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UVa/Delaware postgame notes and quotes ...

  • Team Notes


    • Virginia’s 15 pts in the first half points were their fewest in a half since scoring 15 vs. Iowa State on 12/30/10
    • Virginia last scored under 20 pts in a half against Virginia Tech on 1/22/12 (19 pts)
    • Virginia’s 22.2 percent field goal percentage in the first half was their lowest since shooting 22.2 percent in the second half at NC State on 1/28/12
    • Virginia has trailed at the half in each of its first three games
    • The loss ended Virginia's nine-game winning streak against Delaware
    • Virginia is 1-2 this season when scoring 50-59 pts

    Player Notes


    • Evan Nolte made his first career start and became the fourth Virginia freshman to start this season
    • Jontel Evans returned to action after missing the first two games with an injury
    • Joe Harris led Virginia scoring for a third time this season with 20 pts

    Player Career Highs


    • Akil Mitchell (15 points) established a career-high in scoring for the third consecutive game
    • Mitchell also grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds

    Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett Postgame Quotes

    On cold start:
    “Yeah, that’s a good question. The way we started was very hard to dig out of. When shots aren’t falling guys get a little panicky and we stopped almost running offense. The first chance the guy got he tried to squirt one up and it didn’t look like anything we tried to work on.”

    “I thought we were terrific defensively. We were great for about 10 minutes. We talked about this before, but when you’re struggling to score that puts a lot of pressure on your defense and they have some guys that are very talented off the dribble and can do some things and they really extended the lead. There weren’t really any answers out there when you look at first half shooting and the productivity in other areas.”

    On using zone defense in second half:
    “We did it a couple possessions at George Mason and we did it here tonight just as an off-speed pitch and just a change-up. We’ve done it a few times before, but obviously we’re predominantly man-to-man and our defense is solid enough. But, to try and manufacture some points is challenging. It wasn’t pretty, no question that first half was tough. In the second half, I’ll say those kids did scrap pretty hard and they got to when we took the lead and had a chance. A couple of careless turnovers took us out of it, but we had a chance at the end.”

    On Saddler’s performance for Delaware:
    “In the second half, he only had 15, but they have some weapons and experience and they’re good off the dribble. I talked to the guys at halftime and said, ‘Forget about the score. I know that’s hard but we have to get our mind off of it and just come out with some kind of purpose.’ I know this sounds kind of funny but I said, ‘Be more patient or unselfish. In a way make an extra pass or two and get after it and you’ll be surprised at what happens.’ I thought they did that and it got us at least a pulse and we battled, got some stops, and before you knew it we took the lead and it was a one point or two possession game.”

    On Jontel Evans getting a few minutes:
    “The doctors cleared him and said no more than 10 minutes. He wanted to just get his feet wet, he obviously was a bit rusty, but see if that helps him as we progress. I thought it was going to be a little later but a few minutes certainly didn’t hurt him. I hope he can do more and more as we get going because that’s going to mean something for us.”

    On missing MSG:
    “You have to grow from it and it’s not the end of the world, but it’s an opportunity that would’ve been great for our young team. It would have been a great experience to play and we’ll have plenty of other opportunities to play against high-quality teams, but that’s a special privilege and you have to earn it and Delaware earned it."

    Virginia Player Postgame Quotes

    Sophomore Forward Darion Atkins

    On second half:
    “I don’t know what clicked in my head in the second half, but I just came out playing my game. Obviously, it shows I wasn’t playing well in the first half. I feel like I wasn’t mentally there. I just came out the second half and I picked up it.”

    On first two games:
    “I just wasn’t with it offensively against Fairfield. I feel like once I get in the swing of things and once the coach trusts me. Then I can come out and play my game offensively, but that takes a while.”

    On not being able to go to New York:
    “It is a heartbreaker, we all really wanted to go. Obviously, we all know that we are better than Delaware. We can’t take it back. I should have played the first half like I did in the second. We all really wanted to go, and now we just need to come out and be ready for Saturday and play harder.”

    Junior Guard Joe Harris

    On the game:
    “Those turnovers, they just kill you. Especially, when you play a late game like that. There were a lot of mistakes throughout the course of the game. Even if we did come out on top, we wouldn’t deserve the win. We didn’t play well enough.”

    On Delaware’s offense:
    “We practice everyday defending the driving lines. We really work on our slides. Coach Bennett really makes a focal point on us defending the driving lines. Their guards were pretty shifty and able to get in the lane. We need to defend better on guard penetration because we are going to be seeing that the rest of the season.”

    On Delaware’s 8-0 run in second half:
    “That really hurts. You feel like you have a lot of momentum, especially making a comeback like we did. Just to see them make a comeback of their own. It’s good for us to be in a situation like that and it forces us to battle back. Unfortunately, Delaware kept pushing through.”

    On seeing Jontel back:
    “It’s great to see Jontel out there. He has been working relentlessly. It is a boost to see our senior leader out there and it’s great to see him on the floor. I know he’s going to progress great from here on out.

    On not getting to go to New York:
    “It’s a huge disappointment. We talked about how every basketball player wants to play in Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately, wedon’t get that chance, but we are preparing for Seattle.”

    Junior Forward Akil Mitchell

    On slow start:
    “Whatever the problem is, we really need to fix it. It’s really putting us in bad situations. I feel like we need to come out with more energy right out of the gate. We need to pick it up.

    On not being able to go to New York:
    “It is really disappointing. We are a young team, and we need to learn from it. It is heartbreaking to know that we had that opportunity to play in Madison Square Garden and now that opportunity is gone. There isstill opportunity to play other places and we have a lot of room to grow in the rest of the season.”

    On Jontel’s contribution to the team:
    “He just gives us that extra spark defensively. He knows his defense like the back of his hand. He’s our leader on the floor. He’s our go-to offensively. It will be a lot of help when he’s back and we can go full court. It will be great for us when he’s back.”

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