Santa Clara 72, Portland 68
March 3, 2006
Santa Clara Head Coach Dick Davey
(About Portland) "Mike's (Holton) kids played extremely hard. Their level of energy had uplifted itself and they did it again tonight. I've considered ourselves very fortunate to have won the game.
"We made a couple of mistakes late in the game as far as decision making, but other than that we played pretty hard as well and I'm happy we escaped.
"Bottom line, we were fortunate enough to escape.
"We have to make baskets to win the game. I like to think that we play defense reasonably well even though they're tough to defend with the on-balls and the quickness. If you don't make shots it's very difficult to win the game.
(About Portland) "They're a good team with an extremely well coach in my perspective.
"Every game at this time a year is going to be a dog fight for everybody."
Santa Clara Forward Travis Niesen
"(Tomorrow will be) just going to be another game, in a very tough conference run. You don't care about the name on their jerseys, it's just going to be a very brutal, physical game.
"I need to get myself and the rest of the guys geared up for another physical match up.
"I turned to Brody and said to the coach, "Let's just start playing fundamental basketball" and I got away from that and it compounded itself because as soon as I made a mistake, it was cancerous and spread and we started making bad judgments.
(About the technical) "After all this stuff happened with about two minutes left, it was `buckle down and try to execute and do exactly what the coaches say and we'll be fine.'"
Portland Head Coach Michael Holton
"I was extremely proud on how we finished this season. How we played our best basketball late.
"Tonight's game, I felt like we played well early, we played with a lot of energy for forty minutes. We gave ourselves a chance all night to win the basketball game. But, at the end of the day you have to give Santa Clara credit. The last ten minutes of the basketball game, I thought they were more cohesive. Their execution gave them opportunities to get second shots and get fouled.
"We got a little panicky in terms of the types of shots we were taken. We fell out of rhythm a little bit, and I give Santa Clara credit for that.
(About Santa Clara) "Their execution and sharpness late was the difference.
"I think paint points has been a number we circle off on the stat sheet every night and tonight is not any different.
"Our plan of doubling Niesen early was effective.
"They found an answer to what we were trying to do as the game went on and I give coach Davey credit for that.
"We put ourselves in a position to be successful, but some of those shots didn't fall.
Portland Guard Pooh Jeter
"We didn't really play as a team. Santa Clara seemed like that wanted it more. We should have that same kind of attitude.
"We weren't executing on our end."