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Postgame Quotes
Virginia 74, NC State 49
February 1, 2008

Virginia Coach Debbie Ryan
Opening comments:

“Wow. It’s hard to play NC State for me. Regardless of where the teams are or how they’ve been doing, knowing what Kay’s going through and knowing that I have to play a friend makes it difficult to do. I think my team was very ready tonight from the jump. They hadn’t played at home in several days, and they really wanted to come out and give this crowd a good showing. They knew the significance of the game and they knew all the things surrounding the game. They take a lot of pride in Virginia and all the support they have. I was very proud of them tonight. NC State is such a physical team, and we just had to battle for everything we got. Khadijah Whittington is a warrior; we put a lot of focus on her, but other players on the NC State team were very physical as well.”

On NC State’s Khadijah Whittington:
“I tried to go with bulk and strength: Aisha (Mohammed), Kelly (Hartig), Abbie (Robertson), and then Enong (Stovall) went in there as a little bit more athletic, small, different look. I used all four players on her to try to wear her down a little bit. I know that she plays 40 minutes a game, but she’s an absolute warrior.”

On Sharne Zoll’s performance:
“I thought that Sharne had her best floor game tonight, one of the best floor games. At Florida State she was also phenomenal, but she was phenomenal tonight. She just controlled the tempo of the game from start to finish. When we needed to run, we ran; when we needed to slow it up, we slowed it up. When we needed to run the correct play, she (Zoll) ran the correct play. Her presence on the court has become so large in every game. No matter who they put on her, whether she’s a big kid, a quick kid, or an athletic kid, it didn’t matter. She continued to do what she does best. She used to do this for 30 minutes, but now she’s started doing it for 40 minutes.”

On the “Think Pink” initiative:
“To me, it was great. I know a lot of health care doctors, nurses, and caregivers were here tonight. I was really proud of the event. Our whole purpose in this is to spread awareness about breast cancer, about the different treatments, and trying to find a cure for it.”

Virginia Guard Sharne Zoll
On the team’s goal for the game:

“We’ve been working hard on the things that didn’t get us into the NCAA Tournament last year, mainly, defense and rebounding. But also, last year, when we played NC State, we started their win streak. We didn’t want to be a part of that streak again.”

On what the team needs to focus on:

“We need to focus on us. Our most important focus during this win streak has been on what we do, and what we need to pay attention to, and not the other teams. We focus on our defense and our strategy going into the game rather than what they’re going to do. If we make them uncomfortable, it doesn’t matter what they do. We just have to stick together as a team and focus on one game at a time.”

Virginia Forward Lyndra Littles
On her strategy tonight:
“I think that staying focused on each game and not being focused on anybody. And I think that the mindset that Coach reiterates to us, is do it four minutes at a time. Don’t get ahead of yourself, just come in and play hard and for each four-minute segment, just take care of the basketball, and do what you’re supposed to do. I take that to heart, and I’m sure everybody else does. We have goals on the floor, and what you see is us trying to get to our goals.”

On teammate Sharne Zoll:
“She’s playing great. She keeps us organized on the floor, and she’s starting to shoot the ball more. She’s open, and we don’t have to scream at as much to shoot the ball. Of course, everybody knows that she passes well. On the floor, she doesn’t have to look at Debbie all the time to ask what we’re running. She looks at the defense and call the plays herself. She makes smart decisions and that’s all that you can ask for from a point guard.”

NC State Head Coach Kay Yow
Opening remarks:

“I am very disappointed in our team’s performance tonight, but Virginia on the other hand played a very strong game on both ends of the court. I thought particularly on the offensive end that they were very aggressive-minded and attacked the basket really well. It was a great game for them and a very disappointing one for us. I feel like in the first half we were not playing well on either end of the court particularly. We just looked so tentative offensively. We did better in the second half, but not nearly well enough.”

On Virginia’s improvement in recent years:
“I think that Virginia has really put the pieces together. Right now they have a great point guard who is playing at the top of her game as a senior; they have people who can shoot the three; they have very strong penetrators; they have their center back from an injury, which gives them some height, something to contend with, a really strong rebounder, and a scorer in close to the basket. I think that they have a lot of the pieces that they need to have a really strong team, and I think that they are improving and getting better each week as time goes by.”

On switching to a two-three zone in the second half:

“I think that using zone in the second half was definitely a part of the difference. We seemed to be able to slow them down offensively much better with our zone than with our man. I thought that part was good, but our perimeter players were 11-for-47. I do not know who we would really beat in the ACC if we are 11-for-47. We have to shoot the ball better than that from the perimeter.”

On Sharne Zoll’s 12 assists tonight:

“She is a true point guard, and she really thinks about getting the ball to the scorers first and foremost, even though she can score herself. In many instances, she has really improved her range, she can hit the three, and she can hit other shots. As a true point guard, she thinks first about looking for the scorers and giving the ball to a number of different people. She is always looking for the open person, and she does a really good job in disguising some of her passes. Her passes are on the money most of time. As a result, she gets good passes to people who are open for a second, and they are able to score, and she gets the assist.”

On the Think Pink’ game tonight:
“I think that these games are really great, and I really appreciate being a part of the Think Pink’ game here because it is obviously something very close to my heart and something I really have a passion for, whether it is the raising of money or creating awareness and a better education for people about how to take better care of themselves. I think that we are part of four Think Pink’ games, and I do not mind it at all. I am really very excited to be a part of them. You saw our shooting shirts that we warmed-up in. Those were a gift from the University of Virginia. They wore pink ones with white on them, and they made ours white with pink trim. When we arrived here, they gave them to us, and I think that that was first class.”

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