Georgetown Postgame Quotes
HARTFORD, Conn. - Transcription of West Virginia coach Mike Carey and Mountaineers players Asya Bussie, Taylor Palmer and Akilah Bethel following Sunday's win over Georgetown to advance to the Big East Tournament semifinals (Courtesy Big East):
COACH CAREY: Yeah, really wasn't a pretty game, needless to say. But you know what, you just try to survive, and we just tried to survive that game. We struggled all night.
With that being said, I want to give our girls credit. We didn't get shook up. We continued to play defense. We didn't let our offense affect our defense, so that was key.
Then I think Taylor Palmer coming in and hitting those threes was really big for us to open it up a little bit, the lead. Then with our defense, we were able to keep the lead.
Then at the end to make it interesting we missed probably about ten foul shots, so we want to keep it interesting, don't we, Asya? Asya scored her thousandth point in her career, so proud of her.
Akilah wasn't playing a lot early, but now she attacks for us off the guard positions. But we're young on the perimeter. As you can see, we made some dumb turnovers and some dumb things, but we continued to play defense. That is the key with our team. We'll continue to play defense, even if our offense is not clicking.
Q. Asya, you talked yesterday about how physical that game was yesterday, and it looked like this one was even worse than that. Talk about how tough it was to get a clean look at the basket much less score when you were down in the paint?
ASYA BUSSIE: Yeah, like I said yesterday, we knew this game was going to be physical. Last time we played them, I didn't get too many clean looks. But I think our guards really stepped up and played, and got this win for us because they stepped up big time.
Q. Taylor, I know coming down the last part of the season has been kind of a struggle for you with your shooting. But you've got your chances from three today. You knocked down some big wins. Can you just speak to a little bit about what you've gone through toward the end of the season and trying to get your shot back and then seeing it come back in a big way today?
TAYLOR PALMER: I just think the biggest thing for me was the confidence. I started losing my confidence at the end of the season because I wasn't hitting my shots. But I just talked to my teammates, and they had confidence in me and the coaches still had confidence in me. So I just came out today and just took my shots and didn't even think about it, just let them go.
Q. What did Coach say to you guys at the half? 15 12, you guys are winning, but clearly I don't think he was too happy with the offense. Just what did he say to get you guys motivated to come out?
ASYA BUSSIE: He was saying our defense was good. Offensively we were being really tentative. Just, you know, just not taking the shots we usually take. We were confident. It was just offensively that was holding us back, but defensively, we were playing well.
Q. I think Sugar Rodgers was 5 for 20, so obviously you guys made her work for every shot. Can you talk about how important it is when you play them to make her work if she's going to score her points?
AKILAH BETHEL: Because she was their main player, I think it was important for us to take her out of the equation just so we could make the other players on their team beat us, because we know she's the go to person. Every shot she has, she worked for. So that was our main goal.
TAYLOR PALMER: Yeah, you've got to give it to Jess Harlee. She played really hard. All the guards contributed to it, but she really busted her butt out there, basically, and made every shot she takes. Basically contested it, and it was harder for her to make shots.
Q. Mike, you've coached a lot of games, but if you looked at the stat sheet now and saw your guys shot 9 for 24 from the free throw line and scored 39 points, would you have thought you'd win many of those games?
COACH CAREY: Not unless I looked at Georgetown stats. That's the only way I think we would have won that game. But, no, absolutely not. I want to echo what Taylor Palmer said. Jess Harlee, when Sugar did hit a couple threes on us, she was out. We had to rest her. When she was in the game, I tell you what, she made it very tough and fought over picks and talked and communicated.
The thing with Sugar, she gets a lot of her threes on transition, and Jess Harlee did an excellent job. That's one thing we kept working on. Go find Sugar Rodgers. I don't care if you have somebody else stop the ball, go find Rodgers and don't let her have the three on transition. So I thought she stayed focused 40 minutes defensively. Really did.
But to answer your question, no. My goodness, no. The score was 15 13 at halftime. I mean, my goodness. I kept feeling that we were playing good defense, and we were turning it over, but not turning it over for lay ups. You know what I mean? There is a big difference. I kept telling them I'd rather you throw it up in the stands than turn it over in half court and give them lay ups, because then our defense can't set up.
Even though we were playing bad offensively, and Asya's right, I talked about offense, our guards weren't attacking. We were hesitant on our shots. We were scared to miss, and we can't play that way. We can only play one way.
Q. How much is it to see Taylor get some confidence today in hitting those big threes when you need it?
COACH CAREY: Yeah, I'm happy for her, because it's not like she doesn't get in there in the gym before practice and after practice. She's been getting a lot of shots up and working on her shot. Then in practice a lot of times she looks very good in her shooting. I was glad to see her. Maybe she'll have some confidence now going down the stretch here.
Q. Mike, I know you have a lot of work to do still in this tournament, but what do you feel about - how do you feel about this being the end of the line in the Big East for West Virginia and how will you look back on your time here?
COACH CAREY: Needless to say, I love the Big East. I always did. When I first got a job at West Virginia, I was so excited to coach in the Big East and coach against great players in the Big East and the great coaches and go see different places that I've never seen before.
I've made a lot of friends in the coaching community in the Big East, in the Big East office, staff people, everything. So I'm definitely going to miss it. One thing I wanted to say before I leave, the people of Connecticut and the media of Connecticut have just been great to West Virginia since I've been here. I want to thank them, and thank everybody.
We are going to the Big 12. I'm looking forward to that challenge. That's going to be a big challenge. But I'm definitely going to miss the Big East.
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