Feb. 18, 2012
HEAD COACH James Dickey
"Larry [Eustachy] has a really good basketball team, and I have a lot of respect for what they have accomplished. They deserve to be in the Top 25. We knew we were going to have to play extremely well.
"(Houston Associate Head) Coach (Alvin) Brooks did a great job preparing the team, and our guys did a great job carrying it over from practice. In the first half, we did a really nice job defensively, and we were more active offensively. At the half, we talked about how we needed to be ready for when they come out and punch us in the mouth.
"In the second half we needed to come out the first four minutes and win it, but we didn't. They brought the lead to six, but our guys came out and battled. Down the stretch, we also made some good plays and rebounded well."
On the all-around game of Jonathon Simmons
"He got himself ready to play. The other guys found him, and he finished hard in transition. He got to the free throw line, was active and made some big plays for us."
On rebounding and the interior defense
"Our interior defense wasn't that great at the beginning, but it got better. The guys made some double teams, and we continued to battle. Overall, we had good team defense and awareness, and we helped one another. We rebounded extremely well. I would like to have seen Southern Miss have a little less than they had."
FRESHMAN FORWARD TaShawn Thomas
On playing with toughness this game
"The practice squad helped us out a lot this week. Coach (Dickey) did not call any fouls at practice because he was preparing us for Southern Miss. The hard practices throughout the week helped us to play strong and tough for tonight."
On outrebounding Southern Miss
"I knew they would be doing everything they could to rebound, so I just played strong and went for the ball. All week the coaches were saying to go strong to the boards."
On the blocking Watson's layup late in the game
"I knew they were going to try to go to the lane. I gave him some space, so I would be able to react to the shot after he got past me."
On the key to defense
"We had to move on to the next play and not get stuck on just one play. We needed to focus and move forward."
JUNIOR GUARD Jonathon Simmons
On the factors that led to this win tonight
"It was our confidence. We had a whole week of practice to prepare for this game. Our coaches preached to us all week about toughness. We had our minds set and were ready to get out there and win."
On the difference in this game compared to others
"We stayed together as a team and stayed positive. We were ready to take on the challenge."
On 25 second-chance points
"It was our effort and toughness. We were relentless and refused to give up."
On what this win means
"It builds up a lot of confidence going into the conference tournament. We have to get these last couple of wins, so we have the confidence going into the tournament."