March 22, 2005
George Washington Coach Joe McKeown
"I want to congratulate Coach Hatchell and the team. I thought the first 10 minutes was exactly what we needed to do - spread the floor, reverse the ball, and play real solid defensively. They're just so quick to the ball and defensively take you out of what you want to do. We just struggled. Our main goal was to get in at halftime five up, one down, one up, or just keep it real close and try to shorten the game in the second half. They just didn't allow us to do that. That's basically my reflection of the game.
"Without getting too emotional, you have to understand what the seniors meant to our program. I want to thank them. We had a great year - nobody expected us to. We lost four seniors last year. A top 20 team, two of them got drafted. Everybody on this team came together this year. It was one of those years when you look back, you are going to say, 'that is one of the most fun years I've ever had coaching', and I just want to thank our seniors for giving me the opportunity to coach them."
On North Carolina's point guard Ivory Latta:
"You look at the top teams in the country and there's a reason that they are there. They usually have a great point guard. She's very impressive. She reminds me of Allen Iverson more so than Phil Ford even though she wears number 12. She can just create a shot whenever she wants."
On how proud he is of the team:
"To beat a North Carolina State, to beat Villanova, to finish first in the Atlantic 10 in our division, to go 23-9 - I don't think anybody expected that except the people that showed up at practice the first day. That's what I'm really proud of."
On how to prepare for a defense like North Carolina's:
"I wish I had more time, maybe we could have done some things differently. We had to play Sunday and then turn around and play today, so you don't have a lot of time. We worked against North Carolina last week a little bit just on the hope we'd beat Ole Miss. One thing we did was put six people out there on defense a couple times. It's just hard to simulate their speed and quickness. What I didn't realize was the shot blocking ability. We're not a very big team, and I think they caught us looking at them a little bit at times. So we struggled with that."
Senior Forward Anna Montanana
On how tough North Carolina's defense was on her:
"They have a great defense. I think the game showed they have great athletes. It was a great job by them."
Senior Forward Liz Dancause
On her four years at George Washington:
"I've been on various teams, but this year was so special because no one thought we could do that well or thought we were going to have a winning record, never mind making it to the championship game of the A-10 Tournament. That's what I love about this team. Even though we're done, those girls just fought so hard and really stuck with it. I was really proud of their effort."
North Carolina Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell
"It wasn't the best game that we've ever played, but it was a win. George Washington really fought hard out there. I thought we started off very slow, and in the second half I had to call a timeout and we hadn't even played a minute. But then we got going. I think some of it was the jitters, second round on our home court and just a lot of things. These two young ladies (Ivory Latta and Nikita Bell) got us going. Ivory did a nice job of pushing the tempo of the game and Nikita got going for us with her intensity on defense. We didn't play as well as we usually do, but GW had a lot to do with that. Defensively I thought we did a pretty good job because they shot 25 percent. We're going to look at the film and try to do a better job , but we are going to the Sweet 16 and we're real happy about that."
On effective defense against Anna Montanana:
"Camille Little is a great player, offense and defense. She takes a lot of pride in her defense. Camille came in [this week] and got her own tapes the last couple of days and studied those tapes. She came in and talked to the coaches and she looked at everything that [Montanana] did and Camille was ready. We did double her some and made her be a passer. She's an excellent passer. Once we got going out there our defense was pretty good. We didn't have it for 40 minutes, but overall defensively, I felt that made a big difference in the game."
On the satisfaction of getting to Sweet 16:
"We want more. Sixteen is good, but we know that we're going to have to go into foreign territory and play in a really tough environment. But this team is pretty tough. I look forward to going to Tempe and playing another game out there."
On playing away from home in the next rounds:
"This team has played some tough games on the road this year. I don't know how much tougher it could be than over at Cameron (Indoor Stadium at Duke). That was a really tough environment over there, so I think our conference has prepared us for a tough environment. I know it's going to be tough out there, but our players have been through some of that. I'm just happy to have the opportunity to play the game and we'll do the best we can."
On LaToya Pringle's defense after losing Erlana Larkins to leg cramps:
"It was big. She's got long arms and she was a great shot-blocker. She has great timing and she's very good at scoring, even though we didn't use her that much tonight. She was major. When Erlana went out that could have been a big difference [in the game]. Latoya really helped us out."
UNC Senior forward/guard Nikita Bell
On good defense against Montanana:
"Camille [Little] played great defense on her. We knew that she was their 'go-to' player from watching film. I have to give credit to Camille and our help-side defense. We just tried to limit her touches. Camille was physical with her and made her take shots that she probably didn't want to take. We just kept going at it and stuck to the game plan."
On whether the team relaxed with the big lead:
"Oh no. I remember seeing that we were up by 17, but I felt like we were only up four points. It's not good enough, because this is the NCAA Tournament. It's easy to come back from being 17 down, and we just wanted to keep fighting and play hard and try to execute. You never can relax in these games."
UNC Sophomore guard Ivory Latta
On trouble getting the entry passes into post:
"Some of the times our post player couldn't get open for us to pass to them, but I think they got a hold of it a bit more. They came over the back a lot, so we also have to read that as guards. I think that was my fault because I should have read it a little bit more than I did. It is something that we're going to have to work on."
On LaToya Pringle's performance:
"I don't know what to say about that girl but that she's long. She's also a great player and all the blocks that she made and help-side defense that she was in. Every time that she gets in there, she plays with a lot of heart. She did an awesome job tonight."