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Postgame Quotes
Virginia 80, Richmond 59
Nov. 18, 2007

Virginia Head Coach Debbie Ryan
Opening statement:
We started a little bit slow. I won’t say that we were lethargic, but I thought that we were a little bit hesitant. As we played on we had two very good stretchesone in the first half, one in the second where we played extremely good defense. That led to some scoring and separation.

On Monica Wright:

The basket started getting bigger for Monica after she missed three, and then I made her laugh. I brought her to the sideline and talked to her a little bit and tried to get her to focus on something else other than the misses. That’s when she started to open up and play, which is what we needed her to do. She has a different role this year. Monica played last season, so now she feels a responsibility to play every game and perform every game. Last year I was sort of like, whatever, just play, and she did. Now she’s realizing that she has to play very hard on both the defensive and offensive end. Additionally, she never got a rest. When she came back from playing at the World Championships this summer, I told her to take the month of August off, but I know that she went to the rec and shot and played. So she’s mentally fatigued.

On the upcoming tournament in Hawaii:

I’m going to see Texas play today. They’re going to do up and down the court, post upper guards, do a bunch of different things that Duke used to do, but we’ll be ready for all that. It will be a great game; it’s going to be one of the better games of the tournament. The competition that we are going to see is incredible. Our side of the bracket has Tennessee, Virginia, Minnesota, and Kentucky. Everybody’s in the top 30.

Virginia Guard Monica Wright:
On her missed lay-ups and Coach Debbie Ryan’s response to them:

Coach made me laugh after she pulled me to the sidelines because there’s a rule with the team that if you miss a lay-up then you have to do pushups. I was pretty upset about missing the lay-ups so she made me come to the bench and was like, “Right now, you’re about to do five pushups, mentally.” I thought I was going to have to them in front up everybody! But she was like, “Just forget about it and make the next one.”

Virginia Guard Sharne Zoll:
On the first half 25-2 scoring run:
We finally got into our rhythm of transition. We played great defense and got rebounds and they found me on the outlet and then we were just running. I feel like a quarterback with tons of receiversI just throw the ball up and they catch it. It’s lovely. Lyndra made two great catches that I thought were going to be turnovers. She made me look good on the break, so I appreciate people running.

On the team’s depth:
That’s what great about this team, that’s the difference. Every other year we’ve had pretty much one single go-tp player who scores and then we’ve had a bunch of role players. This year, it’s Lyndra, Aisha, Monica, and Paulisha at any given time, can go off on you and score 20, and you never really know who’s going to.

Richmond Head Coach Michael Shafer
On Virginia’s 25-2 run:
“We didn’t have enough timeouts. It was one of those things where I could have used all five to try and stop it. It wasn’t something that was unexpected from the sense that we knew transition basketball was the way they (Virginia) liked to play. We wanted to play them in a half court game. They beat us down the floor with Wright and Littles in particular, which is where they excel. I thought that if we could have eliminated that run, we would have been in a nip and tuck’ basketball game, other than that run.”

On Virginia’s improvement from last year:
“Virginia is a different basketball team. They’re a year older. Aisha Mohammed gives them a strong, physical presence inside.”

On Monica Wright:
“I think we helped her put up 27 points in the sense that she got layups. If you’re able to make her shoot jumpshots, not saying she can’t hit them, but, obviously, layups are a higher percentage. When she is able to get out in transition, catch the basketball, go to the basket and lay it up, they become very hard to guard.”

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