WBB: UTA 65, South Alabama 53 - Postgame Quotes

March 9, 2017

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No. 10 South Alabama (11-20) 53 vs. No. 2 UTA (22-7) 65
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Lakefront Arena • New Orleans, La.

Postgame Quotes

UTA Head Coach Krista Gerlich
“Well we were really excited to get that win and just to establish ourselves in the semifinals obviously. But that’s really big for our program. That’s our first post-season win in the Sun Belt. I thought that these two kids did a great job of putting our team on their back. Obviously I thought that South Alabama played really well. We knew it would be a tough game. They are so well coached and they do a good job on the scout. They make you have to go to option 2, 3, 4, and 5 because they defend your first option so well. But I thought that our kids dug deep. We did not shoot the ball well, we did the first quarter and then we got a little tight it looked like, but I thought that we did shoot the ball really, really well from the free throw line and especially late. And thought that they did a good job in digging deep and finishing the game.”

On having 7 assists in the 1st quarter and only 6 in final 3 quarters.
“Well we quit hitting shots for one thing, our shooting percentage went drastically down. It wasn’t that we weren’t sharing the ball, we weren’t working for as good a shot. Sometimes I think when you get some shots early you start relying on thinking that they’re going to be easy you start losing your focus a little bit and I felt that we did that in the second quarter particularly. But I did think that we had stage fright just a little bit almost throughout the entire game. But I thought late in the game that we dug deep. And I thought that Asia (Allen) had a big three in the corner and really wanted the ball, and that helped us kind of spread the gap a little bit.”

How good does the win feel?
“It feels really good. I love conference tournament time. I love the fact that we bring all the teams in. And I say that being the number two seed its really tough playing lower seeds because they have nothing to lose and they really get after it. But I love that fact that they have the opportunity. Because I’ve been there before, and you want to motivate your kids so the fact that you go in at a higher seed and they’ve played a game before. That’s difficult and it was hard being at home on Tuesday watching those games being played already knowing they are getting their first game jitters out of the way. But to win, to finally get that first win really feels good. It’s huge for our program and obviously, we don’t want to be satisfied with just one win. But our kids have got to figure out how to steamroll through the rest of this tournament.”

UTA junior guard Cierra Johnson
How does your first career first postgame win feel?
”It feels great. The past two years we’ve been right there but we just couldn’t pull it off, so it feels really good to be able to get our first win.”

On Christina Devers having an off night, but grabbing 8 rebounds.
“To me it just shows she can do more than one thing. She’s not just a shooter. She can rebound, she can attack the basket, she can do all that. If one thing isn’t working you’ve got to find something else and I think she did a great job tonight.”

UTA junior center Rebekah VanDijk
Does close game show difficulty in winning in the postseason?
”I think so. We also have seven new players who this was the first time playing in the Sun Belt tournament. I think there were a lot of nerves going around. Your first game you have to shake off a few of those nerves and you keep playing through it and work hard.”




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