Dec. 19, 2009
No. 19 New Mexico vs. Creighton Post-game Quotes
Dec. 19, 2009 * The Pit, Albuquerque, N.M.
New Mexico Head Coach Steve Alford
"I can't be more happy or proud of my basketball team. They just find ways to do it. We shoot 29 percent, our worst shooting night of the year. You've got to give Creighton a lot of credit for the way they guarded us and we still find a way to win. We get 22 offensive rebounds and we turn the ball over five times. And we've got a senior (Roman Martinez) that won't let this team lose. Dives on the floor, gets a huge loose ball that leads to a basket. Darington (Hobson) misses two free throws and he gets the rebound off that, throws it to Darington for a layup. He's a remarkable senior leader and he's doing a great job. And most importantly The Pit crowd. I've been in a lot of games now here in The Pit but this one ... we talk about it all the time ... this one The Pit crowd was worth at least 15 (points) tonight. They were a phenomenal crowd and really helped our guys especially in the second half.
Different defense in the second half
"We went zone. Our transition defense was terrible in the first half. A lot of that was that it was a shock to us that we just didn't make anything. The guys were really slow getting back in transition and we talked about that. I thought this team (Creighton) ran as well as any team we've seen run. They really got up and down the floor, so they hurt us. It wasn't so much goingfrom man to zone in the second half, as it was let's just do a good job with transition defense, let's get back, let's get our defense set and if we score, let's, the old adage, press a pressing team. Let's get up and press them a little bit. I thought it did slow them a little bit andthen they started missing some shots. We were hoping they weren't going to shoot 75 percent for the night.
Telling team to get hands up
"I think the crowd thought I was talking to them. Maybe I have to do that more often. I appreciate the crowd listening and I appreciate the team listening. If it's a dual communicative thing, that's fine. But we're long, we're athletic. We've got a lot of work to do defensively."
Creighton Head Coach Dana Altman
"We are really disappointed. We played pretty good in the first half. We had them off balance with the zone, and they missed some shots. They are a great shooting team. I thought we had them kind of off all night, but the offensive rebounds that they got kept us on defense and then some poor turnovers. We had some shots we didn't hit also."
Atmosphere of The Pit
"It is a great atmosphere. It is a noisy building. It is a lot like Wichita State in our league, everything is right on top of you. Great atmosphere and great fans. It was a good two games here, we enjoyed it. Hopefully our basketball team will learn from it. We are soft. We just got to get tougher. It is coaches' fault, players' fault, and we are just going to have to get better."
Tone set by first minutes of second half
"We had a wide-open three to start the second half and don't get it, then you got to transition. We had a couple of pretty good looks that didn't go down, missed some shots, and some bad turnovers. It would have been great if we got the second half started better, no doubt about it. The game closed up there pretty quickly because of our inability to get a couple free throws there that would have kept it more spacious. We just didn't execute. Our guys got real tentative. We stopped pushing it."