We got in foul trouble and played four guards a lot with a short bench. When Marquel Davis is back healthy for us, she’ll be a difference maker. We’ll rely on our depth. I think on any given day, it could be someone else’s game because our players are earning minutes because of their production in practice and some aren’t transferring into the game right now, but hopefully we’ll get there.”

On Pitt’s positive assist-to-turnover ratio:
“Taking care of the basketball, valuing each possession and giving ourselves an opportunity to score the basketball is something we emphasize every day. I was very happy when we only had three turnovers at halftime, but I’m disappointed that we ended up with 12. Our goal is to be less than 15 every game.”

On the difference in 3-point shooting in the game:
“We hope that’ll be a positive for us. We have a number of players that like to take the 3. Fred Potvin was 1-for-6 from 3, and I think she’s a better shooter than that. Some of her shots were right there and just didn’t fall. It’s something that’s part of our offense. Players have the green light. But we have to make better decisions in that respect. We try to defend the 3-point line as well, and Bucknell had a bunch of young kids we didn’t know a whole lot about, so we had to respect that. I thought No. 44 (Audrey) Dotson was so effective for them. She just picked us apart, and we have to get better at post defense.”

Quoting junior guard Brianna Kiesel

On playing first regular season game for Head Coach Suzie McConnell-Serio:
“It is much more up-tempo and I really like that. Our plays worked, we got a lot of transition points. Because we played good help defense it allowed me to get a lot of steals, leading to break-away points and those transition buckets really helped us.”

On team’s dominating defensive performance:
“I think we played help-side defense really well. We were able to force some turnovers, which led to fast-break points. I think we need to cut our own turnovers down from twelve to maybe ten.”

On playing in front of the school kids in attendance:“It’s always fun. They are your biggest fans. Though they may not know what is going on some of the time, they are always cheering. It really was a lot of fun.”

Quoting senior guard/forward Asia Logan

On how the new offensive system ran in-game:

“We just threw in our motion offense. We’ve only been working on it for a couple days, so I was curious to see how a motion offense [worked]. We will get better at it, even though we did get a couple buckets out of it.”

On losing the team rebounding battle:
“I just think we need to box out. We were just relying on our athleticism and we can’t continue to do that. We need to continue to box out.”

On playing the first game of the season:
“Yeah, we were ready to play. Like, you get tired of playing each other in practice. We want to play some games, that is what shows how we play on the court.”



Post-Game Quotes/Pitt vs. Bucknell

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