Minnesota 75 Penn State 68
Williams Arena Minneapolis, MN
Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith
“We really didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half and Penn State was shooting very well. I didn’t think we were playing particularly poorly to start the game, but they were making some shots and we didn’t do a great job of contesting shots. We keep a close count of uncontested shots and I think they had made 11 out of 13 uncontested shots. They had 13 shots where we didn’t get a hand up or try to block and that’s disappointing.
“Again, we bounced back and gained some momentum there by getting to the line there at the end of the half. They got some momentum going in at halftime, but in the second half Dan [Coleman] took the ball to the basket, we ran some pick and rolls and they worked for us. Again, we started to take ourselves out of it by turning the ball over. We only had two turnovers in the first half and then we came back with nine in the second half.”
“Our guys made the necessary adjustments. We did what we had to do to win the game. This team has shown some resiliency and we’ve done a good job of converting when we have a chance to win the game for the most part.
“We have to kind of get back to the drawing board because if we want to have any chance against Purdue we’re going to have to play a much sounder game.”
Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis
On the game:
“They had a run at us and we made a run at them. We just couldn’t finish. We did some silly things and we couldn’t score in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
“We didn’t shoot free throws. We had a chance but we couldn’t convert. We fought hard down the stretch, but we just didn’t finish.
“We turned it over foolishly. We didn’t guard [Hoffarber] they way we should have. We are a young team and sometimes they lose their focus. Our rebounding hasn’t been the same since Claxton got hurt.”
On the second half:
“The first ten minutes we couldn’t do anything. They played some good defense and that got things rolling.”
Minnesota guard Lawrence McKenzie
On the game:
“For some strange reason, I just felt like we had this one in the bag. I just had that much confidence in the guys. I think everybody played well, we had a great team win. We just have to practice things like turning the ball over against the press late in the game.”
On the consecutive three-pointers from PSU’s Danny Morrissey:
“I thought it was alright. I think my job as a captain and a fifth-year senior is to keep the guys calm, especially in times like that. You can’t ever let them see you sweat. You have to stay poised and I think I saw that from the guys in the huddle. We said we have to play defense, have to get some stops and hit our free throws and we’ll be ok.”
Minnesota guard Lawrence Westbrook
On PSU’s comeback:
“Coach [Smith] was talking about how good college basketball teams don’t quit. We didn’t expect them to come back like that, we didn’t want that to happen, but they were tough. They’re a really good three point shooting team. I think this win says a lot about our guys because we didn’t get rattled and we didn’t unfold. We came back and made our free throws and made smart plays down until the end.”
On the remaining Big Ten schedule:
“I think this win can [carry over.] We’ve got a tough team in Purdue coming up. We want to win every game and make it to the tournament. Purdue is a good team, but they’re college players just like us. We think we can win.”