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Feb. 6, 2016

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No. 9 Virginia 64, Pitt 50
Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016
Petersen Events Center

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On winning despite forward Anthony Gill’s below average offensive output:

“I think that was important. Anthony [Gill] didn’t have his typical offensive game. I think they did a good job [defending Gill], just like I think we did a solid job on [Michael] Young. But our bench really gave us a lift. They were ready from the get-go, and we did get a great lift from Marial [Shayok], and Evan [Nolte] was sharp. Mike [Tobey], early, got some offensive rebounds. That was important for us. I really think how they played was a nice sign, and Malcolm [Brogdon] got us off to a great start.”

On creating turnovers to jumpstart runs:

“A couple of those were just careless, it wasn’t our defense. But I do think we were in really good position. This was one of our better position games defensively for most of the day. They were always in the right spots, and we tried to make it hard on [Michael] Young. A couple of those turnovers were just bad decisions on their part, but we did capitalize on them so that was important. That was a hard fought game. You can tell the crowd wanted to get into it, and they did at stretches, but for the most part we kept them at bay.”

On the performance of guard Malcolm Brogdon:

“He’s getting different kinds of baskets. He’s efficient. He and London [Perrantes] had a nice rhythm going. We’re getting him good looks, and he’s making good decisions. With the exception of that charge at the end of the game, he again had a very efficient, very strong [game]. He’s shooting the ball well, and letting it come. Then when he needs to be aggressive or attack he does. He got us off to a great start on the road, and I really liked what I saw with that. He’s playing at a high level for sure.”

On defending Pitt forward Michael Young:

“He’s unique when he plays the five or the four. He’s got such good touch from 18 feet. He’s good off the bounce, and he’s good in the post so we tried to double him when we could. We didn’t know if we should stay with the double team or leave because when he gets his dribble he plays kind of like a wing, where he can back you up, hit a shot and go to work. I thought we just did a good job of not giving him easy looks. We said, ‘If he can hit contested shots, we’ll live with that, but let’s try not to let him get by us in the lane.’ When you go against a player that’s playing as well as he is, you’ve got to get the ball out of his hands or make him see a crowd. For the most part, we did that.”

On tallying 17 assists on 24 made field goals:

“They shared the ball. I think it’s fun to watch when you share the ball, guys move it and make the next pass, and guys are hitting [shots]. They’re playing, in my opinion, the right way — the way that gives us the best chance to be as good as we can. We’ve been unselfish at both ends. Defensively we play for each other. Offensively, again, the ball movement was good, and there were enough plays to be made with guys hitting shots that guys could drive hard. It was a balanced attack.”

On holding Pitt to 2-of-17 from three:

“I think when we’re playing our defensive system well, we’re trying to take away the lane and make them shoot contested shots. I thought even when they tried to break us down we were really good on our positioning, so they couldn’t quite get there. We were able to get to shooters, and at least make them contested [shots]. I’ve seen all those guys get going — [Sterling] Smith, I know that James Robinson can [make threes] and the young guy Cameron Johnson can get it going. So we were nervous about that, but we said, ‘First thing’s first, we’ve got to take care of the paint. Then we’ll bother the shots.'”

Virginia Guard Malcolm Brogdon

On the importance of winning on the road:

“I think it’s huge. It’s huge for our momentum and huge for our confidence. It’s important that we finish the regular season strong, whether or not we get the ACC title. We have to finish strong and these road wins are very important.”

On their huge run after Pitt tied the game at 31:

“I think we were able to buckle down and get stops. At one point in the second half I think we had five stops in a row, and that was huge for us because on the other end we were converting. We were moving the ball well, getting open threes, and we were knocking them down. It was flowing for us on both ends.”

On having their sights set on another ACC title:

“We’re not a team that really goes on highs and lows even though there are ups and downs during the season. Are conscience, our mentality, stays the same. That’s one of our strengths. We’re going to stay level-headed and keep competing regardless of where we are. It’s one of our goals [winning the ACC title] for sure.”

