COACH MCGRAW: I'm just so proud of this team and what we accomplished this year and hate for it to end on a game like this when we just �� just played so poorly.
I thought Breanna Stewart was fantastic. She was just unbelievable. I think her and Lewis, obviously, just they killed us. And we contained everybody else, but we did not have an answer for them.
And defensively it's probably the most disappointing. I know we can miss shots, but I felt we could play better defensively. And that was a disappointing way for this really wonderful season to end.
But we will try to think back on what we did to get here and be proud of that.
Q. This question is directed to Skylar. You were not able to get a shooting rhythm, for whatever reason. Was your concentration then leaning more to getting your teammates involved and also playing defense, particularly the two blocked shots, you know, the defensive standard there? So those are the two questions to Skylar.
SKYLAR DIGGINS: Yes, it was. My focus was on defense and trying to distribute.
Q. Skylar, can you just talk a little bit about your legacy and just the entire Notre Dame experience.
SKYLAR DIGGINS: Well, it's been a dream come true, just having an opportunity to play for my hometown school and right in my backyard for Coach McGraw and just being able to learn from her every day. Just experiences I've gone through I'll never forget. The people that I met I'll never forget. And it was just such and great time. I had a great time going through it. And I wouldn't want a different group of girls in the locker room, I wouldn't want a different group of coaches.
And just the people I've met, I know they will be a part of my circle for life. And that's just a blessing in itself.
Q. Kayla, the full first ten minutes of the game you guys were 2 for 24 as a team. Was it the pressure of their defense or were you just missing makeable shots?
Q. You got off to �� I think it was 2 for the first 24. Was it the pressure of their defense or were you missing makeable shots?
SKYLAR DIGGINS: I thought it was a little bit of both. They did a great job of getting up and pressuring us, and I thought that we got some shots we wanted at the beginning of the game, some layups and some jumpers that we usually knock down.
It was a physical game tonight. I thought it was a little bit of both. You have to credit their defense and the pressure, making us take quick shots. But I thought we did get some shots that we wanted and usually knock down.
Q. Skylar, I think you guys had a 26-25 lead, Lewis went out about 2:55 left, and then they went on a 14-�3 run to close the first half. What happened there?
SKYLAR DIGGINS: We just didn't play good defense. And they got out in transition and they scored in half�court offense too. We didn't lock down on defense like we normally do. We just weren't playing like ourselves.
And, like I said, you have to credit them. They're such a good team, they know each other so well, and they outworked us.
Q. Skylar, can you share with us a little bit about what Geno said to you after the game?
SKYLAR DIGGINS: He just said don't let this game define my legacy. He told me that he feels like I've done more for the sport than some people who won four national championships. And he just told me that I've done a lot for the game of basketball and I had a great career.
Q. Coach, that first 15 minutes you guys couldn't hit anything, yet still a one-�point game. I gotta think you were thinking, OK, we're going to hit shots, eventually things are going to fall, we survived their defensive stop. What was the difference that got them going that you guys just couldn't really get anything going offensively all night?
COACH MCGRAW: I didn't feel good about it because we weren't executing anything. We weren't running our stuff. So we couldn't even feel good about that. We couldn't feel good about, oh, we got a great shot, we just didn't make it.
I thought we forced some things and overdribbled a little bit. We're a really good passing team, and I don't think we moved the ball. We missed some people that were open.
And so I don't think we got that confidence from executing.
Q. How does Skylar's legacy, her impact, affect next year's team, teams after that?
COACH MCGRAW: She leaves a gigantic hole in the lineup. I don't think any one person can replace her. I think that there's a lot of pressure on our incoming point guard to be good right away.
And I think the rest of the team has to step up a little bit more and realize what we've lost. I think that the swagger and the confidence that she brought �� I hope that somebody can step up and replace that.
Q. Muffet, obviously the game is disappointing, but I know how close you are with Skylar. I wonder if it's just disappointing �� or how disappointing is it to see her up here not to get to where I think she ultimately wanted to be?
COACH MCGRAW: I think she's a champion. I do. I know we didn't win it, but what she has done for us has been amazing and she's leaves Notre Dame as the most celebrated and decorated and best player ever, and I'm happy for that.
Insert: I believe Rurth Riley was Final Four MVP her senior season and overall national player of the year, so I am missing Muffet's point here. She'll surely walk this back a bit
Q. Muffet, you've played so assuredly all through the season, but especially in those games against UConn. Was it just maybe the importance of the moment or nerves? Is there any way to explain how poorly you shot tonight? It wasn't all defense, I don't think.
COACH MCGRAW: No, I thought we looked nervous. I did think we looked nervous coming out. And I think �� I don't know why we did. We've been here before, and we certainly should have felt differently. And I don't know. I think the way the game went early on, I just don't think we ever got into that rhythm where we could get comfortable, and so I think we were just a little on edge the whole time. And then all of a sudden we're down 10. And we just got in a giant hole at halftime, and the that really I thought was the difference in the game.
Q. Coach, you touched on it a little bit in your opening, Breanna Stewart was amazing tonight. How good was she considering she's a freshman under the big spotlight? How impressive is that to you?
COACH MCGRAW: It is really impressive to have a freshman have that kind of game, to be Most Outstanding Player in the Regional and then to come into the Final Four and just play with such confidence to be the best player on the floor �� well, on the team for Connecticut. You don't expect a freshman to rise to the occasion like that. So I thought a phenomenal performance by her.
Q. Muffet, did you say anything to Skylar, at least one-on-one after the game? Or there's obviously going to be time for that heading forward, but I wonder if you, as Geno did, said something to her?
COACH MCGRAW: No. We talked to the group in general
It's apples and oranges to compare whether Ruth or Skylar is the greatest women's basketball player to graduate from ND. They're opposite ends of the spectrum as far as positions (guard, center). Skylar has the scoring statistics, but Ruth was the dominant player in the game that no one really had an answer for, and won a title and the national POY.
Right now, Muffett is feeling bad for Sky and Kaila. Three Final Fours, two title games, and they just fall short. When she steps back, she'll realize that as far as "the best ever," it's really a draw.