Live Blog: CAA Tournament Quarterfinals

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March 8, 2008

7:18 PM

TRIBE TIDBITS

Kisielius finished the day with 16 points on 7-10 shooting.

Sumner netted 16, hitting 5-8 shots and 3-4 three-point attempts.

Mann reached double-digits for the first time since Feb. 20, finishing with 10 points to go along with six assists.

The Tribe shot 73.7 percent from the floor in the second half, missing just five of its 19 attempts and missing just one of its seven three-pointers.

-AP

POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

SENIOR GUARD NATHAN MANN

On his game-winning three-pointer:
I got a good look and I knew was going to. It’s about time I hit a big shot. Fortunately it went in.

On breaking out of his shooting-slump:
It feels great. I’m probably in the worst slump of my career these last four or five games. It’s real hard for a shooter to identify why, but I mean the only thing you can do is keep shooting and try to play with confidence. They’ll eventually start falling.

On his first three-pointer of the game:
It’s always good to see it go in. That was the first one I hit – I mean I didn’t hit any last game – so that was the first one this game. It’s always a nice confidence boost to see the ball go in.

On whether this team felt like it could contend for a conference title:
It feels good. It’s an honor to be a part of really turning this program around. We feet like we’ve done nothing but improve since last season. Since day one we knew we’d have a chance to battle for a league title. We were in a position to do it all season.

On the Tribe’s slow start offensively:
We weren’t running our stuff in the first half. ODU was doing a good job of pressuring us and they took us out of what we wanted to do. They were pressuring the ball and we had to play too far from the basket and we were forcing it a little bit. The second half we calmed down a little bit, stayed within our offense, [and] got better shots a little later in the shot clock.

On playing in the Richmond Coliseum:
It’s a little bit different than Kaplan Arena. It’s a big place. They talk about a shooter’s gym. That’s not a shooters gym. But we made shots when we needed to… Having that second game helps a lot to get a little bit of experience.

SENIOR FORWARD LAIMIS KISIELIUS

On his aggressive play today:
I think the best confidence booster is just to go in and score some layups. It’s do or die now, so you gotta play hard.

HEAD COACH TONY SHAVER

Opening comments:
It’s certainly a great night for our basketball team, and the two guys I’m proudest of are the two guys [Kisielius and Mann] sitting right here. In all honesty, [they’ve] struggled the last three weeks of our season. We’ve stuck with them and they’ve stuck with it. They certainly were the keys to our win tonight. They’ve been they keys to the turnaround in our program and they were the keys to our win tonight. I thought Laimis was sensational.
I thought one of the keys for Nathan – and we talked a little about it before the ballgame – was a little bit of shot selection. He so wants to win the ballgame and lead our team and probably pressed a little bit. He only took six shots tonight, which is down, but they were all good shots.
I couldn’t be happier for him to knock in that last shot. And we went to him the last play. We ran a play that involved our two seniors and they made the play to win the ballgame for us.

On overcoming the Tribe’s slow start offensively:
We’ve been through that a few times lately, so I didn’t have any magic words for them. But what we talked about was how good our defense was. You play that poorly offensively and you’re only down four, five, six points then you’re doing some good things. We felt we had to stick to what we do well and that’s defend. And we rebounded exceptionally well until late in the ballgame. They got some second shots that hurt us there.

On whether or not he thought about changing his lineup with Kisielius and Mann struggling:
These two guys are the reason we are where we are today. They’re the reason we finished fifth in the league. They’re the reason we’re knocking on the door of the elite in this conference. They’re the reason why we’re playing in the semifinal game tomorrow night. Sometimes I couldn’t find the right things to say to them to give them the confidence in themselves that we have in them, but we just kept battling. Well they stepped up time for us today.

On slowing ODU’s sophomore center Gerald Lee:
I thought Pete Stein battled extremely hard – we can’t keep the young guy out of foul trouble. He gets more tough calls on him. But I thought Pete was really good inside, and I thought Chris Darnell was huge on the glass for us tonight as well.

On the play of sophomore forward Danny Sumner in the tournament:
He’s a pretty good sophomore. I’m glad we have him for two more years. Not to take anything away from anybody else, but Danny is the one player we have offensively that create his own shots. When he wants a shot, he can get a shot. The great thing about Danny is he’s improving in other areas of the game so well. He was really good defensively tonight. He gives us an offensive punch that we really need right now as a ballclub. His improvement from freshman year to sophomore year has been pretty sensational.

On what he tells the players in the huddle with the game on the line:
The great thing right at this point of the season is that I can tell these guys with great confidence that we can do it because they’ve done it time after time after time this year. Sometimes coaches say things they may not believe in, but they believe that because they’ve been successful with it. These guys know they have what it takes to win close ballgames.
And it was really nice at the end of the game to have the fouls to give. Not fouling in the 20 minute period was really important for that last seven minutes.

