Postgame Quotes and Notes
Postgame Quotes – #3 VIRGINIA CAVALIERS
Debbie Ryan: First of all, all of the credit goes to NC State. They played very well today. I thought we had a good start. And we substituted and we didn’t get enough from other players on the team. Monica Wright obviously got what we needed from her. Her foul trouble hurt us a little bit in the first half. I felt we didn’t get it from all of the players that needed to step up and give us a little more and we didn’t get enough of the players which would have made a difference in the game. But all credit goes to NC State they played fabulous today.
A question for Monica. What changes after the game to slow you down and what changed the game to pick it back up in the second half?
Monica Wright: Probably getting in foul trouble early and that kind of put us in — trying to get myself in the second half and kind of helped me out a little bit and trying to get to the free-throw line and whatnot. They played a great defense and they packed it in on us a little bit but we basically stopped ourselves.
Monica, down on the floor the free throw on the top of the circle it went halfway down, how difficult is that as a momentum deal. What is it like to keep playing after that?
Monica Wright: It’s training. I probably should have taken a two on it at that point. But I saw an opening and, you know, I definitely wanted to put it closer than what we were. It’s difficult to get — from my team to play another 30 seconds of defense after that. And, you know, I think that we definitely had a good come back, but it wasn’t the will. And I had games like this prior to that we just dig ourselves a hole and we usually get out of it, but this time we just the hole was too deep to work our way out of, especially with the time we can’t do that.
Monica, can you talk about playing with foul troubles and how were you able to keep yourself from getting out in foul trouble and holding back not to get in trouble.
Monica Wright: I was holding back the whole game and a foul is a foul, and I was trying to layoff whoever I am guarding, and maybe not putting any contact on them. You know, it was that type of game today. And, you know, I had to rely on my teammates a lot to be of a help. So that if I do, I could let them pass me, I could help them from not getting a wide open lay up. I can’t believe I put myself in that position as a senior.
Debbie, you had seen over the course of your career a lot of remarkable things by a lot of special players, would you kind of put that in perspective what we watched Monica do tonight?
Debbie Ryan: You know when the rest of the team was really not up to par, she tried to will this team to win. And she does this all the time. Usually one or two come with her. Tonight I didn’t feel like very many were really on their games and it made it very difficult for her to try to pull people through. Getting the foul trouble, like I said, in the first half hurts a little bit because she was out for a period of time. And we can only have her out for minutes at a time. That wasn’t the difference in the game. It was a missed assignment here not getting a rebound there and we just did not. The other players on this team did not do the job that they needed to do. And Monica tried to make up for that. And unfortunately one person can’t make up for all of the problems that we had.
Paulisha, is there any distraction when the No. 2 seed goes down in the first game [inaudible] we have one playing instead of 2, did you see that game?
Paulisha Kellum: We watched a little bit of the game and we got a little early. That is not a distraction to us. Coming into the tournament we can only worry about ourselves. And that is our focus going into today’s game.
Postgame Quotes – #6 NC STATE
Kellie Harper: I’m excited and happy for our team. This is huge win for us. Proud of how we played. For us it’s not always pretty but we grind it out. And you know, obviously Virginia is a very talented team and the Coach has done an amazing job with them this year. Monica Wright is stellar and fun to watch. So it’s a very, very good win for our program.
Nikita, 1:45 left to go and you are in a four-point game and shot clock is running down and you take a three, to put the up to seven. I think you had five for the rest of the way. Tell me what is going through your mind and what made you decide to take that shot in that particular situation?
Nikitta Gartrell: I wouldn’t say it was a bad shot. But then I wouldn’t say it was a good shot. Like the selection of it because the shot clock was, you know, winding down and it was a three and it wasn’t like you know a two situation. I felt it – so I just shot it and, thank God it went in. But I mean, since it’s my senior year. We have to leave it all or nothing, so I took the shot. And I’d rather me take it and miss it rather than a freshman take it and miss it. I have been in this situation before so I took it.
For any of you players. Can you describe what it’s like when your up 16, but you know they have got possibly the best player in the league on their side. What is it like to balance those and to realize it’s not necessarily over?
