No. 5 seed West Virginia vs. No. 12 seed Syracuse
Game 5 – Second Round, March 3, 2012
XL Center – Hartford, Conn.
West Virginia Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Mike Carey
“I thought it was a very physical game for both teams. I told the players coming in this would be won or lost in the paint or on the boards. I thought overall our players played extremely hard, we’re looking forward to playing Georgetown.”
You were picking them up full court today, creating some havoc, did you do that in the first meeting as well?
“No not as much. We just felt we had to take the ball out of their point guards hands every once in a while and have somebody else run their sets”
How important do you think it was to get the Syracuse bigs into foul trouble?
It was very big. That was something we were looking to do, that’s what we tried to do, take it inside and cause foul trouble. I thought our guards attacked extremely well but we weren’t finishing. We kept rebounding, kept attacking, and eventually some of those started falling. I thought it was a total team effort. If you look at the scoring, we spread it out and played a lot of people to keep fresh guards in there. It worked well for us”
What are the keys to the game tomorrow against Georgetown? How do you control Sugar Rodgers?
“You have to know where Sugar is at all times. We have to be able to handle the ball and their pressure. To me, they play the best 1-2-2, whether its half court or three-quarter court, because they continue to attack. At our place (in our last game versus Georgetown) we were up a couple at halftime but then their pressure got to us. It’s going to be a very good basketball game and our girls should be motivated to play a great time. We know we have to come out and play very, very well.”
Junior Center Asya Bussie
Are you expecting more of the same physicality tomorrow when you play Georgetown?
“Definitely, Georgetown is a physical team. It was physical last time we played them and I expect it to be physical again.”
Freshman Guard Linda Stepney
How did your hurt ankle feel today?
“My ankle is feeling way better than when it felt last week. Going into the game and watching film, we knew they couldn’t get back on defense so he told us to push the ball every time.”
Playing in your first BIG EAST Tournament game, describe the emotion and what you were feeling?
“I was really excited to be in this kind of atmosphere. I just want to keep winning and I want the energy to carry over into the next game.”
Junior Center Ayana Dunning
It seemed like a really physical game down in the paint, did that give you guys life from the number of layups you were getting?
“Yes, I don’t mind a physical game. It was physical the entire game we missed a bunch of wide open layups and free throws, but we kept going inside and drawing fouls, which is how we got our points. I look forward to playing a physical game. It gives us a chance to play and battle in the post. We were missing a lot of layups and shots inside but we stayed focused and were able to pick it up in the second half.”
Syracuse Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Quentin Hillsman
“Obviously we went into this game knowing it would be a tough game, but when I look at the stat sheet I see we made more field goals, we had 19 offensive rebounds they had 16, we had 17 turnovers and they had 14. We have to get to the foul line that’s the key. We only shot 10 free throws, they shot 33. We can’t win a game with the free throw margin that wide. We have to find a way to turn some of our offensive rebounds into second chance points. When a team has 17 more points than you from the free throw line, it’s tough to win that game. You have to give (West Virginia) a lot of credit. They are a very good basketball team, we knew it would be a tough physical game and they played hard, they played well.”
What did you tell your players after the game?
“We just have to play hard. We have to continue to compete at a high level. At some point you can’t look at what’s going on on the floor if you’re not making shots. At some point you have to power through contact and make plays. You have to be able to make tough plays if you want to advance into the late rounds of this tournament.”
How painful was it to see Iasia Hemingway have to leave that game with an injury?
“Obviously when one of your better players is off the floor it is tough to win. That’s just a blanket statement. If she’s only playing 22 minutes, we’re going to have a tough game.”
Looking at going to the WNIT with the postseason success last year, what do you plan on telling your squad on how to continue that postseason success?
“Let’s go to practice. It’s great to have an opportunity to keep playing in whatever tournament and hopefully we play in the postseason.”