“I thought they played great. I thought they really were patient. The first half we allowed them to shoot. I put a couple guys in the game and they didn’t defend the three-point line. They made six threes. As much as that hurt, we could not get our offense going at all. Second half, we opened up a little bit more and got some driving areas. Malachi (Richardson) started, Mike (Gbinije) got in there, and Trevor (Cooney) got in there and we were able to get to the basket better and get our offense going. When they helped, we got a couple threes and knocked them down. The first one Tyler (Lydon) hit was a great shot, tied the game, and got us in it. The last one I wasn’t sure about, but he had a lot of confidence at that stage. It’s a big threat when you have a big guy step out and make that shot, but I thought we fought.
“They made two threes falling down, short clocks, just catching and throwing it. The guy can’t make foul shots, but he made those. Sometimes you’re a little unlucky and you have to be able to play through it. I thought our defense really picked up the second half. I thought both Tyler’s did a good job inside containing them and we really kept the guards in front of us. We really did a good job defensively on the guards. Tyler Roberson got back in and got some rebounds – that’s important for us. I thought it was good at the end for DaJuan (Coleman) to get back in and grab a couple rebounds and I think that’s good for him. I think obviously he has a long way to come back and it’s going to take some time, but I thought again Trevor and Mike have to take over games for us until these other guys get there and I thought Mike was tremendous in the second half, getting to the basket and making plays. When they went zone, he made a great play to get Trevor an open three and then he made a three.
“So I think overall it was a really good second half. First half was a complete struggle on offense and I give St. Bonaventure their credit. They played hard and came after us. They made some big shots in the first half and they are quick to the ball and got some rebounds going to the ball, which happens, but we do have to be better. We do have to rebound better, but I thought this was a very, very good comeback. They had control of the game for a long time and when we finally got back in it, we really played well down the stretch and our defense really picked up.
ON MICHAEL GBINIJE
“I think he was more aggressive and he got to the basket. He made a couple shots and that helps.”
ON TYLER ROBERSON'S PLAY
“He was helping us on defense and he’s still not playing the way I think he has to for us. Through the years, if he kept playing like this, he wouldn’t play. He’s got to play better. This isn’t close. He knocked the ball out of bounds twice when Malachi had it and lost a couple rebounds and missed the layup. He’s got to play better for us to be good and he can’t play like this. That’s why I tried to get him to understand last game that he’s got to be better. He’s got to be more active, he’s got to finish better, and he’s just got to be a better player for us as we go along. I think with him and DaJuan (Coleman), they have to get better. I thought Frank (Howard) did a good job. He was in there, moved the ball, and got places and I thought he did some good things. We need to get a lot better.”
ON TYLER LYDON
“He’s a freshman. He’s been a little reluctant in one game. I think he grabbed his rhythm there. He made his foul shots and I think that probably helped him get going a little bit. He can shoot; he knows it. It’s been two games, wait a while.”
ON EARLY SEASON TESTS
“I’d rather not. I’d rather have a couple of easier games to start out to be honest with you, especially with these young guys. We’ve had to overcome some stuff in both these games, really. And I think, now that they’re over with it’s okay that we had them. But, this was more than a test – they had the game. They had us in a lot of trouble early, then even in the second half. We really stepped up big time offensively. We played very, very well offensively. When we had to make a three, we made it. Tyler (Lydon), the first one, was a big shot for a freshman to step out there and take. His first big three really…and make it! That’s pretty good.”
ON TREVOR COONEY
“Well he got to the basket and he got his defense going. (He) made two big steals down there. The first one was a monstrous steal. The second one didn't matter as much, but the first one was a big steal. And he had a couple steals at the post, post passes. He’s up there in the conference the last couple years in steals. He’s very good on defense. He let the guy shoot one that he shouldn't have. With him and Mike (Gbinije) out there, they’re both very good on defense and that helps us. St. Bonaventure has good guards, and they’re tricky. We, for the most part, kept them out of there, and forced them into some tough shots. Overall, I thought defensively we really picked it up.”
