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    Jan. 9, 2010

    Recap |  Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

    HEAD COACH Tom Penders
    Opening statement:

    “After the game, I have my radio show and the players usually have family they want to see, so I wait until the next day to speak with them. Tomorrow, I’m going to talk to them after we watch film, and I’m going to tell them how proud I was of them, their effort and their scrap. We made a major step toward being a contender.

    “This is league play, and a lot of kids went into battle for the first time. Players like Nick Haywood and Kirk Van Slyke. Sean Coleman stepped up but all of the kids came through with a lot of adversity. They showed that even though they shot 37 percent, they could hang in and have a chance to win.”

    On handling the officials:
    “During the game, I told the players that I would handle the officials so they could keep their poise and composure. I normally don’t get too into it with the officials, but today I felt it was necessary. The kids showed tremendous poise under pressure in the heat of battle.”

    On the game’s offense:

    “We were willing to let (Jerome) Jordan, if he earned them, get his points. We didn’t want to double him too much because he’s good at passing on. They have guys like (Ben) Uzoh who are great at three pointers. We shot more later in the game but they made their shots and we missed a few too many. Mo (Maurice McNeil) had a rough time at the line, but hopefully what we saw from Aubrey (Coleman) at the line will continue. We worked a lot with him. He attacks that basket, gets in the lane and makes them blow the whistle.”

    On Maurice McNeil:
    “He has a big heart, and he’s getting better. He doesn’t have a great shooting game but he did get up 16 shots tonight. I’m happy that the guys are looking for him. His effort’s great. He had nine rebounds and did a really good job of helping on Jordan.”

    On bouncing back:

    “We have to bounce back tomorrow and get refocused for UTEP on Wednesday. We can’t dwell or feel sorry. We have to come out and put this behind us. We’re 1-1 in conference play. Every game is important and UTEP is an outstanding ballclub. We have to be prepared and hopefully we’ll have a nice crowd out for that. It’s great rivalry.”

    SENIOR GUARD Aubrey Coleman
    On the loss:

    “We played our tails off, and we really wanted to win that game. This game is over and we must get ready for UTEP now. He was proud of every one of us; we all fought to the end.”

    On the game plan:
    “They were clogging the lanes and switching a lot. When we ran our play ‘three-down,’ they would switch all around the perimeter. Then we started running some other plays and that started to open things up. Our big guys did a great job on (Jerome) Jordan. He was a factor but he wasn’t dominating. We just didn’t finish strong enough.”

    On what he learned from the game:
    “We learned that we’re all important, and we play together. We also all know now that we can play with a good team like that. They were picked to win the conference in preseason. We’ll get to face them again. We didn’t close it out like we should have, and we also could have used some better free throw shooting.”

    SENIOR GUARD Kelvin Lewis
    On the game plan:

    “Coach was proud of us for how hard we fought. Our game plan was to stop (Jerome) Jordan and (Ben) Uzoh. We had a good game plan and executed it well. Some other guys came in and made some shots, and they had a few more free throws than us.”

    On his injury:
    “I’m good now. I drove baseline and shot a floater but took an elbow to my eye. I can just now see with both eyes clearly, I had trouble seeing things for a while after that.“

    On the game:
    “We played hard and executed well to a certain extent. Things happen, and we’ll just leave it at that.”


     

     

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