Post-game Quotes: #1 North Carolina 82, #9 Virginia 56
March 3, 2006
NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS
COACH SYLVIA HATCHELL: Well we knew it was going to be a tough game. Virginia, and, in fact, I was talking to Debbie before the game. They had not lost since we played them in Charlottesville a few weeks ago. So I knew they were a hot team, they were on a roll. I was very impressed with them yesterday in their win over Boston College. I do think that they're in the NCAA. I would be shocked if they are not. Especially the way they are playing here at the end of the season.
So I do hope that they will be in because I do think they deserve that.
We knew that rebounding would be a big key because in Charlottesville we won, but they out-rebounded us really badly on the boards. We talked about that a lot and that was one of our focuses today.
It's hard to play at 11 o'clock in the morning. We missed a lot of shots the first half. I don't know. I thought we had some real good looks, and they just didn't go in. We shot, what 30 percent the first half? I thought the second half we did a much better job with that.
I like our balance, the way it was spread out, and especially our rebounding. These two young ladies played hard, played their hearts out. So did the other kids. Of course, we chart dives on the floor. I think one time today, I think we had all five white uniforms on the floor. And that's why I love these kids. They play so hard for me. They play hard for each other. I'm the coach, they play hard for me too, and I am really proud of that. So a lot of intensity in going after the rebound and the loose balls. A little sloppy at times. We knew it was going to be a tough game against Virginia.
Q. Camille, since the Duke game you guys have really stepped up your rebounding, what do you think the cause is?
CAMILLE LITTLE: I just think that we finally realized how important it was. Coach Hatchell has been preaching about rebounds the last five or six games because we were getting out-rebounded every night. We just had to take it upon ourselves and step up and rebound when it was time to. We were trying to do that the last few games, and it's working out for us. So I guess we'll just keep trying to do that.
Q. Sylvia, talk about the contribution you guys got from (LaToya) Pringle, especially in the first half, first time she has been in double figures since December 31st, I guess?
COACH SYLVIA HATCHELL: Yes, she had 10 points at halftime. You know, we've had several games where she's gone in and just made a major difference and blocked shots, her defensive efforts. She is just really playing well for us and shooting the ball well. So it's nice that I can rotate those and put Camille on the wing some. We put her on the wing a little bit today. Camille is an excellent 3 point shooter, two for three day. That's good I could move Camille out especially when LaToya is playing so well.
Q. Coach, to follow up on that, it seemed likes LaToya was more aggressive on offense than she has been the last few weeks, did you see anything in practice or encourage her to be a little more aggressive in that respect?
COACH SYLVIA HATCHELL: Well, we talked to her about it all the time because she is an excellent post player. She can score down inside. She's got those long arms and all. I think a little more opportunities for her. But I mean we get on her in practice. We got on her yesterday, actually. Boy, she can turn it on. So we've just got to stay on her to keep her doing that more consistent.
Q. La'Tangela, you always talk about defense and rebounding are your focus, obviously you were a little more offensive minded, what happened there?
LA'TANGELA ATKINSON: I just went out and played defense and it lead to my offense. I just ran the floor. I pressured the ball in. That created some open shots for me.
Q. Coach, Sharnee (Zoll) hit that shot to get within one of the second half, 41 to 40, then you exploded on a 23-to-1 run, what was the cause of that explosion was it more of a breakdown on Virginia's part or the Tar Heels just hitting their shots?
COACH SYLVIA HATCHELL: I wish I knew. I wish I knew. I mean, we are a team, with the tempo that we play, lots of times we play in runs. I just felt like if we kept on pushing, and, you know, playing pressure defense and rebounding it would play at that level of intensity, especially if we were substituting and all that we could go get a pretty good lead and hopefully that's what happened.
But, you know, I mean, Virginia hung in there with us. I was really concerned. I felt like down the stretch we would get to the right people, and we would be able to score.
But, you know, you're right, it was a close nip and tuck there for a long time. But I do think that maybe the fatigue might have been a little bit.
Q. Camille, was there a point in the game when you all finally felt like you started hitting your groove, shooting the ball?
CAMILLE LITTLE: I think so. I don't know when it was. I don't remember. But I remember there was a point where we were running hard and getting some easy shots, and some lay ups, and some rebounds, and some and-ones, back to back, so I think that kind of helped us out because we were playing good defense and we were creating turnovers.
Q. Coach, could you please address the second-chance points, especially in the first half? That really kind of kept them at bay a little bit
COACH SYLVIA HATCHELL: Are you talking about Virginia's second-chance points?
