Post-game Quotes: #9 Virginia 57, #8 Boston College 54
March 2, 2006
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: I was very proud of my team today. We got ourselves in a little bit of a hole to start the game. We didn't shoot the ball well to start. We were doing some things that were very uncharacteristic. We held our own on the boards in the first half, and I think that really helped us to make a little bit of a comeback. That was really the key to the game, I thought in terms of that first half because it could have gotten away from us. And being a young team, we have sometimes allowed that to happen. But this time we didn't. I was just very proud of our play, especially down the stretch. I thought we played with poise and maturity and things we've worked on, really came to the forefront and I was just very proud of my team all the way around.
Q. Coach, what was the biggest difference between this time around against Boston College and the last time that you played them during the regular season?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: Well, I think the biggest thing for us was energy level, and probably the play of Lyndra Littles. Lyndra didn't do much up at Boston College. We were a little low in energy. We're a young team, we were going through a tough stretch. We had been on the road quite a bit. We had flown from Miami all the way to Boston. We went from one end of the conference to the other. Two dramatically different styles of play, and we had a tough week before that. One thing was energy. But the other thing was Lyndra Littles. I thought Lyndra Littles came in and gave us great solid play tonight. She rebounded like a wild woman in there. And really kept us in the game with her rebounding and really played a lot more solid this game than she did the last. We were also much better prepared for their post game than we were the first time. We respected their post game the first time, but they just drilled us. And this time we really had to work on it. And we had some time to work on it. We came with a much better game plan today.
Q. Can you talk about both of the two folks sitting up there; they both hit some huge shots and at critical points?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: Yes, I thought Sharnee (Zoll) in the first hatch and Tiffany (Sardin) in the second half. Sharnee hitting almost back-to-back-to-back 3's, where she just sort of took the game in her own hands and decided we're not going to play from behind anymore. We're going to go ahead. And she's worked extremely hard on her offensive game, and I was starting to run things for her in the first half. Then Tiffany in the second half came in, and we just kept going to her and she just kept delivering. That's what you expect from your veteran players and players that are you go-to players. They just did a great job today as they always do.
Q. Debbie, can you talk a little bit about you guys got the lead, and they came back in the second half there. Talk about how your team was able to hold that off and pull away there toward the end?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: To be honest with you, we played a lot from behind in games, and we haven't been all that great at taking the lead and holding onto it once we got behind. So today was a great game for us. When we got the lead, got a little comfortable lead, and they came back, we were in that position, just not too long ago, I think, against Georgia Tech, and it really did help this team grow up a little bit last Thursday night. So two Thursdays apart we had grown dramatically. Georgia Tech came back and tied it. I'm not sure they took the lead. We bent, but we didn't break. That was the whole theme of the huddles and things like that. We got to get this back, get back on track. They did a much better job of doing it on their own today. We didn't call time-outs to do it, they were really able to do it on their own.
Q. Sharnee, did you sense the team needed some offensive lift in that first half? You took three shots and three times down the court made all of them?
SHARNEE ZOLL: We were kind of stagnant on offense. I started off with two turnovers, trying to force things. I just think that they were kind of sagging off of me a little about. That was making it difficult for our offense to run. I couldn't get the ball to Tiffany because she was basically double-teamed before I ever gave her the ball. So I didn't know that I had to take a couple of shots. Coach was telling me that I had to take a couple of shots to get myself open and to get my other teammates open so that I can get them passes and get them started.
Q. Tiffany, did you notice things open up for you down low after Sharnee hit those shots?
TIFFANY SARDIN: Yes, I felt like things opened up a lot for me. I was telling them to come off the screen, if I'm setting the screen, just be ready to shoot, make the defense play honest. She knocked down some key shots and that's what got the game going.
Q. Coach, North Carolina, tomorrow, what do you expect from them and what do they bring to the table? I know it is a long list.
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: I was just going to say you don't have time for a dissertation, do you? Well, I mean they are the No. 1 team in the country. You know, I don't know where they are in country. I guess though are No. 1. They are No. 1, just kidding. They are very athletic. They've got size. They have athleticism. They have Ivory Latta and nobody else does, so that's one of the keys to their situation. But they have a lot of great players. It's not just Ivory Latta. (La'Tangela) Atkinson has had a terrific first year in the shadows of Latta. Erlana Larkins is a tremendous post player inside. I can go on to each one of their players, and tell you how great they are. What you expect from them is a very fast pace game. They are a good rebounding team, a good defensive team, and they sure can put the ball in the basket whenever they want to. So they deserve to be No. 1 in the country right now. Until somebody, you know, knocks them off, they are going to be No. 1. So it's just going to be a great opportunity for us and, you know, we had a chance to play them one time during the season and played fairly. We played okay against them. But they played us in Charlottesville fairly well, so it's going to take us really being ready tomorrow and without a lot of time to prepare.
Q. Sharnee and Tiffany both, if you can both answer this question, does the thought of not wanting the season to end in the ACC tournament in the first round; how much did you guys talk about that and not wanting to be ousted in the first round?
TIFFANY SARDIN: Well, I know for myself, this is my last year. I was telling my teammates before we came over here just play this game like it's your last game because you never know what's going to happen. Just come out ready to play, have fun and be loose. You don't want to be one and done.
SHARNEE ZOLL: I think this game is a lot about pride like Tiffany said. We didn't want it to be one and done. You know when we played them last time at Boston College, it wasn't our best game. Basically we just wanted to come out. And this whole tournament is to show that anything can happen, we've played some games during the season that don't matter anymore. This is a whole new season and we are coming out to show that we've gotten better. Play our game and play as hard as we can.
BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES
CATHY INGLESE: Yes, obviously we are disappointed in the loss. I think the last time we played Virginia, we played them very, very well, especially the first half. They played us tight the second half. I think it was hard-fought game. I was disappointed probably the last four or five minutes in some of turnovers that we created, the out-of-bounds play. The turnover at half court. I think Virginia does a nice job second half closing us down, holding us to about 30 percent from the field. But overall, it was a well fought game. We were trying to get the ball inside. We were very successful the last time we played them getting it inside and trying to get to the foul line. Today we just didn't get to the foul line. And that, I think, all season would be successful was something done, very, very well. We had taken a lot of foul shots, six foul shots tonight was not enough for us.
Q. Great first half, but then the second time you would go ahead, they'd come back and tie you. Do you think you guys were getting impatient? Kindyll was 2-for-11 from behind the arc; was that kinds of indicative of you guys rushing things when they did catch up?
COACH INGLESE: Yes, I think as soon as we did a little bit, we were talking about that during time-outs as far as our tempo. We just needed to be not so much patient but we just needed to slow ourselves down. Our kids, what happens, I think they are hard workers. When things aren't going well, they try to overwork instead of being more patient. Kindyll feels she is a major scoring threat for us and sometimes tries to get that key shot instead of being a little more patient. There were times midway through the second half where our tempo was a little more rushed, a little bit more Virginia's tempo.