GAME FOUR: VIRGINIA 66, VIRGINIA TECH 57
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Coach Debbie Ryan, as well as student athletes, Aisha Mohammed, Lyndra Littles and Monica Wright. Coach, when you are ready, we will do an opening statement and we will take questions.
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: I think we probably played some of our best defense of the year the first half. I was very proud of our performance the first half. I felt like in the second half we let up a lit little bit and let them back in the game for a couple of segments. But overall I was pretty proud of my team's performance. Every time they made a run we had an answer. We did a fairly good job on the offensive end, so I was pretty pleased with the game all the way around. But Tech is always a hard game for us. It's an in‑state rivalry, a very fierce in‑state rivalry and the games are never easy.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Can you talk a little bit about Aisha's performance? She had a double-double in the first half?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: Yes, I didn't want to tell her that in the first half. She had a double-double in the first half. She had a great night tonight. She anchored us on the inside. She played very intelligently. She picked up only two fouls tonight. I was pretty proud of her performance all the way around. 16 rebounds and 16 point is a great performance by her. And great shooting by her also. I was really pleased with her performance all the way around, she did a great job.
Q. To follow up on that, how do you explain the way your team dominated the rebounding numbers in the first half?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: You know, we came out really ready to play tonight. We are a very good rebounding team. We have rebounding guards as well as post players. Our guards know that they have to rebound a little bit for us. A couple of times we had some guards get in there and make a big difference for us. We really maintained the level of rebounding in the second half. We are a team that really takes pride in its ability to offensive rebound as well as keep people off the boards. It's a real emphasis for us and it's important in order to help us win.
Q. Coach, talk about Ariana Moore's performance tonight?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: I thought Ariana gave us really good minutes at the point position. She really played intelligently. She was able to find the open man sometimes and she really knocked the ball down for us when she was open and that's what a good point guard does; being able to knock the ball down the way she did was very good tonight. She is getting better with each game; almost had double figures tonight. But I'm real pleased with the way she is playing right now. We just keep on working on all of the aspects of her game.
Q. Being the last game, and after seeing some of the teams get upset tonight, and you have to wait around like that, does that make you focus on taking care of business?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: To be honest with you we really weren't paying attention to what was going on. We knew Georgia Tech got upset. I don't think they know about the NC State game. I really don't make an emphasis on that. The total emphasis for my team right now is us. That's it. No other emphasis at all. We are focused on what we are doing and not what the other steam doing. At this time of the year, and really any time of the year, you have to focus on the process rather than the future or the past. The past is not going to make any difference for us. If somebody else loses, that has nothing to do with us.
Q. At some point during the game you had 3 freshman on the floor during the same time. A good experience?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: Yes, it was real good experience for them to be able be step out on the court and try to help the team as best as they could. They did a really good job tonight. I thought Chelsea Shine in particular played well. Britny Edwards gave us some good minutes. We can look to them for the future. I have to get them to rebound better. Other than that's I was proud of them.
Q. What needs to go well for you to beat Duke tomorrow?
COACH DEBBIE RYAN: We had a pretty good start against them in Charlottesville, but it was their pressure that really bothered us. The good news for us, we faced a lot of pressure since then. We are a little better handling it. We really have to take care of the basketball. They are a great defensive team. They have a ton of talent, and we just have to try to neutralize it to the best of our ability and take care of the basketball, that's going to be the No. 1 thing. And rebounding, they are also a good rebounding team.
THE MODERATOR: Any further questions?
Q. Can you tell us about your game and what you were trying to do? It seems like Monica and Lyndra kind of carried the team this year, and you kind of stepped up a little today?
AISHA MOHAMMED: Yes, we all talk about it like, you know, we all have to step over and play the game, not just Monica and Lyndra doing all of the job. So we have to contribute. So I make a promise to myself that I'm going to make sure I contribute, rebound, anywhere I can contribute, I'm going to come out and do my walk, so that's what I did.
GAME FOUR: VIRGINIA 66, VIRGINIA 57
VIRGINIA TECH QUOTES
THE MODERATOR: We are joined up here by Virginia Tech head coach Beth Dunkenberger, as well as student athletes Laura Haskins and Utahya Drye. Coach, if you could an opening statement and then we'll take some questions.
COACH BETH DUNKENBERGER: I thought unfortunately we didn't have two second halves. The first half we came out very flat and Virginia played like a team that lost their last regular season game and was trying to make a statement. They were just beast on the boards and manhandled us. The second half, I thought we did a much better job, but unfortunately we had dug too big of a hole, and we couldn't find our way all the way back out.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. What would you say was the biggest difference in the effort from the first half and the second half?
COACH BETH DUNKENBERGER: We thought we were going to have to turn up the heat on defense. We were going to have to try to force some turnovers and get some offense going in transition. I thought we were able to trap them a little bit better. We were the aggressor versus sitting back on our heels. The big key was they got one offensive rebound in the second half after getting 14 the first half.
Q. Utahya, what picked the team up at half time, what did you think of your individual performance, another loss is always disappointing but you had a big game?
UTAHA DRYE: I think we had to do the little things like box somebody out and come up with the rebounds on the loose balls. As far as my individual play, I was trying to let my shot, let it go because I felt like I was on for a little while, and whenever they stopped falling, that's when I knew I had to pick it up offense. Just do the other little things, just because my shot is not falling doesn't mean I need to take a play off on defense.
Q. It's not related to the game, Laura, your thoughts on the award that you won today, the Kay Yow award, and did you have any idea what was going on before you found out?
LAURA HASKINS: No, Coach told me last week she had a surprise for me. I had no idea. I forgot she told me that. And when I was about to get the award our SID, he tricked me, and he told me some reporter had to talk to me before the game, and I was confused and to find out I was getting the award was a great honor. I'm very appreciative of the award.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions?
Q. Can you talk about Aisha Mohammed, the double-double, talk about difference on the boards, the difference she was, even in the games you saw her earlier this year?
COACH BETH DUNKENBERGER: She was the difference. I know she made an emphasis to get out and get a loose ball coming off that last loss. You saw tonight why she is the No. 1 rebounder in the league. She is hard to stop and hard to keep off the boards. Grant it, we could have done a better job boxing her out when she plays that hard it's hard to stop her.