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Ohio vs. Massachusetts - Post-Game Quotes

Ndour posted a team-high 16 points for Ohio vs. UMass

Dec. 18, 2013

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Ohio 72, Alabama A&M 47
Post-Game Quotes
Athens, Ohio | Convocation Center

Head Coach Jim Christian
Opening Statement: “Obviously we give UMass a lot of credit, but we are very disappointed with how we played uncharacteristically. We had way too many breakdowns defensively. We came into the game trying to do three things. We wanted to keep the ball out of the lane - we didn’t do a very good job of that. We wanted to play good transition defense - our transition defense is probably as bad as it’s been since I’ve been here. And we wanted to take care of the basketball - and we did a very good job of that for the most part."

"When you’re playing a team like UMass, you can’t have that many defensive breakdowns that lead to layups. And every time we got back in the game, we made a double mistake – we had a bad offensive possession that would compound it by a bad defensive possession. So, I give them credit. They made us pay. When they had open shots, they knocked them in. When we had open shots and key shots, we didn’t make them. And that’s what you have to do to win these games. You have to make free throws, you have to make open 3-pointers and you have to play very sound. We did that in stretches but were inconsistent at best.”

On the emotion of the game
“It’s difficult. I know how bad our team wants it. It’s not effort with our team. It’s execution. I told them before the game – you can’t get caught up in the emotion of the game and not play the way we know how to play – and at times we did that and it hurt. UMass is a much more experienced team than us. They’ve been together for a couple of years. They’ve had some huge runs in the NIT, and they’re hungry to get in the [NCAA] Tournament. I give them credit because they didn’t get caught up in the emotion, they stayed incredibly sound. However, we got caught up in emotion and maybe tried to do some things we shouldn’t have done.”

On the transition offense of UMass’ Maxi Esho
“Those are just transition breakdowns. That’s what they were. We didn’t match up. We had some guys in the wrong defense. There were also communication breakdowns. But breakdowns happen in games, and UMass did a great job of making us pay. That’s why they’re the team that they are. We can’t afford for those things to happen moving forward."

On what he takes from this game:
“Like I told the team, it’s a reference point. We’re going to be in big games. So now we have something we can look back on and say, ‘Okay, we were in this big game, what did we do? How did we play individually? And how did we play collectively in these big moments?’

"I think any time you’re in these situations, you get a better understanding for what you need to do. I’m hoping that’s the response from our team that we understand that we’re going to be in some big games, and we can’t play that inconsistently. You have to be who you are and believe in the soundness of your game plan. That’s what you take from it."

"Even if we had won the game, it would have been a reference point because we would have done some great things to win the game. We know that we’re not too far away. We’re a good basketball team - we just have to get better at those things collectively and individually.”

Junior Forward Maurice Ndour
On the team’s defensive effort:
“Just like Coach said, we had a lot of breakdowns. Coming into the game, we were trying to keep them out of the lane, but they were getting to the basket way too easily. We did a poor job today defensively.”

On if he noticed UMass guarding him differently in the second half:
“Not really, I just missed a lot of shots down in the paint. On defensr, they didn’t do anything differently that could have prevented me from scoring. It was just a matter of not executing and knocking shots down like Coach said.”

Senior Guard/Forward T.J. Hall:
On the team’s offensive effort:
“We had a lot of open looks. I had two, myself, and I missed them. [Nick] Kellogg had a couple good looks, Ric[ardo Johnson] had a couple good looks - they just didn’t fall.”

On coming back on multiple occasions:
“We could have chipped away at the lead, but we just kept letting them get score. Like Coach said, defensive breakdowns kept happening and we can’t let that happen. We felt we were there, but it just didn’t happen.”