No. 1N UNCG vs. No. 3N Western Carolina
March 4, 2012
Western Carolina Catamounts
Head Coach Larry Hunter
Statement on the game ... "It was a heck of a basketball game. It's what you expect in the semifinals of a conference tournament. Greensboro's really had a great year, especially the second half of the year. Wes and his staff and players have all come together. It's a different tempo of a game than we've played the last two. Last two were more possession conscious and Greensboro wants to strike you in the first five to ten seconds. I thought our guys adapted and we played pretty good transition defense. As well as you can at times against them. We scored. Sometimes you just have to outscore people."
On Preston Ross' play... "Preston is having a really good tournament. He has really come in the other two ballgames and really given us big minutes. He's playing with a lot of energy. He's really gotten comfortable with how he should play. He's taking the ball to the basket. He's been very physical and he's given us a very physical presence out there. He's very athletic. We had to match their athleticism a little bit and he's the player we chose to do that with."
Senior guard Harouna Mutombo
On the pressure late... "We understood that Greensboro wasn't going to let us get away. We knew if it came down to it, it would come down to free throws. When Coach called time out, he told everybody to relax and stay poised and stay mentally with it and go out there and knock free throws down. That's what we did. Guys stayed mentally with it and hit free throws."
Sophomore guard Trey Sumler
On getting to the finals... "It feels pretty good to be here. This is my second year in the program. Ever since I've been here we've been trying to get over that semi-final hurdle. It was Wofford every year. We took care of Wofford yesterday and played a good team in Greensboro today and tried to get over that semi-final hurdle. We finished the game and now we're playing tomorrow."
Interim Head Coach Wes Miller
"We have to give a ton of credit to Western Carolina, they've won seven games in a row including three in three days...you have to tip your hat to them, they are a good basketball team, they aren't the same team we played on January 28th...They are playing with so much confidence over the last seven games...I'm so proud of my guys , this team has been through a lot, we are young and have dealt with adversity, they have conducted themselves with the highest level of character...I'm so proud of them for fighting...they just keep trying to get closer together. I'm really proud of our seniors...They have meant a lot to this program."
Sophomore Trevis Simpson
Reflection on the season
"It was a tough season...I'm proud of my team, they never quit fighting and they believed in me. I've never been more proud to play with a group of guys...That's why I don't quit because I know they won't quit on me."
On Western Carolina
"I knew there would be a dog fight tonight."
Future with interim head coach Wes Miller
"I would love to play for this guy again. There's nothing else to say about it because I know he's going to give me his all and I am going to give him my all."
Wes Miller: "I love coaching this group. That says it all."