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Miami at Virginia
Jan. 6, 2011
Postgame Quotes

Virginia Head Coach Debbie Ryan
Opening statement:

“I thought we had a great start to the game and we got a little lead. I know they scored primarily in transition in the first five minutes of the game but we settled down and stopped them from doing that and then got a little bit of separation. We weren’t able to sustain it when we substituted as much as we had to with Simone [Egwu] in foul trouble and having to get people rested. I thought the last four minutes of the first half were a really tough time for us. For some reason we just weren’t organized, we couldn’t get rebounds. We weren’t defending the way we should and we also weren’t scoring and that hurt. Coming out after half we made several runs to cut it to three and we put up a little match-up zone; that helped us but we didn’t rebound well out of it and we got a couple stops. Really it was two or three stops that all we needed was a rebound and we would have scored at the other end. We just couldn’t get the rebounds. We didn’t match up well off of the rebound. You have to give Miami credit. They played a great game tonight and they are very talented. We knew that. I thought we matched the scoring. Where we fell short was on the free throw line and that’s really not something that should be an issue for us.”

On turnovers:
“We just turned the ball over. This is not something that’s new. This is something that we have done all year and something that we need to correct. Our turnovers were at really critical times tonight and they led to points. That’s the most important thing. You can’t turn the ball over and give up 23 points to a team off turnovers; that’s not something you can do. We needed to be tougher in some situations and we needed to take care of the basketball better. We were trying to do things – it just wasn’t there.”

On the play of Miami guard Shenise Johnson:
“She was incredible tonight. Actually, that was an off night for her, going 11-for-19. She is a really talented player. We kept her from shooting threes very well but other than that she was able to penetrate and she’s very smooth. She’s a tough player. We tried a number of different things to try to stop her. The zone held her for a little but then she started to catch the ball in the middle and the post player wasn’t stepping up.”

On the athleticism demonstrated by keeping up with Miami’s style:
“We were there for a while, but we weren’t taking care of the basketball at critical times — the end of the first half. Just being a little tougher; being a little smarter with the basketball was important. We are an athletic team but I felt like we didn’t stop them in transition the way we needed to. Most of it was off of turnovers. That will kill you in any game.”

Virginia guard Ariana Moorer
On improvements in decision-making:

“It’s something you work on, but it’s not anything you can really practice. You make a wrong decision, you hear about it. I haven’t heard about it as much this year.”

On frustrations in a close contest:
“It’s pretty frustrating but you can’t worry about it. You just have to go on to the next play. That’s the mentality – next play, next play. You have to have a short memory like Coach Ryan always tells us.”

Virginia guard Ataira Franklin
On using tough early-season opponents to prepare for Miami:

“We were well prepared to play this team. We had a bad practice yesterday and at this point, this is when the games get real. We can’t afford to have bad practices. There is no more time left; every second counts. So although we were prepared to play this team, I don’t think we have been preparing to finish like we should be. We played top teams, we lost some tough games and the same issues that caused us to lose those games, we saw today. We have to go back to the drawing board and get better.”

Miami Head Coach Katie Meier

Opening statement:

“This is a very significant win for us. Every time I come here I tell you how I love Virginia’s program and how they run their program, how classy Debbie (Ryan) and her staff are. Half of those kids we recruited and I have personal relationships with about half of their team. They play hard and they play smart. They got us in overtime the last two times we have played them so I was kind of sick of that. I wanted that to change and I’m really happy it did. I’m also really happy that I have Shenise Johnson on my team. She is just unbelievable. I would like to say I made some really smart calls offensively but the smartest thing I can do is give the ball to Shenise. I cannot imagine a more complete player, and a better kid either. She is a super individual. I have Shenise and that’s why we won.”

On starting the ACC season with three straight road games:
“I was really glad we were starting on the road. We have this kind of mentality – we want to steal things from people. We do feel like road wins count double and ACC road wins count triple. We are very serious about our performance on the road. There is definitely an attitude on this team – we have a little bit of a chip. We had some missed opportunities last year; some very close ball games. The difference this year is now they’re juniors and they’re hitting them. I think they will continue to do that; I have a strong belief in them.”

On the transition game:
“At the start of the game the fans should have just been in love with women’s basketball. I asked the refs if they needed oxygen. We were just up-and-down, up-and-down. I figured Virginia would try to match us running and they were doing a good job of it. They were beating us at our own game. I called it off a little bit and tried to settle my kids in because we were so hyped and so excited. Virginia did a great job of matching our intensity to start the game.”

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