Saturday, March 19, 2016

Transcript: UNC Asheville Head Coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick, Paige Love Post #3 UK Hoops 85 vs #14 UNC Asheville 31 First Round ~ 2016 NCAA Women's Tournament Lexington Region Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, Ky Comments

Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick, UNC Asheville Head Coach:

“Ya’ll saw what happened out there. Kentucky shot incredibly well, they certainly came and played the defense that we were aware they were capable of playing. I’d have to look back and my feel was at the beginning was that we weren’t on our heels necessarily in terms of our mentality. I thought we were trying to execute the best we could with what they were doing but what they were doing was exceptional. Their intensity and their defensive pressure took us out of some things and when we did get open shots, I thought we did get some open shots, we did miss them. You have to hit those open 3s. Some of them were contested obviously and Kentucky did a good job but we’re going to have to shoot the ball better than 20 percent.

“Overall, I just told my kids in the locker room, we want to do better than that. That was an opportunity for us to learn but I’m so proud of them for getting here. Obviously, that’s not all we want to do. We don’t want to come this far in the program just to come this far. At the same time, what these seniors have done, especially Paige Love, what they have done in the past four years to take this program from winning zero Division 1 games in 2012-13 to being the regular season and Big South tournament conference champions says a lot about the work ethic they’ve put in but also we’ve got a lot work we have left to do. I wouldn’t want to do it with any other group. I’m proud of them. It’s been a great season, a season of ups and downs but a lot more ups. Today was a little down for us but at the same time it was a great experience and hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to get back here next year and do a little bit better when we get to this game.”

On missing shots started causing them to drive more into the paint...
“Yeah, I think if you’re pressured your reaction as a basketball player is to drive. We tell our players to get to two feet and get strong with the ball and I think that’s where we had some errors. We lost the ball in the paint, particularly (Chatori) Major who’s been an awesome player for us this year. They really had good pressure on her. They did a good job of defending her. When she got into the paint, she usually is pretty good at her step through and getting to two feet or hitting what we call a drag pass behind but we weren’t moving with the ball very well. Our game plan wasn’t necessarily ‘hey, let’s attack Kentucky in the paint,’ I’m not sure that’s a weakness of theirs. At the same time we weren’t hesitant to go in there as long as we were getting to two feet and taking good shots or attacking and hitting a drag behind us. To be honest, you’re going to have to hit some 3s to beat Kentucky and quite frankly we just didn’t do that. We had some decent shots that didn’t go in.”

Paige Love, UNC Asheville Guard

On her excitement to play in the NCAA Tournament...
“I was very excited. It was a great opportunity that I’ve always wanted to do since I came in my freshman year. To go out with my senior year coming here is very rewarding. Everything Coach Mock just talked about, really this was the icing on the cake, cherry on top. The game didn’t go as planned, obviously, but I know this team and I know they will continue to grow and I look at all the freshmen and told them to get back here. This is what they want. You want this every year. I wish I would have had it every year but getting her my senior year is very rewarding.”

On how she feels playing in her last game for UNC Asheville...
“I left my legacy here and that’s what I wanted. After Coach Mock talked about the freshman year and no Division I wins and the next year got better and the next year got better, this, this is what I want. This was my last game but honestly, the last game in Kimmel Arena when we beat Liberty in double overtime to win the conference tournament championship, that felt like my last game because that’s what I wanted. This opportunity was great and we would have had to play phenomenal and not shoot 20 percent to beat Kentucky. Hats off to them, they played great but this experience is awesome and I feel like I’ve left my legacy and I’ve tried to trickle that down to the underclassmen. This is what we want. We want to always focus on the process and we always want to be a good teammate like Coach Mock has said. Asheville is on the map now. That’s what we want.”

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