Marissa Kastanek: I knew that Monica set out quite a bit in the first half with foul trouble, and so they weren’t the same team as they have been. I knew Monica was going to come out a ball on fire because she was upset with the way she played and the ball fouled and I knew we had to work together as a team and make it possible.
Brittany Strachan: Just on what Marissa is saying… You know, the game is not over especially when have you a talented player on the other team and she was going to come and put it on her shoulders. And we just wanted to stay focused and play 40 minutes of basketball and not just 20 or 25. That was our focus to continue to play basketball.
Kellie, when you have a player like Wright you are not going to hold her at six or eight points. How do you approach what she is it going to do in the game? And did you change what you were going to do going into the game because of her?
Kellie Harper: To be honest with you in the regular season game we went into the game with plan A, B and adjustment. And I didn’t think — that’s not what our team needs. Our team needs to go in and try to do it our way first. That is the way we started the game with no adjustments. Obviously the second half we began to need to make adjustments. Although we made them she continued to score. She can put up a lot of points in a hurry. Fortunately, you know, I felt there we really contested a few tough shots and they rolled out.
For Marissa. How much did the three in the first half kind of get you and the team going in half time and the second half?
Marissa Kastanek: When we went to the locker room we were all really excited and we knew that shot was going to take the momentum into the second half. And we kind of used that shot to propel us in the first couple of minutes knowing that we had to come out on fire.
For any of the players. Did you watch any of the BC-Florida State game? And what is your opinion on that result, and the fact you have a No. 6 seed versus a No. 7 seed for the first time of the Tournament?
Nikitta Gartrell: We saw the end of it because we just got here. It’s amazing because it’s always a 1 and 2 versus each other or something like that. Right now I mean we can’t focus on what seed we are right now. We have to come out and play just as hard as we played the first two games.
Brittany Strachan: I was not that surprised because you never pay attention to the seeds and ACC is such a strong league and any team any time can win. You don’t want to pay attention to seeds and the ACC is such a strong league. And so you don’t want to pay attention to numbers and things of that nature. Each team is talented and strong in the ACC.
Marissa Kastanek: I’m going to echo what they said. We can’t worry about who we play. I know we won tonight and we’re excited and tomorrow is a whole new game. And we played Boston College two times this season and we split. And it’s going to be whoever wants it the most tomorrow night. And I think it’s going to be a good game.
With 55 seconds left and Holston at the line, Kellie, you and Marissa were over at the sideline and you were looking like you were having a great time, laughing. What was going on at that point between you two?
Kellie Harper: I was hoping no one saw that. Marissa actually came to the bench a little flustered and the last thing I needed her at that point was being tight and not too tense not laid back and lose. So I just told her a joke.
Tell it to us.
Kellie Harper: Actually I just imitated a YouTube video that the kids imitate all the time. So I had to make her laugh. She was nervous. It worked.
*Halftime Numbers: The Wolfpack took a 27-24 halftime lead with a Marissa Kastanek buzzer-beating 3-pointer, and NC State now has a record of 16-5 when leading at half. Virginia falls to 5-7 when behind at the end of the first half.
*The Wright Stuff: Monica Wright, Virginia’s all-time leading scorer, scored a game-high 32 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and had five steals. Wright—the leading scorer in the ACC at 23.0 points per game—now has scored more than 30 points in six games this season. Over a seven minute stretch in the second half, Wright scored 17 straight points for the Cavaliers.
*Wolfpack Peaking: With tonight’s win over Virginia, NC State has now won three consecutive games and six of their last seven games. During this stretch, NC State has defeated two ranked opponents, No. 22 Georgia Tech and No. 19 Virginia. The Wolfpack’s three game winning streak is their longest since a four-game streak in November.
*Cinderella Stories: With the upsets in the two later games today, the semifinal matchup between six-seeded North Carolina State and seventh-seeded Boston College. This game will be the first semifinal between a 6 seed and a 7 seed in the history of the ACC Tournament.
*Stifling Cavalier Defense: Virginia’s recorded 11 steals, and the Cavaliers’ stout defensive effort forced NC State into 22 turnovers. With seven of the steals coming in the first half, Virginia was turn those Wolfpack turnovers into sixteen points.