Jan. 20, 2016

Recap | Final Stats | Notes | USATSI Gallery

Notre Dame 83 (13-5, 4-2 ACC), Virginia Tech 81 (12-7, 4-2 ACC)
January 20, 2016
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center – Notre Dame, Ind.
Attendance: 7,888

Mike Brey, Notre Dame head coach
Opening statement…
“They are very good, I give them a lot of credit. I think Buzz has done a very good job. I said that two days ago and I will say it again. He’s reinventing that program quickly, they are very hard to guard. I’m very proud of our group to do some very tough stuff to escape with the win. It was one of those escapes in league play and we are thrilled to be 4-2 and we are fortunate to be 4-2.”

On halftime adjustmentsââ’¬¦
“Could we keep them out of the lane a little better? I thought we did that a little bit better. It was such a flashback to the Marquette stuff where they are coming at your gut. With the new rule it is really hard to guard guys who have made their mind up to force a drive. We did a better job coming over and helping the ball screen to get enough stops to escape. I thought we did a very good job of getting to the bonus quickly in the second half and then driving to the basket. Demetrius [Jackson] and Steve [Vasturia] were fabulous driving to the basket at key times. Zach [Auguste] was unbelieveable. He was a force and he was all over the place. That’s two games in a row that he has made big free throws and I think that is growth for him.”

On mental toughnessââ’¬¦
“These last three games for us were all hard games and we had to be mentally tough to figure out how to win them. I do think we have grown in that area and tonight was the ultimate example of that. Every time you cut that thing to one possession we make a big play or we foul and get an and-one. We kept coming back and we kept digging. I think we have grown in that area.”

Notre Dame Players
Demetrius Jackson, Junior Guard
On the win…
“I think the crowd really helped us with the energy. They did a great job coming out. They are always so supportive. Playing at home is always great because we have the crowd behind us. I think the leadership comes from Steve and Zach and Burg communicating with each other. Our bench does a good job communicating with us, letting us know what we need to do. Once we start executing, things are really good.”

On what his late game mindset isââ’¬¦
“Being aggressive, good things happen when we are going downhill. I just wanted to get to the basket a little more. We played a really good team and this is a great win for us. With Steve driving and us spacing the floor, we do really good things with the floor spacing.”

On close games this season…
“We are growing, getting better. We want to continue to do that. We’ve learned from our earlier game situations in the year and are trying to apply that stuff now so we can finish games.”

Steve Vasturia, Junior Guard
On the close winââ’¬¦
“It feels good, they are a very good team. They are very tough to guard and they gave us some problems in the first half. But any time we can come out of here with a win in league play you are going to feel good about it.”

On halftime adjustmentsââ’¬¦
“We knew we had to get more stops on defense. We had to take care of the ball more, that was a big thing we focused on. I think we did that in the second half and every time we went down the floor we were able to get good shots. That really helped us.”

On overcoming Va. Tech’s aggressivenessââ’¬¦
“They are an attacking team. They play a lot of guards and even their bigs can put the ball on the floor. That gave us some problems in the first half and we had to adjust. Once we were able to get on the defensive glass that was big for us. We could get out in transition and match that pace of play. We could also slow it down when we needed to, like at the end of the game.

Zach Auguste, Senior Forward
On his intensity in the second halfââ’¬¦
“I wanted personally to lead by example and be that senior leader. I wanted to get on the glass and make sure I did everything I could to get into a tempo on the backboard.”

On his words to the team to start the second halfââ’¬¦
“I’m just reminding them that we’re going to win this game, but we just have to play like men. We can’t back down. We just have to be aggressive and have that swagger.”

On his energy at the end of the gameââ’¬¦
“I wanted to win the game. I wanted to win it for coach. I wanted to win it for my teammates. I think we locked in and played our game and played Notre Dame basketball.”

Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech head coach
On Notre Dame…
“I thought they played great. They really hurt us on the glass, they were going downhill too often. I thought they played really well.”

On guarding Notre Dameââ’¬¦
“They’re the number one team in offensive efficiency in the country. It’s a little bit of pick your poison. I don’t think you can guard their ball screens the same over and over because they just pick you apart. I think you have to have multiple plans on matchups and ball screen coverage. For the most part I think we did that ok. Brey doesn’t have a guy on the court who can’t play, pass and shoot.”

On Demetrius Jacksonââ’¬¦
“He’s tough as nails, really hard to keep out of the paint. He plays with great leverage and his strength allows him to do that. He’s really good on shot fakes and drawing the and-ones. Very efficient at the free throw line. He’s a hard guard for anybody, any team, anywhere. He knows when it’s time to get one for somebody else and knows when it’s time to get one for himself.”

On developing his programââ’¬¦
“When you’re part of an arduous process such as this it’s really hard to remove yourself from the intensity and pace of it. I think the only way that you can progress is literally to just be consumed with the day. I think we showed great maturity today. It’s easily the best game we’ve played on the road since we’ve been here.”