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No. 14 Virginia 56, Purdue 49
Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 3, 2009

Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan:
Opening Statement
“On a night when I felt we were not playing very well offensively and very well defensively to start the game, I had to call on some very young players. I feel like the players coming off of the bench were critical tonight. They did a great job, and each player that came off of the bench was better than the last. We could no get into a rhythm, we struggled, and all the credit goes to Purdue. Their defense was very good. We knew it was going to be a difficult game, but we just could not get anything to go down. The younger players coming off of the bench played with great understanding of the game.”

On playing without Monica Wright after she fouled out
“I told the team when we went into the locker room, ‘to those people who think we are a one-man team, guess what: we are not.’ I already knew that, and I knew we would be good under pressure. I just can not give the younger players enough credit for the way they played tonight.”

On Lexie Gerson
“She is crazy athletic. And the problem is that when you are a first-year, you have so much to learn that you do not really play until the second semester because you do not know anything. You are constantly trying to learn, and it is really hard to get into a rhythm. I had a chat earlier with Lexie and she just played tonight. She just played, which was great to see.”

On continuing to improve
“We still have a way to go defensively. You saw us play one good half, and one pretty bad half. We just have to buckle down more and finish it. We do not know how to close the door yet. We are not quite that well-oiled machine yet.”

Freshman Guard China Crosby
On coming back from injury
“It just felt like I was having a headache the whole time, but it was not really tough because I knew what type of heart I have and I am not going to let my teammates down.”

On Monica Wright’s leadership after fouling out
“She kept our heads high, and showed a lot of heart on the bench. I think she was a good leader today for us.”

On defensive play

“Our coaches stress defense, and we came out and held them to 14 points in the first half. We came out sloppy in the second half but still played great defense. That is what won us the game: great defense and big plays at the end of the game.”

Freshman Guard Lexie Gerson
On the win
“I live for games like this, and I am really excited for more games like this in the future. It is awesome to play in games like this.”

Purdue Head Coach Sharon Versyp
Opening statement:
“I was really pleased with our group. With the struggles that we’ve had, we executed a great game plan. Virginia is such a great team and a scoring team, a great rebounding team, and we took care of some things. We struggled offensively; we need to take care of the basketball better because points off of turnovers was big, but everything else I could not be more proud of the group that came back and really did some great things.”

On holding Monica Wright to seven points:
“I mean we have so much respect for the program and for a player like Monica. We wanted to keep her out of the paint as much as we can and force them to outside shots. The game plan worked. It’s a good sign for them that she only scored seven and they won, but it’s a good sign for us that we executed exactly what we needed to do defensively tonight.”

On confidence gained from playing Virginia closely:
“It’s huge confidence – that’s what I told our group. It’s not about wins and losses right now. We have to get the pieces back because we are going to get [sophomore forward Alex Guyton] back. We are just kind of getting players back little by little so we are trying to piece everything together before she gets back and the effort – we played hard and executed the game plan. I wasn’t really upset with anything except a couple turnovers where we were just weak with the ball. Other than that, it is positive for us and the players are very excited about the way they played.”

Sophomore Guard Brittany Rayburn
On offensive changes in the second half:
“We had to adjust to how the referees were calling the game. We just became more aggressive as a team and we knew that if we drove, we needed to get to the free throw line and calm things down. Our point guards really got the game under control in the second half.”

On the next step for the Boilermaker squad:
“I think we need to continue what we’re doing and like Coach said, work with the game plan. Obviously tonight it worked. I think coming together as a team, we are piecing things together and we are just going to continue to do that and get better everyday.”

On confidence gained from playing Virginia closely:
“This game just proves to us that we are growing every day as a team and it just proves to us that we still have things to work on. We are starting to play better as a team and we are going to grow from this.”

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