Postgame Quotes vs. Georgia Southern - Feb. 20, 2014

Chattanooga Head Coach Will Wade
Thoughts on the game
“Obviously this was not our best night.  Give Georgia Southern a ton of credit.  They out-toughed us and out-worked us the last 25 minutes of the game.  They just wanted it more.  They did a great job.  Their players played extremely hard.  Coach Byington did a tremendous job of having them prepared, and we just didn’t do the little things that we have to do to be successful as a team.  Our margins are small and we just didn’t have it, for whatever reason, for the last 25 minutes of this game.  We got out-hustled to loose balls, we couldn’t get any rebounds and we quit going to the offensive glass.  They did a nice job of blocking us off, but we weren’t relentless about going for the offensive rebounds.  They checked us out and we just stood there, and when things didn’t go right we didn’t respond the right way.  We reverted back to some bad habits that I thought we had gotten rid of but we reverted back to those.  It is my fault.  I did a poor job coaching them and getting them ready to go tonight.  This one falls on my shoulders.  We have to get back to work tomorrow and get ready for UNCG.  They are going to be excited to play us on Sunday.”

On if this game relates to the Samford loss
“They were two totally different games.  I think tonight we got frustrated a little bit early.  We let things get away from us there at the end of the first half.  We should have been up double-digits at the half but were instead down by two.  Their guys fought and made their own breaks, and we sat around and complained.  We hung in there a little bit better against Samford than we did tonight.  We didn’t quite hang in there like we needed to.”

Thoughts on driving to the basket
“We drove it in there but were soft on our finishes.  We didn’t have our shoulders square to the basket.  We worked on that today, actually the last two days, but we shot fade-aways and a bunch of shots that we typically don’t shoot.  Their offense scored on 10 of their last 13 possessions in the first half, and their offense led to poor defense on our part.  We took bad shots, quick shots and shots that their defense wanted us to take instead of what we wanted to take.  Give them credit.  They did a great job of guarding the paint and sagging off of us.  They had a good game plan and we didn’t adjust like we needed to.”

On pulling the five starters
“I just want to see guys battle.  That’s what we’re about.  We’re blue-collar, we battle and want to have an edge.  I am just looking for guys who will battle, so I put those other guys in.  They deserved a chance, and I thought Alex did a great job on the offensive rebounds.  He battled.  We were sitting around and complaining about stuff instead of battling.  We just want guys who are going to battle, and I was making the point that we need five guys who are going to do that.  We’ve done that for most of the season.  We took a huge step back tonight.  Now we have to start moving forward again tomorrow as we go into Greensboro.”

Ronrico White, junior, guard

Thoughts on the game
“Tonight they really out toughed us. We just can’t allow that anywhere, let alone our home floor. Tonight is tough to swallow.”

Thoughts on Georgia Southern’s guards
We just let them get in a rhythm. We allowed them to get open looks and allowed them to give other players open looks. We can’t let that happen.”

On what went wrong in tonight’s game
“We were ready to play. We just didn’t do what we needed to do we didn’t execute. We were ready to play. We knew what they were going to run. They just took us off balance and they made plays. It was nothing strategic. They just out toughed us.”

Z. Mason, senior, forward

Thoughts on Georgia Southern’s play
“They got all the loose balls and they were out-hustling us. All the small things - that’s a part of the game they beat us in. In a game like that where we have to make a run, they just beat us to it.”

Thoughts on the bench’s performance in the final minutes
“They hustled. They got a couple loose balls and stuff we should have done in the beginning that we didn’t. This is just an example to everyone as a group that this is what we need to do to win.”

Thoughts on the CPA group’s support for Z
“That’s really cool. I don’t really know how to explain how I feel about it. I feel honored. It’s a group of kids and teachers that came from Nashville to support me. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a lot of them and there were familiar faces in there. It’s just something I am proud and honored for them to come support me. It’s a great feeling. I am kind of down on my game but after seeing that it changed my mentality and I am so appreciative of them.”

Georgia Southern Head Coach Mark Byington
Thoughts on the game
“I felt like we were playing our best basketball of the year and the results have shown it.  We’ve had the lead in five of our previous six games. The only time we haven’t is Davidson and we cut that to five.  I feel like we’re heading in the right direction and I was just trying to coach optimism with our guys, having to believe and they came out and they played well tonight.  I was really proud of our response. Chattanooga blew the doors off of us initially and got up 10 or 12 points and we were able to stay poised enough to make some plays and coming back in the last five minutes at the end of the first half and Jelani Hewitt’s shot was huge, I thought.  Although there was a lot of game still to go I think it kind of gave us more belief and gave us some confidence before the half. I thought that was a big shot.”

On how to stop Z. Mason
“I don’t know.  I’m sure that teams try to double team him and everything else but there aren’t many guys that have that strength that are inside-outside guys, and a lot of times guys are strong like that and they can only score on the block.  He started the game making three’s and doing different things.  He’s having a heck of a year.  I’m sure he will be a candidate for player of the year in our conference.  A very good player and Will has done a good job using his talents this year.”

Thoughts on Tre Bussey
“Tre is a senior and he has been through ups and downs in his career, and I’m proud of him just staying the course.  He’s been practicing hard and he got off to a terrific start this year. He’s been a little up and down this year in conference play but he’s a good player and a tough match-up.  We play three or four guards a lot tonight because of foul trouble and missing one of our other post guys.  Tre’s a tough match-up, he’s quick, he can shoot the ball, he can take it to the lane and he made a lot of great shots tonight.”

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