March 2, 2005
VIRGINIA COACH Pete Gillen
Tonight the key play was at the end of the first half, we’re down two and get the offensive rebound and we should have pulled it out, wait for the last shot, but we took a rush shot and they came down the court and hit a three at the buzzer. That took some wind out of our sail. Instead of being down two at the half or possibly tied, they were up five. As for the second half, we didn’t defend well.
Some guys just didn’t have it tonight. They started carving us up defensively. We couldn’t get into our deliberate game; we just weren’t hitting shots. We had to pick up the tempo of the game and they got into an offensive rhythm and did a good job executing. When we’re not hitting outside shots, it’s tough to run our offense.
Elton Brown missing five free throws took something out of us–he missed five in a row. He takes the ball inside, they are not going to let him shoot it, they are going to mug him, he gets the foul called and he goes to the line. He’s not trying to miss; he’s just having trouble making them.
They can frustrate you by running the clock, they control the tempo. We tried to control the tempo early, but we couldn’t make a shot, we couldn’t score. We had to pick up the tempo of the game and that worked more effectively for them.
We’ll see. Time will tell. We still have one more game left and the ACC Tournament.
N.C. STATE COACH HERB SENDEK
I was very proud of our guys’ effort tonight. Clearly this was a very important game for us. Our guys had great focus and determination throughout the preparation and it carried over to the ballgame. Obviously we had to weather some excruciating foul trouble and our freshmen really responded exceptionally well. They gave us some invaluable minutes and outstanding play and fortunately we were able to hold on to a hard-fought win tonight.
Everyone knows where we’ve been, where we stand and what lies ahead of us. We’ve just been taking it one game at a time and we are playing some of our better basketball. We’ll certainly have to continue to do that.
We had more information tonight, obviously, than we had the first time we played Virginia. I don’t know that anybody anticipated that Virginia would so dramatically change styles, which they did for our game at the RBC Center. We had that film and were much more ready (tonight). From that standpoint it was an advantage over the first game, where we didn’t expect them to do that, but anything’s possible. That was something very different than Virginia has traditionally done.
I’m pleased to come up here and win. This isn’t an easy place to play. We have great respect for Virginia, obviously they beat us on our home court. We knew we had to come up here and battle through a hard-fought 40 minutes.