*All quotes courtesy of ASAP Sports*
CHRIS MOONEY: Well, I'm proud of our team's effort. I thought that this was one of the rare games this year that our defense really carried us. I thought the pressure we were able to put on Fordham was a big part of the game. A lot of that was Khwan. But everybody chipped in. We were able to get some turnovers, able to make them take a lot of shots toward the end of the shot clock, so I'm really pleased to be moving on. I congratulate Fordham. I'm assuming they're going to go to a postseason tournament on a great year. They've done a tremendous job, and I know there are a lot of good things in their future.
Q. ShawnDre`, their pressure doesn't seem to bother Richmond as much as it bothers other teams. Why is that? You kept turnovers down against them three times now.
SHAWNDRE` JONES: I'll just say part of it is Coach. Turnovers is definitely not accepted at Richmond. That's in our mind, like to just take care of the ball, and just probably put a big emphasis on ball security. We do a lot of segments where it's six guys, so that helps prepare us for the game.
Q. T.J., you said one thing you needed to do was play in the second half the way you played in the first half. You had a fabulous first half, and the second half was not as perfect, but what did you guys do to survive in the second half?
T.J. CLINE: I mean, it started off slow in the second half. They really came out aggressive and strong, Rhoomes really played well to start the second half, getting offensive rebounds and put-backs. We knew our season was on the line and we've got to lay it all on the court. There was nothing to save, nothing like that, so we knew this is what we've going to do to win, this is what we've got to do to advance. So we were talking to each other, keeping each other positive the whole second half, and just continued to play our game.
Q. How did the absence of Marshall affect the way you guys played? Khwan obviously got the start.
T.J. CLINE: The absence of Marshall, it takes away shooting from us. I mean, it's hard to say. He brings a lot, but other guys when they're in the game, they bring a lot, too. Deion with his defense is -- I mean, it's unbelievable what he brings to the table. It gives me, Terry, and Deion more time, and our big men. That's our three big men. There's some pros and cons to it, but this is the cards we were dealt, and that's who we're going to play with.
Q. ShawnDre`, how about Dayton? My recollection is they scored a lot late last game. Is that your recollection, too? Do you remember that game?
SHAWNDRE` JONES: Yeah, from that game they scored a lot of points. They made a lot of shots. Cook had an awful lot of points, a lot of easy jump shots, and they came out the second half, the First Four minutes, and really took it to us. We didn't play good enough defense at all, so that's what I took from that game and that's what I remember, and that's why our players are going to have to put a big emphasis on playing defense.
Q. Coach Mooney started by saying that the defense carried you today, one of the few instances. What was it about your defense today that was better than past performances?
SHAWNDRE` JONES: I would just say we was very tight. If a guy did beat a guy, we would come over and help our guys, and we tried to box out a little bit more. They got a lot of rebounds the First Four minutes, but we tried our best after that point to box out. T.J. had nine rebounds, did a great job tonight on the glass against Rhoomes who's a terrific player. I would just say our effort. We had a few balls we tried to dive on and stuff like that, a few steals.
Q. Could you guys talk about your first half? You were able to -- cutting hard, driving to the basket hard. You were doing everything as well as I've seen you do this year. Was this an atypical performance? Was it a tournament performance? What was going on?
T.J. CLINE: This is something we worked on in practice. This is something we worked on trying to get going for the whole season. Like I said, our backs were against the wall. They jumped off to a 4-0 start and we came back hard. I think everybody was so locked in in that first half, especially on defense, that it translated over to offense. Julius came out and hit two big threes for us, ShawnDre` is hitting shots. We were just attacking, being aggressive.
I think when you're playing well on defense that'll carry over to offense a lot of the times, just the energy. It's kind of deflating for them.
Q. Coming out of the locker room, it looked like defensively their movement on the ball had picked up its pace quite a bit. Was there an adjustment to counter that or was there just a recognition of that speed?
CHRIS MOONEY: Yeah, probably a bit of a recognition. I think that we talked about at halftime what adjustments they might make. They did a few things technically on offense. Jeff is great at that. But defensively the only thing we could thought is they just turned up that much more pressure, and you're right, they were just quicker. They were taking a couple of risks, but it was very disruptive, and I think that for us, I think we controlled the game in the first half in a really nice way. But they were much more disruptive at both ends in the second half.
