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Nov. 13, 2011

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Rider at No. 10 Pitt, Petersen Events Center, November 13, 2011

Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon 

Opening Statement:

“Give them credit.  I saw them play and I knew their guys from last year.  I thought Rider was a talented team.  I know they were missing a point guard, but I don’t think anyone has scored that many points against us in a first half.  We have a lot of work to do; there is no question about it, especially on the defensive end.  We stressed it the last two days.  They made shots and we have a lot of work to do, but give them credit.  I don’t want to take away from what Rider did.  I don’t think they felt like they played well in their last game and they came back and responded well tonight.  Give coach Dempsey credit, give their experienced seniors credit and now we have to work on some things.  Obviously for us, it starts on the defensive end.  I didn’t think we played great defense last game.  Forty-five points in the first half tonight is a pretty good indicator.  We responded in the second half, we made some adjustments and I finally got a little bit smarter.  We’ve got some work to do.” 

On the team’s defensive performance:

“They spaced us and drove on us early.  We put a big focus on not giving up layups.  I think the number was 13 that we gave up.  It was layups, it was 3-pointers, they shot 53 percent and they had five turnovers, so that was offensive efficiency.”

On the offensive performance: 

“We had open looks.  Our offense was pretty good.  We shot 50 percent, we got 20 offensive rebounds and only had nine turnovers.  I thought we got a little bit stationary, didn’t get as much penetration for a stretch there, relied on too many threes, way too many, 34 of our 62 shots. I don’t think we’ve ever had a percentage like that.”

On Nasir Robinson’s performance: 

“He did some good things on the offensive end.  He had four assists which is something I talked to him today about.  That sets up the scoring too, if you make a couple of good passes, it gives the guys inside more room to work.”

On outrebounding Rider 43-19, yet winning such a close game:  

“I’m concerned, but I was concerned yesterday.  I was also concerned the day before.  We have to get better.”

Quoting Pitt’s Tray Woodall 

On possibly letting up early after leading by 14:

“No, not really at all.  Nobody saw the best of their team against Robert Morris.  Tonight those guys came out ready to play.  They came out and made shots.  They played a lot more efficient and they had a lot of guys who could do a lot of things off the dribble.  That is what you saw tonight.” 

Quoting Ashton Gibbs

On the 7-0 run at the end of the game: 

“It started on the defensive end.  We started getting stops.  It wasn’t our best performance, but we got through it.  We knocked down some key shots, but we got stops.  That’s where it all starts.  We base our game on defending and rebounding.  That’s what it came down to, and we got the win.”

Quoting Pitt’s Nasir Robinson

On the challenges Rider presented underneath the basket:

“They had a lot of athletic guys down there.  I just tried to outsmart them to finish plays down there.”

Rider’s Head Coach Tommy Dempsey:

Opening statement:

“Well, I told our players that there is no such thing as a moral victory. We came here to win a basketball game.  We were embarrassed by the way we played on Friday night up at Robert Morris, and I thought there was a real competitive response from my team.  I was proud of our effort, but we came here to win and we didn’t win so we fell short of the goal.  I was pleased with (my team’s) effort.”

On how Rider got open shots on the perimeter:

“Good ball movement.  I think what we try to do against the big teams is drag their big players out and make them guard us on the perimeter.  When you get the big players out either guarding ball screens or out guarding our forwards, who are more like driving or attacking like forwards similar to Nasir Robinson, we try to drag them out to the perimeter and take advantage of them a little bit, and then I think that created a lot of help defense from Pitt, and then our guys shared the ball really nicely.”

On playing with a 7-man rotation:

“For a variety of reasons we don’t have three of our rotation players with us, so it’s not that we set out to play seven but we had some guys that didn’t make the trip.  We just needed to get the guys that played to understand that they were going to play a lot of minutes and they were going to have to really battle against one of the premier teams in the country, and they stepped up and responded.”

On Pitt’s frontcourt:

“It’s very good. I just think that there is some tough matchups out there for them against a team like us.  Our guys are undersized and quick and we didn’t try to score through them at all.  We made a really concentrated effort in practice the last two days to get our big guys to catch, face the basket, and try to take it around them.  They like to play one-on-one in the post. They don’t do a lot of digging or a lot of doubling so I think the reason we were so successful in the points in the paint category is we were able to take it around them rather than trying to go through them.”

Quoting Rider’s Anthony Myles:

On his performance: 

“I felt good.  I’m just fulfilling the role of my team.  Being a point guard is not really my position so I’m just stepping into a role that they need me to play.”

On six-point lead in second half: 

“I felt like we were going to be able to pull it out the whole game. That was my attitude coming into the game.”

Quoting Rider’s Jeff Jones: 

On playing so many minutes:

“To beat Pitt you have to play for 40 minutes, and we just had guys coming out and they hit the big shots when they needed to.  We didn’t use that as an excuse that we were tired. We were out there fighting like them.  It is no excuse, we just kept fighting.” 

Quoting Rider’s Novar Gadson:

On playing well against Pitt’s defense: 

“We knew we had to have a competitive response.  There was a lot of pride on the line throughout the locker room and the way we got beat (against Robert Morris), is not us.  Like coach said, we have players like Brandon (Penn) and I who have been in environments like that and won.  We came in with a lot of confidence and we let one slip.”

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