The Liberty women's basketball team visited Notre Dame's Purcell Pavilion for the first time on Saturday, taking part in a press conference and a 90-minute practice. The Flames Sports Network's Alan York and Doug Kruse were again on hand to document the Lady Flames' day in sunny South Bend, Ind.
No. 16 seed Liberty and No. 1 seed Notre Dame will tip off their NCAA first-round contest Sunday afternoon at approximately 2:40 p.m. The contest will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN3 and also broadcasted on 90.9 FM WWMC "The Light."
To whet your appetite for Sunday's matinee, here are a few selected quotes from Saturday afternoon's press conferences.
Liberty Head Coach Carey Green "We set some goals, and one of them was to get back to the tournament. We are back in it, and we are very excited that our season has been extended. We understand that the challenges in front of us are huge, but we are going to prepare our very best for those challenges." "This whole season we have had our share of adversity. We have had our share of distractions and injuries. I am really thankful that the team has stayed focused, and has continued to improve. At this time, we are playing the very best that we have all season long. There was disappointment and frustration early in the year. I think as a teacher or a coach you want your students to continue to look at the goal in front of you. Our team has continued to do that."
"The people here have been very nice. There are five people on that court that won't be too nice to us, but they will do a great job hosting."
Liberty Redshirt Senior Center Avery Warley "There is an emphasis in general, whether in the tournament or not, on limiting teams to one chance. The percentage of one-shot chances made is not very high, so we want to eliminate their second and third chances. Overall, rebounding is just really big for our team."
Liberty Redshirt Junior Guard/Forward Devon Brown "They're a good ball club. They're number four in the country, so you have to respect them. At the same time, you have to respect every team you play against. You're going into the NCAA Tournament. There are a lot of upsets in this, so we always go out and play hard. We've been working hard at preparing all week."
Liberty Freshman Guard Reagan Miller "We have to take care of the ball. We have to move it quickly and well. We need to try not to force anything."
"If we go in, execute, and play like we know how, anything can happen."
Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw "They are the top rebounding team in the nation. They are very strong inside, and they rebound very well. They have some big bodies, and their guards rebound well. It is definitely a worry for us. We can't get our transition offense going if we don't rebound well. We have spent a lot of time working on rebounding this week. We have tried to emphasize boxing out. Rebounding is definitely one of the keys to the game for us."
Notre Dame Junior Guard Skylar Diggins "We're definitely going to emphasize our defense and press. We need to get up and try to take advantage of that. That's what we like to do – we like to cause turnovers. We get to start our transition break. That's when we're playing our best basketball, when we're able to run and get up and down. We'll definitely be looking to put on some pressure. I understand they have a freshman guard, so looking to put some ball pressure on and making them make decisions. We're trying to get the press going early."
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