Coach and Player Quotes - UCLA

LOS ANGELES - Here are coach and player quotes from Lorenzo Romar, Terrence Ross, Darnell Gant, C.J. Wilcox, Ben Howland and Lazeric Jones after UCLA defeated 75-69 to play spoiler and upset Washington's chances at an outright Pac-12 regular-season crown.

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar:
Opening Statement - "[It's a] tough way to lose. They have been playing good basketball, UCLA has. I thought our guys did a good job today. The difference in the game was in the second half; they scored 11 points off of our turnovers and the majority of those were unforced. That's the difference in the game. The game was a two-point game right down the stretch near the end. We just didn't do a good enough job of taking care of the basketball."

  At the end of the game - "We were trying to get a ball screen and spread the floor and get it to the open man. Darnell [Gant] was open but it was a two-on-one, the guy closed out and Terrence [Ross] was open, one pass away. So we felt that if we could reverse and get the ball there, but we took the shot. Maybe we could have made the extra pass but we took the shot."

On the beginning of that final possession, when Abdul Gaddy had the ball and it looked like Ross and C.J. Wilcox were closed out - "That's fine, but then once we passed back to Darnell, they had to go get Darnell. And that's when, I think, Terrence was open."

  On UCLA ratcheting up the pressure in the second half - "I think UCLA, when they are really focused, is a good defensive team anyway."  

On how this is sitting with the team right now - "We are still champs, co-champs [of the Pac-12], that's a positive. We could still be outright champs based on the game tomorrow. We just had a mindset that we were going to take care of this situation, closing in on post-season play with the NCAA tournament. We said five days ago we couldn't have any slip-ups. Just the uncertainty of it, that is probably the biggest negative aside than the loss itself."

On if he feels like they are in limbo right now for the NCAA Tournament - "I feel like, you're co-champs of the league and have won 10 out of [our last] 12 - it should be a slam-dunk. That's how I feel. But we'll see. I'm not on the committee."

On playing a lot of four guards in the second half - "Aziz was in foul trouble, and the way they were playing we felt we could still defend them with a smaller group in there."

On the three-pointers being good shots in the second half - "Yeah. We had some good looks. Just didn't go down. They didn't go down. No one tries to miss. I know they shot, in the second half, they shot 37-38 percent…we held them under 40. I thought they got some layups at times in the second half, but I thought we did a good job of defending them. I thought we did a good job of getting good looks at the basket. With the exception of those turnovers in the second half, I thought we played a pretty good game."

On the turnovers being surprising to him - "Yeah, well - like I said, they were unforced."  

On his take on the regular season - "Obviously we were very inconsistent in the non-conference, but in conference we gained more consistency. We won a lot of games and it wasn't always very pretty. But we learned how to survive on the road; we ended up 6-3, which is the best road record in league we've had since we've been here. We equalled the best conference record we've had since we've been here - 14-4. So I thought we made huge progress toward the end of our year, and hopefully that can continue as this tournament play begins to start."

On if this loss trips the team up at all - "I think we'll have a hungry mindset going into the tournament. I think our guys will spend a day getting over this loss and then they'll bounce back and guys will be ready to go. I don't anticipate anything different."

On the first half - "I thought we played a really good first half, but there was one thing that was scary: We shot 52 percent, 44 from the 3-point line, we were doing a pretty good job - and we were up three because they shot 56 percent. You can't count on shooting it like that the entire game, so that concerned me a little bit that we were up and we had played really good basketball and we were only up three."

On if UCLA is a team you don't want to face in the Pac-12 Tournament - "They could be. They could be. It just seems like they are playing very efficient basketball."

On Abdul Gaddy running the offense - "He did a masterful job, a very good job."

On how he felt the team did with the moment - "I thought we handled the moment pretty good; we just didn't handle the ball as well as we should have."


Terrence Ross:
Opening comment - "We were down, but we still have a lot to do. We can't focus on this loss. Co-champions is nice, but everyone was looking to be outright champions. Even though we lost we're still technically in first, but it feels like we just lost the championship and we're fourth or fifth. It's a real deep, hurtful loss, but we have to get over it."

On what changed from the first half to the second half - "I think we had more slip-ups, more turnovers. More mental lapses. I think that's what hurt us."

On the reasons behind the turnovers - "Just being careless with the ball sometimes."

On the three-pointer from Gant - "Where Tyler Lamb was standing, he was right in the middle of both of us. If [Gaddy] passed it to me, Darnell would have been open; when Darnell took it, I was open. It was kind of an illusion. Two people were open, but no matter who took the shot somebody was going to be close to him."

On it being tough for Gant to try and get him the ball in that situation - "I think it would have. Lamb was playing the passing lanes the whole game. I think [Gant] did a good job pump-faking because he got it closer to me, but it was just a tough situation."

On what UCLA did to him the second half - "They kind of face-guarded me a little more than they did in the first half. And they were trying to make me avoid the screens and go off in a different way. So that's what they were doing a little different."

On how long it's going to take the team to get over this game? - "Probably tonight."

