Washington 85, Houston 61
December 23, 2002
Bank of America Arena/Seattle, Wash.
WASHINGTON COACH LORENZO ROMAR
"That was a total team victory tonight. Defensively, we had one of our better efforts of the season. There was a lot of energy and intensity. Our success in the assist-turnover column shows that we really shared the ball and made our shots. We also had very balanced scoring; I like that. It was a great game, and a great effort. We made progress tonight."
On team defense
"Hopefully, we can do that in every game. Over our last three games or so, our players have begun to buy into putting pressure on all over the floor. Will, Curtis and Nate all did a really good job of it, and C.J. got in there, too. When you've got quick guys who can put pressure on the ball, it sets the stage for the rest of the defense. That was the difference. Everything starts with defensive intensity and effort; it enables you to get transition baskets and three-point shots."
"We've seen it coming. Earlier this year, we had won two in a row, and then played well in the loss at Gonzaga. We saw progress being made. Then, when we lost to Eastern Washington, we looked like the worst team in the country. I think, sometimes, that having had three losing seasons in a row, sometimes we come out on the floor and say, 'What are we doing?' At those times, we have to pull them aside and remind them, 'This isn't how we do that; that's now how we practiced.' We've made progress now, though, in five of our last six games, posting a 4-2 record in that time. We don't have everything down like the back of our hand; hopefully, by the middle of our conference season we'll have that."
On the three-point field goals
"They played zone for the majority of the game, and our guys did a good job of rotating the ball, finding the holes in the zone and knocking down our shots."
HOUSTON COACH RAY McCALLUM
"We were plagued by turnovers and this was the worst game this year. We were very concerned about their perimeter quickness and their ability to pressure the ball, and they spread us out and took us right out of our offense. We just showed no poise at all and that's what you can't do."
On Washington's Guards
"They have a deep group of perimeter guys they're able to rotate. I thought we did a pretty good job of coverage in the zone and then all of a sudden they extended the lead and guys who were shooting threes started to make threes. They got in a comfort zone and we couldn't get them out of it and it was a real struggle for us tonight."
On Washington's Physicality
"We played a young team tonight and their physical play and physical ability really knocked us off our feet and this is the way it's going to be as we close the non-conference season with our opponents and head into conference play."