Nov. 22, 2005
Final Stats |
ECU coach Ricky Stokes
Overcoming the early deficit
"One of the things that we talked to our team about was the fact that they didn't give up and played with a lot of heart. When you're down in that situation you can do one of two things -- you can fold up the tent and continue to get beat out behind the woodshed or you can come back, fight and have a chance to win and we did that."
On the support of the fans
"Our fans really did a good job trying to get us back into the game tonight and really picked our energy level up. We had a lot of opportunities and we just didn't execute a couple of times and took a couple of quick shots when we got close to the lead. Against good teams you just have to continue to execute and grind things out. This is a very good team and if (Gardner-Webb) doesn't win their league I will be very surprised."
On the missing pieces in the middle
"We had to pick our poison. `Do you play zone or do you play man?' We went to switching zone in the second half and where is Moussa (Badiane) when you need him because (Simon) Conn is just so big and wide. We didn't want to go man initially because we didn't want to get Corey into foul trouble, but they shoot the ball extremely well. We have to be ready to play and I don't know if we were a little tentative early, but give them credit. Coach (Scruggs) does a good job, they execute and they have four or five different scorers and they did a nice job. "
Positives that emerged
"It is nice to see Tyronne (Beale) have a good game for us. There were some good positives out of him. They always say that it takes Junior college guys take a little bit longer to get adjusted and feel comfortable, but tonight was the first time that he looked like the ole Tyronne that we recruited. He was very active, ran the floor and he was shooting and rebounding the ball well. He did all the necessary things to be productive for us. We didn't shoot the ball well, but again give them a lot of credit for how they played defensively."
"I know that Sam (Hinnant) did not shoot the ball particularly well today, but he always does a lot of different things that help the team. And (Courtney) Captain gives us a guard with a dimension that he can play off the ball and play the ball. When we get Jeremy Ingram
into the mix you will see Courtney at the point more because the wing minutes will be limited somewhat. We will have a few more options in the upcoming games."
Gardner-Webb's hot shooting early:
"We knew that they were a terrific shooting team. They shoot about 25 three-pointers a game statistically and they have five guys that average in double figures. They do an excellent job spacing out the floor so when you are out there one-on-one defensively; they do a tremendous job isolating. We are not as big and tall as we'd like to be, but I give our guys a lot of credit for how hard they played."
Gardner-Webb caoch Rick Scruggs
Overview of the game
"We made it pretty exciting. We jumped out to a big lead, then we got into some turnover trouble and East Carolina took full advantage of those opportunities. The first half was our turnovers and their offensive rebounding that really made a difference and made the score really tight. The second was a well played game by both teams."
Connecting on free throws
"We were able to make a lot of free throws, hitting 9-of-10 in the final minute, and if we don't hit those then it is probably a different game. Every time it seemed with them that they were scoring and getting a foul, and that is what happens when you are playing from behind obviously, we were able to step up and make free throws."
Earning the road victory
"It was a great win for us, coming in on the road and getting a win. I hope that we can continue to do that because last year we were 5-9 on the road and we have got to be a better road team in order to do what we want to this year, and that is go to the NCAA Tournament."
Following the loss to North Carolina
"It did two things at the same time. It gave us confidence and a little disappointment as well. We were very close and they hit a shot with 1.8 seconds. I was worried about let down tonight, but there was not a let down. We played a very good game, and we were worried about that and playing bad, because we played really well at Chapel Hill. Our kids didn't do that; they came in here focused. It did give us a little momentum, and they got patted on the back more for that loss than any loss we'll ever have."
ECU junior Tyronne Beale
On having the hot hand
"I decided to give (Corey) Rouse some help. When you look at the last couple of games he has been carrying the load. He needs some help sometimes and I decided to come in and work hard, do my job and earn my minutes.
ECU junior Japhet McNeil
Contrasting this year to last season's game
"The way that we fought back was a great job by us. Last year when we got down, we quit, we put our tails between our legs, and this year we showed a lot of heart, which is a good sign of steps towards success. We have got to work on a lot of things come practice time, but we have to get this game behind us and starting concentrating on Wofford. Again, we showed a lot of heart, but we can't get down by 10 or 20 points the next time because that forces us to expend so much energy."
Analyzing Gardner-Webb from the onset
"We knew that they were a good shooting team from the scouting reports and the tape. We were relaxed in the first five to seven minutes and by being too relaxed we got down. I tip my hat to Gardner-Webb because they played very good."
ECU senior Corey Rouse
Match-ups in the paint
"Last year I remember him [Conn] coming off the bench and he played very well, just as he did tonight. He had more size than me and I have a lot of respect for him because he made me realize that I need to work harder, keep working in the post, and keep moving. I can never be standing still; I have to remain in motion. We've got to always communicate on the help side, play better team defense, continue to work and then put everything together and win some games."