Purnell Postgame Press Conference

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Listen to head coach Oliver Purnell talk about his team's collapse.


OPENING STATEMENT: Obviously a disappointing loss for us today where we led for much of the ballgame. I thought our ability to really put pressure on them out on the perimeter early in the ballgame was important. I thought their ability to put pressure on us out on the perimeter late in the ballgame was obviously important, along with it being just too much Hansbrough inside. I thought our defense really failed us there coming down the stretch. It was like all of sudden we were trying to outscore them, to hold on. As a result of that and our turnovers it put them in a position - by making practically every shot down the stretch - to catch up. Whatever shot they missed they seemed like they got on the offensive rebound and got. I thought we really didn't come to the ball and take care of it as they trapped. I thought that was a situation where we really could have taken advantage of them trapping and really attack. Other than Cliff [Hammonds] we got out of the attack mode and we seemed to be a step slow and tired. As a result of not coming to the ball, they picked a few off that turned into scores.

ON HIS TEAM'S ABILITY TO BOUNCE BACK: We'll have to see. I told the team that we certainly can't afford to take time to think about this too long. We have tomorrow off and then we have an important game coming up on Thursday. It's getting into the stretch of the season. It's just very important that we put this one behind us and take the positives from it over this four game stretch and play some really good basketball. You have to play basketball well for forty minutes to beat teams at this level. If we understand that and commit to doing that without backsliding then we will be fine. If we take a week or two to get over this, then we are in trouble. We can't do that and I don't expect we will.

ON THE PRESSURE OF THE STREAK: You never know, [it may have affected them] a little bit. Certainly sometimes when you feel pressure you slow down, so you never know. We played hard against Virginia, maybe that had something to do with it. Maybe the pressure of the situation had something to do with it. Maybe Carolina and their home crowd made them a step quicker. You never about those things and you just have to move forward. Then the next time you are in that situation, you hope you do a better job. In the meantime, we've got Georgia Tech coming up. We're in the midst of a tough conference race.

ON THE DECISION TO PRESS LATE IN THE GAME: We decided to attack back and just put us in more of an attack mode because we were back on our heels. I just wanted us to not back up and to get in attack mode which is really our style.

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