Postgame Quotes - New Mexico vs. UTEP - NIT (March 15, 2011)
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/15/2011

March 15, 2011

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NIT First Round
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
UTEP vs. New Mexico
Albuquerque, N.M.

UNM head coach Steve Alford

Opening statement:
"If you lose you have to go to home, so there was a lot of pressure. I have been really confident this whole season, because I knew I had Dairese (Gary). The biggest compliment i could give him (Dairese Gary) is that i was a little uneasy going into tonight's game. I just could not be more proud of our guys."

On looking to next year:
"We have eight months until we play in the pit again. It gives us a look, a bright look. Everyone who was there will return. This gives us more confidence going into the off season."

Without Dairese:
"I thought all of them did really well. I thought our young guards performed really well."

Going to Alabama:
"We don't know a whole lot about them. They are very athletic, they like the full court press. The press we will see at Alabama will be more intensified. We have to play in their building. That is a difficult task, but one that we are up for."

UNM player sophomore Jamal Fenton

On being able to establish himself:
"It means a lot. At practice I have been working really hard."

On his shot tonight:
"My shot was alright. I hit some good ones in the first half. I'll hit some more next game."

On going to Alabama:
"We are excited to get out there."

UNM player junior Drew Gordon

Leaving The Pit on a winning note:
"It feels good. We are happy that we could bring everybody in the pit. This will be the last win in the pit for a while. We executed very well and it ended up in our favor."

UTEP head coach Tim Floyd

"This is my 11th trip over here and this is one hell of a place. They have great fans; always have great coaches, great teams, and a great atmosphere. I told our players before the game that of all the places I've played in my career that this place has the best home court that I've seen. I know it wasn't sold out today but the crowd was fantastic. I thought their team was terrific. (Drew) Gordon got them off to a great start. It seemed like everyone they inserted in the first half just fired one in."

"We came out hot, played well early. I'm really pleased with our spirit and our energy off of one of the most difficult losses in my career on Saturday. Our players were really dejected but they didn't play that way. It certainly wasn't an excuse in this game. We got a little shot happy with the lead and we took five or six on one pass which is a real trap for a team that doesn't rebound the ball well. I think it's a good lobo team."

UTEP player Randy Culpepper

"UTEP is a great program. Even when i committed to UTEP, it was a great program. I know he (Tim Floyd) is going to build this program back to being an elite program one day."

"It's the same thing that happened to us last year. We lost in the conference championship and the first game of the NCAA tournament. We lost to Memphis the other day, and came out here and lost to New Mexico today. Tip your hat because they are a great team. I hope they win the entire nit. I told their players to take it."

UTEP player Gabriel McCulley

About the Lobos:
"They (the Lobos) are a tough team; it's a tough place to play. The pit gets loud. They had their fans behind them and they are a good team."

"They did a lot of little things that made them come out on the winning end today. They outrebounded us and they just played a little harder than we did and got the win."

On the loss in the Conference USA championship game:
"It was a heartbreaker; everyone knows it was a heartbreaker. Coach came in to practice and tried to lift everybody up and let us know we had a couple more games to play. The guys got together coming into this game really wanting to play. Give all credit to the lobos, they are a tough team. They are a good team. They played well today."