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March 6, 2019

Tina Thompson

Jocelyn Willoughby

Dominique Toussaint

Greensboro, North Carolina

Virginia - 77, Boston College - 61

THE MODERATOR: To my left is Coach Tina Thompson, Dominique Toussaint and Jocelyn Willoughby. Coach, a brief opening statement.

COACH THOMPSON: This was a big win for us, not just because we wanted to win but we knew the kind of game that we were going to come into that it was going to be a grind-it-out game. The first game against Boston College it was a similar game. So we knew what to expect. We knew it was going to be physical, and that it was literally going to be trading baskets throughout the game.

I mean, our kids were tough. Although we had a little drop in our energy in the first half we came back fighting. We are a blue-collar team. We fight. We grind things out. In games like this, I think this is when we are our best. I'm so proud of my kids. We're small but in my opinion very mighty. And we show up to come and play.

So just really, really happy for them.


Q. Jocelyn, looked like the short bench might catch up with you guys in the third quarter, but you came out and had 13 points. What did it take for you to pick up the intensity late in the game knowing you were tired?
JOCELYN WILLOUGHBY: I think a lot of times tired is a mentality. If you think about it you're going to give into it. I think for me it was just a team commitment to come out with more energy and changing the tempo of the game to be more in our favor, getting out on in transition and making them or putting them on their heels on defense.

Q. Coach, you jump out to 11-nothing lead but you find yourself down at halftime. What did you say to them in the second half just to get them to roll back the way they did and take control of the game, basically?
COACH THOMPSON: We basically just reminded them to be exactly who we are. We are a team that gets out in transition. We are a team that pushes the tempo. We're a team that creates opportunities for ourselves from our defensive efforts. We're a team that at times we have to be something more than just ourselves.

I mean, with these two -- the two leaders on our team, we've asked them to do so many things that probably going into the season weren't necessarily what they thought their roles were or in their repertoire. And we've asked Dominique to be at times more of a facilitator and we asked her to do that. We ask Jos to be more aggressive, get to the basket and creating opportunities.

And we've just done a really, really good job of just reinventing ourselves, and that's what we needed to do going into the second half and they did a great job of that.

Q. Emma Guy had 14 points in the first half. She only had four, I believe, in the second. What did you do to take her away and deny her the ball and make her less effective in the second half?
COACH THOMPSON: Well, one thing we did we tried to front her as many times as we could as well sending double teams.

I mean, she's a tough guard for everyone in this league. So we wanted to make the touches she got very difficult and not allow her to get clean looks at the basket.

Q. Dominique, you scored your thousandth point there in a big run in the fourth quarter. How special was that given this was a big win for you guys?
DOMINIQUE TOUSSAINT: It means a lot, having two juniors on the same team getting a thousand points, I think it's a big thing.

I think it just goes to show you like how hard we work over these past three years. And I was kind of just focusing on the win, I didn't realize it until the end. But it's a great feeling.

Q. You fell behind by 12 points in the middle of the third period. You're the two veterans. You kind of willed your team back into the game. What was your message to your team, to yourself, to each other?
DOMINIQUE TOUSSAINT: It goes back to what Coach said; it goes back to what our identity is. We like to play fast, get into transition and we like to believe in our defense. And that's what we did. We got back to what we do best.

JOCELYN WILLOUGHBY: It's really just having the mentality we've been here before and the game isn't over until it's over. We knew we could make that run. Niq had some awesome plays, and so did I and so did our other teammates. It was a team effort. And we're proud of our comeback.

Q. Coach, given the difficult season with the injuries and the short bench, you touched on it earlier, but what have these two meant to this program this season?
COACH THOMPSON: They've meant everything, simply because they -- Dominique, Jocelyn, as well as Moné -- play a significant amount of minutes on our team. They're the three that I substitute the least in that even when they are tired and they look tired and they tell me, I kind of ignore them at times and then I kind of gauge when it's really severe or not.

And I think that they've kind of come to know that, so to kind of sacrifice, I guess, their games in that way. It's not easy to be very efficient when you're tired like that. And they found a way to figure it out.

So I think overall, when you talk about a statistical, from that perspective, they're probably not as efficient as they would be if they had substitutions, but it's not something they're worried about.

They're worried about getting wins and doing whatever it takes to do that. So we've sacrificed a lot. But they've also given a lot and that means kind of more than anything. I mean, how they approach the game is how our team approaches the game. And our team has taken on the identity that these guys have decided to kind of be and show up for our team.

Q. Jocelyn, Virginia has been a good foul-shooting team all year. You guys were 26-for-29 today which is going to win a lot of ball games. You were 12-for-12. Seems like down the fourth quarter every possession you kept going to the foul line and extending the lead by two and two more. Can you address that part of Virginia's game today?
JOCELYN WILLOUGHBY: When you're hitting free throws I think it gives you a better chance. For me, I look at it as a whole other possession, like, those two points are another possession that the other team will have to score to catch up to us. So free throws are super important, and just trying to dial in and give our team a better chance at winning the games, really big for me and for the team.

Q. Dominique, maybe a chance to brag a little bit. You had eight assists. I'm sure quite a few went to Jocelyn. Just talk about her game today. She was phenomenal out there.
DOMINIQUE TOUSSAINT: I just trust Jos with the ball I'll find her on the court no matter where it is. I just trust my teammates in general. I like to believe that I'm a great court general, floor general.

COACH THOMPSON: You facilitate really well.

DOMINIQUE TOUSSAINT: Floor general, that's what it is. I like assists just as much, the same as I like points. I like passing the ball and making sure my teammates get to score.


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