2009 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament - Game 6 Quotes
March 6, 2009
THE MODERATOR: Before I ask Coach to give us an opening statement I want to introduce our student athletes, Kristi Toliver and Marissa Coleman. We will take an opening statement from you Coach Frese and we will entertain questions.
COACH BRENDA FRESE: Well this game, obviously tournament time, and what a battle between two teams. And I thought Wake just did a tremendous job. I thought they fought extremely hard for 40 minutes. You talk about the job that Mike Petersen has done, just a tremendous effort from his team. They're going places. They've done a great job. But I'm really proud of our team in terms of the poise and the composure that we had going down the stretch. Especially the second half when we needed to get stops on the defensive end and make making plays on the offensive end and really just keeping our poise, our confidence and our composure together.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. I just wanted to ask the two players the importance of winning an ACC tournament. You've won the NCAA, you haven't won the ACC, how important is this to you?
KRISTI TOLIVER: It's extremely important. We're competitors, we want to win and the fact we haven't won an ACC tournament championship is huge for us, and we are extremely hungry and eager to keep playing and advancing.
MARISSA COLEMAN: Just what Kristi said, for her and I personally, the one thing we haven't accomplished since we've been here, we got the National Championship and just recently got the regular season, so this is the last thing on the agenda.
Q. Can you talk about midway through the second half you guys were down by 12, you are missing layups, free throws, with the way everything went your way the past month, what was it like, was it a shock to be like that and how did you kind of recover?
MARISSA COLEMAN: I think luckily Kristi and I have been in these positions before so we were able to keep the rest of the team composed. You're not always going to be hot. It came down to the intangibles, getting rebounds and defending towards the end of the game.
Q. Kristi, where does that step back 3-pointer to get within one point late in the second half, does that rank among one of your clutch shots in your career?
KRISTI TOLIVER: Yes, this year, sure, without a doubt. It was a shot that, thank goodness, went in. It was a shot that we needed to go up one, and we didn't look back from there. It was definitely a nice change of momentum, and after that we finally, you know, stepped it up on the defensive end and that's what's really won us the game.
Q. Coach, you had three team fouls the second half with 30 seconds left and Mike calls timeout, did you discuss fouling there?
COACH BRENDA FRESE: Yes, we definitely did. We were a little nervous; with the youth of our team that maybe we would foul a jump shooter. So we had it in our pocket, so to speak, if we needed it. But we definitely wanted to make sure. We did do it once in the full court, but we wanted to be smart on the ball and not give them an and 1 or a 3point play.
Q. Coach, Mike talked about your zone defense the second half, he thought took away their aggressiveness, did you feel like that was the case that it seemed to stop them from getting good looks?
COACH BRENDA FRESE: Most definitely. I thought it definitely was the change that we needed to go to. I thought they really were just giving us fits in our man, off the bounce, penetrating, kicking to wide open shooters. They are a patterned structured oriented type of offense and I thought it made a big difference in terms of us coming bark.
Q. Can you just talk about the performance with Dee Lyles and Lynetta Kizer especially with the struggles that Marisa and Kristi had early in the first half?
COACH BRENDA FRESE: Well, I thought they did a terrific job, and in order to be a successful feel you have to have everyone. Just like you saw with Wake's game plan was to throw two defenders at Marisa (Coleman) and KT (Kristi Toliver) all night to make it difficult for any shot that they were going to be able to get. Credit Marissa and KT for understanding that we needed to go to our bigs and get them involved. When you look at the box, and you see just across the board each and every player stepping up and making plays, that's what you have to have to be successful as a team.
Q. Both players, tomorrow you play North Carolina, that's kind of owned this tournament during your college career. You know there key players pretty well, what do you all need to do tomorrow?
MARISSA COLEMAN: I think at this point of the year it comes down to who wants it more. Who is going to good at the loose balls and who is going to get the rebounds?
KRISTI TOLIVER: Yes, clearly Carolina has done a great job in this tournament the past four years. I think they will have kind of a revenge factor with us beating them early in the season. They will be hungry, but it's tournament time. We want to go home and I know this team wants an ACC Championship more than anything. So we are definitely going to refocus and bring it tomorrow.
Q. I was just wondering what it does to a team when you are down by 12 and coming back. I know people talk about a valuable loss that teaches. Bobby Knight says that you don't really need to lose in order to be taught. You would much rather that the win and be taught? Can you talk about what this game has done for possibly the motivation of the team?
COACH BRENDA FRESE: Most definitely we talked about it at the end of the game in the locker room. That's exactly what we said, is that we can gain great confidence. We didn't play the best game we've played leading up to the 9game stretch that we came in here with, but the fact that we were down. There've been places on the road where we've been and haven't been able to come back. That should give us great confidence in any 40 minute game and make us believe that we can always be in it.
Q. Coach, was there a biggest single factor that changed the game flow in your direction the second half?
COACH BRENDA FRESE: You know, I think the defense and the rebounding. I think when we went to the zone it definitely slowed them down. They kind of became jump shooters and less aggressive in their mentality. So I definitely think our defense improved when we were able to make that switch.
Q. Coach, the players put it, who wants it more and all of that, when you look at Carolina, what concerns you the most about them right now?
COACH BRENDA FRESE: Well, you know, obviously you are playing in Greensboro, so I think they feel like this is their home court and, you know, you want to make sure that, you know, that the game is going to have a flow that's equal for both teams. I think you got to be able to rebound against Carolina. That's always been their trademark. They dominated the glass today in the game. You got to be able to rebound versus Carolina.
