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March 10, 2017

Archie Miller

Xeyrius Williams

Scoochie Smith

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

DAVIDSON 73, Dayton 67

ARCHIE MILLER: Well, congratulations to Davidson. Hard-fought win. They are a terrific team. Two of the premiere players in our conference. It's no surprise that they are able to do some damage in this tournament with those guys.

And for us, we've just lost an edge about us defensively, which has cost us here in the back six, seven games. We were winning a lot of them.

So it's kind of hard to tell, but we are spotting teams 15 points, getting down 13 points and it's hard to claw your way out of it. To these guys' credit, we fought very hard and I thought our second half was much better than our first. And to have a lead under four, that last four-minute segment of the game is usually the one that we hone in on the most: Find a way to win last four minutes and you're going to win the game, and I believe we gave up three threes in two minutes. So that was probably the deal breaker. Jack Gibbs, give him credit, he made two tremendous three-point shots as they keep moving forward.

For us, one loss, a couple down moments here at the end shouldn't define our season. We're the regular season champions and we've dealt with so much in the off-season and during the season, then our resiliency has led us back to the NCAA Tournament, which is a credit to these guys over here and their improvement.

We'll wait and see where we're going and what's going on, and then from there, I think we all know how desperate we'll have to be to find a way on the biggest stage against the best teams in the country to find a way to win. The losing stings a lot more, but we didn't lose a game for about a month and a half, and you can't really forget all the good things that have happened to the group, as well. Just unfortunate that we didn't play our best today.

Q. How do you regain the defensive edge? Is it something that you take responsibility for yourself, be a leader and get the team to regain that edge on defense in?
SCOOCHIE SMITH: It's my job to get my teammates ready. Got to have more of a mentality; we keep letting guys individually score a lot of points and we just have to play a better team defense.

Q. For both guys, got a lot of open looks today but seemingly didn't fall in for you guys. Were you happy with the way the offense was running and the looks that you were getting, and it's just a case of the ball wasn't falling for you today?
SCOOCHIE SMITH: First half, we didn't run our offense too well. I think we got it going in the back eight minutes of the first half, and from there we continued to push on. But we got ourselves into too deep of a hole.

XEYRIUS WILLIAMS: Just you can't really stop. You're doing what the offense is built off, getting open shots, but they are just not falling. They are just not falling.

Q. What have they done this year to be such a more complete team and a tough defensive team, and not just a team that can burn you from deep?
ARCHIE MILLER: They have good size. Good size at the five, in particular. They have three guys that play in there. Physical around the basket. They have had moments defensively against VCU and Rhode Island where they can really be physical around the rim. They are different and they are more aggressive with ball screens and whatnot, the guards make passes. They don't just let you get downhill and get layups.

We've played them twice. I think our offense is fine. We missed some open looks. I think we missed three, kindergarten layups in the first half. One of those ones, like, wow, how did that one not go in. And it happens. We missed three of those. I thought we had some really good looks, Charles and Xeyrius both had threes in the first half that didn't go. Second half was a much different story. I think we scored the ball 42 points, percentage is 51, 46 from three.

I think the big thing for our team and the big thing that's a big success within our offense, is we're like top five, maybe top six in the country in getting to the foul line. We shot ten foul shots today. We average about 25 free throws a game, and you know, when you don't have the opportunity to get to the line like we did today, sometimes you've got to really be perfect from the outside; or you've really got to be perfect in your field goals, because we generate a lot of points from the foul line, which today we didn't get those points from the foul line.

Q. With having the double bye coming into the A-10 tournament and now having a significant amount of time off before the NCAA Tournament, how do you handle those extended breaks, and then to go into a single-elimination situation?
SCOOCHIE SMITH: We are just going to make sure we're ready, wherever the NCAA places us next week, ain't going to end up like this.

XEYRIUS WILLIAMS: Like Scooch said, make sure we come to practice every day and just keep an open mind about everything.

Q. You're a veteran player in this league and so is Gibbs. What do you think of Gibbs?
SCOOCHIE SMITH: He's a real good player. He's real dominant in the offense and you let a player like him get going tonight, results going to happen like it did today.

Q. Both of you guys, this is a couple losses in a row, how do you guys kind of wipe these losses and not let them sink in too much and take a fresh mind-set into the tournament?
XEYRIUS WILLIAMS: Think of it as moving on to the next play, the next game. Just keep an open mind and be ready to bounce back.

SCOOCHIE SMITH: Try not to dwell on it too much. Next game, whoever we play, doesn't really have an effect on the two of us back-to-back. Be ready for the next one, forget about this one.

