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@GTWBB Quotes vs. Duke

Feb. 21, 2016

Recap |  Final Stats

Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph:
Opening Statement:
“First of all, I want to say that this is not sweat. They poured water on me in the locker room, so I don’t want anyone to think I’m up here [sweating]. But what an exciting opportunity for our young team, and you know we’ve been getting better and better all year long and we’ve weathered some storms, we’ve lost some really close games to the top teams in the ACC, and I felt like, in February, we really started playing better basketball. We were just not doing the little things to close out games. A missed box out here, a missed shot, a layup here, and I thought tonight with, our leading scorer—the ACC’s leading scorer not shooting particularly well, I thought our other players stepped up and made plays.”

On Aaliyah Whiteside’s limited minutes:
“Well we had gone on a run with her out of the game and her defense, not only was she not scoring, she just wasn’t on point tonight. I mean ‘Liyah showed up for us all year long, every game, game in and game out, and tonight, you know, I just felt like she wasn’t having her best game and I just went with some other players. We’ve learned to build trust in each other. We trust some of these younger kids to step up and fill in minutes. I think early on in the year we were depending too much on Aaliyah and I think these other kids have kind of grown into their roles. And I thought she made some critical plays at the end of the game to help us win the game but, you know, she just wasn’t herself tonight. I mean she got it done for us on the boards, 10 rebounds…10 rebounds and eight points on her worst night of the year is not too bad. But I just felt like, at that time we were on a run, and we had some good things going on the court, so that’s where we got some separation.”

On taking advantage of Duke’s lack of interior depth:
“Well I thought early on in the game, we took too many threes so we really started going inside, and I thought Zaire O’Neil, in the first half, kind of carried us inside and kind of got us going with her toughness and finishing. But you know, I think the thing with all of us in the ACC, you know we’ve all been hit by injuries, and we’ve all had to try to persevere through it, and you know, I think Duke is a very talented team, it’s unfortunate the injuries they’ve had, I mean, you don’t wish that on anybody. We’ve had our share of injuries this year, last year, but I think Duke fought hard, I give their team credit, they never gave up. I mean, they fought, and fought, and fought. I thought [Rebecca] Greenwell in the first half was really, really special. I thought she kind of got worn down a little bit in the second half because we were trying to deny her all over the floor. But I do think, you know, obviously in this league, depth is a factor. Especially at this time of the year.”

On Georgia Tech’s and Duke’s chances in the ACC Tournament:
“I think it depends on the recovery of [Azurá] Stevens. You know, when she comes back, that adds 20 more points. That’s a different team, and I think they get a lot of confidence from her. So it just depends on her injury and when she gets back on the court. For us, I think we started to get better as the year went on. We have 11 underclassmen, and so we’ve really worked hard at—you know, we have three seniors, and so we’ve really worked hard at developing our depth and for the tournament, we say it’s not over until it’s over, and we’ve got two games left, and we’d love to finish this league out at .500, because anybody at .500 in this league has a chance of getting postseason play.”

On Duke’s offensive rebounding:
“You know, one of the things we built this program on a long time ago was defensive rebounding, and we’ve kind of gotten away from that in the past couple of years. But this team, one of the things we started out—we were getting outrebounded early on in the season, every game, game in and game out, and we’ve really worked hard at being a tougher team, pursuing the basketball. And I thought tonight, I said, ‘Whoever wins the battle of the boards will win the game.’ And I felt like, that we were able to make those key plays. And right there in the stretch, what was it, about a two-minute stretch, under two minutes to play where we got four or five offensive rebounds.”

On making an offensive push in the fourth quarter:
“Well I thought we made some adjustments for Aaliyah [Whiteside], you know we were running some sets for her that she normally gets; those are usually automatic shots, two points. We switched her and Katerina Vuckovic in those positions because we have that versatility with those two; they can both play guard, they can both play post. And then we were able to open up the floor a little more for AT (Antonia Perreson) in the corner.”

Sophomore Antonia Peresson
On consistent three-point corner shot:
I mean they told me to shoot when I was open. So, my team put me in the situation in which I was open and I just had to knock it down. So, it was not me, it was the team that made me open and I just had to shoot and knock it down.”

On pouring water on coach postgame:
“You know, we really wanted to win this game. We wanted to do it for our seniors. We wanted to turn it around because this was a huge game for us and I think we grew up today, we played together. I think everybody stepped up when we had to and we got a big win. We fought, we fought, we fought and we played tough and that’s what mattered.”


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