No. 13/15 SDSU M. Hoops-New Mexico Postgame Quotes

Feb. 15, 2012

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San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher

(from the postgame radio interview)

On the game:
"They were very good and there is no question about it. As we always do, we had six bullet points before the game, and one was make important plays. Unfortunately they made more than we did. They made a lot of big plays to get separation. When we brought it back close they just made play after play. Whether it was a three-pointer or a defensive stop, they made more plays than we did. They played with an edge about them. If you shoot 10 from 19 at three-point range, you are going to be in most games. They were very, very good."

On how the defense played tonight:
"I felt we guarded Kendall Williams well. He was sensational today. I thought for the most part what hurt us was rebounding. They had some opportunities where we had chances to come back. It was a situation where the starting of the second half we tied it at 38, and then they came with a vengeance."

On the game:
"They were a team that came in knowing that they were good. When they needed to have a play made, somebody made it. I think Kendall Williams was probably the most important guy, but Drew Gordon was very good with the way he played. They have guys that stepped up. Whether it was guys that started or coming off the bench, they made it difficult for us."

(from the postgame press conference)

Opening statement:
"Tonight we played a team that played better than anyone we've played to date. They beat us; I don't think we lost, they beat us. They are very good. The beginning was stressful and Jamaal (Franklin) had to come out with two fouls. They made every shot and we were on the downhill almost all the time trying to climb back up. Every time we did, they'd make a basket to keep us behind. But we fought, and that being said, as we tied it at 38-38 early in the second half, they blitzed us. They came out and hit a three, they obviously had a 16-1 run and we were never able to get ourselves to a point where we said `OK, now we've got the ball with a chance to tie or go ahead.' So we had the ball a couple times and just couldn't get a basket. When you win, you make baskets like that that rolled out. When you win, you make 10-of-19 from three-point range like they did. When you win in someone else's gym, you make effort plays, balls that are there, you find a way to get them, and they did. They played better than we did. We played hard; New Mexico is a very good team and our mission now is to go to Colorado Springs, play Air Force and get that first win."

On the postgame mood of the players:
"I think it's always the mood in the locker room when you're used to winning and you lose two in a row. We haven't done that very often - it's been a long time since we've lost back-to-back games. The people that have beaten us are pretty good clubs, but so are we. So you're despondent and I think all of us look inward first and that's good also. I'm sure they were thinking about things that they did that they wished they had done differently, but this is what we chose to do. This is why we are here. I have no doubt that we will be ready on Saturday, that's the job description. We've got character kids that will compete hard. It won't be easy; Air Force won at Wyoming. There are no easy games; it doesn't matter who you are, where you are or what league you play in so that's our challenge - to win one game."

San Diego State senior forward Tim Shelton

On this being an uncharacteristic game for SDSU:
"We didn't play well, we didn't defend well, we didn't rebound the ball, we didn't do what we have been doing throughout the season. This was very uncharacteristic of our team, so yes, I agree."

On Chase Tapley not playing like himself tonight:
"I'm not quite sure why, but it's something that we all noticed. He did get going there at the end. The only thing you can really do is look back at it and say `I wish we would have got on our opponent a little earlier,' but unfortunately we didn't and they played a great game tonight."

San Diego State junior guard James Rahon

On what was said in the locker room after the game:
"You're going to lose some tough ones. They outplayed us tonight and they got the better of us on our home court, but we have to bow our heads back this week, it's tough. We have to make sure we get this one in Colorado Springs this weekend. It was a tough loss tonight, but we'll try and get this next one."

On New Mexico making shots vs. the Aztec defense:
"They're a very talented team, all threes, I think. The top of this conference is pretty talented. They were the better team tonight and we just have to worry about the next one."

New Mexico head coach Steve Alford

On the game:
"I thought we took care of the ball and for the most part we got really good shots. Kendall (Williams) was terrific, Drew (Gordon) was terrific, and Jamal (Fenton) came off the bench and gave us a huge lift. I have to check again, but I would venture to say our bench outscored their bench and we've been doing that a lot. Our bench and our depth have been very key. But we knew it was going to be a tough, physical game and we played that way. This team has been impressive all year. We had a 13-game win streak that San Diego State broke at our place and now we're on another streak. I'm just very proud of this team."

On not backing down in a physical game:
"You can't. When you're trying to win a league like this, you've got to be able to do that. This is a very difficult place to play and obviously a very good basketball team, a ranked opponent. Hopefully this will help our guys. Our guys needed a game like this. We've won some big games all year long and to beat a ranked opponent in their house, hopefully we can get some momentum continuing into league play."

New Mexico sophomore guard Kendall Williams

On SDSU staying in the game despite the deficit:
"They're tough, especially at home. They're not going to wilt under any runs. And we even knew as we got up 15. We run off the court real juiced and everything, but we knew they had a run still in them. And that's exactly what they did. A lot of different plays, a lot of different players made big plays down the stretch and we were able to hold them off."

On his success tonight against SDSU:
"In terms of shooting, my touch has felt pretty good recently and all year for that matter. It just all clicked and really came out and I wanted to establish myself early. It kind of just flowed throughout the game, so it was a good game for myself and everyone else."

New Mexico senior forward Drew Gordon

On proving themselves tonight:
"All season people we have been talking about San Diego State and UNLV going at it so this is a nice win to put is solely in first. I think we will get a little more recognition for being in the hunt to win the conference. It was a good win for us and we basically dictate our own fate from here on out."

On UNLV losing last night and New Mexico winning tonight:
"I mean that's competition. It happens every day, any day. You win some, you lose some. People play good games, people play bad games. It's the luck of the draw and fortunately, we had a good game."

On what it was like to play at SDSU, known for being loud and rowdy:
"It feels good. This is a great environment. My Dad went here so he has always talked about the environment and it has definitely lived up to the stories."