– Andrew Pike

TRIBE 57, ODU 56 – 2:33 Second Half

Stein hit two free throws on a one-and-one, then Henderson drilled a three for ODU.

— JD

TRIBE 55, ODU 53 – 3:30 Second Half

ODU’s Ben Finney scored on a powerful drive to the bucket. It’s getting really physical now down in the trenches. Stein just drew a foul at the other end while battling for a rebound.

— JD

TRIBE 55, ODU 51 – 4:31 Second Half

Kisielius fed Stein for a lay-up on a beautiful pass in the post. ODU’s Lee knocked down four free throws during this stretch. He’s about as smooth a big man as there is anywhere. ODU will likely to continue to look for him in the post.

— JD

TRIBE 53, ODU 47 – 6:21 Second Half

ODU’s not going away. They’ve knocked down a number of key shots to keep them in it. Mann finally hit a three, doubling the Tribe’s lead after the score was 50-47. Sumner hit two threes and knocked down two free throws during this stretch as well. The Tribe is making the shots they have to in order to win this thing. They’re going to have to keep bringing it, however, because the Monarchs are hanging around.

— JD

TRIBE 40, ODU 34 – 11:50 Second Half

The pace is picking up now. Kisielius continues to play well, and Chris Darnell just drilled an open three. The Tribe needs to watch out for Brian Henderson, he’s knocking down just about every shot he takes. Stein picked up his fourth foul on a pretty questionable call, so the Tribe’s going to have to rely heavily on Marcus Kitts and Stephen Hess for the next few minutes.

— JD

TRIBE 33, ODU 28 – 15:57 Second Half

There’s a visible confidence about the Tribe now. It’s like they expect to make every shot and grab every rebound. This stretch is the best they’ve played the entire tournament. On the other side, ODU looks scared (except for their freshman guard James). The Tribe is keeping its lock down defensive pressure up, and Kisielius looks like he’s ready to put the team on his back. He’s really starting to play well now.

— Jeff Dooley

HALFTIME STATS

FIELD Goal Percentage
Tribe- 29.2%
ODU-34.8%

REBOUNDS
Tribe- 17
ODU- 17

LEADING SCORERS
Tribe- Kisielius 8, Schneider 6, Mann 4
ODU- Lee 14, Henderson 5, two tied with 2

TRIBE 24, ODU 23 HALFTIME

With 27.5 seconds left on the clock, the Tribe holds for the final possession of the half but fails to shoot the ball before the buzzer sounds. Senior Nathan Mann is 4-4 from the foul line, but has yet to make a shot from the field. Both teams have 17 total rebounds. ODU sophomore Gerald Lee leads all scorers with 14 points, while Laimis Kisielius has eight for the Tribe.

-CS

TRIBE 22, ODU 21, 1:02 First Half

Gerald Lee’s two three-point plays end the Tribe’s 14-0 run.

TRIBE 20, ODU 13, 3:27 First Half

After two Kisielius lay-ups, the Tribe has stormed out to its first lead of the game. He is playing with a tireless passion and attacking the rim.

TRIBE 11, ODU 13, 7:44 First Half

Schneider made Tribe’s first field-goal of the game nine minutes into the game and Stein responded with a trey of his own giving the team momentum. Both baskets have brought the Tribe faithful back into the game. The Tribe is finally figuring out the Monarch’s zone defense and creating open shots. Gerald Lee is dominating the low block and has eight of ODU’s 13 points. The long ball has been the great equalizer for the Tribe.

-CS

TRIBE 2, ODU 9, 11:57 First Half

The Tribe looks sloppy in their half-court set offense, committing several turnovers and missing long-range shots. But ODU is also experiencing problems.

TRIBE 2, ODU 9, 15:06 First Half

Sophomore Gerald Lee went untouched to the basket for a dunk. Tribe freshman Marcus Kitts is now guarding Lee.

TRIBE 0, ODU 7 , 16:44 First Half

ODU’s Brian Henderson scored the game’s first five points. Nathan Mann missed two three-pointers on the offensive end for the Tribe and committed a turnover. Two minutes into the game, Shaver subbed in guard John Sexton for Mann. ODU is getting good looks and second-chance opportunities.

Game Day Starters

Tribe

Senior forward Laimis Kisielius
Junior forward Peter Stein
Sophomore forward Danny Sumner
Sophomore guard David Schneider
Senior guard Nathan Mann

Monarchs

Sophomore center Gerald Lee
Freshman forward Frank Hassell
Freshman forward Ben Finney
Freshman guard Darius James
Senior guard Brian Henderson

-CS

Pregame

Tip-off for the Tribe’s second round game will be 2:35 p.m. The Tribe’s contingent of fans is about several hundred, while ODU has a slightly bigger group. After VCU defeated Towson in the first game, many black and gold clad VCU fans stayed to watch the game. Noticeably absent from the College’s student section is a pep band, which most schools brought to the tournament.

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