“I’m happy. I didn't want to lose on my birthday; I don't like that. But this was a really good effort against a very good team that I thought had it going. They got their rhythm going. They were doing things. They had a lot of positives. You have to stop that. You have to take that away. And we took that away. We took them out of their offense. We took them out. We got some steals. We didn't give them anything easy. They made 11 three’s and two of them were pure luck, nothing else. Our defense was really good. We overcame a good team that had it going. They were doing things that you have to do, and they were doing it really well. They’re defense was really good. Our guys overcame that. Mike, Trevor and Malachi, they all stepped up big time. Malachi made a couple big drives early in the second half to get into the lane area; that was big for us. It was a really good win. We’ll get ready to play Saturday.”
ON THE GAME
“St. Bonaventure is a good team. We knew it was going to be a tough fight. We honestly didn’t come out the first half and play like we wanted to. Games like this help you for the conference games. You’re going to get down and be in tough spots and it's how you respond and fight out of it like we did. We know we can do it again."
ON RICHARDSON & LYDON
“They’ve been huge like we need them to be. We have confidence in them to make shots and get rebounds and make plays and that's what they’re doing."
ON ST. BONAVENTURE'S FIRST HALF
"They were making shots. They were working the ball and trying to get the ball in the high post. We tried to take that away, but sometimes it's going to get there and you have to play defense. They made some tough shots early, but during the second half our defense was better and made them hold the ball a little more and take tough shots."
ON BECOMING GO-TO PLAYER
“I noticed they were looking to get me the ball, so I stepped up a couple times. We have a lot of players who can make plays. (Tyler) Lydon came up big for us on the night. Malachi (Richardson) was there for us. Trevor (Cooney) made some big shots. We are going to have a different person step up each time."
ON HIS PERFORMANCE
"I made some threes, but we had the mindset in the second half to spread the court and get in the lane and try to make plays or shoot threes off of that. I just really wanted to focus on getting in the paint to soften the defense and take some of their aggression away."
ON EARLY SEASON TEST
“Every win is an important win and every moment of the game is important. At moments like this, we get tested and we showed our hearts and poise today."
ON BEING MORE AGGRESSIVE IN THE SECOND HALF
“I think it needed to be done. We had to be more aggressive than we were. We were settling and they were pressuring up on defense, so I think it was a good job on our part to get to the rim and get fouled and convert free throws."
St. Bonaventure Head Coach Mark Schmidt
“I thought in the first half we did what we wanted to do, both offensively and defensively. We did a good job on the backboard and took care of the ball for the most part. I thought in the second half, Syracuse exposed us a bit defensively. They started doing a bit of a three-out, two-in, putting the big guys in no-man’s land and took us off the dribble. I thought we turned the ball over.
“Even in the first half we had opportunities to push the lead out more. We had some break opportunities that we screwed up. But I thought our effort was, for the most part, what we wanted. If you have 24 offensive rebounds, you’re doing something right, which we did. We outrebounded them by 10, and that’s the goal that we wanted. If I’m not mistaken, one of my assistant coaches said that we had five clean stops in the second half. You can’t beat a team like Syracuse doing that. And our offense wasn’t as effective in the second half, but I thought we lost the game between the 10- and five-minute mark by getting taken off the bounce. The effort was good and if we continue to have that effort, we have a chance to be pretty good.”
ON FIVE MINUTE STRETCH
“Syracuse played better. Defensively, they did a better job going out on our shooters. We didn’t get a lot of easy baskets. We had some opportunities in the second half, some offensive rebounding, that we didn’t get – some offensive put-backs that hurt us. But Syracuse played better in the second half and that’s why they won.”
ON ATTACKING 2-3 ZONE
“It’s unique. It’s not a 2-3, it’s more of a 2-2-1, and they get way out on the wings. You need to get the ball into the circle. I think we did a good job, especially in the first half. We didn’t do as good of a job in the second half. And you need to get into the slot. We did that at times, and at times they took that stuff away.”