Washington 71, Washington State 67
February 19, 2004
Bank of America Arena/Seattle, Wash.
WASHINGTON HEAD COACH Lorenzo Romar
"What a game Washington State played tonight. They were missing Jeff Varem, one of their top players and they came out and forced us into 19 turnovers, they hit big shots and they played a heck of a game with much confidence. We were very fortunate to win. Those guys have figured out their system and are playing the great defense that you are used to seeing from Coach Bennett's teams. You have to give our guys credit though. They took blow after blow late in the game, but stepped up at the very end with Mike Jensen hitting the big shot. This tells us that our guys always have a chance. "
On Will Conroy:
"He had a tough time out there. He made more turnovers than he would have liked, but he came back in crunch time and really stepped it up. He has been through games like this before. He is a gamer and especially one late in the game."
On Brandon Roy and leadership:
"With Brandon Roy, you can run the offense through him because you feel so secure when he has the ball in his hands. He will set up a play for someone else, or make one on his own. He's a smart player and also extremely unselfish. I think the performance of a team reflects its leadership. Our assists are way up from last year and Brandon Roy has influenced that. Curtis Allen and Will Conroy are our captains, but you see Brandon, Nate Robinson and Bobby Jones leading by their efforts and what they get done on the floor. Brandon has a calming effect on our team."
WASHINGTON FORWARD Mike Jensen
On his winning shot:
"It was pretty much the same play we ran against UCLA. We had one of our guards penetrate attempting to draw the defense and then kick it back out for an open shot. We wanted to get the best shot we could get. I knew time was winding down and I was due to make one after that air ball against UCLA. It's always hard for yourself, but especially your team when you miss a shot like that. I was glad to have another opportunity and glad that the team believed in me."
On Washington State's defense:
"They packed it in in the second half. It was real tight in the key. We have guards who can penetrate, but they had a tough time with that and it was frustrating for us. We had to continue to space and move the ball a lot longer to get some better looks:"
On momentum and North Carolina State coming up:
"It is a huge win for us. We now have momentum going into the next game and we are not fresh off a loss. At the same time we can't have a letdown in this upcoming game."
WASHINGTON STATE HEAD COACH DICK BENNETT
On Thomas Kelati in the last part of the second half:
"I don't think they did anything special to slow him down, I just think overall we got a bit passive. They were fouling and we had a lead, and there's a tendency to get more conservative, and we were not attacking the basket.
On the Cougar's ineffectiveness in the end of the second half:
"It boils down to our inability to handle the basketball, deal with the pressure that they put on, and our inability to make big plays down the stretch."
On dealing with the press:
"They took the ball out of Marcus' hands. We got the ball to the people we needed to, but a number of the turnovers we just lost the ball. We would get it inbounds, look to the middle, we just didn't make the plays. They gave us chances to cushion our lead and we just didn't take advantage."
On Cougar players:
"One thing we don't have is a guy who can get to the rim. Ordinarily when the pressure mounts it is imperative that you have someone who can get the ball and go through the defense. We don't have that kind of quickness."
On missing Jeff Varem:
"He would have been a factor tonight. He makes his free throws down the stretch and he'll take it at people."