Jan. 24, 2009
Final Score: USC 46, Washington State 44
Washington State Cougars
WSU Head Coach Tony Bennett
On the game...
"We were on 38 for awhile, certainly had some open shots. Caleb, the ones he was throwing in Thursday, weren't going in today when you look at his stats. Some looks were there, I really challenged our guys before the game, I said `this is a game you can really make a statement.' It was an important game, us being 3-3, them being 3-3, having a home game. I really challenged them. And they certainly fought, but just didn't have enough to finish it out...certainly made some mistakes. It's frustrating when you go 14-for-51. You're not going to win many games."
"This was an important game, but we'll battle back and see where we're at. I just keep telling them, `you've got to be the best team you can be.' We don't know what that is yet, but whatever it is, that's what we have to strive to be."
On USC's defense... "I don't know if guys were too open, maybe on a few shots. They went to some man-to-man...I don't know if we could have gotten it into Aron more. Guys got such good looks."
"Just needed a few guys to knock some shots down. What was our biggest lead? Seven or eight and I thought, `let's just play,' and it grinded to a halt. That's something we've seen this year. I said, `now we'll really find out our character.' It's going to be tough, but you've got to battle."
They did a good job. That was without their leading scorer and one of their best players. They really took it at us and drew fouls, which was frustrating. We couldn't stop fouling them, a couple, when you get in a game like that, one possession here or there could have been all the difference in the world.
On Taj Gibson...
He's quick, he's a heck of a player. They took it at us. We don't have the guys to take it at them like that, unfortunately.
USC Head Coach Tim Floyd
On the keys to the game...
"We got to the line, and really guarded tonight. It was probably our best defensive effort."
"The eight turnovers that we had were a season low, which was very important. It was a game where we won by getting ourselves to the line. At the end of the day that is the reason we won the game."
On playing the Cougars in Pullman... "We have had a tough run over here, we haven't been able to win at this place. Nobody does a better job than Tony (Bennett). We were very fortunate to get out with a win, that's all I can tell you."
"They guard you, nobody likes to play people that defend at home, and that is what this league is becoming. You see it at Arizona State, UCLA, and up at this place which makes it very, very difficult."
"We were fortunate that Forrest and Harmeling didn't shoot to their typical percentages. They had some players that had some really open looks, but they just didn't go down"
On the importance of getting to the free throw line in the second half...
"We understood that we had an opportunity to get to the double bonus fairly early, and we wanted to take advantage of that. That is why every shot we took in the last two minutes was at the rim"
"We obviously feel very fortunate that we were able to get to the line, it was just the opposite of the game over in Seattle on Thursday night."