Feb. 7, 2008
California head coach Ben Braun
The good news is we're closing out games. I can't remember any game this year that Oregon State played with not only the energy they played (with tonight), but the aggressiveness. They knocked down some big-time shots. They had not been shooting the ball as well, but I thought today their focus was good, they played loose, and that's going to be to their advantage. They knocked down some pretty tough shots. Give them credit for fighting and playing pretty tough defense at some stages. But our team was able to get scores - we just had some problems stepping out and getting some challenges on their shots.
On playing tough defense against unexpected scorers such as Omari Johnson, who made 4-of-7 treys after making only seven all season entering this game:
Generally a big fella, you're going to let knock those down, at least with a hand up - and he did knock down some pretty big shots. I thought the key for us, though, was defensively down the stretch, again, we were able to make some huge plays. I thought we got in the gaps, we came up with some loose balls, they tried to penetrate us and we came up with some steals and were able to convert on the other end and were shooting free throws pretty well.
On the big baskets hit by multiple Bears in the last five minutes of the game:
Big baskets by Patrick Christopher by down the stretch; big basket (by) Jerome, hits a big shot; Ryan Anderson, of course, gets to the line - those are the things our team needs to do. If we can get those three guys getting to the line or getting some scores, we're going to be in pretty good shape.
On the three-pointer by Nikola Knezevic with Cal's lead down to two points with 2:00 remaining:
What I liked about that, he didn't hesitate, he shot it, and you could tell with the smile, he's worked awfully hard on his shooting. What also I liked about that is that his teammates had the confidence to rotate the ball and pass the ball to the open man. The open man was Nikola. And you know what? He's going to be open sometimes this year. But if he can play with that confidence and the players have the confidence in him, I think that goes a long way.
Oregon State interim head coach Kevin Mouton
Cal made some plays in the end. We were hanging in that game. We made some bad mistakes, you just can't do that. You can't make those little mistakes. I'm really proud of our guys, but we still have got to win.
On the Beaver defense:
"Josh (Tarver) tried to steal a pass and missed. He got back into it (the play), but we had to rotate and (Jerome) Randle was wide open for three. There were times under the basket we gave them multiple opportunities; you just can't do that in this league.
On Oregon State's 20 assists:
"It could have been 24 or 25 if we hadn't missed lay-ups. This was the best game we played as far as assists.