UW Health Sports Medicine 

Postgame Quotes: No. 14 Wisconsin vs. Northwestern

Jan. 29, 2014

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Postgame Quotes
Wisconsin vs. Northwestern
Jan. 29, 2014
Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

UW Head Coach Bo Ryan

On whether or not he was pleased with Wisconsin’s shot selection:
“Yeah, early. And then, of course, when we’re playing from behind, then they get a little sketchy. If somebody would’ve told me that we would’ve shot, getting those shots that we had, that percentage, I would’ve said no way.

Once you start missing those, sometimes that basket gets pretty small. And it obviously got pretty small. We did not have a guy shoot over 50 percent. I don’t know if that’s ever happened. We’ve had some shooting nights like everybody else in the past where a few guys are really struggling, but for everybody to struggle…

Some of those same looks that we had down there we shot it better at their place. We got to the free throw line, I saw some good things that way.  We started to attack, we hit a couple early 3-pointers and then started to pull from outside but then we started to get to the line. And Nigel (Hayes) really gave us a big boost there, he’s the one guys that seems to make that happen. It was his play that kept us in it as far as his aggressiveness. But some of those outside shots that were wide open, what are you going to do? You saw them, I can’t change them.”

On the biggest difference in Northwestern since Wisconsin played the last:
“Well the second half they played the way they played tonight. So the same way I saw them in Evanston (at Northwestern). Just the first half that got away from them. Just like the second half did with us here. You still have to play 40 to get it done in this league.

Every once in a while there’s a game like we had down there that they had here, where they had a better half, we had a better half. But we know how they were playing. We knew that they were better, we knew that they figured out some things. So there’s a lot of experience out there on that team for Northwestern.

And then when you (NU) hit shots like that like that streak that they hit there with, what was it, about 5-6 minutes to go, seven minutes, it was a streak where it just seemed like if they bounced it off the floor it was going to go in.”

Junior G Josh Gasser

On frustrations with tonight’s performance:
“Frustrated that we lost obviously. Couldn’t knock any shots down. Shooting percentage shows that. We lead most of the game it seems like and Northwestern is just hanging around and we couldn’t hit enough shots to stretch the lead. Before you know it, five, six possessions and they really attacked us on the offensive side and made a lot of plays. We still couldn’t knock any shots down and by then it was a double-digit lead. So it’s just frustrating. You play hard and shots don’t fall and we come out on the losing end.”

On shot selection:
“We made the extra pass a few times just like you want to. Move it around the perimeter until we got an open look and some of the times we just didn’t knock them down. We just have to stay confident. We know we can put the ball in the hoop, but tonight we didn’t.”

On moving forward:
“Next game. Ohio State. Take it one game at a time still. Keep trying to knock them out. You have to go into every game expecting to win, preparing to win and playing to win. That’s the next one on our schedule, so that’s all we’re really looking forward to now.”

On Nigel Hayes’ play:
“Nigel’s a beast. He’s a great player. Anytime we get the ball to him in the post and isolate him one-on-one that’s a win for us. If he’s drawing fouls on the other team and he’s attacking the rim, we’ll take that all day. We just have to keep using him as an asset for us.”

Senior G Ben Brust

On shot selection tonight:
“We got a lot of wide-open looks. We just have to make shots. You’ve got to be a man and step up and knock them down. Didn’t do that, personally. As a team we got good looks and we’ll knock them down.”

On it being harder to make shots after missing so many:
“I know for the last two minutes I was trying to do whatever I could to get a steal, get a score, get a jump ball, just trying to stay after it because you never know what can happen. At that point you have no time to think. You have to try and make something happen.”

On moving forward:
“We’ve got practice tomorrow. All we can do is get ready for the next one.”

On Northwestern being better than they expected:
“I think they definitely do a really good job of squeezing driving lanes and making you kick it out. They’re really trying to cut off some driving lanes. They’ve definitely improved. But I think we did a good job of getting some good looks. We had open shots and we didn’t knock them down.”

Northwestern Head Coach Chris Collins

Opening statement:
“Obviously a tremendous, tremendous win for our team, for our program. I have so much respect for this Wisconsin program and I know how tough it is to play in this building. A couple years ago, brought a team in here that was the national championship team and we got our tails kicked, so I know what their winning percentage is, I know how good they are and what a great coach coach (Bo) Ryan is. So for us to be able to come in here and get a win is very special for our team and especially for our guys. We played this team a month ago and it was 40-14 at halftime and it probably would have been even more if coach Ryan didn’t have sympathy for us that night and call off the dogs. In one month’s time we have become a very tough group and we’ve had to become tough because we have had a hard time scoring, a hard time with certain things, so we’ve had to win with our defense and our rebounding.

“To hold this Wisconsin team to 26 percent shooting and to out-rebound them by six, our two stats that mean a lot to us because those are things we look at each game. Just really proud of all the guys. I could go down the line and talk about every kid and everyone contributed. But mostly Drew (Crawford), because Drew, as a fifth-year senior, as our leader, as our captain, he just put us on his back in the second half. To get 30 points and eight rebounds and step up and make big free throws at the end when they were making a run on us, he was a man tonight. I’m just so very proud of the player he is becoming as well.”

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