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Jan. 24, 2016

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Head Coach Joanne Boyle
On Virginia’s lapse going into the fourth quarter:
“We didn’t get the necessary stops. I thought we fought hard to get back into it. We had some let downs and either fouled or had miscommunication on defensive assignments and they got some easy buckets and or put backs. We always talk about the 50/50 balls and I felt like when we pulled within that one point, we needed to get a stop and we didn’t get it.”

“It goes back to scoring. We go into these scoring droughts and it puts so much pressure on the other end of the floor. I think in general we were playing good defense but we had lapses where we had a breakdown. And that breakdown or missed rebound or missed box out caused them to get an easy basket. They weren’t going to give it to us. I felt like we had a couple breakdowns defensively. They were able to creep back in. We didn’t come down and execute like we were doing up to that point, kind of pushing the tempo in the third quarter.”

On Pitt’s Fred Potvin:
“I think this is the first time they changed their starting lineup, and I think they kind of looked at some of the things we were doing defensively and put her in there as a shooter to spread the floor a little bit. I feel like the pace we played at coming out of the gates was not conducive to really taking a whole lot of things away. I felt like we were good on our ball screen defense but we were slow to help and slow to recover. I just thought they got some good looks early. We came out of that and just started switching on ball screens. Like I said, at that point we had dug ourselves in a hole and we were still struggling to score the basketball on the other end.”

On defensive strategy in the last minute of the game:
“We were trying to foul a particular player, but the ball didn’t go into that person’s hand. So we waited a little bit and ended up fouling the wrong person.”

On switching back to man defense:
“I felt like we could be a little more aggressive on the things that we were doing. I don’t know if they took advantage of the mismatches, so we stayed in it. Like you said, it was kind of crawling back in, crawling back in. At the other end, I felt like we have to play at a better pace offensively. We have to. We cant play at 50 percent speed because you’re not setting yourself up for great screening action, and we just have to play at a better pace. I thought our pace was really slow tonight.”

On Mikayla Venson:
“I think we’ve had two people consistently score for us. So they’re putting their best defenders on Breyana [Mason] and Mikayla [Venson]. It’s being able to play a little bit faster so not everything has to be a set call. That’s really going to hurt us. She didn’t really get going until the second half. She hit a lot of big shots for us, but we have to have more people step up and score for us. It’s hard when two people are consistently doing it. Everybody can score on this team, we just have to be more confident. If we have a better pace to how we play, more people will be confident and get better looks.”

On Pitt:
“They’ve always played hard. If you look at their scores against teams they’ve played, they’ve battled everybody. I think the one thing that they’ve been is very consistent with their effort. That’s really kept them in games. We’re not in a position to overlook anybody. From my perspective, that’s not the identity of this team. I feel like our pace coming out tonight didn’t help us at all.”

On playing NC State next:
“I’ve looked at them. I’ll look at them more tonight, but they’re a complete team. We’ve always had really tough games against them. It always comes down to the wire. They rotate, you know. He’ll run nine or ten people at you. Nothing we haven’t seen defensively. Offensively, they run staggers and things that we’re comfortable guarding. They do have some people that can really shoot the ball.”

Junior Guard Breyana Mason
On the strategy with six seconds left in the game:
“We were just trying to get a quick three-point shot. We had a play that was right before it, but it kind of got jumbled at the end. But we were just trying to get down the court and hopefully get an open look, anything at that point.”

Sophomore Forward Lauren Moses
On building momentum at the start of the game without a big crowd:
“We had to find our own energy. The gym wasn’t packed, but that’s no excuse. We have to have the bench involved, we need to be communicating on offense and on defense. Like coach Boyle said, we just didn’t come out the way we needed to win this game.”

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