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March 20, 2013

Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif | PHOTO GALLERY media-icon-photogallery.gif

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On efficiency:
“We got just enough stops, obviously, to be successful. But, we had trouble handling the ball, making free throws, keeping them off the glass and those things kind of cost us. Enough plays were made on the defensive end, and a few buckets here and there just to keep Norfolk State at bay. They did some good things. We were very stagnant to start out against that zone and had too many turnovers. Our guys looked uncomfortable. We haven’t had a team play us quite like that most of the year.”

On the win:
“It was not a pretty game at all, but again at this point, to be able to come away with one not playing well is important.”

On Virginia players:
“I thought Justin (Anderson) and Evan (Nolte) did some good things. When they pressed us, Justin broke it, and got us some of those easy baskets because we were laboring a little bit.”

“Mitchell and Harris were out of sorts as far as the turnovers. We just needed someone to make some plays and get us some easy buckets, and Justin (Anderson) did that.”

“Jontel (Evans) reeled it in. He started out early with some turnovers, and then he steadied us and did a solid job on the ball defensively.”

Norfolk State Head Coach Anthony Evans

Opening statement:
“I’m extremely proud of our team. When we came in there wasn’t much expectation because we regrouped last year with all that we lost. But, these guys came in and gave it all that they’ve got for us. We’re still making history. They came in tonight and gave all they had against a very good Virginia team. I’m very proud of these guys.”

On struggling offense:
“There was a six-minute stretch in the first half where we turned it over and couldn’t score. I think we played well in the second half, but that stretch in the first half really hurt us.”

On comparison’s to Norfolk St.’s 2011-2012 team:
“There is a lot of pride in this basketball team. They knew they were going to be compared to last year’s team. That energy and intensity came back. That winning spirit came into the season just ready to go.”

On Norfolk State’s defense:
“We thought man-to-man they run a lot of great stuff, so we wanted to disrupt them. We played a 3-2 zone to match up a little bit, then towards then end of the game we tried to press a little when [Jontel] Evans was out, and when he was in there a little bit, just to try to mix them up and keep them off balance.”

On this season:
“I’m proud of my basketball team. There wasn’t much expectation. We lost five players from last year, one guy who was drafted to the NBA. No one thought we would accomplish what we had. Despite these last two losses, one in the MEAC Tournament and one tonight, we did a great job. We went 16-0 in our conference. There is nothing but pride I feel for our basketball team.”

Virginia Junior Forward Akil Mitchell

On playing in NIT:
“I feel like we came out with a little bit of a hangover. We were upset we didn’t make it into the NCAA Tournament and I think we were sort of overlooked this team.”

On offense:
“It was hard to get in the zone offensively tonight. It was tough to get into rhythm. They were a tough team to figure out. Their press was tough, and we’ve always struggled with that, and I’m glad we got a chance to try to figure it out tonight.”

On the game:
“They are a Virginia team, so they want to prove that they can beat the state school. We’re the number one seed, so I expected that teams are going to come after us. I felt terrible the first half. I felt sluggish and the game was moving fast and it was tough, but I’m glad we pulled through.”

Virginia Freshman Guard Justin Anderson

On his effort during the game:
“I feel like part of my role on the team is to keep everyone encouraged. I feel like that was vital for us tonight, especially not getting selected into the tournament. I try to keep everyone encouraged and motivated. I want to make sure everyone is trying to have fun out there on the court.”

On free throws:
“We had a tough night shooting. We need to get back in the gym and keep grooving our shots. I just stepped up to the free throw line and shot them with confidence. It helped that they were talking a little bit of trash. I just tried to refocus and knock them down.”

On the game:
“I knew this would be a tough team. I knew they were going to come in hungry and that they were going to fight. It reminded me of the same way ODU came in against us earlier in the year. We’re a tough team and I liked the way we battled back. We stuck to the system and that is why we were successful.”

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