March 18, 2012
Georgia Tech Head Coach MaChelle Joseph
“Obviously I’m very pleased with our defensive effort. It took us a while to get our feet underneath us – we’ve been off for two weeks – and once we got our defense going we were able to convert some easy baskets on the offensive end. That got our energy level up and I though we able to make some big plays. Obviously, Sydney Wallace was a huge factor today. We brought her to Georgia tech Tech to score and she’s done that in spurts throughout the whole ACC season and it’s really pushed us over the edge and helped us win some key games especially going down the stretch but today she took it to a whole other level. One of the things we’ve been talking to her about is putting two halves together because we knew if she could put two halves together she could have big numbers and today she stepped out there and really knocked down shots. One of the things we talked about coming into this tournament, the two teams we felt like we were going to face play a lot of zone defense so we knew our three point shooters were going to have to step up and Sydney did that for us today.”
On the defense:
“One of the things we talked about when we started building this program nine years ago is that we’re going to build it on defense and rebounding. One of the things we’ve done is really depended on our defense over the past six yeas, making the NCAA Tournament six times in a row. It’s a credit to our defense. We haven’t always been a very good offensive team – this is probably my best offensive team I’ve coached since I’ve been at Georgia Tech. We have a lot of different weapons and you saw that today with the way Sydney Wallace stepped up. But our defense is what got us here and our defense will keep us here.”
Freshman guard Sydney Wallace
On how it feels to have a big game in the NCAA Tournament: “I just went out there with confidence and once I knocked down the first shot I was very confident and I just continued to shoot.”Just in a zone?
“I was open. When I’m open and my teammates find me, it’s my job to knock down the shots and that’s what I did. My teammates did a good job of finding me in open areas and getting me open, as well. “
Senior center Sasha Goodlett
On how her play inside helped the team:
When you’re playing a team like Sacred Heart, if you’re a go-to player then you have to play your role. That’s all I wanted to do and what I was focused on. I’m the tallest player on the court, I have no excuses. I wasn’t going to sit down and let my team down when everyone was going to play hard. I had confidence that everyone was going to give everything they’ve got so I had to match that. It felt great. I’m very, very proud of Syd in her first NCAA Tournament. She started off with a bang. I’m just very happy. “
Sacred Heart Coach Ed Swanson
“It wasn’t one of our better games, but I thought Georgia Tech did a terrific job. They’re so athletic, they took us out of our rhythm, took us out of what we wanted to do. We knew it was going to be 40 minutes of really tough, focused basketball and we just let up in some stretches, but I told the team in the locker room not to let this overshadow what has been a terrific year. I’m extremely proud. We talked about, the returning players, part of our goal is our conference keeps getting better and better each year and we were excited about the 13 seed, but we need to do some more work in non-conference to move up to a 12 or 11 seed. But, extremely proud of the two players sitting here: Callan Taylor is leaving as one of the most decorated players (in school history), tremendous work ethic, she’s going to be really tough to replace. Not as much from a talent standpoint, but the work ethic she brings every day, and hopefully a little bit of it has rubbed off on her friend Gabby Washington down at the end. She had a terrific freshman year and we’re looking for good things from her in the future.
On the change when Callan Taylor went to the bench with her second foul: “She’s only the second player I think in my history I don’t sub for. She plays 40 minutes of basketball. Once she’s out of the game we lose that scoring threat but most important we lose our best defensive rebounder. That’s huge for us. It definitely took us out of rhythm.”
On being hurt by someone coming off the bench: “You have to give something up. We wanted to give up the perimeter shot. We practiced all week of just digging down on [Sasha] Goodlett. And I thought we did for the most part. I thought we did a pretty good job and she made some big plays and there’s a reason why she’s a second team All-ACC player. We wanted to give up the shots but we didn’t think [Sydney] Wallace would come in and shoot 6-for-8 from three. In the stats, that’s not her. But that is a danger – you have to give something up when you’re playing a Georgia Tech team that lost in the ACC Championship. You have to pick your poison and we picked to get beat from the outside.”
Senior forward Callan Taylor
On difficulty of getting off shots inside:
“It was pretty difficult. Our main focus was to catch and shoot, because they’re much bigger and more athletic. We just struggled in that area of not kicking it back out. ” “We let them dictate how we took care of the ball, we had too many unforced turnovers and dug ourselves into a hole. Against a talented team like this, it’s even more difficult to dig your way out.”
Freshman guard Gabrielle Washington
How hard was it to penetrate against their defense and did it throw your rhythm off?
“It threw it off a little bit but we just needed to play better, calm down and relax and pass out of it, do what we do instead of having them pressure us into something that we don’t.”