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Florida State at Virginia
Feb. 22, 2010
Postgame Quotes

Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan
On not calling a timeout on the final possession
“I could not have asked for a better situation. We were just going to take it to the rim. I have just as much confidence in Ariana Moorer as I do in Monica Wright in that situation.”

“I knew we knew what to do. I knew we would get to the rim. I trust my players. If it had not have been for Ariana Moorer the whole game, we would not have been where we were. She led our team most of the game. She played her heart out. She will learn a whole lot more from missing the shot than making it. She will not miss it again.”

On losing a 22-6 lead early in the game
“I felt like we were not defending well at that point in the game. We were switching out, and we did not switch hard enough. I did not feel like a couple of players were playing hard enough and I had to substitute for them. I felt like our defense was not what it was at the start of the game, because we were playing incredibly well the first 10 or 15 minutes. We had a little let-down defensively when we substituted, and it gave them a chance to get started.”

On the scoring runs in the game
“The game is about runs. I am proud of the fact that we were down by five, and then got back up in the last minute. We were able to do some things that were incredible. And we forced a loose ball in the last minute but just could not get to it. It was so discouraging because we were right there.”

On looking forward
“We have come a long way with a very young team. I was very proud of their performance tonight and I will continue to be proud of them. There is going to be great things for this team down the stretch. We play so well in close games. A lot of people probably thought the game was over when we were down by five. It was not. It never is with this team.”

Virginia guard Ariana Moorer
On the last shot of the game
“The lane was open for a second. In my head I kept thinking ‘don’t leave it short, don’t leave it short,’ but in the end, I left it short.”

Virginia guard Monica Wright
On how one play can make a difference:
“It didn’t come down to the last play. There were several plays in the first half that we didn’t take advantage of, didn’t convert or let them get second chances on the offensive glass so it definitely didn’t come down to the last play. We learned that we can’t take possessions off. Every possession is very valuable as you can see. This is a learning process and we are definitely going to have to get better from here.”

On Florida State’s 22-4 run in the first half:
“There was a sprint in there when we slacked off a bit defensively after we got out to a 22-6 lead and they converted. We have to take a mental note that we need to push the tempo – especially against a team like this. We can’t let teams get back in the game with us.”

On what this game says about the team:
“It didn’t come down to the last shot. There were several important possessions before that even in the first four minutes. We went on an 8-0 row in the last two minutes and I think that says something about our heart. We never gave up and that was apparent. It probably would have helped to have that defensive intensity earlier on.”

On how it feels to lose a close game like this one:
“We can’t let these heartbreakers haunt us forever. Games like this have a tendency to come back up. After we watch the tape and see what we did wrong, we have to move on. We can’t let this game come back up because we have the ACC Tournament, Duke and Virginia Tech to look forward to. We have to put this game back in the box once we’ve learned from our mistakes. It’s especially hard to bounce back from a close loss like this one but our coaching staff does an incredible job of preparing us. They teach us to think about what is happening on the court as well as what we need to be thinking in our heads. I have confidence that we will be able to look at the film, see what we did wrong, and go out and have a great practice.”

On Florida State’s guard play:
“Their guards were phenomenal tonight. Courtney Ward, Angel Gray and Alexa Deluzio were really good around the perimeter. Their post players also matched up with us in terms of athleticism. It would be great to have another shot at them in the tournament but we definitely need to learn from this game and move on.”
Florida State head coach Sue Semrau
Opening statement
“Wow. That was two teams that wanted to win very badly going at it. Debbie [Ryan] does such a fantastic job, Monica [Wright] is such a great player, and we were very fortunate to come out with that win. I cannot say enough about Courtney [Ward’s] game – the last couple games she has had 10 assists and we usually have four or five people in double figures. This game we did not have anybody that was scoring, and Courtney can step up and do that, too. She is one of the most selfless players I have ever coached, and I think she is the best point guard in the ACC. And then I think I have the best center in the ACC, too. [Jacinta Monroe] is so unsung. You look at her stat line and you see that she had five rebounds tonight and eight points. She has ice water in her veins – at the end she gets the rebounds and she hits the free throws but what you did not probably notice is the way she defends. She covers so much off the ball that we feel like we can do a lot of different things defensively. I could not be prouder of these two, and obviously coming away from a very tough place to play, with a win.”

On the last play of the game (Virginia’s last possession)
“With a couple seconds left, it is hard to get something if you are not in transition. We sent two to Monica [Wright] because I think she can hit anything from anywhere, and we were just fortunate that they missed the last shot.”

On what got into Courtney Ward tonight
“Have you looked at her stats recently? She is shooting that way all the time, it is just that she is distributing the ball, too. She just took more shots, and maybe we need to get her some more. As a point guard, she has been doing that.”

On whether she thinks her team is a good match-up with Virginia
“Yes, but I do not think we did a good job of using [our post play] in the first half, and that was really part of our problem. They have gotten so much better defensively since the first time we played them. I turned around to my staff and asked, ‘when did they get so good defensively?’ I think that is a real credit to them. I think you can do a lot of things with a small team if those kids are willing to work.”

Florida State center Jacinta Monroe
On what she was thinking when the last shot went up
“Oh no. I had a hand in her face, I just did not want to foul.”

On whether she was nervous shooting the winning free throws
“I had done it before. I do not really get nervous, they are just free throws. The coaches put us in that predicament all the time in practice. Running is worse than losing a game to me. But honestly we work on it all the time in practice so I felt comfortable going up there and hitting my free throws.”

On what this win means at this point in the season
“It is a win, but we have to move on. We cannot have wins like this; a win is a win but at the same time we have to tighten up defensively and continue to gel. We need to put things together, put teams away and not leave it to chance.”

Florida State guard Courtney Ward
On her shooting performance tonight
“To be honest, I think it just happened. When I am open, I will shoot it. But I mean I am not worried about that, I am worried about these 10 turnovers I had.”

On the confidence Florida State gained from coming back in the first half
“I think we did well by not putting our heads down and coming together as a team. After losing by that many points and then coming out in the second half winning, it definitely gave us the confidence.”

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