March 5, 2009
COACH MaChelle Joseph: I would like to give Clemson all of the credit. I thought after we came off of a huge win up at their place a couple of weeks ago, I thought they came out and their kids really responded and played hard. It was obvious to me out there today; they got all of the hustle points, all of the loose balls, 50 rebounds. We haven’t given up 50 rebounds all year long. The fact that they made all of those hustle plays, I have a lot of respect for their coaching staff for being able to get their team ready to play. Coming off losing five or six in a row, and the way they we responded today was really impressive. Again, I have a lot of respect for what Coach McKinney was able to do for her team today and how their players responded out their on the floor.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. They were playing some kind of triangle and 2 that seemed to give you a lot of trouble; can you talk a little about that please?
COACH MaChelle Joseph: I thought defensively they had a good game plan. Deja (Foster) had 24 points up at their place and Alex Montgomery who also had 24 points up at their place. I thought we got good wide open shots. We needed to make those shots and we were able to convert. I thought their defensive game plan was pretty good.
Q. Coach, do you have any sense now of how this will affect you relative to the NCAA tournament in a couple of ways, your preparation? Secondly, perhaps seeding?
COACH MaChelle Joseph: Well, I definitely think we’re in the NCAA tournament. It’s definitely going to affect our seeding. I thought we need to get a win today to get a better seed, a seed that we wanted, a top 6 seed, and we weren’t able to do that today, to get the job done today. But I think we are definitely in the NCAA tournament. We are 21 and 9 and finished 8 and 6 in the toughest conference in women’s basketball. We have a high RPI, and strength of schedule. I couldn’t imagine the ACC wouldn’t get five or six teams in the tournament. We had key wins, 3 wins, over ranked opponents, including North Carolina, Virginia, late in the season. We finished out in our last 11 games at 7 and 4. I just feel like we are in a great position to get an NCAA tournament bid. How our seed will be affected from this game is yet to be seen.
Q. What do you know about Alex Montgomery’s injury, how much did Pauldo surprise you?
COACH MaChelle Joseph: Well, Pauldo played well against us when they came to Atlanta the very first game. I think the fact that they started all of those kids from Georgia got them going early, got them excited to play against us. Pauldo played on the same AAU team with some of our freshman. I really thought she stepped up big for them. She had some extra motivation today it was obvious. She made a lot of big plays for them. I was really impressed the way she finished around the basket.
As far as Alex Montgomery, she is going to be okay. Right now we did an X-ray, looks okay. She will be fine, get a couple of days off, and rest, and she should be back out there and ready to go.
Q. Coach, after handling North Carolina in the regular season, was there any chance that maybe your kids were looking past Clemson toward that rematch with Carolina?
COACH MaChelle Joseph: I absolutely believe that’s what happened. We had such a huge win up at Clemson, and then I think our young team, I have 10 freshman and sophomores, and a couple of upper classman that play. I tried to warn them about it in the locker room preparing for Clemson, but I definitely thing we looked ahead. We are going to learn a very valuable lesson from there. Again, I don’t want to take anything away from Clemson. I think they flat out got it done. They went out there and they performed. You have to give them credit. I think we can learn a valuable lesson from this moving forward.
Q. But for both players, what lesson can you take out of this as you get ready to play in the NCAA tournament?
Jacqua Williams: Every game is important. You can’t look ahead or behind you, you have to look at what’s in front of you.
Iasia Hemingway: Practice makes perfect, and we are going to go in and practice hard and just get ready for NCAA and come out like Jacqua said. We’ve got to take one game at a time.