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Feb. 10, 2013

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Virginia Coach Tony Bennett

On how the team was able to shoot well:
“Well obviously we moved the ball well; we had different guys shooting well, and we were very efficient. It probably helped us out when we were turning the ball over down the stretch. I thought we had a hard time containing them off the dribble. Thankfully, we were able to overcome that with some good shooting and some good offense.”

On the play of Justin Anderson:
“He got us off to a good start… I think one of the reasons we rebounded well was that they didn’t always play their two bigs at times, they tried to match up with us offensively. Early when Justin [Anderson] had one of the fours or fives on him, he really got free. I thought he did some good things-he got a little shaky there at the end with some of those turnovers-but he was the first to say ‘my bad.’ He made some terrific plays, and really played well for us… I look at his rebounding line, those nine rebounds we needed that. He had some big physical rebounds.

On positioning the team for a run in the second half of the season:
“I think for us what keeps us humble is that when we play well, we have a chance to compete and be successful. When we’re off our game, we struggle. I think that’s the truth for most teams in college basketball, though there’s a few that can handle it because they’re so talented. It’s such a fine line to walk, so you just try to play as good of ball as you can. You’re never quite as good as you think, and you’re never as far away as you think. You work in practice and prepare, and it was good to see some of those young guys step up.”

On playing well on the road:
“I think guys play so much basketball now… I thought we showed some of those young mistakes down the stretch at times, but we overcame that with good shooting. But absolutely with that kind of deposit on the good side, you can learn from it; it’s important. I think what happened at Georgia Tech showed you can’t take your foot off the gas pedal. You really need to stay engaged, because usually on the road the other team is going to make some shots and do some things that you’re going to have to withstand.

Virginia Players

Junior Forward Akil Mitchell

On out-rebounding Maryland:
“I think everyone helped rebound. It wasn’t just me or the bigs tonight-the guards came back and got long rebounds. It was a total team effort.”

On the offensive output:
“It feels good that the ball is going in. Everyone is shooting well. It’s a testament to our extra work after practice, and getting extra shots in. We all feel great about this.”

Senior Guard Jontel Evans

On their three-point shooting:
“It was target practice out there today. Nobody could miss. The guys get a lot of reps in practice and it showed today. I’m always telling them to be ready when I’m in the game. When I drive into the lane I’m always looking for them to be open.

On the team’s effort:
“We told guys to get the loose balls. That was a key in our last loss. We didn’t grab the ball last time and it hurt us. We wanted to get the long rebounds today and capitalize on them.

Junior Guard Joe Harris:

On their shooting:
“We were in a rhythm. Guys like Jontel [Evans] were able to create off the bounce and get open shots for us. After that, we just knocked the shots down.”

On their offense:
“I think we got into a good flow today. Everyone was moving really well without the ball. We take a lot of pride in our shooting ability. We shot well as a team, and kept scoring.”

On the rebounding effort:
“We knew coming in that Maryland was a really good rebounding team. We practiced a lot on getting our guards back to get the long rebounds. We made an effort to have everyone come back to the ball defensively.”

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