Q. Can you just elaborate on Khwan Fore's contributions and what he brought on both ends?
CHRIS MOONEY: Yeah, Khwan was great. His defense, at times he can be a one-man press. He's just so quick and active. He has a good sense for how to force a guy or when to try something to reach and when to back off. A really good sense for that. Offensively I thought he was really good. It's not an easy game to play against if you're a guard because there's so many decisions you have to make. You might have to keep the ball for a vast majority of the possession and still make a decision at the end or toward the end of the shot clock. And I think for a freshman guard, that puts some pressure on you, and I thought he handled it very well.
Q. Can you say a word or two about Marshall Wood's situation and if Trey is all right?
CHRIS MOONEY: Yeah, Trey, that's rare, very rare, so I'm going to see. He says he's going to be okay, but we're going to see a little bit of that tonight.
Q. Did you see what he did?
CHRIS MOONEY: Yeah, his ankle, he had to get taped there during a time-out, retaped during a time-out. I think on the block where he was dunked on the foul, I think he hurt his back a little bit, and then right after that there was a play down on the other end and he turned his ankle. And then Marshall was very unfortunate. He hit his head driving in a one-car accident, and unfortunately that was Sunday night, and we had to play -- today is Thursday, we had to play Thursday, He wasn't able to play today or tomorrow.
Q. He won't be able to play tomorrow?
CHRIS MOONEY: He won't be able to play tomorrow.
Q. Potentially later in the week?
CHRIS MOONEY: Potentially, yeah. It might be -- I don't want to say the wrong thing, but it's definitely not tomorrow.
Q. There's no disciplinary action --
CHRIS MOONEY: No, no, no. A bad driver. You know, that's just discipline enough.
Q. Have you seen your team play a better first half than today? What do you think got them going? And your lead evaporated very quickly at the start of the second half. As a coach and just as a person, do you ever think, oh, here we go again?
CHRIS MOONEY: Well, I thought we played really well in the first half, controlled the game. Really had very few turnovers. We forced some turnovers. Outside of the first three or four minutes of the game, we rebounded the ball well in the first half. And then in the second half, I don't know if, here we go again. If you watch basketball games, especially this week or in the conference tournaments, it's very rarely that you're up 16 at half and you win by 32. It's much more likely that a team is going to go on a run.
I thought we handled it well. As a matter of fact, during the run we had a lot of open shots. Just didn't capitalize on it. They didn't go down. But we held on and our defense improved, and we made a lot of shots going away.
Q. Richmond wasn't the best free-throw shooting team in the league this year. Talk about the free throws today.
CHRIS MOONEY: Yeah, it was big. Deion's foul shots were big and ShawnDre` certainly made a few, so yeah, free-throw shooting, that's been something that really has hampered us, so it was good to see us step up there and make shots, especially down the stretch.
Hopefully that will continue tomorrow because at the end of the day, those are really valuable points, and when you miss free throws, it just seems like it always comes back to haunt you.
Q. You played Dayton nine days ago. Any chance to look ahead and make adjustments for that game?
CHRIS MOONEY: Not since the locker room, no. But we played -- it was a great game. I think we had like a 10-point lead or something with about nine minutes to go. The thing I would say about Dayton is they have really good players at every position, and if Pollard comes off the bench or whoever comes off the bench, that means they have an all-conference caliber player coming off the bench. Scoochie Smith played great against us, great in their final game, so they`re just really good every position, pretty explosive.
What I talked about is they'll have energy because they didn't play. We'll have a different kind of energy and comfort level because we did play. Those first four, six minutes of the game, we really need to come out and exhaust ourselves, just really match the energy of the game, and then go from there. Just really, really come out as hard as we can, play with great energy and start the game as well as possible.
Q. You've talked all season long about finding a spark. Certainly it looked like you found it in the first half. Was there enough spark there or do you think you've found a spark?
CHRIS MOONEY: Yeah, maybe. I think that -- Khwan brings a lot to the table because he's different from the rest of our guys. He's just so fast and so disruptive. I think that -- not to make the spark just one person, but I think his play when he drove -- the play Trey wound up going down on, when he drove on the floor, he was definitely not the person that was supposed to get that loose ball and he did just because of that hustle and aggressiveness. So I hope that can be something we really build off of, just that play and that level of energy.