Q. Your second. I think you had 16 in the first half if I'm not mistaken?
COACH SYLVIA HATCHELL: We ended up with 23 for the game.
Q. You had 16 in the first half?
COACH SYLVIA HATCHELL: Well, we did? That's good. At the first half, I remember, we keep all of these numbers, I think out of 25 missed shots, they had gotten 11 offensive rebounds. That was too much for me as far as what they did. Again, we had been working on this and preaching this. I mean we want to score points in three different ways; fast break points, points off the turnovers and second-chance points. We really, really focus on those three things. Second-chance points is something that we had not been doing as well as we needed to. I am pleased that we did that better today.
Q. La'Tangela, Ivory (Latta) struggled today early, missed eight of her first nine shots, is that something that you guys noticed, did anybody say anything to her, keep her head up, things like that?
LA'TANGELA ATKINSON: I noticed it, but I walked over to her, and I told her just keep her head up and just keep pushing the ball and keep looking for your shot, it will come. She was like okay, you know, I got it. But she was like, look for your shot. And I was like okay. But I talked to her about it.
Q. Coach, can you elaborate a little more about why you think Virginia should make the tournament?
COACH SYLVIA HATCHELL: Well, because like I said, usually the committee looks at your last 10 games, and I mean their last 10 games their losses have been to to us, and then Duke, Maryland. And then they've won a lot of games, too. Like I said, they had not lost since we beat them in Charlottesville a few weeks ago. I think they are playing really well right now. And when you look out of conference, their schedule and all. So I just think that they deserve to be in it for those reasons.
Q. Sylvia, do you guys keep blocks on the bench? If so, do you know what that number was. You guys were only credited with nine, you must have had about 15?
COACH SYLVIA HATCHELL: Oh yes, we keep that. We don't keep it on the bench. The film doesn't lie. Let me tell you, that film will be analyzed between seven hours between now and tomorrow. The players will all know. They will know blocks. They will know who boxed out. Who didn't box out. Who didn't attempt to go to rebound. And who let their man get a rebound. All of that stuff is charted. They will all know that. But we had a lot of blocks. Sometimes we have to correct the stat sheets because the film doesn't lie. Camille said she got one that's not on here. Like I said, we will break all of this down.
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: I thought that we had a pretty good start today. Even though we got down a little bit we still made a little run to come back. I thought we played a pretty good first half.
Q. Can you talk about the two bench players in the first half, the starters combined to go 5 for 25, but Denesha (Kenion) and Lyndra (Littles) both stepped up?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: Yes, I thought Denesha and Lyndra both stepped up and played very strong, showed a lot of character and courage in the first half. Being able to match them point for point. We started off very out matched on the boards and then we tied it up.
In the second half we came out with a lot of energy, got within one on a couple of occasions. And about the 11 minute mark is when I think we just seem to either get tired, or I don't know really know what happened to us but the doors blew off and Carolina exposed about everything that was wrong about our team in that one stretch there. Then that was all she wrote.
I thought Denesha had a great first half. I think she was 5 for 7 or 4 for 6. But she played a very strong first half and really gave us some energy off the bench and just was able to put the ball in the basket. She was playing at their pace and at their level that really did help a lot in the first half just to keep us in the game.
And, of course, Lyndra gave us some rebounding, I don't remember the first half statistics on Lyndra, but there was some real bright spots with her as well.
Q. Coach, coming off the loss to the Tar Heels at U hall how did you change your game plan coming in today and how effective was it in the game?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: Well, we didn't change it much because we really played fairly well against them at University Hall. We knew the game plan was good. It was being able to stay with them over time. That's what makes them No. 1 and separates them from us right now is their ability to play 40 minutes and put 11 people on the court that can stay at a very high level at all times which makes it a little more difficult for seven people who just played a game last night. We didn't change it much at all. But we executed what we did very well in the first half and for the first five to seven minutes of the second half and then we didn't execute it well at all from that point on.
Q. What are your thoughts on chances to making the tournament?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: You know, I really don't know. I hope that we're in. I would think that last night's win helped us dramatically in the RPI. And today, even losing to North Carolina, is going to help us, it's going to give us extra points. So we have a good record. We've beaten some people now and, you know, I think that we probably have made a pretty big case. We just have to pray that nobody gets a lot of upsets in the next couple of days in tournaments.
TIFFANY SARDIN: Like Coach said, I just hope and pray that my season doesn't end here and for it to continue on wherever we're picked to go.