Columbia Coach, Jim Engles
“We gave them the opportunity to take control of the game. I was happy with the guys, how we played, and like all the games we’ve had an opportunity to play this year, it’s a learning experience for us to play in an environment like this against a team as talented as they are, so we’ll be able to take some positives from it."
On the overall game.
“I thought we did a good job defensively of really packing the paint.. Offensively moving the ball well and we played with some confidence. I thought at the end of the game we sort of slowed down a little bit, I thought offensively we needed to play at the same pace.”
UConn Coach, Kevin Ollie
“I was very proud of the guys, their resiliency coming back down from 10 points with 10 minutes to go in the game. They toughed it out, we had a tough stretch down in Portland, the last 3 halves and to get back on a plane and to fight like this, they could have easily gave in, but they didn’t. Proud of the guys, everybody contributed and it was a great team win.”
On Vital's performance.
“His performance was great, he came out and hit some big shots for us. To go 7-12 from the 3 point line was huge. I was very proud of CV, he had a bum shoulder, he was contemplating not playing, thank god that right shoulder got healed quick.”
On Diarra's performance.
“He’s just been able to move and being active, that’s pretty much it. He’s kind of found a home at the 5... Mo did a good job when he came in, sparked us with his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. He’s just all over the boards and getting rebounds out of his area which is special.”
On defending three-point line in second half.
“We just really switched out on our defense, guys started playing aggressive. We always try to send our opponents uphill, so the things they were getting were backdoors because we weren’t sending them uphill, so then the defense has to collapse and they do a good job of finding open shooters.”
On how they came back
“We just never gave up, we knew we just needed some stops and they were going to slow down from the 3 point line eventually because they were making every shot.”
On his minutes earlier in the year
“I wasn’t really worried about the minutes, I was just trying to support my teammates the whole time. Coach is always telling me to just stay ready and my time will come. I took that with a grain of salt and kept working and waiting for my moment.”
On him bringing energy
“I definitely feel like that’s my role. I’m an energy type of player so I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll dive, take charges, and do whatever it takes to win the game. That’s all I want to do.”
On the win
“We definitely needed this one, we couldn’t let it slip away because it’s a momentum builder. This one’s building up for the Monmouth game, we have to take care of business there and then head down to Madison Square Garden and take care of that game.”
On the defense
“I think it’s just buying into the gameplan. From practice coach told us they love to do backdoor cuts so we just have to send them uphill. I think in the first half we weren’t doing a good job with that and they weren’t really getting the backdoor passes but it was making our defense all converge and they were kicking out to open shooters. Once we locked in on that and said to ourselves we were going to get a stop it was huge for us.”
On PK80 affecting the game
“I think people are a little tired but we just had to fight through it and make sure we came out on top.”
On the offense
“Coach told us to just come out and shoot the ball with confidence. I think I missed my first 3 or 4 but he told me keep shooting and Christian had the hot hand so we wanted to keep feeding him as well.”