Feb. 7, 2014
Head coach Michael White
"It was ugly there for a while. We could not convert from three and we had some point blank opportunities, just a few, that we did not convert, especially in the first 30 minutes. It was really ugly at the foul line, thank goodness for Kenyon McNeail for really stepping up and making some free throws to really settle us in and get us a lead late and we were fortunate enough to hang on. Tulsa was terrific defensively. That was as good of a defensive performance that our opponent has had against us all year, probably along with Southern Miss on the road and Oklahoma State at a neutral site. My hat's off to them and their ability to get back in transition, to defend their glass and to contest every shot. I thought they were tremendous."
On free throw shooting:
"We will take a ton of free throws tomorrow. We do not want it to be so mental. Free throw shooting is like putting. You can shore up your mechanics to a certain extent and you can get a lot of reps, but often times the more you think about it, the worse you are at the foul line. We have gotten a ton of free throws recently. We have had nights where we really shot it and converted and we have had nights like tonight. Fortunately we were able to overcome it because we were so good defensively."
On the crowd:
"It was a huge factor in the game. I am glad we had Tulsa at home because they are very good and we needed our crowd tonight. They were fantastic, especially late in the game when we were on defense, specifically our press. We created some turnovers, our guards played hard, but our crowd helped us create turnovers."
On the late run:
"It was awesome. Winning a game that we won differently than we have won all year is a testament to growth and maturity. I thought we played with poise and maturity tonight. Often when this team has been down, we have pressed with poor decisions defensively and offensively. Tonight I thought we just kept plugging. We continued to guard without fouling to a certain extent. We valued the ball. We did not try to thread the needle with some crazy passes. We did not take ill-advised shots. We kept plugging and we scored enough, especially off turnovers, to give us a chance against a team that really defended us well and on a night where we struggled offensively, a lot having to do with Tulsa's defensive effort."
On having different guys step up:
"If we had Raheem we would be really deep. Lately, Jaron and Kenyon have gotten a lot more opportunities and they have really stepped up. Alex struggled some on his own, but a lot because of Tulsa, just like Chris' night. We went with Kenyon there late and he continued to make plays so he continued to earn more minutes. I thought he was really good offensively, not only getting to the rim a couple times, but setting up other guy's opportunities to drive. He was also fantastic in our press, I thought, with Speedy Smith."
"The biggest reason tonight feels good, is because we beat a good team. We just beat a very good team who is capable of beating anybody in our league. They proved that by beating Southern Miss. Tulsa will be a factor in the conference tournament. It feels good to overcome what we had to overcome offensively and grind one out and, again, the crowd was a huge factor for us."