Q. I just wanted to know if you could comment on the Flyer fans. They made it feel like a home game out here tonight, and how much you thought they helped sort of bring you guys back when you dug that hole early.
ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, kind of thought moving the tournament to Pittsburgh would help us. It clearly did. It felt, like you said, a home environment. I think the times we made runs and the times the games got emotional and good things were happening, you got a feel in the arena what it would have been like. To advance in this tournament would have been special for our fans and our players to play in front of them, because the games and pressure would have started to get a little bit bigger and the crowd would have played a bigger role.

The crowd definitely played a big role for us and we had some emotional runs in the second half, and I think you got a chance to feel what it would have been like. Unfortunately we couldn't stay in it long enough to keep them here.

Q. How was Darrell? He took another hard shot in the second half?
ARCHIE MILLER: I have no idea. I think he said he was fine on the bench. I didn't see him. He was with the doctors and Mike, he's getting hit pretty high on the floor with some blind screens which are completely legal, and he's not aware right now that they are trying to step up and get him. He's got to do a little better job of navigating that, and hopefully he'll be fine. I think he was good on the bench in the second half at the end of the game.

Q. Obviously a shorter run than what you wanted but can you give us your impressions of the A-10 tournament in Pittsburgh, your hometown and what you thought of it.
ARCHIE MILLER: Oh, it's a really nice setup. I think from the hotels to the accessibility of the arena for the fans, it's much more comfortable to move around, I'm sure. And the longer that you're here, you're going to be in a fun environment. I think the arena is top-notch. They did a great job of setting it up.

This tournament, starting the rest of the day, going into Saturday and Sunday, will have a special feel. It's been a check mark. It's been a real plus. Pittsburgh's done a great job. They said they would when we talked to them.

Q. On the last two of Gibbs' three, did you feel like your defense was in place and it was an incredible shot?
ARCHIE MILLER: They made two really incredible shots, the step back in the left side, another step back on the right side and one foul. You know, we've been in some situations where guys have been dominant. We've done a better job of making them pass. And especially the last one, we had a broken coverage, we should have trapped him and made him pass, and then he kind of strung Kyle out to the corner in the left side to give him the lead. That's another one where I think we had an opportunity to Corral him on the sideline and make him pass.

That's what you've got to do with a guy like him because he is fearless, and we weren't able to have Charles on him late in the game for the length, his fourth foul, and Kyle was able to get a couple shots over the top of Kyle, all contested, though.

Q. How do you think being a senior-led team, how do you think that will help you in not dwelling too much on these losses and getting back on track for the tournament?
ARCHIE MILLER: We don't dwell on losing. We dwell on improvement, and we have another opportunity. The next one is a fresh start, man. It's going to feel like a million dollars. There's nothing like the Tournament. Nothing like having your name called. These guys will go for the fourth time in their career.

So they will be excited to play, but at the end of the day, you know, our desperation, our toughness, some of the things that got us here, they are just not as intact, and it's hard to get back sometimes. But we'll work at it. We don't really worry about losing this time of year. You're worried about finding a way to get one more win, and that's what we'll do.

Q. It seemed like in the early portion of the second half when you guys were making your run, you limited Davidson in ways that you had not in the first half. What was different for you guys defensively starting the second half?
ARCHIE MILLER: Well, I think in the second half to start, we were much more engaged. I think we had more pressure on the ball. I thought we were much more detailed off the ball, and just in terms of being able to be where we're supposed to be and get there. They are tough to guard now; there's a reason they are so hard to guard defensively, when you're guarding that motion. And they missed some. They missed some ones maybe they made in the first half. We were able to get some stops, we started the first four minutes 10-2 and got right back in the game.

Other than one break down offensively in the second half, we only turned it over six times, so not giving them transition. We scored in the second half, so it was easier to defend them a little bit, but they are a good team. You know, just watching them on film, they are in every game. They have lost some leads this season that I know they probably shouldn't have, one of which was probably ours and Davidson. The last couple days, they are fighting like crazy to hold on to these leads and responded in the last two games.

I think Gibbs and Aldridge, you can make the case both of them could be could Player of the Year in our conference. They have two guys that can do that, especially in the postseason; they get on a run and they get hot.

Q. You said the last couple games here, you've kind of lost some of your toughness and tenacity and stuff like that. Why is that?
ARCHIE MILLER: You know, I can't really explain it. I think a lot of it's focus. I think when you have sort of the emotional win that we had at home, sort of like put us in a situation where things were okay, I think our team's always at its best when things aren't okay; when you need to have your back against the wall; when you have to have a chip on your shoulder, and we've had to play like that for so long.

And it seems like here of late, maybe the last couple weeks, the chip has not been there as much, because we've sort of gotten some things done here down the stretch that have given us a chance to sort of take a deep breath. Can't do that.

The Tournament will put the edge back on you because some of these guys won't play another game for us when it's over. You hope it's really focussed in right now. They will be excited to go to work and prepare for the hardest game of the season, and that edge, that desperation to not want to be done, hopefully that will give us a little kick in the butt and give us another shot in the arm where we can get on a run.

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