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Feb. 7, 2016

Final Stats

Head Coach Joanne Boyle
Opening statement:
“It’s obvious that we’re struggling and we’re just trying to figure it out. We looked very fatigued out there today and obviously I know we’ve been struggling to score, but not this much. I think some physical and mental fatigue have set in a little bit.”

On not being able to get momentum in the game:
“We just had spurts of playing well. We had a little spurt in in the second half. We had little spurts in the second quarter and the third quarter, but not enough to sustain it. It goes back to trying to find that balance of trying to play continuity offenses and putting our self in a position to get an easy touch. We weren’t finishing well. It looked like Mikayla [Venson] and Breyana [Mason] had no legs tonight. We typically don’t shoot 1-of-12 (from three-point range) and I think that was a factor. I think, mentally, we just shut down a little bit. They were a fresh team. They were running bodies at us and got back into the whole situation of transition and fouling people and putting them on the free-throw line. It’s hard when you’re not making baskets. It’s just tough to always be on the defensive end of the floor. I feel like we spent the majority of our time down there tonight.”

On Sidney Cook:
“Even though she came off the bench, we felt, as a coaching staff, that she was their best player. She’s very versatile, can do a lot of things. She’s a very guard-like post player. She’s strong. She attacks the post off the bounce quite a bit and she can shoot it really well. She’s very solid, strong, just a tough match up.”

On fighting through mental and physical fatigue:
“We’ve got a game on Thursday. They’re off tomorrow, so maybe do something different on Tuesday with them, maybe film. Just try to come at Syracuse in a different way to change it up. We’re this deep in the season and we just have to find that balance of what’s working and what’s not working. We don’t have any practice guys right now and we’re down a guard. Mikayla and Breyana are taking every possession in practice right now on both ends of the floor, so trying to shorten practice. If we need to take two days off we’ll have to do it.”

On rebounding:
“It’s been our struggle all year. I think it’s a balance. Yes, the rebounding is hurting. We all missed two-foot shots tonight, and two-foot shots just become run-outs for other teams. It’s a combination of both things.”

On Virginia Tech defending Mikayla Venson:
“They’re a team that plays extreme help side but they would not come off of Mikayla. People watch film just like we watch film. With Faith in there, the ball just seemed to flow better. We were averaging four people with double figures and now it has kind of fallen off and they’re going to try to take our scorers away. Mikayla is one of those scorers teams are expecting and they are making other people step up to score. So not having that balance, putting her in quick hitter situations all night is fine, but it really disrupted the flow of your offense, not being able to find continuity. She’s got to be able to find shots within that. The threes she was taking were deep. She ended up not getting a lot of daylight out of that. It goes back to being able to score in different ways. We tried to press, turn them over, maybe score out of the press. We didn’t get a ton of transition tonight so it came down to being able to transition in half court and it was not our night for that.”

On losing Faith Randolph:
“I didn’t think it was going to be this big of a struggle. I thought we would find a flow. The girls are frustrated. We can go back and pick apart different games and stuff like that, but I didn’t expect it to be this hard. Like Lauren said, this is the hand we’ve been dealt and we can’t do anything about it. We have a choice. We have a choice to lie down and die, or we have a choice to stand up and try and fight to get better. From a coach’s perspective, looking at how they were playing tonight fatigued, I see it in their best interest is to give them a little bit of time and try and have a little bit better of a mental prep going forward. It doesn’t excuse not rebounding. It doesn’t excuse any of that. It really doesn’t. We’ve got to pick and choose what’s best for us going forward. “

Junior Guard Breyana Mason
On the game:
“It’s tough. It’s definitely tough especially considering that we’re on a losing streak and given the fact that they are in-state rivals. This game means a lot to us, and the fact that we weren’t able to pull it out is very disappointing.”

On her scoring play to begin the fourth quarter:
“I’m just trying to remember. I don’t remember those exact moments. The problem is that we’re not rebounding and not being able to get stops defensively. We missed a couple of shots. We just have to be able to stay focused on both ends regardless of if we’re making shots or not. “

Sophomore Forward Lauren Moses
On the game:
“Obviously it’s frustrating, especially losing to them. We just have to find our way whatever it takes. Whether we’re fatigued or not, we have to find a way just to push through that, because at this point, all teams are fatigued. We just have to have that mental toughness to win these games.”

On breaking the 18-game winning streak against Virginia Tech:
“Obviously it really hurts to lose, whoever you’re playing against. This one felt a little worse because it’s in state and of course the streak we were going on. We just have to look past it and learn from it.”

On moving forward:
“We’re eager to play whoever. Just going into these three days, we just have to be smart, like Coach said, making sure our bodies are good to play that game. Mentally, we just have to go back and watch the film and fix the things we’re doing wrong. Rebounding has been our thing all season. We just have to get back to doing the little things that we were doing at the beginning of the season, which is why we were winning.”

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