VIDEO: Alford after Oregon State

Steve Alford talks about his halftime discussion with the team, the physicality of Oregon State inside, and how important it was to get this win...

Steve Alford:

Opening statement:
It was a very interesting halftime. I was not happy with our effort at all in the first half. We haven't had many halves like that in the first half. It was like that in Corvallis. Our effort in the second half was much like what we are. This Oregon State team is a hard matchup. They gave us some problems. I was proud of the team in the second half. They did a lot of good things in the second half.

On the matchups by Oregon State:
When you get to this point, matchups are a huge key. We're not blessed with an abundance of big size up front. We are who we are. With Stanford, we beat them soundly here, but we had a tough half there. This team [Oregon State] is an even tougher matchup. They have more size and can play guys at a 3 or 4. When you have a scorer like Roberto Nelson, it just stretches you. We were better in the second half. We had 11 steals, had nine in the transition game, got to the free throw line, and we ran a better offense.

On UCLA's size:
We played Tony [Parker] and one of the Wears together. That's our size. It's worked out pretty good all year. There are not a lot of teams that can put the size on floor that Oregon State can. They're 6-10, 6-10, 6-8. We can match the size, but it's really about who can take care of the mismatches and who can out-execute who. Our effort was much better in the second half, and that's what made the difference. The second half was more like how we play.

On UCLA's post play:
It was a good adjustment by Dave [Wear] and Tony [Parker]. Tony had some tough times against Devon Collier until we reminded him that he was left-handed, then he adjusted well to post play. Early in this game, we were hurt with post play, but our low post play got better as the game went on. [Angus] Brandt went in with 10-straight double-figure games, and he had nine points today. I thought that was good for our post players.

On prepping for the Pac-12 Tournament:
It's March. We talked about a month ago about how February sets it up. I thought we were playing good basketball going into March. The month of March is a player's month. It should be the time of their lives. You mentioning it is the first time I thought about clinching a bye. We have two road games left. I'm proud of Dave and Travis and Aubrey. They got to play in Pauley one last time and win. You want to see your seniors win for the last time at home, and you want to play really good basketball going into the tourney.

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