March 4, 2005
WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS
MIKE PETERSEN: I'm just so happy for my players, we played that exact game. It's our sixth one against really good teams in this league, and the first five didn't turn out the way we wanted them to.
I told someone the other day I felt like I was Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day, go to the gym, we play the same game and it ends the same way every day.
I thought it was a great effort. Half time we talked a lot about the team that competed the hardest was probably going to end up winning the game. And the sign of how we were competing would be how we rebounded the ball. And they had 10 offensive rebounds at half time, and they ended the game with 14. So, I think, my team did a really, really good job of competing on the glass. It's been kind of our problem all year long, had been rebounding the ball. I thought we stepped up in the second half. They didn't get second shots to score on. The first half, they scored on second shots. The second half they didn't get second shots, that's a tribute to how hard our kids played.
Q. Mike, for you or the players, when you go through that stretch during the first half, you went eight minutes without scoring a point, what were you thinking?
MIKE PETERSEN: Well, there was two media time?outs there. We talked about it twice. We had a good long discussion about it. I just remember the media time?out saying, hey, you guys are guarding your brains out, stay with it and eventually we'll score. I thought our biggest problem in that stretch, and the players can speak to it better than I can, I thought we were over amped. I just thought we all needed a deep cleansing breath, just calm down and catch the ball and shoot it. In fact, one of the time?outs, one of my salient coaching points was see ball, catch ball, shoot ball. That's some high level stuff right there.
Q. Liz, do you want to comment on just that stretch?
LIZ STRUNK: I think that we were all taking really open shots within our offense. They were just rattling out. In that situation, you've got to keep shooting. You can't lose confidence in something you've done all year. So we were just going to stick to our offense. The Coach kept telling us the shots are going to fall, just keep picking good ones.
Q. Liz, this is the sixth time you have been in this situation, this is the only time you won it, what do you think was different.
LIZ STRUNK: Well, it's about time. I felt like we were real going in the game to play a full 40 minutes. I think the second half of a lot of games we slacked off at half time. But we came out really focused and we've learned from those losses. So we wanted to make a difference this time.
Q. Porsche, can you talk about playing Duke tomorrow and your feelings about that?
PORSCHE JONES: Well, the first time we played them at home we played hard, we gave them a good run, but we couldn't pull it out at the end. Right now, our focus is taking one thing at a time. We won this game and now we are looking forward to Duke. We don't have any really high expectations other than just to beat Duke. We just want to beat Duke and then go to the next game
VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES
BETH DUNKENBERGER: Obviously, this is one of the worst shooting nights that we've had in a long time. We have been scoring pretty well lately. You got to give credit to Wake Forest's defense. They are a very, very good team. I thought they played very well as a team tonight. I thought we struggled a little bit offensively. And unfortunately we weren't able to come out on top.
Q. Coach, you seem to be in fairly decent shape early in the second half, you had around a five point lead and it looked like you might be in a position to be able to gain a little bit of control when Cotelia Bond?Young made the three three-pointers in a very short time. Did that have a big impact on the game?
BETH DUNKENBERGER: I thought that gave them some confidence there. It was a nice run by them. She got some open looks and tough looks and she knocked down shots. I thought when that point came around we continued to not be patient on offense. The telling stat for me is assists. They had 16 and we had 6. And that to me is a sign of us not action patient on offense and not setting each other up and playing as a team.
Q. Beth, looking back on it now, they went eight minutes without a point in the first half, and you guys couldn't pull away, do you think that was a key part of the game?
BETH DUNKENBERGER: We started off a little jittery. I think that was due to nerves. It's a big tournament. We were in a situation where we really felt like we needed to win this game. Again when we are patient, and we run our offense together; using screens, getting the ball to the open person, we're a good team and we get opportunities for second shots.
Q. Coach, do you feel like this team has done enough to deserve an NCAA bid?
BETH DUNKENBERGER: Well, we play in the toughest league in the United States. That's a consensus across the nation. Wake Forest is a very good basketball team and they have played a whole lot of teams close, especially here down the stretch, they played some very good teams close. It was another close game, and we didn't come out on top. But I would like to think that us playing one of the top toughest schedules in the nation, us playing pretty competitive down the stretch, will help us. Unfortunately we're in a situation where we have to sit and wait. A lot will be determined by how other leagues turn out, and do favorite teams win, or do you have teams that wouldn't be going to the dance. Surprising people and winning the tournaments, that would hurt us down the stretch.
Q. Dawn, you have been scoring quite a bit lately. Did they do anything to take you out of your rhythm in this, or is it like the Coach said, you guys were inpatient on offense.
DAWN CHRISS: I think we were all impatient on offense. We missed shots in the beginning. That kind of got us a little discouraged. Rather than making better passes, I think we just started taking bad shots and that kind of took us out of our game.
Q. Erin, Liz Strunk had 10 straight points midway through the second half, what is it that makes her a tough match up and how she was able to put them ahead?
ERIN GIBSON: Well, she is capable of faking out, taking out the dribble. She is a great 3?point shooter. She is just a real versatile player. She lead her team down the stretch. I think that, it shows great leadership on her part.