Nov. 18, 2010
NCAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
November 18, 2010
GW Head Coach Mike Bozeman
"It feels good to get the first victory under our belt. The first half went about the way we wanted it. The second half was one to grow on. We've got to get better with energy and focus coming out of halftime. I want to get used to playing with big leads, and we need to get better at closing out."
What pleased you about the first half?
"The ball movement was really good. We were getting touches, we were stringing the ball. We like to play the width of the court. We were forcing the defense to rotate to the furthest reaches. We weren't playing inside out; I was getting people to play basketball within our sets. In the second half, we were playing not to lose. Being young, we're going to grow on that one."
What does it mean to have your injured players back?
"It's tough to have two great recruiting classes back-to-back, and not get to use them. This is only Danni's seventh game in Division I basketball, so she has to grow. This is my third year coaching this team, so we're all getting our feet on solid ground now. Ivy's coming on after missing a season. The players came on with a lot more energy tonight, and we're going to keep getting better."
What was your defensive strategy?
"Coppin's known for being aggressive, and having that penetrating action and ball handling. Our press was pretty effective. To come and break our press, then come up against our match-up zone did exactly what we intended it to do. It's going to cause some problems, and the better we get at it, the more success we'll have."
Kye Allums seemed very comfortable tonight.
"Kye let the game come to him a lot better than he did in Minnesota. That was a lot of pressure for him. I'm sure he didn't know what to expect out there; the adrenalin was flowing. Now, he's back in more comfortable surroundings, which may sound odd. But he hadn't been back to Minnesota to play basketball in a long time. This is home now, and he looked more comfortable out there. The team was giving him the ball in the positions that would allow him to be successful."
What does having Ivy Abiona back do for the team?
"The greatest quality Ivy brings is the leadership piece that we missed last season. After this game, talking to the team in the locker room and explaining that the way we played in the second half is not the way we're going to be successful."
Redshirt senior forward Ivy Abiona
Talk about your defense in the second half and the blocked shots.
"That was fun. [laughs] I just took the avenues that were given to me."
It seems like you're able to get up and down well, and that your knees aren't giving you trouble.
"Yes, they feel great, and I feel great. It's good to get that first win under our belt. It takes a lot of pressure off."
Sophomore guard Danni Jackson
How does it feel to be back playing at the Smith Center again?
"It feels really good. I'm just excited to be out there again. It's been a year, and I just want to play basketball."
With you at the point, it seemed the team was more aggressive.
"I just wanted to play my game, which is quick, and get everyone involved. I had a little trouble doing that in the second half, but we got the win, so that's the big thing."
What did you learn from the trip to Minnesota?
"We need to execute, play within our offense. Use our steals, but do what the coach says and run through the play. I think for the most part we made some improvement tonight."