No. 3 Troy 88, No. 2 UTA (22-8) 59
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Lakefront Arena • New Orleans, La.
UTA Head Coach Krista Gerlich
“Congratulations to Troy. Obviously they were the better team tonight, no doubt. And Coach Rigby does such a great job with her girls and getting them ready to play. They very much were senior led and on a mission tonight. They are an incredible basketball team, particularly on the boards. They are so strong and so deep and they just crash the boards. I thought that from the tip, particularly the first three or four mintues, they set the tone. We tried really hard to convince our kids not to play with them like that, not to play their game, and I know it is difficult beause of the way they play not to take early shots and not get post touches, but that’s just not our style of play. We really have to work the ball and get post touches and execute our offense and we struggled with that all night long. It was difficult for us to get it under control. I thought that at halftime we had kind of weathered the storm. It didn’t feel like it, but I think we were down 12, and that’s within reach because Troy is going to keep doing what Troy does. They are going to keep shooting the basketball, and if you can rebound it some, you have a chance to come back on them. But I felt like they shot the ball really well tonight and we didn’t do a good job of keeping them off the boards. Just disappointed in us not following our game plan and disappointed for our kids. We have come such a long way, but obviously kudos to Troy, I thought they did a nice job tonight.”
What do you say to your team to try to come back from a deficit?
“I think you try really hard to prepare your kids well for this time of year. It is about what they do, I mean they’re the ones who have to execute it, you know, you just try to direct them in the direction that helps them most benefit from what Troy does best. You only have so many time outs and I really wanted to call it. That may be the second time all year when I called it twice within the first half. I just wanted to settle my kids more than anything. I just really wanted to get them to understand that it’s okay. There are lots of nerves, lots of adrenaline pumping all those things, but they just got to really be more disciplined and more focused on what we’re trying to do and execute it. You try different rotations, different offenses, different defenses. Troy, once you let them out of the gates, it’s a little hard to get back in it. Especially because it’s difficult to press them. I think they do such a good job at the press part of their game.”
UTA junior center Rebecca VanDijk
What did you say when talking to the team in the huddle?
”I was just kind of telling them that we’re still in it and that we still need to play hard and we need to play our basketball instead of Troy’s basketball and I just wanted to give them some hope and tell them to keep working hard and keep doing it. We’ve come back from a 12 point deficit before and we could’ve done it tonight.”
What is the meaning of ‘What’s Your Why’ on your warm-up shirts?
”Definitely one of my big whys is definitely playing for my dad. I think one of his favorite things to do is watch us play basketball and he’s got the best spot in the house now.”
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