On if he'll watch the Cal-Stanford game Sunday - "I'm going to watch the second half. The first half is going to take too long for me, so I'll just watch the second half."  


Darnell Gant:
On the frustrations of not closing it out - "I thought we did a good job of playing the game, but we did a poor job of taking care of the ball late."

On the last UW possession - "I set a flat ball screen for Gaddy and he came off and he drug both defenders and I was open. I would have passed it to Ross, but what they were doing was they were sending guys in the passing lane so they were making it hard to pass. I knew I couldn't get it to Ross, so I felt like I should take the shot."

On the game - "Yes, I saw it [the shot] clearly. It felt good. It just came off left. I just had a bad shooting night, again."

On trying to get over this game - "It's hard to describe. I'm trying to come down from it and focus on next week…but I just hate having to watch [Cal-Stanford] and know that we could share it and it's in somebody else's hands. We should have won the game. We had them beat. We just have to play smarter down the stretch."

On the turnovers down the stretch - "It came out of nowhere. Guys were fumbling balls and not taking care of it and making bad passes. We really didn't have bad passes, we had bad execution."

On if UCLA had something to do with that with their second-half defense - "They tried to…yeah, they did."

On watching the Cal-Stanford game tomorrow - "I don't know. I'll probably watch it by myself. We have to wait for them to win so that we can be happy. But it's not going to feel as good as if we would have won today."

On the attitude in the locker room - We're just trying to get focused for next week. We don't want to dwell on this one. At the same time - and I hate to say it - but we still are champs. It's just co-champs right now and we have a chance to be outright, and it's in somebody else's hands. It's hard to deal with, but at the same time it's still a testament to where our season has come because we were picked fifth. We still won the league, and next week we have the tournament, so we should be ready for that."

On if he feels the Pac-12 Tournament is make-or-break for them - "I feel like it, and my teammates feel like it, so that's our mindset right now."

On if they can win the tournament playing the way they did today - "We can win the [Pac-12] tournament the way we played today. We just have to take care of the ball and eliminate the turnovers. Everybody being on the same page at the end of the game and knowing we have to keep the same intensity for 40 minutes, and not 35 minutes."

On if he noticed a more focused UCLA team out there - "I noticed a couple of more focused players, but not a more focused UCLA team."  


C.J. Wilcox:
On what he saw in the second half - "From what I noticed, we were turning over the ball an awful lot. In the second half I thought we played pretty good defense, but our turnovers led to quick points to them. We held them to 38 percent, so we're playing good D…just taking care of the ball down the stretch is what killed us."

On if he could pinpoint why that was - "I don't know…it's just some of those things that happened. Couple guys falling, slipping…there were a couple of bad passes, but overall we have to take care of the ball better."

On how the team is dealing with the loss - "Like we were talking about in there, even if Stanford beats Cal it's going to feel weird - almost like we didn't deserve to be champs by ourselves. It's a weird feeling; I definitely haven't experienced it before."

On the second-half threes feeling like they were good shots - "To me, yeah. But coach said we may not make our shots in the second half, so we have to defend. We defended, but those turnovers killed us."

On the injury getting better - "Game by game it just gets better for me. I just feel more comfortable out there. Tonight I was able to knock shots down."

On the last play with Darnell and UCLA defending him and Ross - "Not me or Terrence…they weren't going to leave us. Darnell took the right shot. He just wasn't able to knock it down."

On if it looked good from his vantage point - "I couldn't tell. I was trying to cut to get to the rebound. Darnell's a good shooter, so I had confidence in him to make the shot."

On if the plan was to go for three the whole time on that play - "The play was to tie the game up, but for me I always try and go for the three."

On being able to appreciate what they've done so far to date - "It's hard right now to think about it right now, but a couple of days from now we'll be able to look back and realize that we finished the second half of the Pac-12 pretty well."

On how he would characterize the season - "Just like every other year - ups and downs. We started playing at the right time, and hopefully we can start playing right through the tournaments."

On being frustrated that it even came down to a last shot - "Yeah. Usually under four minutes if we're up, I'm pretty confident we're going to finish the game well. So I'm shocked that we let that one get away."


UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland:
Opening Statement - "That was a great win to finish the last game at the Sports Arena and for our seniors. I was so happy for all of them. It was fitting for Zeke [Jones] to have an opportunity to ice the game at the line and he did so calmly. We showed lots of moxie and poise, falling down early and fighting back. We never got rattled and kept believing. I thought this was Tyler Lamb's best game. He was just fantastic, penetrating the zone, jump-stopping and playing great defense on Ross, especially in the last 10 minutes.  

"Zeke was also fantastic, knocking down jump shots and making plays for others. Travis Wear also had a good game with a double-double. It was a good overall team victory and gives us good momentum going into the Pac-12 Tournament."  

UCLA senior guard Lazeric Jones:

"We went out there and got stops. We showed a lot of heart and gave it our all. Hopefully, this game will give us momentum going into the conference tournament. We've been there all year, hopefully, this is a turning point for us.  

"I was just calm [at the free throw line at the end of the game] telling myself, "I got it," and just trying to be confident. My family was here and it was a good feeling to be able to make those free throws."


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