Feb. 6, 2016

Recap | Box Score | USATSI Gallery

Notre Dame 80 (16­7, 7­4 ACC), #2 North Carolina 76 (19­4, 8­2 ACC)
February 6, 2016
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center ­ Notre Dame, Ind.

Mike Brey, Notre Dame Head Coach

Opening statement…

“I’m really proud of our toughness. I thought our toughness really showed in the second half in some of our

defensive possessions, an area where we have been weak. Defensively, I thought we really dug in and

made some great stands. We were a flat out mess the first half and I thought most of that was that Carolina

was playing great defense. We really got into a very good offensive rhythm in the second half and we really

wanted to keep driving the ball and getting to the foul line ­ and that certainly was a key to the game.”

On Bonzie Colson and Zach Auguste

“I thought Bonzie and Zach were men tonight, they were pounding against four big bodies that kept coming

at them all the time.”

On driving to the basket…

“In the second half when Demetrius [Jackson] and Steve [Vasturia] are playing downhill like that, and even

VJ [Beachem] and Rex [Pflueger] gives you another guy who can slash. Bonzie [Colson] drives it. We have

said we want to drive more. We are trying to take advantage of this new rule. Certainly we got to the line a

lot and it became a weapon for us. Back in November we couldn’t hit a foul shot.”

On playing on a big stage…

“Our program, when we have been on the big stage and under the bright lights, has flat out delivered. I’m

really proud of our program and I’m proud of this group. We have played in some big ones and we have

found a way to win.”

On only having 2 turnovers…

“Well we weren’t going to turn it over in the first half because we were just taking bad shots. We didn’t even

pass it enough to turn it over. We just put our head down and took bad shots. So we basically had 2

turnovers in a half which is pretty good.”

On halftime…

“I think Demetrius Jackson sets a great tone for us, and Zach [Auguste] and Steve [Vasturia]. Those three

guys are really calm and collected. Halftime was fabulous, they were talking, they were poised. We were

lucky to be down 9 quite frankly as bad as we were and as good as Carolina was. I think we were going to

find an offensive rhythm and we did.”

Notre Dame Players

Demetrius Jackson, Junior Guard

On working the inside more…

“If I saw an open cut, I’d just take it. I got a few nice passes and a couple of people found me cutting or just

moving around. I was just trying to take what they gave me.”

On playing well in the environment…

“The crowd really energized us tonight. Just to have the fans and the whole community there tonight, I was

really happy to come out and see all the people supporting us. Big thanks to the fans.”

On coming back from half down by nine…

“In my time here, we’ve been through it all: down nine, down eighteen, down twenty. So, it’s never too high,

and we keep fighting.”

On the team getting 20 offensive rebounds…

“That’s big time. We really battled in the paint, and Zach and Bonzie came out with some huge rebounds.

Making big plays was key, and those guys did it.”

Bonzie Colson, Sophomore Forward

On the environment tonight…

“I love big games, and I love big moments. I play hard every game, and it was a good win tonight. The crowd

was loud, and we fed off the energy.”

On the team’s resolve to win this year…

“We know what it takes to get these wins. You have to dig out when you are down by ten plus. We’ve been

there before. You have to be confident that we’re going to win the game no matter what the score is.”

VJ Beachem, Junior Guard

On a slow start to the game…

“It shows how special of a group we can be. It makes us believe in ourselves even more. Even though we’ve

had some tough games and tough losses, a game like this really brings everything back together”

On Bonzie’s play tonight…

“We all called him out at half time. We told him that we needed the dog out there. We needed him pounding

his chest. He really brought it the second half, and he was huge for us.

Zach Auguste, Senior Forward

On the confidence boost…

“This is big. I feel like we can play with any team in the country, and we’re up there. We’re the most efficient

offensive team, so when we lock in defensively and have our offense flowing, it’s going to be hard to guard


On not wanting to come out with a slow start…

“I wanted to be aggressive, playing against two bigs in the ACC, Brice [Johnson] and Kennedy [Meeks]. I

took that challenge, I accepted it, and I wanted to be aggressive from the jump.”

On the intimidation of the UNC players…

“It never gets tiring for me. I love a challenge, I love to go up against competition, and I love to battle. It’s

something that I cherish.”

On being down 15 points two minutes before the half…

“We knew we had to make some stops or we were going to lose. If we didn’t step up and be aggressive with

blocking defensively, they were probably going to beat us by about 20. But that didn’t happen. We came out,

and we executed down the stretch.”

On three wins against UNC…

“I love a challenge. I love hearing talk about how good these other ‘bigs’ are, and I want them to talk about

me as well. I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates. It was a great team win.”

Steve Vasturia, Junior Guard

On the flow of the game…

“First half, we didn’t have much flow offensively. Zach did a great job of keeping us in the game and

pounding on the glass, but we really weren’t playing like ourselves offensively. We came in the locker room,

and second half we started doing what we do offensively and opening up lanes for everybody to drive to get

to the rim. It was great for us to bounce back after that first half.”

