QUOTES & NOTES – Saint Joseph’s 77, Georgetown 74

Saint Joseph’s coach Billy Lange – “It’s a blessing for us to be in a national event and represent Saint Joseph’s University. Tonight, this is the hardest thing to do is these events because everybody comes and wants to win. To turn around and have to play back-to-back, it’s hard. I thought our guys played with a tremendous spirit tonight. That’s the Hawk that never dies, that’s what we do and I’m really proud of their effort. We beat a great team in Georgetown.” (On dealing with Georgetown’s press). “I grew up a Big Five fan and I coached Villanova, so I know all about Georgetown and all the energy that those guys play. But it was only a few possessions, after that I thought we handled it well and they really didn’t do it in the second half. When we get it over, because of the shooting, just the threat of making a three-point shot…We didn’t shoot the ball really that well. Taylor Funk shot the ball really well. We had two guys combine to go 0-11 and really 3-21 when you throw Jordan (Hall, forward) in there. When you press like that, we want to take open threes and they have to think if they want to keep giving us those shots. We went in to halftime with ten points, which was great.” (On the team’s ability to build on tonight’s performance) “There are so many things that we have to do right now. This is a new group. It’s our third season, but this is really the first group that we have that we really know what we have. We’re trying to teach them about Saint Joseph’s and what it means to compete for them. I don’t think you can win there if you don’t fight for Saint Joseph’s. It’s not one of those places where you exist without the spirit of the university. And then you have to teach them how to win. And I told those guys, everybody comes in saying the same two things ‘I want to be a pro and I want to win’. That really means, ‘I want to be a pro and I want to win my way’. So, we have to teach them how to do it in a collectively manner and it’s hard. Tonight they did hard things and that matters for us as we move forward.”

Saint Joseph’s forward Taylor Funk – “I’m very proud of everyone today, all the guys. A normal team could come in here today, after the game we played yesterday…that wasn’t us. We watched film, we had a little team meeting and we knew we had to fix that. I’m very proud of the maturity of our team today. We emphasized playing a Saint Joseph’s basketball game. We shared the rock, shot the open shots, played defense…we expect to do it every match. We were playing the way we want to play and not the way the opponents want us to play.” (On his performance) “It was definitely the best shooting game of my life. It felt good, it was fun. But I can’t take all the credit. I had a really good conversation with Ejike (Obinna, center) and we decided to play together and really focus on screens. You tell him something, he’s so quick to do it and adjust to what we said. I told him right before the game. We got in the post, we played together, we got the ball on the other side of the floor and the shots just came to us. We love those shots that we took and we encourage all players to take those shots. They are wide open shots because we’re playing the way we want to play. With Ejike screening and coming off on time, we’re going to get way more opportunities. I’m very proud of him. That’s the way we need to play and it definitely felt good.”

Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing – “Our downfall tonight were our turnovers, especially in the crucial moments of the match. We turned the ball over in our last three or four possessions and we can’t do that if we want to win. And sometimes our shot selection is not very good. One time Kaiden (Rice, guard) drove in and luckily Tim (Timothy Ighoefe, center) was there to take the ball back and give it out to Don (Donald Carey, guard) for a three. I was happy but that wasn’t really the play we should have made. I’m looking at all these lessons. When we came out here, I told them that if making this trip didn’t help us when we got back home, that would have been a waste. We have a very young team, they have to learn and this is the only way to learn. I’m disappointed that we lost, but I do think there’s a lot of lessons to be learned and hopefully we’ll learn from them. As the weeks go on, we’ll forget about this.” (On Funk’s performance) “We told the guys before the game ‘he can shoot, he can make shots, he can make deep shots’. The last one he took was a tough shot, but he made it. He was on a roll. We had to do a much better job of closing out to him. One time we doubled off and that was a mistake because we could have doubled off anybody, but definitely not him. And he made us pay.” (On Kaiden Rice’s performance) “When we got him, that’s what we thought he could do. He’s an elite shooter. We just need to give him the opportunity and that’s what happened tonight. He can knock shot downs.” (On the team fighting back despite trailing for most of the match) “It could have been much better if we hadn’t dug ourselves such a deep hole. Last night we were able to cut it to four, but we weren’t able to score anymore after that outside of a few free throws. And tonight we cut it again, but they were able to make some good plays and when we had our opportunities, we turned them over. I think our future is bright. I’m disappointed that we didn’t get to win either of these games, but at the end of the year we’re going to forget about this.”

Wooden Chips

 Saint Joseph’s (3-3)

Georgetown (2-3)