2009 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament - Game 8 Quotes
March 6, 2009
THE MODERATOR: Joined up here at the podium by head coach Joanne P. McCallie, as well as student athletes Abby Waner, Chante Black and Joy Cheek. Coach, when you are ready an opening statement, and we'll take some questions.
COACH JOANNE MCCALLIE: Just an excellent team effort by everybody, I thought we came up to a good start. It's very athletic, a very physical basketball game. I thought we played off each other defensively to ignite some things offensively in the first half. And then I liked everybody who came in terms of everybody's role, in terms of offering what they could for the team. I thought Abby's game was very, very solid. Very, very composed and just did a great job for us hitting some critical outside shots. I thought Tae (Chante Black) again was focused, did exactly what she needed to do in the time that she was on the floor, a lot to block and playing some great defense as well. Just everybody else I thought Joy was really the key for us in terms of critical times, where we needed both defense and offense. Joy was willing to provide that. She gave us a great spark in the second half when we weren't executing as well against the zone. I thought the entire team gave a great effort.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Coach, could you have been much more pleased with the effort both ends of the court the first 10 minutes of the game?
COACH JOANNE MCCALLIE: It was an excellent start, excellent start. I'm very pleased with the energy, very pleased with the way the team was playing off each other, both on offense and on defense, and also the challenges continuing to keep the energy at a high level. When you play so explosively like that, it's a very difficult thing to maintain. And I thought that our team did a great job of keeping intensity and fighting for that intensity throughout.
Q. Joy, what do you think sparked this dominating kind of performance, was it just being in the ACC tournament? Is this kind of a message that you want to come out in the post season with.
JOY CHEEK: No, I think I tried to do that. That was my mindset throughout the whole season. Just some games and lately I haven't been doing it. No, I don't think I made any extra effort or anything to try to do that. It was just playing and doing what the team needed me to do and just taking what the defense gave me.
Q. Not personal but as a team?
JOY CHEEK: I'm sorry. Well, definitely I think teamwise because it is the ACC, and we want to win an ACC Championship. We haven't won one. I don't know how long it's been. It's been a long time. I think we have as a team just figured this is a new season. What we did in the regular season is past tense, so we do need to step it up and just come out hard.
Q. For both Chante and Abby, as seniors you want to win one game at a time, it's part of the package to win the tournament, how strong is your motivation to win three games this weekend?
ABBY WANER: Well, I think something that Coach P stressed all season long is everything that we do is in preparation for March. Even the NCAA tournament, there is a structure similar to this where you play games that are fairly close together and quick turnarounds and it's mentally taxing. I think that's key for this. I think it's all about preparation and playing well down the stretch for March as well.
Q. Chante, you were the last team to play in the tournament, after watching all day yesterday, all day today, you come up on the opening tip Carrem (Gay) goes right into the layup. All of that energy seemed to flow out of you from the start, is that the case?
CHANTE BLACK: We were ready to play, we were excited. Like you said, it was a long day. Once we hit the floor, all of our emotions went into the tip off. We were just energized and ready to play.
Q. Abby, when you are having a shooting day the way that you had, and the rest of the team was having, what does it feel like, you put them up, they are in?
ABBY WANER: You thank the Lord. It is always nice when shots fall. You know, I think overall we had a fairly good shooting night. It's important to have that on the first night, I think, to get momentum especially in this conference when it's so even across the board. To have momentum, to get any extra edge that you can, going into the next day is huge and I think that having a good shooting night can do that.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions?
Q. Coach, you've also kind of set the Temple game as the standard for your best defensive effort. How did the first 10 or 15 minutes compare with that one?
COACH JOANNE MCCALLIE: I think we evolve from there. We had some other games after that game, so I think the key is just getting better, and we've been getting better. The teams have been working very hard. Temple was a very good one. Tennessee and some others were good as well. In terms of setting the barometer, setting the bar, I guess in terms of how tough we were just going to play, that was just excellent. We are just going to fight for consistency. We got out rebounded tonight. There are always things that you can work on. You take it all. You take the good; you take the bad, saying we are going to be better tomorrow. Let's find a way to be better tomorrow and that's something that we hope we can do.
Q. What was your game against Florida State like, and what do you need to do against them tomorrow?
COACH JOANNE MCCALLIE: Well, it was an overtime game. It's the only overtime game we lost all year. It feels like a long time ago. We didn't execute defensively. We let players score all over the place in that game. It was very high scoring. We didn't get the job done. That's still painful. That's one of our losses. You don't think about it, you move on, but you definitely want to learn from, that's for sure.
THE MODERATOR: Joined up here on the podium by Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan, as well as student athletes Monica Wright, Lyndra Littles and Aisha Mohammed. When you are ready, we will take an opening statement and questions.
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: I think without question all of the credit goes to Duke tonight. I think they did what we would be envious to do and that is they played tremendous defense from start to finish, and you know they got their bodies right up into us and bothered us, and we did not handle the first part of the game as far as breaking the pressure goes. But mainly I don't think we defended very well. That's where we really lost the game. Because if you defend well, they can't pressure you, and we did not defend well in the start of the game. I don't think we defended well for most of the game with looking at their field goal percentage defense. Looking at our field goal percentage defense, and looking at their shooting percentage. All of the credit goes to them. They played a tremendous game and we did not do some of the things that we needed to do.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Monica, I can't remember the Duke game, it's been so long back in Charlottesville, was that game as physical as it was this one, did you expect it to be that way?
MONICA WRIGHT: Duke is a physical team. It's the ACC tournament. They came out. They pressured us. They definitely got their bodies into us, and we definitely didn't handle it the way we practiced and the way we planned to. Like Coach Ryan said, all of the credit goes to them.
Q. Coach, when you cut it to 12 in the second half, and the crowd was getting into it, your fans and everyone else, did you feel the emotion was there, that this was the chance, if we are going to do it we had to do it now?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: Yes, I really did feel like that, but again we just weren't anchored again on the defensive end. When that happened you have to keep getting stops, and you have to put the ball in the basket at the other end. We made some illadvised decisions at the other end when we cut it to 12. I can't remember the exact sequence of events, but I do recall we had three or four stops in a row to get the thing cut to 12, and then we come down and take a bad shot after that, and they head out and get a couple of easy buckets and hit a 3. People that were scoring for them from the 3 tonight usually don't, and we were just giving up way too much. I know we had to play some zone. We had to try to stop their high/low because that was killing us in the first half. It was really working that is what was bothering them.