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Post-Game Quotesheet




March 1, 2014

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POST GAME QUOTESHEET

Pitt at Notre Dame • South Bend, Ind. • March 1, 2014

Pitt 85, Notre Dame 81 (OT)

 

Quoting Pitt coach Jamie Dixon

Opening statement …

“It was a close win for us, and a great way to come in against a team that played very well. Notre Dame’s shooting was great, but we withstood their barrage, where they shot 73% from the three-point line. It says a lot about our guys. It was a great character game for us, to just keep battling, keep fighting, and certainly that’s what it was. For us, it’s always rebounding. Oftentimes when we haven’t, we’ve fallen short. That gets forgotten by most, but it’s the number one factor for us. For a team that put shooters out there, you’ve got to hurt them in other ways, and that’s what we did. It was a great job from all of our guys, especially knocking down those free throws at the end. We’ve got a great knack for winning close games, especially in overtime. We shot free throws well, with a lot of clutch free throws from a lot of different guys at the end of the game. I thought we did a great job down the stretch fouling at the right time. That’s not easy to do, but they also did their job and knocked down their free throws.

On his timeout with three seconds left in regulation…

“We won the game, and we’ll still be questioned. I thought it was terrific, the shot at the end. I thought we put it in a good situation. I didn’t like the spacing at the end, and that’s what we did. I thought it was the right play, and it turned out that it wasn’t. We got a good look right after that. Any time you miss a shot, you can question that shot.”

On the team’s rebounding 

“That’s what I told our guys at halftime. I mean they were shooting well, but we were only down four at half. You always love seeing good rebounding because it’s such an effort stat, and that’s why we’re so good at it. It is something that we emphasize. We’ve done a great job in that area.”

On the clutch free throws at the end…

“We haven’t shot as well as I’d like to, but we made them down the stretch, and so did they. But at the same time, we missed one, which gives them the opportunity to go to overtime, which does stick out. We went 24-28, and that’s pretty good. I thought we did a great job. They were doing a great job of fouling immediately, but we had different guys in there that could hit the free throws.”


Quoting Pitt forward Lamar Patterson

On the big win against Notre Dame… 

“It was good. We dug deep and we came out with the win. We fought hard. They came out shooting hot. They were over 70 percent in the first half. We responded well in the second half and in overtime. It is a good win, especially against Notre Dame. I never beat them in my Pittsburgh career so it was good to get this win. “

On Notre Dame’s three-point shooting…

“They shoot the heck out of the ball. They did it today. We knew they had shooters. And I think there’s something with the rims; they’re super soft or something. It’s crazy. But we overcame that and did what we do, and rode them out. We came out with the win. We did that.”

 

Quoting Pitt forward Michael Young 

On the keys to winning the game…

“Controlling the boards, outrebounding them by 16 and then making our free throws is what kept us in the game and what ultimately got us the win.”

On scoring down low…

“From the beginning of the game we felt like we could exploit them down low with our big players being a lot quicker then their big players. In overtime that’s just how the game played out. We got it inside, drove the lane, and got some dump balls. That’s just how the game played out. There wasn’t an overemphasis on getting it down low. We were just playing basketball and trying to get the ball to the basket and getting easy points around the rim.”

On their free throw shooting…

“It felt really good. As a team we have had our lows with free throws. Some would say free throws were the difference between us winning a lot of our close games. Every game is a new game. Every time we go to the line we think one for one. We don’t think one for two, or I have to make this one. We just go one for one. We got to the line today. I made all of mine. LP [Lamar Patterson] made two big ones. Talib [Zanna] also made two big ones. When you want to win a game big players make big shots.”

 

Quoting Notre Dame coach Mike Brey

Opening statement…

“Second shots and turnovers really hurt us. Our young guys really made some big plays for us. But [Pittsburgh] is good and physical.”

On Notre Dame’s struggles obtaining offensive rebounds…

“Our perimeter guys were our leading rebounders. As good as our big guys were Wednesday, it was a tough night for them today. Having said that, you had chances, but it was just a tough one. It would have been nice to win on Senior Day for our guys, but [Pittsburgh] is good.”

On Steve Vasturia’s impact on the game, both on offense and with hustle plays…

“Well he guarded [Lamar] Patterson a lot too. He’s really our best perimeter defender and most reliable, and that’s why we had him on Patterson. He’s good with the ball, makes good decisions, and he does make clutch shots. He hasn’t shot it well in the first half, but in the second half, and in overtime, he makes some big ones. I’m really proud. I thought all three of our young guys. V.J. [Beachem] made a big one, but he wasn’t in there much. Demetrius [Jackson] was pretty good defensively for us. Those guys are getting a lot of reps and experience. Sometimes that doesn’t play into great stuff necessarily right now, but I hope that can help them down the road.”

On his reaction when Pat Connaughton got injured…

“I’m thinking that knowing my luck, that’s the end of him now too. He’s got to be pretty sore with a twisted ankle. But I think he’ll be fine for Monday. He battled. He and Vasturia were our best rebounders tonight.”

On Eric Atkins’ impact on the program… 

“That’s probably where I’m most disappointed in that we couldn’t get that one today for him. He’s been fabulous for us. I have an unbelievable, close relationship with him. He’s an extension of what we want to do. He kind of finishes my sentences. He’s been a great ambassador, has represented, and is a class act. I think he’s done a great job physically and mentally this year having to give us more than we and he probably thought. I don’t give him a break during the game. I feel almost bare if you take him out. But he’s one of the special guys to play in our program.”

 

Quoting Notre Dame guard Eric Atkins

On going into overtime…

“We just kept hitting shots. We went to our ball screens and I think everybody was just focusing on making plans. Steve [Vasturia] stepped up today as well as V.J. [Beachem]. We were very confident going into the overtime, but we didn’t get those rolls that we needed to win.”

On keeping the Pittsburgh players off the glass…

“They just do a great job of attacking the boards. They always send three. I think they normally attack one side of the board. They’re athletic and I think they just beat us up. I’m not exactly sure why it was so tough. ”

On today being senior day… 

“I really wanted this one bad. It meant a lot to me and to come up short hurts, but I’m proud of the way we fought.”

On how much Notre Dame means to him…

“It means everything. I feel like I really became a man here and I appreciate it for that.”

On his message to the underclassmen players…

“Right now, I tell them to just finish strong here. I just want to keep giving them the confidence for next year. I think our young guys are amazing and they’re all going to have great careers here.”

 

Quoting Notre Dame guard Steve Vasturia

On getting open looks in the second half…

“We were just moving the ball. Eric [Atkins] does a great job getting in the lane, and once he gets in the lane people collapse and you have open shooters. He proved that tonight.”

On making open shots 

“I was just trying to make an impact. It’s the same mentality that I had the whole game. I got some open shots and didn’t hesitate.”

On progression throughout the season…

“I’ve just been learning every game, picking up new things and gaining confidence. I think just getting the experience is big.”

On final regular season matchup against North Carolina…

“We have to be ready for a big North Carolina game. It’s the last game of the season. We have to take the positives from today and try to get better.”

On hustle plays… 

“I think that part of my game has always been there. Just trying to pick up loose balls and be aggressive and play hard until the end of the game.”