Men's Basketball

Postgame Quotes: Charlotte 69, UMass 65

Ricky Harris, left, of Massachusetts, goes up for a shot with Charlotte defenders Charlie Coley, center, and Charles Dewhurst, right, in pursuit in the second half of a quarterfinal game in the Atlantic 10 men's basketball championship in Atlantic City, N.J. on Thursday, March 13, 2008. Charlotte defeated Massachusetts, 69-65. (AP Photo/David Gard)

Ricky Harris, left, of Massachusetts, goes up for a shot with Charlotte defenders Charlie Coley, center, and Charles Dewhurst, right, in pursuit in the second half of a quarterfinal game in the Atlantic 10 men's basketball championship in Atlantic City, N.J. on Thursday, March 13, 2008. Charlotte defeated Massachusetts, 69-65. (AP Photo/David Gard)

March 13, 2008

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Leemire Goldwire
On what the team talked about for halftime adjustments
"In the locker room we said this is going to be our half. Charlie [Coley] since last game was talking about being positive and that's what we did; we came out and were positive. We've been here before and we knew they were going to make a run, but in the second half we knew it was our half."

Talking about his three point shots down the stretch
"It feels great and it feels even better because I know we are advancing to the next game."

Talking about his confidence level
"Basically, I got to give credit to my teammates because they are screening for me and all I need is a little bit of space and once I get it, I get a good released on my jump shot and I know it's going in."

On the three point shot with about 15 seconds left
"As the clock went on coach Lutz was like, 'shoot it, shoot it,' just pull up and that's what I did."

Charlie Coley III
Talking about gaining the lead then losing it and then coming back
"We just got a little fatigued for a minute there and I just told them to stay positive. Just play hard, just play hard. That's what I was doing the whole game; playing hard. That's basically what we did - just fought harder and harder.

LaMont Mack
Mindset on being a contributor in tonight's game
"I just wanted to come out this game aggressive; offensively and defensively and just contribute to my team on both ends of the floor. "...And tonight I just wanted to contribute rebounding and I was able to make some shots offensively."

Charlotte Head Coach Bobby Lutz

Overall thoughts on the game:
"It was a great game to be a part of. I have been coaching for a long time and I told the guys that this was as good as it's ever been. That win is as good as any win I have ever had because we beat a quality team that should be in the NCAA Tournament. If our league has BCS in it, there wouldn't be anyone debating whether Massachusetts should be in and they deserve to be in. That makes the win more special because we beat a quality team. I cant help but say again that it shows how good our league is when that little guy (Leemire Goldwire) is on the third team All-Conference because the plays he made late in the game were unbelievable, especially when everyone in the building knew he was going to shoot it. Obviously, he had a lot of help as Lamont (Mack) and Charlie (Coley) had great games. The first half we really struggled, but our effort wasn't bad. UMass was just hitting shots and scored a lot in transition."



Thoughts on match up with Temple:
"They pose similar problems as we had today. If you look around the league, there are a lot of big guards and we are prone to have a lot of small guards. There are advantages and disadvantages, but it makes it tough defensively. Dionte Christmas is truly a special player. If he had been nominated, I would have voted him for Player of the Year because I think he's that good. We haven't been able to guard Mark Tyndale for three years. They are big strong guards and they can post little guards as well as go by bigger players. Those two guys are really great players and are two of the better wings anywhere. They can play in any league in America and be very successful. Everyone on Temple understands their role now. The big guys understand, Ryan Brooks has been great off the bench and Chris Clark has really been shooting it well of late. They pounded us the last time we played them. We know we have our hands full, but we are excited to have the opportunity tomorrow night. I like this way we are playing down the stretch and know we will show up."

On his teams second half defense:
"I think we played with a little more quickness and energy. We also started scoring the ball and didn't allow UMass to score in transition off turnovers. Scoring slowed down UMass and let our defense get set up. However, we did play with a little more energy and contested shots better. We really rebounded the ball and flocked to the loose balls. It's just those guys not giving up. It wasn't rocket science, they gutted it up to get a few stops and score enough baskets to win."

Thoughts on the last minute:
"We ran a couple of our break set plays where we run him (Leemire Goldwire) off of screens in different ways. But on the last play when I saw (Tony) Gaffney on him, I told him to 'pull it'. He made everything down the stretch and we wanted to get Lamont (Mack) or Leemire shots and have them attack. It's nice to get two guys in the zone like they were and nice when you have teammates like that to be unselfish enough to realize that it's the best thing for our team."

Massachusetts Head Coach Travis Ford

What concerned him at halftime, despite holding a 17-point lead:
"What worried me at halftime was the rebounding. Even though we were up 17, they annihilated us in the first half on rebounding. They continued to exploit our post play inside as far as rebounding is concerned. That wasn't good."

Regarding his team's postseason chances:
"We finished third in this league and we've won six out of our last seven games. We've won a lot of road games this year. A lot of things they look for, we've done so we hope we get in. I think we have a team that could make some noise if we got in there. The way I see it, I think we've done a lot to deserve a chance to get in there."

On his team's attempts to contain Leemire Goldwire:
"When Leemire Goldwire gets hot there's not a whole lot you can do about it. We were in his face and he made some good shots. But the threes didn't beat us, our rebounding killed us and free throw shooting, those are the difference in the basketball game, plain and simple."

What he told his team before the final defensive series:
"All we were talking about was don't give up threes, I knew that's all they were going to shoot, they weren't going to shoot anything else but threes. And they were going to let two guys shoot, (Leemire) Goldwire and (Lamont) Mack."

Etienne Brower

What this loss means to him:
"This loss hurts. It's disappointing that we had such a good start and came out with a lot of energy. Then they started hitting shots and our defense started lagging a little bit. The rebounds really got to us, I think there are a lot of stats that they outworked us in, some categories they just did a lot better in."

Regarding his team's postseason chances:
"Guys talk about it all the time, I nevery try not to get caught up into it because I'm not a Bracketologist, I don't know how that works. Hopefully we get in, obviously everybody is praying for that but we needed this win. We needed a couple of wins to secure it. So we just have to wait a couple of days and see what happens."


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