Minnesota 71 Ohio State 57
Williams Arena-Minneapolis, MN
Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith
On the game:
“It’s fun to laugh and to have a good time on Senior Day when kids play well and get the win. Ohio State has been struggling some, but I thought our defense was steady throughout the game. When you rebound the ball like we did today, you’re going to win more than you lose.
“You’re going to be successful when you get second-shot opportunities and we did that with 14 offensive rebounds. It was good to see Lawrence McKenzie come out of the mini-slump he had in the first half. He started making some shots and he really got us going. He was energized and certainly it gets our players energized when he’s making shots. Everyone seemed to pick it up.
“We got a good effort from everyone, but I couldn’t be happier for our seniors because they’ve gone through a lot over the last few years. They came here because they love this university; they love this community and certainly the fans here at the Barn because of how they’ve embraced them.”
Ohio State Head Coach Thad Matta
On the game:
“Those guys were making the plays we were unable to make and we just didn’t have the toughness to get the stops, get the rebounds. I thought defensively in the first half we played about as well as we could play, with the exception of rebounding the ball; they had nine offensive rebounds in the first half and that's too many.
“We emptied out the book today and tried to get guys to make plays. I think we are that stage of letting someone else do it. We weren’t seeing things the way we needed to see them before they got to us.”
On the end of the season:
“We’re at that stage here in March where you’ve got to ready to go. Games like this; at times you’re going to have to make things happen. We just couldn’t get that done and to Minnesota’s credit, they were able to get it done.”
Minnesota forward Dan Coleman
On the game:
“It was a good one to come back with I’m glad we got [the win.] We executed what we were trying to do. I think it was good to play like that today; I think this game will be successful for us.”
On attacking Ohio State’s press:
“We changed our approach; we started with a guard taking the ball out. Obviously, when we get three ball handlers out there like we did, it’s going to be easier than if it’s a 5 or a 4 taking the ball out. It worked for us guys like Westbrook really broke them down for us.”
Minnesota guard Lawrence Westbrook
On playing this game for the seniors on Senior Day:
“I think everyone wanted to play hard for the guys on Senior Day. They’ve all been here for awhile, so we definitely wanted to give them our best effort. We really appreciate them.
“We think this is a good team, here and this was a big win for us. We were really happy with how things went today.”
On the game’s NCAA tournament implications:
“I think we were all thinking this [could be a signature win.] I had in the back of my head: We can’t lose this. We can’t let them come back; we have to hold on.’ We did a good job with everyone contributing, and we’re glad that we were able to come out on top.”