On the importance of ball movement:

“It’s super important. I thought we moved the ball extremely well. We played a really good defensive team, much like us in the way they play their defense, and it’s as important to move the ball against us as it against them.”

Virginia Guard London Perrantes

On not allowing Pitt Guard James Robinson to score:

“I just felt like I played a lot of help defense. We talked about, if he [James Robinson] was going to beat us, he has to beat us through shooting the ball. Both [Michael] Young and [Jamel] Artis were playing pretty well and getting into the lane, so I think my goal was to just keep them out of the lane and just live with James [Robinson] shooting the three. I don’t think he took too many. I think he maybe took one or two shots tonight, but I feel like that was our game-plan coming in, so I feel like that worked.”

On if he treats the matchup with James Robinson as a rivalry:

“No, there’s no rivalry here.”

On dealing with the hostile environment:

“Just play our game. We’re not worried about the crowd. The crowd doesn’t play basketball; they just sit around and cheer for them. We knew coming in that it was going to be a hostile crowd, but we just know we had to come in and play our game, and that’s what we did.”

Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon

Opening Statement:

“First off our fans are great, especially with the zoo and the blackout. Marketing and everybody did a great job and it’s disappointing to play like we did. Slow start early and we got back into it in the first half and put ourselves down by two. We felt like we were going to play better the rest of the way but we certainly didn’t. You can’t let teams go 9-16 and shoot fifty percent from the field and expect to beat a good defensive team at the same time. There are a lot of things that stand out. We have to play better, get ready for Miami, and show improvement in two days from what we did today. We took care of the ball in the first half and it seemed like we forced stuff in the second half in trying to come back from a deficit. We didn’t want to get down but we got down and it put us in the hole later. I’m really disappointed in the way that we played. I know how the players are and we had time to get ready but we just couldn’t get it done.”

On Virginia’s Defense:

“Some turnovers in transition and there were some opportunities that were missed with a wrong pass. I think the double-team hurt us, which we’ve seen all year long. I thought it was the worst we’ve done as far as attacking. We knew it coming in and we practiced it and we do it as well as play it. I think we handled that poorly. Spacing was not good and the decision making was not good and that had something to do with it as well. We had too many jump shots, they got glances and got threes. We got mid-range jump shots and they were contested the entire game. Again when we got down I don’t think we handled it well. They are a hard team to play against when you get down. We preached it and talked about it to not get down and don’t get into that situation, but we did.

On double-teaming Michael Young:

“We’ve seen it before. I think it was a combination of things and I don’t think that was it. There were other times in the second half that we were driving without a double team and they were just a good defensive team. It’s a combination of a lot of things. You have to be able to make the right decision and make the right plays and we didn’t do that. We knew what we were going to get. We saw it and prepared for it and we didn’t handle it.

On Coach the kind of team he has this season:

“You are who you are. And you are the team you just played and we are a team today that is fourteen points behind Virginia. Let’s keep it real simple. You can say all these different things, but those are the facts and that’s where we are at. We played like we deserved. One game doesn’t define our season.”

Pitt Junior Jamel Artis

On if he felt the crowd was deflated after Virginia’s 12-0 run:

“We let them get on an early start by nine points. We were only down by two at halftime and we hit a couple shots but didn’t respond. I think that’s what we lacked.”

On the team’s vibe coming out of halftime:

“Just get stops. We had three stops in a row so it was basically about defense. Obviously we didn’t do that in the second half. Like I said, they got nine straight points and we didn’t respond early enough. It got away.”

On the frustration of falling behind:

“Like I said, Virginia can run the clock down for 30 seconds and with that, as a team, we have to play defense. If we don’t play defense or don’t make shots, it’s hard to come back. It’s hard to gain a lead or start stuff like that.”

On what stood out during Virginia’s 12-0 run:

“It was little stuff like we didn’t get a rebound, we tipped it or they got it and got a second shot. They were just getting in the lane easily and hitting threes and couldn’t stop the penetration off the ball. That’s what lacked today on defense.”

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