The POST: Player and Coach Quotes After the Game

Here's the best quotes from Marshall and Northern Illinois players and coaches, after MU's 97-93 win over the Huskies in the first round of the MAC tournament.

NIU coach Rob Judson:
"A terrific Marshall team. They seem to be playing their best ball as they come down the stretch here. Home court means a lot. It's funny in the game of basketball, we missed home court by one point. Lost at Western Michigan 86-85, and if we'd have won, we'd have been playing at home. But that's the way basketball is."
"We came out the first four minutes of the second half and established that real well. All those guys just played their hearts out."
"I just thought Slay hit some unbelievable threes in that first half. We were on him and he just dotted us. He reminds me of the guy that played for Villanova who's in the NBA now. He's a Kerry Kittles clone. He just doesn't wear the one sock up so high. At 6'9", he's a hard guy to guard."
"If their team can gather that same emotion and intensity, they can go to Cleveland and win this."

Marshall player J.R. VanHoose:
"It's funny how things work out. We were with our backs to the wall, having to beat Central and Akron. And we did that. I think that helped us out, playing here. We're going to Cleveland, and it's great. Anything can happen now, anything can happen. That's what we're looking for. We just have to come out and play hard like we have the last couple games, and see what happens."
"We had it in our minds that nobody was going to give up. And it showed. Down the stretch, I don't think we made many mistakes. That was the name of the game right there, our free throw shooting down the stretch."

Marshall player Tamar Slay:
"To go out like that and get the big win to go to Cleveland, considering the season we've had, you can't ask for anything else."
"They surprised us at the beginning of the second half, going to the press. We just started doing silly things that we normally don't do."
"Basketball is a game of runs. We made our run, and they made theirs. Fortunately, we made more than they did tonight."

NIU player Leon Rogers:
"In the second half, I just let it come to me. I think that, as it shows on the stat sheet, it proved to be a better way. It was just a tough game. The outcome wasn't what we would have liked, but that's basketball."

Marshall coach Greg White:
"They really came in here and fought us hard. It was pure tournament basketball, and I said before the game this was going to be a war."
"We still made some mistakes, but a win's a win's a win, and I'll take them any way I can get them."
"I don't think there's any question this is a good basketball team. It's the first time we've put 2 or 3 good MAC basketball games together. We've let some close games get away from us, games like the one tonight. We made some crazy plays in the second half, but we came out of that and started attacking. We got some easy ones. We made big passes, we made big free throws. It's no longer a two-man show. Ronald Blackshear is as good as any player in this league. He can play for anybody, anywhere, any time. We played ten games without him, and now we've got him, and we're happy to have him. There were some people that counted this team out of going to Cleveland. There's a couple teams that played very well this year. The team that beat North Carolina didn't win tonight (Ohio lost to Central Michigan)."

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