Nov. 25, 2012
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Connecticut Head Coach Kevin Ollie
"We're getting closer in rebounding. That's a positive. I think the guys played hard. The first half, of course, we couldn't make a shot. And they were just out-toughing us....The second half, we came out and played better. We rebounded, we got out on the break and we just started making a lot of threes....I haven't seen this team shoot like this in a while. That's what we needed. It came off of great penetration with Boatright. They started sharing the basketball."
"We just have to continue to build off of this."
On Stony Brook defense
"Coach Pikiell does a great job. They packed it in, packed it in, and dared us to shoot threes. Once we started understanding the offense, drawing two and getting an advantage, we started kicking it out and they were wide open and our guys had their feet set and they let it go....And how we've been shooting threes they probably thought we were going to miss some. But we got hot."
Did you encourage the three-pointers?
"When you have 26 points, I just want to make layups. I really don't care. Just make some points. I just really wanted to space the ball. There were packing it in a lot on us, taking a lot of charges. Then I think Boatright just did a terrific job finding a couple of threes for Shabazz in transition. And then Omar got hot. And then Niels just continued his play, being aggressive, looking at the basket and taking it in rhythm. I think we did a much better job in the second half finding each other and playing team ball."
"Omar looked like a freshman that first half with five turnovers, but he looked like that player we know and love in the second half."
"Niels Giffey was my MVP. And he's been my MVP this whole year, not just playing time, but doing all the things that epitomizes UConn basketball: Doing his thing academically, coming in and playing great basketball in practice. And he got rewarded tonight.... Niels was our glue guy. And with R.J. being out, that's something that we were going to miss. And Niels just filled that void perfectly. I just thought he did a beautiful job."
On Napier playing better in second-halves
"Your guess is better than mine. I don't know if he wants to get his teammates in the game, but we're just going to keep coaching him and keep trying to play the right way. I'm glad he picked it up in the second half once again and gave us a spark. But we would like to see it for 40 minutes....I'd rather him late than never. I appreciate his effort, appreciate him staying in the game and hitting some big shots for us and propelling us to a win."
UConn Player Quotes
On second half turn around
"I think we were just running hard and getting people open. Our guards did a good job of getting in the lane, drawing in other defenders and kicking out to guys open for three and they were knocking them down."
On team getting out-rebounded
"I take it personally being the leader of the bigs. It's something we've got to focus in on more and produce rebounds."
On second half
"We were just more aggressive and more in tune. That's what our offense is really predicated on. We're more of a penetrate and drive sort of team. If we're able to get those shots where we're open, we're going to knock them down. Niels Giffey
did a terrific job shooting the ball. It shows you our depth."
"There are going to be days when I step up. Today I had to step up with some key guys who don't get minutes. I had one of the key (defensive) match-ups against (Tommy Breton) who had, I think, 14 rebounds (against Canisius) last night. So I kind of I knew who I was going against. When I boxed him out over and over again, little things like that can get you really motivated."
"We were just able to knock down shots in the second half."
On being out-rebounded
"We've got to overcome that. We've got to start rebounding better. We can't be getting beat on the boards because that's going to catch up to us. We just knew we had to come out and have a stronger second half. We were able to get open looks and knock them down."
Stony Brook Head Coach Steve Pikiell
"They got on a run and they made threes. I didn't expect that. That's not what they've been doing. I thought we could score in the post against them. I may have overestimated our big guys.
"They are a ranked team for a reason. When you have great guards you have a chance. And when you're playing at home, it's tough. And you're not going to get any breaks on the road. We've been on the road a lot. We consider ourselves road tough. You never get a break from the refs. You never get a break from the other team. So, you have to play well against good teams, and we didn't play well enough today. We played enough for half, but I didn't even love us in the first half though. But we're usually tough -- we could outrebound them. I thought we could be plus 12 on the backboard going into the game, so be only plus 3 was very disappointing. But I think a lot of it has to do with that we played a hard fought game yesterday...and then to jump on the bus today and come up here wears on you a little bit. Hopefully, it will help us when we move into our conference tournament. Playing back to back nights, this is the only time we do it."
On the game plan to get the ball into the post
"You have to get the ball into those guys, and that what their pressure defense does to you. They pressure your guards and don't give you crisp passing lanes into the post. I knew those guards were going to heat us up...and we weren't able to get the ball into the post effectively."
On Niels Giffey
"He did a good job for him. He gave them a lift."
On Kevin Ollie
"Kevin does a great job. I watch all the tapes and Kevin is a good coach. He's getting a lot out of these guys."