Nov. 18, 2005
NCAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
November 18, 2005
@ GW 53
GW Coach Joe McKeown
What were the major reasons behind the loss?
"There are a lot of things, mostly the effort that we put on the floor tonight was unlike our teams over the years. I can live with not making shots and Virginia making shots, but the effort was really the most glaring thing to me, and the first thing we have to address."
"We did a terrible job of blocking them out, especially on the offensive glass. They give up 16 offensive rebounds, and it seemed like they converted a lot of the 2nd chance baskets.... We had to sit Simmonds much of the first half, and that really hurt us. A couple of big plays toward the end of the first half turned what could have been a close game into a 20-point lead."
Did some players have first-game jitters?
"Keenan Cole and Sarah-Jo Lawrence were a little nervous tonight, the way they shot the ball. Sarah-Jo made some shots late in the 2nd half. But Keenan goes 2 for 10, and she's been lighting people up in practice. Sarah-Jo lives right near UVa., so I think she was pretty juiced up to play them. Those two will play better. They're terrific players, but they struggled a little bit."
What do you have to do to rebound from this loss?
"It starts on Sunday at our next practice. We need to pick up our practice effort. It clearly showed in the game how we practiced this week. So it will start Sunday with a hard practice."
On being unable to turn rebounds into points.
"It hurts when you're right under the basket and you miss... They were shots that we usually make. Clearly it was an off night for just about all of us. It hurts your momentum; you get down and make good plays, but can't convert layups."
Virginia Coach Debbie Ryan
On opening the season on the road
"Typically, we don't play someone ranked in the country on the road, like we did tonight. Normally, we start the season at home against someone you're supposed to beat. So this was not a normal season opener. [GW] was a tough team, they're going to do very, very well in the Atlantic 10. We had a lot of respect for them coming in, and I felt like our team was very ready to play."
What part of GW's game did you try to counter?
"We were real concerned with Beck and Simmonds. When you take a look at their team, they're the ones who stand out immediately. Sarah-Jo Lawrence
came on strong near the end, and they had kids step up and do some things toward the end of the game. But Beck and Simmonds were the keys for us, and we really did key on them."
Did your experience make a difference in the 2nd half?
"We're not older than they are. Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes when you're a ranked team coming in to your season opener and you play a tough opponent, the pressure's on you. There was no pressure on us because we're not ranked. It was easier for us; we could just come in and play. There hasn't been a whole lot of hype about us."