GEORGE WASHINGTON PRESS CONFERENCE
MARCH 20, 2005
George Washington Coach Joe McKeown
"I expected it to be a good game, but I didn't expect to be down by 14 points in the second half. I have a lot of respect for Ole Miss, and I also have a lot of respect for our team. We never quit- it has been that way all year. We play hard and we are really a blue-collar team. We bring it every night, and it is not always pretty, but we find a way to compete, and we find a way to win, which is what happened tonight. Anna (Montanana) is such a great player, even though she struggled a little bit tonight, she still made big plays at the end of the game and she is who I want with the ball. I was also very proud of Kimberly (Beck) as well, because Ole Miss has some great guards with speed and good athletic ability. I thought Kim found her pace in the last nine, 10 minutes to help turn the game around."
On sophomore guard Amanda LoCascio's limited play:
"We were struggling to get anything going, and she just turned the game around for us. We went small and she played with a lot of poise, she hit a three for us, and some big free throws. She was also in on two or three big defensive plays, which she often does. I was really proud of her."
On freshman guard Sarah-Jo Lawrence's play during the game:
"Overall she's fearless. I think she struggled and was nervous in the first half being a freshman, but she started taking the ball strong to the basket, and I think that she has got one of the quickest first steps of any player in the Atlantic 10. We tried to get her on the baseline a little bit, and she started getting rebounds, She just never stops moving. She broke down a little bit in the second half but I think she recovered in the end. She is going to be a great player for us, and I think tonight was a big step for her."
On preparing for UNC on Tuesday:
"I think it's the NCAA Tournament, and it's about heroes and dreamers. I think that we have a great opportunity on Tuesday night against the number one seed, and we're going to be loose and ready to play. I think that they are a terrific team, but right now it is more about our preparation and us playing the way that we can play. I think that we have won ten of our last eleven games, so I'm really more worried about how we play. UNC is who they are, they are a great team, and they come at you in a lot of ways, and we'll deal with that but right now I'm just excited. Our kids adjusted well preparation wise and hopefully it will be a great game. Tonight was a great game as well."
Senior Forward Anna Montanana
On their defensive playing style in the second half:
"I think we played defense more aggressively, and we did what our coaches told us to do. We fronted their post players, and denied them from going to either side. We did the little things that were needed and it worked."
On The Ole Miss players' reactions to the momentum swing in the second half:
"During our momentum swing, I could tell that their top scorers were not looking for their shots as much as usual, and that they couldn't believe that we were catching up with them."
On keeping the team together as a leader and only one of two remaining players with NCAA Tournament experience:
"I really did not need to say anything because we bring intensity every game. They really turned up the intensity in the second half, and that is why we were able to take this game because of our defense."
Freshman Guard Kimberly Beck
On coming back from a 14-point deficit in the second half:
'We came out flat and we knew we had to pick up our defense. I think we just knew that either we do that or we're going home."
OLE MISS PRESS CONFERENCE
MARCH 20, 2005
Mississippi coach Carol Ross
"Obviously, we're a pretty heartbroken bunch, but that's what March Madness is all about. It's awfully disappointing that we couldn't hang on to what we had, but GW did a great job of hanging around. They hit some big buckets - they didn't shoot the ball well, but they hit some timely baskets and we just did not handle some of our situations well."
On whether the team got complacent with the big lead in the second half:
"I think it was a combination of a few things. Our five position, Amber Watts, was in foul trouble and picked up her fourth foul after we established some kind of momentum. Amber Terrell at halftime had an injury and wasn't able to play in the second half, so we went to our third post player in the center position and she's a freshman who has a great future, but ...we just had so much adversity at that position - fouls, injuries, inexperience. When that happens, it affects a lot of things. One, it affects your confidence. Two, it affects your chemistry and it affects the flow of your offense. "On top of that, GW was doing a good job and playing good defense. They really did the whole night - there was a very small window where we really had our way offensively. So, it was a combination of those things. When the wheels started rolling backwards, it was very hard for us to stop their momentum and energy. We did not handle the adversity very well. We made turnovers and even when we didn't turn it over, there was no rhythm or flow offensively. From our perspective, it was a meltdown. From GW's perspective, I'm sure their defense was also a factor."
Senior guard Elizabeth Cansdale
On coming out strong in the second half:
"We knew we had to improve in some areas when we went back out on the court. We focused on where we thought we needed to improve."
On her shooting night:
"Once I got the jitters out I knew I needed to hit some shots to keep us in the game and keep the momentum going for us."
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Colonials and Wildcats tip at 1:00 p.m. at the Pavilion