Jan. 28, 2012
HEAD COACH James Dickey
On feelings on the game
"I'm so proud of our team and the way that they competed. They really battled, and I'm proud of them. I want to thank the fans and the students. They were terrific and helped us."
On the play in the first half
"We didn't play well after about the 12-minute mark in the first half. UTEP played very well. They changed their defense, and they were relaxed offensively. They hit shots and built up that 15-point lead. Our guys came out; we cut into it by the first media timeout, and we just continued to battle. We just made big plays. I'm really pleased with the way that our guys fought, and I'm happy with the victory."
On having several turnovers in the first half and only one in the second
"They got 12 points off of turnovers, and we pointed that out. They were really pressuring us in the first half. They do a good job of face guarding. We attacked where they gave us an opportunity to attack in the second half. Jonathan went and got some rebounds off the glass. Alandise went down and got a big rebound off a missed free throw. We took better care of the ball, much better care of the ball."
On the team's determination
"The last thing we talked about before the game was determination to win and being disciplined enough to execute the way we know we are capable. We talked about refusing to lose at home and taking care of the things that we can control... positive attitude, great effort and being determined."
"We made some big plays. Even in overtime, our guys were down by four, and we just battled out. We're stronger around the basket, and we rebounded the ball much better."
On TaShawn Thomas
"He's just getting better and better. With more confidence, he's going to get stronger. His technique and his timing are a lot better, and he's staying more engaged all the way through the play."
On what determined the game
"We really competed. The big stat that I look at is that we were down by 13 and we scored 41 in the second half, which means we were a lot better offensively. I'd like to see us do that for 40 minutes. It'd make it a lot easier on the coaches. I was proud of our guys. Defense was a huge key... defense, rebounding, and getting to the free throw line."
On hitting shots
"At halftime, I told our coaches, we got the ball where we wanted it, we just didn't hit the shots. You can execute as pretty as you want to and if you miss shots, you look like you're playing bad. You can just slop around, and somebody will throw in a shot and you think you're playing great. It's about making baskets too. Our execution was good, but we did want to make a concerted effort to get the ball inside."
On getting pressed
"I like the way we attacked with confidence. That's one of the things we talked about. When somebody presses us, let's attack and let's do it with confidence. I was pleased with the way they handled it."
SOPHOMORE FORWARD Alandise Harris
On the determination after being down most of the game
"We just had to play hard and play with toughness. We couldn't let them beat us the way they did at their house."
On getting another chance when the last second 3-pointer was waved off
"We knew we could do it. We have the heart; we just had to play hard."
On the change offensively the second half
"We started moving more and looking for others. We started going to the offensive boards hard, too. We were not going to settle for a miss."
JUNIOR GUARD Jonathon Simmons
On what Darian Thibodeaux said right before he went to the free throw line
"He said `let's get this game out of reach and let's go home.'"
On the big shots in the game
"Big shots are always a plus. It is always a boost for the team."
On Joe Young's big 3-pointer after coming off the bench
"That was a big play for Joe. His shot was real big for him and for the team."
FRESHMAN FORWARD TaShawn Thomas
On how it felt after the last meeting against UTEP
"It was embarrassing that we were run off the floor."
On the emotions he played with after the timeout during the comeback
"Everyone told me that I needed to play more aggressive and that I was playing timid. When I was going to the bench, I was trying to keep the momentum and keep the energy going that we needed for the comeback."
On toughness of defending the big men of UTEP
"I was trying to play harder than them. I knew they were good, but I knew if I played hard, I could play with them."
On the emotions after the 3-pointer at the end of regulation was waved off
"I fell down. I was excited. I was run over by the trainer John Houston. He was mad and he just said we had to give it back to them."
On feelings after getting two wins in a row
"It gave us our confidence back after the losing streak we had. Getting two wins makes us feel better going into the next game."