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    FIGHTING IRISH

    March 15, 2006

    Recap |  Final Stats

    2006 National Invitation Tournament
    First Round, Joyce Center, Notre Dame, Ind.
    #5 Notre Dame vs. #4 Vanderbilt
    March 15, 2006

    Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey Quotes

    On the game ...
    "This was a good win for us. We have practiced well since the BIG EAST tournament. We knew this was our destiny and we had good focus going in. We'll get a little bit of rest and start to tune it up for whomever we play on Monday. We are honored to be in this tournament, and we are thrilled to get a chance to play again."

    On the play of senior forward Torin Francis ...
    "I'm happy for him. He deserves to have a great stretch run. I hope we can continue to ride him to New York City. We did a good job getting him the ball. They did play him with just one guy. He made some good decisions and was good on the backboard, as well."

    On junior Colin Falls setting the Notre Dame season record for three-point goals ...
    "Colin has had a great season, and his threes today sort of took control of the game for us. We were down early, and he got us on a run, and we were able to finish the half with some momentum. Plus, he defended [Vanderbilt sophomore forward Shan] Foster all night long. So he broke the record on a night that he was chasing him around and making sure he didn't hit a lot of threes."

    On Notre Dame's defensive play ...
    "I thought we really defended well in the second half. We took away the three-point line. We didn't do such a good job in the first half, but we improved in the second half, especially in not allowing them to knock down threes to get back into the game."

    "In the second half, we did a good job of finding the shooters in transition. We gave up some layups and twos. But as long as they are twos [and not threes], I can live with that because they use the three-point line the same way we use it - to really get momentum and get back into the game."

     

     

    On the crowd ...
    "We had a good crowd tonight. It was listed at 3,300, but we had good energy. The crowd really helped us, and it would be great to be back here Monday. It was a comfortable home-court atmosphere here tonight."


    Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings Quotes

    On the difference in the game ...
    "I thought the game really came down to the fact Notre Dame shot the ball better than we did. I'm not sure from my perspective that it had anything to do with any defense. We got some open looks that we normally make but I thought they did a better job of making plays when they needed to."

    On the play of Chris Quinn ...
    "I thought (Chris) Quinn controlled the game and gave them what a senior needs to give you. Obviously we had trouble with Francis inside and they had trouble with (Julian) Terrell inside."

    On the play of Shan Foster ...
    "It kind of came down to the fact our leading scorer was no where near where we needed him to be in order to give us a chance to win. He wasn't very good on offense and he was less than that on defense, unfortunately."

    On if the play of Torin Francis surprised him ...
    "No, we kind of invited that. We felt maybe we could have done a little better job defending him. You can't just let them tee it up from three and let them play that way because that is how they beat you. We did alright guarding them from three but not great. We got wore out inside and that's something that's happened on and off all season."


    Senior Guard Chris Quinn

    On the Irish's attitude going into tonight's game...
    "We were excited to play - for a few of us this is all we have left in our college career. I love playing with this team; I want to play as long as I can with these guys."

    On the motivation in playing in the NIT...
    "To keep playing basketball - I think there are a lot of things that can come from this at this time. We are trying to work towards hanging a banner. Plus, for the guys coming back next year, I want them to keep playing. Mostly I just love playing basketball; it is fun."

    Senior Forward Torin Francis

    On holding Foster to a season low of four points...
    "Basically we made sure that he didn't get comfortable in his movement. We had to fight through screens and keep up the communication on the defensive end."

    On coming on strong after the first half...
    "It was really important. That is what we talked about at halftime. A three-point lead is nothing - they actually had the momentum coming out of the half. We really wanted to jump on that right after the half defensively. On offense we were flowing the whole game, working the ball the around. The defensive end is where we won the game."

    Junior Guard Colin Falls

    On the comparison of this game to the NIT game last year...
    "It felt different. The fans were really good; they were loud and I thought that the people were a lot more into it than last year. Last year they just wanted to get the season over with. I was really impressed with the people that were there tonight."

    On holding the single-season record for three point goals...
    "Somebody actually just told me, but it will be broken by Kyle [McAlarney]. I am not hanging on to it for too long."

    Sophomore Forward Rob Kurz

    On the team's confidence at the end of the game...
    "I think we were pretty confident in our free-throw shooting ability, so when we got into the bonus all we really had to do was be strong with the ball and make sure we didn't turn it over. We knew they were going to foul us, especially at the end of the game, but I think we did a good job of going to the line and making our free throws."


    Senior Forward Julian Terrell

    On playing his final game ...
    "I went into the game thinking we just need to sit down and play our game, but that wasn't really working for us. They were getting a lot of easy buckets. Once the second half hit, there was only 20 minutes left so it was time to turn it up."

    On not being able to get a defensive stop ... "They do a lot of screen-ins, and they have three really good shooters, so you just pretty much have to stay toe-to-toe on defense. We got lost inside, and they just did a good job."

    On the season ...
    "We had a pretty good non-conference schedule. Once the season started, we started off really well. It pretty much went up and down for us. We had a slump of seven games or so. Towards the end we kind of picked it up a little bit, but once we were in the [SEC] tournament, we had one good game and one bad game, and we ended up here and obviously we lost."

    On defending Francis down low ...
    "I knew everything he would do. He got me a couple times, but he's just another guy. I see those kind of guys pretty much day in and day out in the SEC."

    Junior Forward Derrick Byars

    On the back and forth play of the game and not being able to cut the lead within five in the second half ... "There were a number of things that plagued us. The inability to stop their three point shooting, we fouled, they got to the line and made free throws, and we had turnovers on our own. We caused all of that."

    On staying in the game in the first half ...
    "We had a quick offensive start but coach said we couldn't just exchange baskets. I believe the quick offense kept us in it. We had a four minute surge in the first half where we won the four minute war, so that's why I think we hung around in the first half."


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