Quotes From 2005 ACC Tournament Quarterfinal: UNC-Miami
March 5, 2005
NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS
COACH SYLVIA HATCHELL: Well, we just can't give enough credit to Miami. They were just unbelievable. They played a great game. They were mentally tough, making shots and rebounding. It seemed like they were getting every lose ball.
I'm glad this one is over. I just told them in the locker room, I'm proud of them for showing a lot of character by pulling this game out at the end. We didn't play very well. I'm sure Miami had a lot to do with that - we had way too many turnovers. I thought we got a lot of good shots inside around the basket and just couldn't quit get them to fall.
For example, Erlana usually doesn't miss that many. Camille doesn't miss that many. I thought we were getting a lot of good shots. But to win this game and have the turnovers we had and to shoot the percentage we did - like I said, I thought we showed a lot of character to pull this out. We just didn't play very well, but I think Miami had a lot to do with that.
This is a tough game to play and I'm just glad it's over with, but we have got to get refocused and play a lot better tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Ivory, you guys had a problem getting into Erlana in the first half, what did you see was the problem?
IVORY LATTA: Mostly it was our movement, you know, spacing and trying to really penetrate that zone because I think they played that zone very well. It was kind of hard just getting the ball inside period. But we came out the second half, and Coach told us to run a certain play and that started opening it a little more in the middle and then the backside became free.
Q. Nikita, you guys were down three points, two and a half minutes to go you, and you scored nine straight, what was going through your mind at that point, and what allowed you guys to get over the top?
NIKITA BELL: Just like Ivory said, executing the offense. We just really focused on the game plan, what Coach drew up in the second half. Ivory, and other teammates got the ball in and luckily I converted. But we didn't do anything different - just executed offense.
Q. Nikita, what lessons do you think you guys will take out of this game?
NIKITA BELL: Well, we showed we have character to come back the way we did. It shows a lot about says a lot about our team, just refocusing. We are going to go back to the hotel and reflect over this game and not try to let it happen again. That's the best we can do. Come out tomorrow and play hard, play harder than we played tonight.
Q. Sylvia, can you talk about your defense the last eight minutes, you only allowed two baskets?
COACH SYLVIA HATCHELL: Well, I thought we heated it up a lot more. I thought at the beginning, we were too lazy with our defense. They were getting some back doors on us. They were getting some good looks and making those, and they were gaining confidence.
But I felt like, again, we did not play this game with a sense of urgency, except probably the last three to four minutes. And we've got to play ever game like that.
Like I said Miami was ready for us. When we played them in Chapel Hill, they were still Miami. Basically they played in Chapel Hill about like we did today. This was probably the worst game they played all year. So I think that really motivated them. With our team they remember the Miami that they played in Chapel Hill on January 17th. We kept telling them that Miami was a much, much better team. Miami they were out to prove a point - they did a great job.
COACH FERNE LABATI: Well, we came into the game today as tremendous underdogs, and the last time we played (North) Carolina at Carolina it was just not even a ball game from the get go, and, you know, I think it was a great game.
We thought we could pull an upset today and we worked really hard. We worked hard for 40 minutes and came up short, but we are extremely proud of our team and the effort that they put forth today.
Q. Coach, in the first half, you made it difficult for Carolina to go inside, what was the game plan and what were you able to do?
COACH FERNE LABATI: We knew we would be going against a very, very athletic team. We ran a couple of different wrinkles in terms of positioning our players. And we really tried to pinch down, pinch our guards down for rebounding and to try to get out of one on one situations since we are a lot smaller than they are. That's pretty much what we did, just a couple of different wrinkles. Played a little man to man, but mostly different types of zones.
Q. Tamara, was there a point where you thought you guys maybe had it wrapped up and they made a run and you guys went back up by five or six? Did you think you were going to hang on?
TAMARA JAMES: No, we never thought we had it wrapped up until there were zero minutes left on the clock. North Carolina is a very good team. We never had the feeling that the game was over. We still had to play with intensity because they were coming at as hard.
Q. Katie, there seemed to be a number of points in the game where they sort of gained momentum and cut your lead down and you guys would push it back up, did fatigue play a roll at the end? Was there a difference at the end that allowed them to push it over the top?
KATIE HAYEK: I don't think so. I just think that we kind of fell through what we needed to do. We had patience in our offense and our defense, we played pretty well. But there were those little things -- either a turnover or a foul that really hurt us in the end. But as far as fatigue, I think, our momentum had us going the whole game. We didn't make it in the end.