Jan. 22, 2009
UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland
On the game- "That was a very hard fought win, obviously Nikola's three's in the first half were key for us getting out to that big lead, we knew they were going to a make a run every time we play Washington State it comes down to this, it comes down to tough positions down the stretch."
"I thought our seniors made some big foul shots down the stretch, Darren (Collison) and Alfred (Aboya), there shots were big Darren started to become more aggressive finally, we did a good job with only four turnovers but we still need to do a better job on the boards they had too many offensive rebounds."
On being in close games lately- "We've been in a lot of close games in the last six years that's how it's going to be in this league, everyone is going to give us there best shot primarily because of our success in the last three years, no one is going to take it easy on the Bruins."
Washington State Cougars
WSU Head Coach Tony Bennett
On the final play-
"We thought they would switch the out-of-bounds play and they did. Klay was actually really open if we could have gotten to him, I think the ball got deflected right under the hoop. I was kind of blocked, I think that's where Taylor tried to go with it. We changed it on the second time, I thought Caleb was open, then we just had to bail out and obviously had to take a desperation shot at the end. They did a good job of defending it and switching it."
On the game-
"I was proud of our guys for fighting back, I told them that. But you can't spot that kind of team that kind of lead. There were a few (shots) where we just lost our way. They have to decide who they want to be, our team. They either have to be that tough-minded and sound as they were in the good stretch or if they chose to be absent-minding and have those slippages, it's going to be tough. They have to determine that, we have to determine that."
On Darren Collison-
"He's special late in the game, one of the best there is. We worked as hard as we could to pinch it and not let him get there. He made some plays, certainly."
On Caleb Forrest's play-
"He's got heart, tough kid-knows who he is as a player. Obviously his shot was falling, but one of the toughest kids I've been around-I hope our young kids take note of that, because that's what's required here to play at Washington State. He brings it, he doesn't say a word about it when he's not getting his time, he just battles. I love that about him. It's a frustrating loss, but he's, for as patient as he's been and as great a teammate he's been, I'm glad to see the success come his way."
On what was said at halftime-
"We told them, `if you think you're going to get this back quickly...you're going to have to fight like crazy.' We didn't even do that when we came out in the second half. I said it's going to be possession-by-possession. Limit them to one chance, then let's just eek our way back into it, which they did, but we talked about, if you don't do something, it will be over really quick. But if you just stay true to what we're trying to do, you might be able to squeak your way back in there. I was proud of them from that stand point, but I was disappointed from the other stuff, but that's part of coaching young men."