UNC-SJU: Locker Room Report

NEW YORK -- North Carolina salvaged third place at the 50th Holiday Festival by defeating host St. John's, 63-59, at Madison Square garden on Saturday afternoon.

Here is a look at what some of the Tar Heels had to say about their eighth win in 11 games.

Rashad McCants

On overcoming Friday's misery:

We had to rebound from that loss, and learn from it. We had to just play as hard as we could and that would take care of things. It was a tough game, but we knew that we could do what it took to get the victory and we did.

On making up for Sean May's absence:

We had to come together. As far as rebounding, taking good shots, defense, and just playing together we had to do things together.

On sinking two key free throws late in the game:

I was thinking to just hit the shot, to put the game away. We play to make big plays. I had no doubt in my mind I was going to hit that free throw.

On winning a grinder like this:

It's big, especially against a good team like St. John's. They're very good, but we're very good too, so, we have to just keep going from here.

Byron Sanders

On what Coach Matt Doherty told him before making his first start:

He said "you don't have to score, we have scorers." He just told me to play defense and rebound. He just told me to come out and work hard, work hard on defense. I struggled a little bit in the first half, but I have to forget about that. He told me to just keep playing.

On staying with it and continuing to shoot when open despite going 0-9 on the day:

I just tried my best but I didn't score [from the field]. I don't know what happened.

Jackie Manuel

On the sequence with a steal, two offensive rebounds and assist to Raymond Felton for a 3-pointer:

I think that my only two rebounds kind of took a little bit out of them. The little things are me. That's my game. The little things help us win. We need that and I know I am the one that can do that for us.

On winning a tough game especially after Friday night's loss:

It felt good. Last night everybody was down. And to come in today and everybody played so hard, it feels really good to come in here and beat a good team at their place. I think this team is tough. We're mentally and physically tough.

Melvin Scott

On getting back on the court after serving a one-game suspension on Friday night:

I was anxious to play today. I felt like I let my team down yesterday because I didn't play. I just wanted to get out there today and help them any way I could. I'm real happy about the win.

On what he brings to the team:

I think I can help the team with my ballhandling and against pressure defenses. And when we got into foul trouble, I think we all came through on the glass and by taking care of the ball. I think everyone chipped in tonight. It was a total team effort.

Jawad Williams

On how he feels physically:

I feel a lot better. I still have some side effects, but I'll be all right. I had to shake it off because I had to play tonight. I was just happy to play. You always look forward to playing a basketball game. There are a lot of people that are less fortunate than us so I look forward to it every day.

On dealing with the adversity of Friday night and then winning today:

It was a good experience for us. It's going to help us in ACC play. Then again, I think our team did a great job of coming together of filling that void of Sean's absence.

On becoming more of a leader:

I do whatever it takes to win. Everybody has to be a leader in one way or another. And I feel I did what I had to do tonight as far as being vocal and being positive with my teammates.

Senior writer Andrew Jones is in his seventh year with Inside Carolina. He hosts a late afternoon radio show on ESPN Radio, WMFD AM630 in Wilmington and can be reached via e-mail at: AndrewJones@AM630.net.

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