WAKE FOREST QUOTES
THE MODERATOR: Coach, opening statement, and joined by student athletes Alex Tchangoue and Corrine Groves.
COACH MIKE PETERSEN: Well, I thought we played awfully well. I thought we played awfully hard. The difference in the game was when they went zone we got a little passive I thought. We kept trying to call sets and create situations where we could get some penetration or get the ball inside. We just never seemed to be able to. I thought they did a very good job of kind of fanning out and getting some pressure on the perimeter, and we didn't do a good enough job of penetrating the zone either on the bounce, or by feeding the post. I felt like when Sarah was in there, when Co was out with the four fouls, she had a number of really good seals in there on their bigs, and for whatever reason, we just didn't find her. We stopped scoring, bottom line. And they are a great team. You are not going to hold them without scoring forever.
We talked about today going in to the game trying to keep them below 70. If we kept them below 70, we would have won the game. We went through that stretch where we didn't quite score the ball enough.
THE MODERATOR: Let's take some questions.
Q. Coach, do you have any sense now relative where you are sitting with the NCAA tournament?
COACH MIKE PETERSEN: I think I have a really good sense where we are sitting. I don't like it very much. Unfortunately we had that stretch of games where Co (Corrine Groves) was out, and we didn't do enough good jobs with those games. We went 13 in the games where Corrine didn't play.
Are you asking me, are we one of the best 64/65 best teams in the country? Well, you just watched. For sure we are. Absolutely.
Are you asking me, if we've done enough to warrant getting an atlarge? I doubt it.
You got to be realistic. I love these two sitting with me right here. And I want nothing more for them to be able to play in the NCAA tournament. But it would be hard. It would be hard for me to imagine. I think today's game was a playing game for us, and I think that's why we had that sense of urgency. I think that's why we played very well. Whenever we went four or five games without our starting lineup, and now that we got it back together again, we are playing good.
I think whichever post season event we go to, we will be playing good. I think we are going to be playing for a long time still and I'm really happy because I want to keep coaching these two sitting next to me. I love the fact that somebody asked the Wake Forest Coach at the ACC tournament though.
Q. You talked about slowing down Toliver and Coleman, it seemed like Toliver woke up the last 10 minutes of the game?
COACH MIKE PETERSEN: She went 4 for 14. We caught her really good. Now having said that, when the game got close, you knew she was going to try to take over. And, you know, that she is a phenomenal offensive player that's made clutch shots her whole career and today was no different.
The first three she made in the second half, CMo was guarding her, Courteney Morris was guarding her, and she guarded her like we wanted her to. She had her pressed out to 25 feet and had a hand on her. Toliver just stiffened up and made it. You got to pick your poison a little bit. If you go skin to skin with her 26 feet from the basket, you got real issues. She is a great player. Coleman is a great player. Kizer is a great player. Lyles is a great player. Strickland is a great player. You guys get the point.
But I thought we did a good job of guarding them, and they made some good plays down the stretch that was really big. We just couldn't make enough baskets against the zone. That's on me for not getting us in the right frame of mind, or whatever it is, that we got a little bit passive during that stretch.
Q. Mike, you had the ball down 3 with the clock running down, Brooke's little runner didn't go, would you have preferred a 3point attempt right there, or were you just looking for whatever you could get?
COACH MIKE PETERSEN: No, I would have preferred a 3 point there.
Q. Did you expect them to keep fouling?
COACH MIKE PETERSEN: We talked about it. In that timeout we talked about two things. We talked about the set we wanted to run. That we wanted to be aggressive to the goal, and that if you heard the whistle blow you were supposed to throw the ball up at the rim as quickly as you could.
Q. Both players, what is the success of this season meant to you personally? You are going to play another basketball game, and you have a chance to get 20 if you win that one.
CORRINE GROVES: We had said yesterday we were part of rebuilding this program and with the new coaching staff, this was Coach P's fifth year, so we came after the first recruiting class. We knew that we had to rebuild the program and get Wake Forest back up where Wake Forest needed to be. This season had to be tremendous, as far as winning, and beating people we've never beaten, and winning tournaments and stuff. We've played really well. It was a great accomplishment. It's not good enough. We didn't get to go where we wanted to go.
ALEX TCHANGOUE: I agree.
COACH MIKE PETERSEN: They never disagree, it's unbelievable.
Q. Alex, Maryland crashed the boards really hard, what was it like inside trying to box them out and keep them away, especially the offensive board?
ALEX TCHANGOUE: Well, we talked about it. We were prepared. We were expecting them to just be physical down there. We really tried to box them out and get them out of the paint every single time. It was a tough battle in there. I think we did a pretty good job. I guess not enough. It was not good enough because we got some put backs and fouls and stuff. We were prepared for it and I think we were pretty decent in rebounding.
CORRINE GROVES: With a team like Maryland you have to box out everybody, all five people have to box out. If four of us blocked out, the one person that wasn't blocked out came and got the rebound.
Q. Coach, might be wrong, what would you say to the NCAA selection committee why Wake Forest should be in?
ALEX TCHANGOUE: We played our hearts out, and we deserve a chance to get to the NCAA.
COACH MIKE PETERSEN: I'd like to amend my earlier statement, Senator. I hope I'm wrong.
ALEX TCHANGOUE: I hope he is wrong too.
COACH MIKE PETERSEN: I'm rooting for me to be wrong. I'm not right all the time.