Jan. 22, 2009
Georgia Tech Head Coach MaChelle Joseph
“This was obviously one of the most significant wins in the history of our program. I don’t know that we’ve ever beaten the No. 2 team in the country. For our players, our fans and our administrators, this is a very significant win. I was just telling the players in the locker room that they are writing their chapter in the history of this program. To come away with one of these big wins is really great. We thought we were capable of it all along if we put two good halves together and executed our game plan.
“What really stands out to me the most is the character of this team. We were down 15 points in the second half and for them to come back, with mostly freshmen and sophomores on the floor, was a tremendous accomplishment. They totally played fearless tonight in the second half and I was really impressed with how relentless we were. We really went after them and I have to give all the credit to our players. Coming off that Florida State loss, I really thought it was tough. When we looked back at those last five minutes, we thought we really beat ourselves. If we can play with them we can play with anybody and that’s the attitude we took into tonight against North Carolina. We got it done tonight, but the exciting thing is that we get to turn around and go play at Duke on Sunday. This is how you go from being a good program to a great program. We need to go and put two good games back-to-back. For tonight right now, we are just going to enjoy this moment because it’s very special for Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball.”
After the loss to Florida State, did you look at that record and think there is no way this team should be 1-2 in the ACC?
“I definitely thought that. I’ll be honest…I thought we lost to Boston College and Florida State because we didn’t play hard. It was a mystery to me because this team always plays hard. After the FSU game, we looked back and said we just have to play harder. Some of it was just trying to feel our way through the first few games and figure out who was going to step up in certain situations. Tonight, a lot of those underclassmen just didn’t know any better and went out there and played hard. When you do that, good things happen to you.
“In the second half, when Jacqua [Williams] hit those two big threes it got us on a roll. When she plays well and has her confidence going we get a little swagger about us going. I was impressed with our effort. When you hold a Carolina team to 62 points and out-rebound them, you’re doing some work. That’s a team full of 15 All-Americans and tremendous athletes. I’m just proud of my team and their effort tonight.
North Carolina Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell
“I have to give Georgia Tech a lot of credit. They are a good team and they played harder than we did. I told the team at halftime, if you win the boards then you will win the game, and we lost the boards. They had 17 second-chance points and we had nine, and I thought that was the difference in the game. There were also times where we didn’t take care of the basketball. They were just a lot tougher than we were and wanted it a lot more than we did.”
What do you see different about Georgia Tech year to year in terms of player development?
“They have a philosophy that we are going to play and be physical, and the officials are only going to call so many fouls. So they come after you relentlessly and play extremely physical and they get a lot done from that. They are very aggressive and I think that was the biggest difference in the game tonight. We didn’t handle the pressure very well and I think the rebounding was the key.”
What are some adjustments you tried to make during the timeout after Georgia Tech’s back-to-back three pointers?
“We tried a couple of different defenses out there tonight and we kept trying to get a switch when Georgia Tech would kick the ball out to the top but we weren’t doing a good job of that. In the past we would have players that could make that adjustment and stop something but tonight we weren’t able to do that. Again, the bottom line is we lost the rebound game and they just wanted it more.”
Any upside from the UConn game?
“You would think that would motivate us more. Especially after getting blown out on our home court I front of 13,000 people. That would motivate me, but sooner or later the players have to make up their mind what they want. Maybe I need to start a whole new five, I just don’t know. We will go back and practice at 6 a.m. and we just have to get tougher.”