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March 8, 2018

Chris Mooney

Jacob Gilyard

Nick Sherod

Washington, D.C.

Richmond 81, Duquesne 68

CHRIS MOONEY: Well, I thought we played really well. Our last two regular-season games, we played very well offensively. Moved the ball well and made more shots, and that continued tonight. So I'm really pleased with how we played.

Really more importantly, how we played defensively. You know, to win the rebounding battle with a team that's a very good rebounding team, was probably the key, and so pleased and proud of ur guys and really looking forward to tomorrow night.

Q. Nick, what do you think sparked the early run that allowed you to get momentum and get points quickly and kind of put them on their heels?
NICK SHEROD: I just feel like everybody was really excited to play today. Any time you come into a tournament situation, the juices start flowing and everybody is really excited. I'm just happy that we didn't have as many jitters as I thought we was going to have. Everybody came out and was really focused and locked in on what the coaches had told us, and I just think everybody is really excited to play. I feel like we have a chance to make a run here. We want to start it off can get off on a good foot today. We're just excited about how we played.

Q. How do you think your team has developed over the team in terms of ball sharing, run the offense? Your coach gives you freedom to break off, but today you guys ran the offense, you broke off a little bit, but scored and shared the ball?
JACOB GILYARD: I think we've developed and came a long way, especially we joke about our first game a lot, just how far we've come. But we definitely have more to go. But today, I think we just came out and executed what we needed to do.

Q. You went to St. Bonaventure and played a good game; they played a really good game that day. What do you remember about that and the challenge that awaits you tomorrow?
NICK SHEROD: I just remember how tough the game was. It was a really good atmosphere there. It was their homecoming game I believe. It was a really awesome atmosphere. We played real little hard and we obviously want to defend better. They are two really good guards and probably two of the best guards we're going to play all year.

So we are excited to get the opportunity again and we feel like we left some points on the table and obviously having De'Monte back in the lineup is going to make a big difference. We're just excited to go play.

Q. Last time you guys played these guys, you took them to over time and were able to edge them and this is obviously a really different story. What is the game plan coming in and what do you feel like you were able to execute well?
JACOB GILYARD: We just tried to execute what Coach had been preaching all week. We just had to come out hard and focused throughout the game. I thought we did a good job of that.

Q. As a freshman, obviously you had an amazing game in your first-ever postseason tournament. What were you expecting it to be like and how were you able to play so well?
JACOB GILYARD: I think my teammates definitely got me going early. I give all my success to them. Honestly they found me for most of my shots. So I'd like to thank them for that. I just like to be tough, obviously today we did really good, but tomorrow is a different day. So we've got to come out ready to play.

Q. You had 24 offensive rebounds at Pittsburgh and six today. Why such a big difference?
CHRIS MOONEY: Well, you know, I mean, we definitely emphasized it. Not that we didn't emphasize it in the first game but we definitely emphasized it and we knew how important it would be. Duquesne has some guys that are willing to take hard shots and can make hard shots, and then they really do clean up the offensive glass very nicely.

So for us, I thought setting a tone early, I think we got some rebounds in there early. I think we had a lead early in the game, maybe 11-3, something like that, and we were getting defensive rebounds. I think when you set that kind of a tone, then it discourages them from just attacking the glass like we see sometimes. So we did a much better job obviously and it was a very big reason for the win.

Q. Just looking ahead to Bonaventure, the game at the Riley center was closer, really, than the score indicated if I recall correctly. What problems do they pose for you going in tomorrow?
CHRIS MOONEY: The shooting is tremendous. You know, Adams, all-around, his shooting, decision-making, delivering the ball to his teammates at the perfect time, and then Mobley shooting, those things are really difficult to guard. It's hard when you play -- at this level, you see it sometimes, when you play good defense and they can still score, and that's what those guys can do.

So the game was close. We didn't stop them very often but we were able to score. So we feel like if we can clean up a little bit; Adams is going to get and create points for guys, but if we can clean up our defense a little bit, that we'll have a chance here.

Q. That's three big wins in a row now, big in terms of scoring margins and whatnot, following kind of a rough stretch. How good does it feel to see things starting to finally click for this team, especially given how young they are and how excited are you for what's to come?
CHRIS MOONEY: Yeah, I appreciate that. Yes, we're a young team. Not quite as young now as we were in November. Our experience has paid off. You know, the experience that we do have has paid off. We just look more like a cohesive team, a team that plays together, shares the ball. So I'm really proud of them and hope we can continue to play well tomorrow night.

This has been a good stretch here and you know, sometimes we played well during the course of the season and you don't get the result that you want to get. But this has been a good stretch and we've played well and been able to shoot the ball a little bit better. I think as a result, our passing's been better and our movement's been better, so hopefully that can continue.

Q. To piggyback, on your development, your offense, you have to run it to get getter at it. You give your guys a lot of freedom. It's really rolling compared to where it was against Georgetown. Talk about that process, that development.
CHRIS MOONEY: Yeah, so I feel like -- yeah, I think we really try to have all five guys playing together, and that's a really difficult thing to do because of timing, because of defense, because of physicality of the game. And so you have to do it over and over and over again, and you know, we do have freedom within our offense, and I think the floor is so spread that we can take advantage of times, but we can recognize those better now than we did in the beginning of the year.

And so even if we knew what the play was, so to speak, we couldn't necessarily take advantage of what showed up for us by the defense's shortcoming. Now we're doing a much better job of that, and we can attack and be a little bit more aggressive.

Q. The significance of Julius's play today, he was a huge key to you last season down the stretch in your win streak, and has been struggling of late, but had a big game today. How big is that going through four days here?
CHRIS MOONEY: That's incredible for us. Julius played really well. He had points. He got all of his rebounds. Every rebound we get is a big rebound and his defensive rebounds were very, very critical. He played well. He was confident.

You know, he is an older guy with experience. He does have a really good sense of what's going on out there, so the better he can play it, it really helps us in many ways. It's not just his performance, but it's another guy who knows what he's doing and another guy who can help us stay calm and recognize what's going on on defense. So his contribution was critical.

Q. 15 months ago, Grant was collapsing on the court and needing heart surgery. Tonight he's leading your team in rebounding and zero turnovers. Is it a nice story are or are you in disbelief watching what he can do?
CHRIS MOONEY: Yeah, a little bit of disbelief, just taking from that moment and those few days that followed, a little bit of disbelief.

You know, I can tell you this: His faith or his energy never waned. I mean, he was strong and consistent throughout in terms of his desire to give back and to be a great player. So the awards he's gotten and will continue to get are extremely well earned.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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