Jan. 6, 2009
New Mexico head coach Steve Alford:
"It was really a disappointing shooting performance. We couldn't stop them offensively in the second half and I think that really affected our defense. They had a much better second half. We had one guy (Daniel Faris) who was making over 50 percent of his shots, but he was in foul trouble. That makes it difficult."
"Our guys gave great effort but we just couldn't make a shot. The longer we went without making a shot I thought it effected our defense. It's hard to shoot 28 percent from the field and find a way to win."
"They are big. That team is going to be very good as they mature. I think they will have a good league season. "
UTEP head coach Tony Barbee:
On second half play:
"We played with a lot of composure in the second half. The biggest thing that we had to do was, knowing the type of environment and atmosphere we were going to be dealing with tonight, was we had to get the crowd out of the game early. We could not let them get started and stay into it the entire way."
"We did a great job in the first half of maintaining, even though we struggled offensively to keep the crowd quiet. In the second half, we came out and jumped on them right away. I told them how important the first five minutes of that half was to establish how we were going to play."
"To come into this environment against a very, very good team that is very well coached and to guard them the way we did, that is the most complete defensive effort that I might have been around period. It is what I am telling my guys is called `desperation defense.' Every possession, you play life or death on the defensive end of the score."