Quotable: Cougars win on the road
FROM PORTLAND — Flying back to Pullman here in a few hours, but first wanted to pass along some additional quotes from Washington State's 71-68 win over Oregon State on Saturday. Read on.
"It was a great game for the spectators. Both teams played really hard. I think both teams played with a sense of urgency and we were just fortunate. In the last minute we made some shots and they didn’t. Our free throws came up big, finally. We’ve had a number of games where we haven’t shot real well from the line and tonight we made a couple big ones when it counted."
(On Royce Woolridge taking over down the stretch) "He had the fresher body because he was out of the game for a few minutes and Mike Ladd was really fatigued, so it was try to get the ball in Royce’s hands and he’s pretty quick so it worked out well."
(On Mike Ladd taking over in the first half) "We’ve seen that a few times. Mike Ladd, when other guys aren’t scoring Mike Ladd did a great job and again I attribute that to his ability to understand the situation. He’s a senior and this is his last go-round. He’s really bringing it, doing a great job."
(On OSU limiting Brock Motum early) "They did a good job. I don’t want to take anything away from Oregon State and their defense. They did a good job defensively in the first half but I think Brock also deserves credit for letting the game come to him. He didn’t really force the issue the first half. I’m not sure how many shots he had but he really did a good job of distributing the ball, even though he didn’t have any assists because we didn’t really shoot too well when he passed it. I liked the way that he allowed the game to come to him and then in the second half he became more assertive."
(On rebounding being key) "It was. We felt like the rebounding aspect of the game was going to be critical because they have great length, height, athleticism and they’ve proven they can be a really, really good rebounding team."
(On playing Bryce Leavitt six minutes in the first half) "Just trying to do everything we can to keep fresh bodies on the floor at the end of the game. At some point we’ve got to put some other guys in and give these guys a couple minutes. And Bryce did a great job. Didn’t see it on the stat line but he didn't hurt us at all."
(On how badly they needed to win) "When you’re 1-5 coming in, you need it. If we were at home the same question might be asked … but at this point we really needed a win and it was nice to win a close game and make some plays at both ends of the court to finish the game off."
(On winning against OSU so much recently) "I don’t know what it is because I’ve got a lot of respect, we have a lot of respect for coach (Craig) Robinson and his program. They’ve got a great program and we’ve been really fortunate."
"We’ve been talking about poise this whole time, so I felt like it was my time to step up and show some poise and some leadership because Mike had been doing so well. I felt like I had to step up because I didn’t do much the rest of the game."
(On the free throws) "It’s just one of those things where you just focus in because those are important free throws, so I felt like I just had to knock them down. So I just stayed focused."
(On the win) "This is huge. It’s our first road win and we’ve been looking for poise down the stretch and this was the first time we really showed some poise, so we’re looking forward to our next game. It’s all looking up from here, we feel."
(On pulling out a close game on the road) "It gets kind of tough, especially when it’s wild like that. I think their coach got the tech and then there was a lot of pushing and shoving, but you’ve just got to fight through that and keep your head straight."
(On getting the cut on his head) "I had stolen the ball and I tried to push it out in front of me and (Eric) Moreland put his arm out, and he’s really long so he hit my eye and it cut it open and it started bleeding."
(On not scoring as much in the first half) "The first half I just tried to get my teammates the ball. The flow of the game was going toward Mike. He had the hot hand and he was scoring at will so there was no need for me to intervene in that. He could just go to work. If they're guarding me that tight we’ll just space out and he has a lot more space to operate and he can just take it to the rack every time."
(On the scrappy nature of the game) "I think both teams are sort of underperforming, or their record doesn’t show the talent both teams have, and that’s what led up to a little bit of it. We played these guys four times last year so we know each other pretty well. They know our stuff and we know their stuff pretty well."
(On beating Oregon State so much recently) "I’ve only been here since ’09 but we’ve had a lot of success in the time that we’ve been with coach Bone. I’m not sure if it’s the defense they run or the offense we have or play, but we seem to be pretty successful here and hopefully we continue that in some other buildings as well."
(On getting over the hump to win a close game) "I think we’ve been chipping away at it and slowly but surely. We’ve still been improving even though the win-loss column doesn’t prove it, I think it was sort of a testament tonight just to stick with it and get over that hump. … Hopefully we can get the ball rolling now, and this will turn into a couple wins and winning turns into a habit rather than losing those closer games."
(On rebounding) "I think as a team we rebounded really well. In the second half I think they had one offensive rebound. Another big focal point of ours. They’ve got some big guys in there and we kept them off the o-boards and second chance opportunites and we snatched a couple."
(On the rebounding advantage) "We were just hungrier for a road win. We played Oregon a close one and we knew we had to get this one done, so me and Brock just went in there and snatched everything we could."
(On the win) "That’s what we needed. This is exactly what we needed to just start on something and just build on it. Hopefully we can run off and get three more wins in a row. It was great to get one on the road. We struggle on the road but we kind of felt confident in this building. We’ve had a lot of success here. We felt pretty comfortable here.
"I don’t know what it is about them, but I feel like I always come in here and play with a certain chip on my shoulder and play how I need to play to get it done."
(On scoring early) "I’ve been trying to produce and stay aggressive, and a lot of times my teammates find me and I try to hit the boards as much as possible and that’s pretty much it."
(Did you feel you had to score?) "Not really. I get put in certain situations and I make the most out of those type of situations. It was a slow start for some guys shooting wise, and I felt like I should be more aggressive and attack and that’s what I did. Second half, I felt like guys started hitting more shots and we started going."
(On how much winning a close game can help the team) "It helps us a lot. We had a lot of close games in this situation a lot this year and I think Kansas was our only blowout game. Our other games were pretty close. Tonight we just came out and got the win. We finished strong, had a good second half, Royce knocked down free throws in clutch situations and we got the win."
(On playing well in Corvallis) "Man, I guess so. We keep getting wins here and hopefully they’ll keep it rolling next year."