Here is some reaction from both teams after Washington State's 80-69 win over Washington tonight at Hec Ed:
WSU coach LORENZO ROMARObviously that’s not how we scripted it. I give Washington State a lot of credit. In the first half, we were standing around way too much. We had 9 turnovers and they had 10. We weren’t making real clean passes and missed shots we should have made. Washington State played with a lot of aggressiveness. They came in here and they got it done.
On whether lack of intensity for the Huskies was the problem) I wouldn’t say that. Again, we were forcing the turnovers, we were outrebounding them. In the first half, I might have said that. In the second half, they beat us to the board way too much. I thought that made a difference. We did a great job of coming back but they also made their foul shots. They did a tremendous job at the line.
UW senior JUSTIN HOLIDAYOn the game) It really has not hit me. I will have to go back and watch. I know we had trouble scoring, which usually is not a problem for our team. I know in the first half we defended really well. The score was really low. I think in changing their defense slowed us up in our offense, which should not be a problem, but I think they did a good job in that. Once again, the scoring should not be that much of a problem, but in the second half, they had a couple easy baskets, Castro was doing well in the glass. Second opportunities really hurt us.
On going 1 on 13 three pointers in the first half) I think most of them were good shots. Again, I think I have to go back and watch. When you are playing, stuff is different, when you are right there on the court it might seem different, but I think most of them were. I don’t think we shot that many like that, but at the same time, I think we should have gone inside more like we did in the second half. Even though easy buckets weren’t being made, I made sure myself to go inside more. That also opens up other 3-point shots for us that will be good ones. I think us going inside was something we needed to do better in the first half, but I think we came out and did that better in the second half. But it wasn’t enough.
On what was most frustrating) Not being able to get over the hump and being able to fight back. Fight back and then we do something not smart. Like when we were fighting back and then Isaiah passed to me on the wing and then I threw it and we got a turnover. That’s frustrating, especially coming from me because that’s something that should not happen. There are a lot of things. We can go on and on about what happened in the game, but just not being able to go over the hump and win. I do think we fought back, but we didn’t fight enough.
WSU coach KEN BONEUW has such a great home court advantage. When I say that I mean that their home crowd is incredible and their students do a very good job, and to compete in that atmosphere you really need to be locked in and focused. I thought our guys did exactly that and it translated to good free throw shooting.
What helped WSU to pull away in the second half) I feel that our guys continued to play aggressive. We had a couple of turnovers down the stretch when we were a little on the passive side, but for the most part during that time we aggressively continued to attack.
How big is it to win at UW) Whether we are the first or the tenth team to win here, at this point we just really needed a win. Obviously they are a great team who will do very well in the Pac-10 and NCAA tournament, and we were fortunate to come in and beat an excellent team.”
On whether tightness or defense caused the bad shooting in the first half) I think it was a little of each. I felt like both teams were a little tight and somewhat tentative. Yet I do think that some of our kids deserve a lot of credit for their defense. To hold a team of that caliber to 17 points in the first half deserves some credit.”
On if this was the biggest win of the season) Yeah, I would say so; especially the timing of it. We desperately needed it.
Difference between losing at ASU and winning at UW) I feel like our guys understood that the performance we had at ASU was unacceptable. By our standards, by supporters, and by anyone who really follows Cougar basketball, that is just not good enough basketball. That is not a knock on ASU. ASU has talent and they did a great job that day, but we did not play to the best of our ability. I thought the week off also helped us to refocus and talk about what we needed to do.