TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Marist women's basketball team held a news conference and practice at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Monday in preparation for Tuesday's NCAA Tournament second-round game against St. Bonaventure.
The team had media availability from approximately 11:20-11:50 a.m., with a news conference and open locker room. Following that, practice was held from noon-2 p.m.
The Marist-St. Bonaventure contest will tip off at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, and will air on ESPN2. If the Red Foxes prevail, they will advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the second time in program history and first time since 2007.
Here are some quotes from today's press conference:
Head Coach Brian Giorgis
On what he has learned about his previous matchup vs. St. Bonaventure on Dec. 18, 2011:
Well we've played them the three previous years, and they've probably been some of the ugliest games. They were knock-down, drag-out defensive struggles, and it was the first time we actually scored, whereas we've shot the ball better than we did the two previous times. It was always a 49-47 game with someone making a shot late. I think we had won the previous two and they won the last three - they've all been great games. I felt like we could play with them, we didn't have Natalie Gomez that game and were playing with Briana Holmes as the backup and it was Casey (Dulin's) first game at the point. There were a lot of good things. For them, (Megan) Van Tatenhove only played 10 or 12 minutes, she was coming off a concussion and we know what a big force she is. We did learn a number of things that we feel we can do tomorrow at both ends of the floor, and hopefully we can execute.
Junior forward Kelsey Beynnon
On the importance of having a mid-major like Marist or St. Bonaventure advance to the Sweet Sixteen:
I think it is exciting. It just shows that even though we are in the smaller conferences we can make an impact and show everyone kind of what we are made of.
Senior guard Corielle Yarde
On where the team is at heading into the match-up with St. Bonaventure Tuesday night:
We are just meshing really well toward the end of the season. Everyone is becoming more comfortable. Everyone's had more experience because we went through the entire MAAC already and it shows. I feel like everyone is playing more comfortable and the experience we have gotten this year has provided us with what we are doing right now. That's why we are playing as well as we are now.
Head Coach Jim Crowley
On the similar defensive, low-scoring style played by both teams and what some would call "ugly" games between the teams:
I think everyone has a different definition of ugly. I think some of our games have been terrific basketball games because of the execution of game plans that both teams have put forth and the defensive preparedness, and again the execution of the players. I think you're seeing two teams - again - who are both really comfortable with who they are. And they're both comfortable with the other team and how to take it away. It just becomes, who is fortunate enough to have some players make some plays later in the game.
Junior forward Chelsea Bowker
On whether it's difficult to approach a team like Marist that you've beaten three straight times:
Like I said before, we approach every game like it was another game. If we have the right mindset we'll be all right. But Marist is good, and they played us three times so they know what's coming. It's going to be a battle and both teams love to compete.
Sophomore forward Doris Ortega
On having a team that will represent as a mid-major from upstate New York in the Sweet Sixteen, no matter the outcome:
That's something that we've been working hard for. A lot of adversity has been coming toward us, especially because we are new to the NCAA Tournament. As far as being a New York team making it, it is an accomplishment. You don't hear a lot about the New York teams making it; it's more about the Baylors or the Final Four teams. I think that's hard work on our part and Marist as well, making a name for teams in the New York area.