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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 02/27/2009
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Feb. 27, 2009

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

Final Score: WSU 69, Arizona 53

Washington State Cougars
WSU Head Coach Tony Bennett
On the second half...
"I thought we played a good second half. Wise had 15 at the half and I thought Marcus (Capers) really extended his defense. We challenged all week to pick up, to get after the ball and to work. They showed some toughness in the second half defensively, obviously we made shots which is huge for us always is. There was a level of toughness in the second half that was good. We had a presence out there that we've been waiting for."

On the momentum at end of first half... "Klay's three at the end was good. Klay struggled literally with some uncharacteristic turnovers. Just to crawl back in because we struggled on both ends of the floor in the first half, but then righted the ship in the second half."

On the difference making factor offensively...
"When we played them at their place their pressure was tough and we couldn't break them down. We handled their pressure better this time and it allowed us to get the ball into the high post. Caleb (Forrest) and DeAngelo (Casto) made such good decisions, then our guys spread them out, whereas we couldn't do that the first time the pressure was too much and they got revved up. There was a pretty big sweet spot in the high post. You could turn and go, and then we spread them out up top and on the wings."

On the elevated play of DeAngelo Casto...
"He did a heck of a job. He was active defensively and he's coming along nicely."

On impressive shooting...
"Shooting the ball against that zone you get some rhythm looks if you handle the pressure and you've got to step up and knock them down. I'm glad the guys had confidence and took them in rhythm."

WSU Guard Klay Thompson
On defending Chase Budinger...
"I was excited to play against him. He's an NBA player so it's always good to challenge yourself. He is one of their best players, you don't get very many opportunities like that. You don't want to back down and let your teammates down. I just tried to keep him in front of me, and he got by me a couple times, but I thought I did pretty good against him."

About improving throughout the game...
"First half too many bad turnovers, too many uncharacteristic mistakes. Coach Tony just told me to keep my head up and just play a better second half. I thought I responded well."

WSU Forward Caleb Forrest
On open looks at the high post...
"They were told to work off me or DeAngelo (Casto) at the high post. It was open enough so you could drive sometimes, and I think they wanted to challenge me and DeAngelo and make us prove to them that we could play."

On whether the team thinks `what if'...
"I don't think we try and think about the past, just to what we can do. If it means we play our best and make it to the NIT that is good."

On `Senior Day' vs. Arizona State...
"They are definitely a good team. We were fortunate to come out with a win down there behind Klay's tremendous game. It's a big game for us seniors, but also for our whole team because it's the last time as a group we will get to play together. I know for me personally and the other seniors we're going to leave it all out on the floor, and if Arizona State is going to get a win they are going to have to earn it."

WSU Guard Taylor Rochestie
On play of Marcus Capers... "He helped not only me but he helped the whole team. Coach challenged Marcus this week to really get after the ball. He knows Wise is really the jumpstart to their team, even though he had 19 points they didn't come easy. We had to make them set their offense up a little earlier. For Marcus to play like that it gave us a huge lift, it gave us a chance to set our defense even though he was up there doing a lot of work."

On playing like a playoff team... "I love the way we are playing as far as just wanting to win. We are doing it together. Playing with a lot of passion, playing with a lot of intensity. Whatever the outcome is in the long run this is the way you are supposed to play basketball. Even if you're not playing for a NCAA Tournament or an NIT this is the way you are supposed to play. We are playing for each other and we are doing it together and that's the way to do it."

On difference in shooting in second half...
"You've just got to keep shooting the ball. I know myself I missed about 10 shots in the first half, you've just got to shoot through that. We did a good job of breaking them down and getting the shots we did want. When you keep shooting open shots you should start banging them."

WSU Forward DeAngelo Casto

On matching up with Jordan Hill...
"I just had to bring fire and heart. He is probably more athletic with more experience and a couple more moves. Coach knew if I just stayed in there I'd hang with him."

Arizona Wildcats Arizona Interim Head Coach Russ Pennell
On the Cougars... "I thought their energy and effort totally exceeded what we did in the second half. The big thing is this; when you're playing on the road, you have a couple opportunities to maybe stretch a lead out and change the whole completion of the game. And I thought in the first half we played real well and we had that lead. I know it was 29-21 and I think we may have been up by 10 at one time. And then we were a little careless with the ball. (We) made a couple bad turnovers and let them kind of get their feet underneath them. When you're playing in a league like the Pac-10 on the road, and you get those opportunities, you better seize them. And we just didn't, and then the second half they got hot."

On halftime...
"One thing that was a positive at halftime we said, `We're a plus three at halftime.' If you're plus three... you say that, you win by six. Anytime you have a lead on the road at halftime, that's a good thing. I just felt like the last four minutes of that first half, five minutes if you want to stretch it a little further, we just had an opportunity to really make some ground up on them and stretch the game out, and we didn't do it. Second half...They've got so many good shooters that they start really stretching you out. Now, all of a sudden, you are playing up hill, and that is what happened."

On offensive rebounding...
"They were shooting the 3-point shot in the first half. There were a lot of long rebounds that we just didn't pursue the ball and run it down like we should. Really, Washington State is not a great offensive rebounding team so that was a little disappointing that we weren't able to hustle and get those long rebounds."

On the Washington trip...
"We are playing the team that leads the Pac-10. It's the same for everyone and you're exactly right. This is the toughest trip just because the distance. We will assess those guys in the morning and see how they feel."

On Nic Wise...
"They made a switch on him defensively and put, I think, Capers on him. He is a little bigger, a little more athletic. They did a good job of bottling him up, and keeping him from getting in the paint."

Washington State Cougars Athletics