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UConn 61, Villanova 59

Jan. 17, 2011

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Connecticut Men's Basketball
Connecticut v. Villanova
Player Quotes
January 17, 2011

Kemba Walker On last shot "That's what it came down to. Of course the ball was going to be in my hands. Being the leader of this team, I wanted it to be in my hands. I was able to get a nice little shot off."

"I knew the other guy was going to come. I just tried to go before he came. I was able to go by my man and get a shot off."

On shaking-off missing the two late free throws "You've got to. We take it anyway we can. I think we missed a lot of opportunities there in the game but a win is a win."

On Jeremy Lamb "I always knew what he was capable of . It's about time he did it. I mean, he did it at the right time."

Jeremy Lamb "It was a great environment. The crowd was great. I had energy. I just took what they gave me and was able to knock down some shots."

"They were over-playing Kemba and [Shabazz Napier] was able to get the ball to me."

"I'm getting comfortable, more and more comfortable. My teammates were looking for me and I was able to knock down some shots."

Alex Oriakhi On second half run "We started to move the ball and play full speed. Our offense opened up and it made it a lot easier."

On last shot "Everybody in the gym knew the ball was going to Kemba. My role was, if he misses, be in a position for an offensive rebound."

Shabazz Napier "It was a tough game and we gutted it out. It's a good thing we got the win."

"It was real tough because Corey Fisher had an excellent game. He's a terrific player."

"We took some tough shots and we made some great shots. The whole game we kind of played conservative."

January 17, 2011
Connecticut vs. Villanova

Connecticut Head Coach Jim Calhoun

"We were very fortunate to win the basketball game. We also had Kemba Walker again to win the game for us."

"After we got our 10 points, it just seemed like every basket became like lifting a hundred pound boulder. We scored twice as many points in the second half with, probably, just as good defense. We just could not buy a basket."

"Down the stretch of the game, it was just an incredible crowd....I'm sure there has been a couple of occasions in the last couple of years where we've had that electricity in the crowd....I don't know if we could have won that kind of game on the road with the kind of electricity the kids felt once we started to climb back into it and had a good chance to win it."

"When you go through a season, like last year, losing eight out of nine very tough, tough games, and you're starting to win really tough, tough games with a very young team, then you have to be happy."

"That will not be a tape that we show an awful lot, from an instructional stand point. But the tick tock was there, the crowd was incredible."

"We did a great job on Stokes. Fisher is as good a player as there is in our league, in my opinion, and probably - I'm biased now - after Kemba Walker. He can go by anybody. He's a terrific, terrific basketball player."

"It was a hard-fought, almost a little more old-fashioned, Big East game, where both teams really went after each other. We were fortunate enough that Kemba made a great play at the end, and we win the game."

"It was one of those games somebody was going to win and, as I said to the kids, "It might as well be us." Kemba made sure that we did win the game."

On the last play "They ran two guys at him, so Kemba did what Kemba does: He split the two, and got to where he wanted to be. And that's an amazing play."

On Jeremy Lamb "I know he scored points at DePaul in an open game, but this was a little different. This was a Big East game with a lot of screens being set, and he fought his way through the screens. And I thought he played terrific defense....His stature in the DePaul game was good, but his stature in this game, his body language, was just absolutely outstanding. He played like a guy who you see kind of growing up."

On Roscoe Smith "Roscoe played terrific defense on Stokes almost the entire game. He did a nice job at the four spot."

January 17, 2011
Connecticut vs. Villanova

Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright

"Great game to be a part of. Great atmosphere. It was a great Big East basketball game. We just came up on the short side of it...They're good. They're real good. Kemba's great and they use him great. He doesn't just score. He makes people around him better. He draws fouls. He's just so difficult to guard. He made a huge play. I was proud of our guys. Fisher made great plays."

On Corey Fisher "They are a very good defensive team. They did a great job on Stokes...So, we had to spread them out and get Corey Fisher to make some plays and he did a great job. Thank God for him."

On Kemba Walker's last shot "We wanted to double him but he's just so fast we couldn't catch him. They dribble handed-off and Corey Fisher was right there and he (Walker) just ran away from him...He's fast but really fast with the ball. And he stops on a dime and that's what creates the spacing off the shots."

On Kemba Walker's play overall "I think they're doing a great job playing him on the ball and off the ball. Kemba's doing a great job reading screens. And when they get in transition, they get him the ball...I think they do a great job using him and that's not easy. When you have one guy that good, and everyone knows he's that good, and to incorporate everybody else, I think they do a great job of that."

On the first half "We couldn't score on each other. It was a typical old school bloodbath. The first half was horrible. We were just banging each other and getting into foul trouble."

On being up 6 with 9 minutes left "It was just the tide of the game. We made some poor decisions offensively. We missed some shots...They played good defense and we made some bad decisions."

On the play inside "You have to give their defense credit. Their big guys are good. They're long and they stay behind, so you have to go over them...They definitely picked up the defensive intensity when the crowd got going in the second half."