On the trend of being down by double digits but coming back…

“That’s obviously not ideal because you want to start a little better, but I think that’s a great trait to have, to

be really resilient and able to bounce back after being punched in the mouth a little bit. We’re working on

getting off to better starts, but it’s a great trait to have.”

On beating UNC three times in a row as a confidence booster in ACC play…

“It’s great. I think we are playing with a lot of confidence no matter who we play. It doesn’t matter what name

is on the front of the jersey or who comes in here. We have confidence that we are going to give them a

good game. I think we just have to keep playing the way we’ve been playing.”

On playing best in big games….

“I think everyone really has fun coming out and playing under the lights. When there’s a lot of momentum

and a lot of talk about a game, people are excited to play in it. We’ve been in a lot of those big games

before, and we are just excited to compete every night. Every game is a big game. I know that’s cliche, but

in the ACC, you have to get wins, and everything is going to be a battle.”

Roy Williams, North Carolina Head Coach

Opening statement…

“Well, congratulations to Notre Dame. Their coach did a heck of a lot better job of getting his guys to play

with a great deal of intensity than I did. I look down there at the stat sheet, 19 points off turnovers for them, 0

for us. 23 second chance points for them, 13 for us. 38 foul shots for them, 21 for us. I have to do a heck of

a lot better job of getting my club to play with a lot more intensity than we did. Simple and easy, reach in and

foul somebody instead of getting down in a stance. Head coach has got to do a better job of getting them to

do that.”

On if he saw intensity in his team in the first half…

“Greg, right now I don’t even know if I can see my hand in front of my face, so I have no idea. I’ll look at it on

tape. It was easy early, and I’ve got a wonderful bunch of kids, but we have to decide that we want to

compete when it’s tough not just when it’s easy.”

On the primary issue for the Tar Heels during the game…

“Well, the intensity level was. 19 points off turnovers, 23 points off second chance shots. You get fouled

because you work. They had 38, and we had 21.”

On Notre Dame…

“Mike and his staff did a great job. They bounced back from a tough loss for them. They did a great job.”

On taking away Notre Dame’s three point shooting…

“We tried to guard it, which we’ve tried to do all year long, and we tried to stay in front of the basketball.

Demetrius is really tough to stay in front of because he penetrates so well, but today, Auguste drove us to

the basket too in the first half.”

On Marcus Paige’s breakout game…

“First half, he really shot it well. The second half he was really good. Took one bad shot right in front of our

bench, pressed it a little bit and rushed it. Other than that, I thought he did some good things.”

On preparing for this game after losing to Louisville …

“Well the thing about it is, we can get up, but this is a tough league. It’s not just about us. Notre Dame got up

as well, and that’s just like we played Louisville. They had lost the game before when we played them at

their place. We played Notre Dame at their place. The world’s not going to come to an end, but right now I’m

extremely frustrated.”

On the biggest difference in the first half and second half…

“Well, the only difference was the first seven or eight to ten minutes of the first half. The last ten minutes of

the first half they dominated the effort column too, and I think that’s what happened. They didn’t make but

two or three threes, but they made two of them in a really big place. We go to zone one play, and a guy

doesn’t get out to cover the shooter in the corner. That’s the only place he has to cover.”

North Carolina Players

Marcus Paige, Senior Guard

On the challenges they faced today…

“Notre Dame presents a matchup problem for us anyways – just the way they play, spacing the floor with

four or five out and driving, especially with a very traditional lineup. They’ve got two big guys on the floor, so

that puts us at a disadvantage with covering the ball. That’s why we were in the double bonus both halves.

We’d like to be able to impose our style on them, but we can’t do that if we can’t guard. Then they had 23

points off of offensive rebounds in the second half which is inexplicable and inexcusable for us.”

On improving moving forward…

“You can talk about it all day, but inside that 94 and 50, you have to do it and we didn’t do it. We have to find

some kind of combination of guys that are willing to do it for the entire game. Whether it’s five point guards

or five centers, we’ve just got to find five guys ready to compete for the whole game.”

On their original 15 point lead…

“We did a better job containing the dribble, and Jackson didn’t hurt us very much getting to the paint. They

didn’t shoot any threes or make any threes in the first half I don’t think, but maybe one or two. Then our

defense started breaking down and that’s how they got three pointers in the ACC Championship game and

that’s how they got three pointers last year. I liked what we saw early but then we got fouls and we couldn’t

keep them out of the lane.”

On the effort level after losing the lead…

“I don’t think it changed. I don’t think it was extremely high to begin with; we were just doing a little better job

paying attention to the details. They started the game with an offensive rebound and they were killing us on

the backboard.”

On getting stretched in the second half…

“They changed their offense a little bit in the second half. They spaced us out and started driving. That’s

been a weakness of ours in the past and it was today. We’ve got to be able to cover the ball.”