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Of note ... Terrence Ross has a strained right hip flexor, which is why he limped off the floor and didn't play much in the final five minutes. It didn't seem to be of major concern. Ross said he's fine and he would play on Friday against Northwestern at 7 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Some transcribed quotes, including UT-A head coach Scott Cross after the jump ...
Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar
- We knew that Texas-Arlington was going to be a scrappy team and we saw that live and up close as they got 13 offensive rebounds in the first half. That was the difference. The score was tied at half and they earned it by crashing the boards the way they did. They had 12 points off second chance baskets and we had zero. That and our inability to keep them out of the lane were the differences. We did a fine job offensively, we took care of the basketball, but in the second half we tightened the screws a little bit more. We were able to get stops. I thought the zone helped us. And overall we were able to get the victory.
On being ready to play tonight
- I don’t think we weren’t ready to go. I thought we were ready to play but I thought we were able to turn it up. We talked about it, but I don’t think we really understood how scrappy they were. Once we got that feeling, that hit, I think we adjusted.
- I thought it was unacceptable in the first half, our lack of physicality all the way down to the buzzer. In this tournament we all talked about how Sunday we were anticipating maybe being in the NCAA tournament and the guys were disappointed. But I think we’ve recovered from that. Some teams in the past have never recovered from that. If they (UTA) could play the game a week later they probably could have won it, but we got through it. We talked to our team about how in this tournament every game gets a lot more fun.
On Terrence Ross’s apparent injury
- I think it was a little bit of a hip flexor issue. That’s why he didn’t play as much down the stretch. We’ll look at it tomorrow.
- I didn’t notice that.
- We told Austin at halftime he was going to play a physical game and Austin loves physical games, he loves contact. He only had one rebound but he had a nice basket assisted by Tony. What you probably didn’t notice was he kept Jordan Reves out of the lane and forced him to have a tougher shot.
- No, it’s different. The zone in the second half helped a lot.
- No, not at all. Just fighting for our team. Just making sure we were fighting on the sideline. Darnell and I always have great discussions during the game.
- Two reasons: 13 offensive rebounds which were converted into 12 points, and our inability to keep them out of the lane, so they were getting to the free throw line.
- Yeah. They had won 16 straight games at one point during the year, and finished their conference 15-1. They’ve experienced winning on the road. If you keep them around too long, you’re at the mercy of a dropkick shot into the rim at the buzzer. But our guys didn’t do that. That one spurt where we were strong on the defensive end was the game impact I think.
On taking fewer shots this game
- I was just getting my teammates the ball. Doing whatever it takes to get the win.
- Romar: I think as a testament to Tony, I think when someone can come out and not take as many shots but having such an impact in the game, for instance he had a big steal in there, had 8 assists, so when you can still make your mark without scoring, that’s a good player.
- Aziz was in foul trouble. They were getting into the lane a lot in the first half so we were trying to disrupt their momentum a little bit. See if we could do a better job of keeping them in front of us and trying to get us to stay on the outside.
On Aziz’s fourth foul and the energy in the game
- I feel like our team did a good job of bouncing back from little things like that and it’s a testament to our season to be able to bounce back from that situation and we kept playing hard. We never got frustrated because Coach has been telling us all week they are a scrappy team. They weren’t just going to roll over.
- I feel like our guys have embraced the fact that we are in the NIT now, and we all have the mindset to go as far as we can and try to win it. Whatever happened in the NCAA tournament is in the past now and we can’t change it. We can’t get in. So we have to make the most of it now.
- Just boxing out. They did a good job of crashing the boards and we did a bad job of boxing out. Coach keeps telling us that. We won’t get out rebounded like that again.
- They were breaking us off the dribble and we were coming over rotating, and they had guys loose on the boards because we were rotating. It’s something we work on, but we didn’t do as good of a job as we needed to.
- I feel like I said earlier, we’re trying to embrace the fact we are in the NIT now. Like coach keeps saying, the further you go the more fun it is. I’ve extended my senior season. I’m not going home yet. I’m happy to continue to play. And I know my guys are too.
- I feel like the fact that knowing every game is a potential to be your last and you could go home, that mindset is going to help us to play hard, especially against Northwestern. They’re a good team. I feel like we’re going to be ready. We’re going to bounce back from this game.
- He was stressing us to be more physical, you know, telling us to box out, rotation situations. We really needed to box out. In the second half we did that. They only had three offensive rebounds in the second half.
- He was crazy. He was animated. He usually is. It’s kind of funny.
On the environment and still looking for a postseason win
- You know, the crowd made the difference there in the second half when they went on that run. We knew it was going to be tough, they won the Pac-12 for a reason. They’re a good basketball club. I’m proud of our guys for what they did tonight. We won the battle of the boards, out-rebounded them by 10. I know some of that’s the fact they shot such a high percentage on us, but still, even with that said, to win that battle is a tribute to our guys. They played as hard as we possibly could. You know, they hit some big shots there. Ross, some of those shots were just unbelievable. They’re great basketball players, a great team. Hopefully they go on and win it all.
The battle of the 31s (Ross and Reed)
- Yeah, it was. You know, LaMarcus, he’s been unbelievable all year long. He’s been our senior leader. He just finds a way to get to the free throw line or make plays. I can’t say enough great things about that guy. He’s been unbelievable all year long.
- When you have a size advantage, you’re going to shoot a higher percentage. You’re going to get lay ups, you’re going to get dunks, you’re going to get those things. We know we want our defense to be better, but you have to give them credit too.
- We need to try to limit the touches on Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox obviously, make everything difficult for them. For Wroten, we just wanted to pack it in a little on him, not let him -- he’s so relentless getting to the basket -- try and make everything difficult. Play N’Diaye straight up, not let him score over us, don’t dig off the shooters. Take care of the ball, we were just going to play fast in transition, and if we didn’t get anything, milk the clock and work the ball around the best we could.