Gonzaga 83, Santa Clara 81
Jan. 11, 2002
Postgame quotes following Santa Clara's 83-81 loss at 18th-ranked Gonzaga
Head Coach Dick Davey
"Obviously, Gonzaga is at a little better level than we are at this stage. We are hoping by the end of the year we are going to be able to play with them. We wanted to take (the inside) part of the game away from them as much as we could. But, you know it is hard to take that part of the game away from them. They are really tough inside. Particularly, in the second half, Zach (Gourde) did a great job getting the ball and scoring on us. They can hurt you both ways. They can hurt you outside and they can hurt you inside.
"(Steve) can really get it going at times. He has the ability to make shots. Obviously, we hope he can keep making 38 points a game. Tonight was one of those games when it went in a little more than at other times.
"I like playing in this type of environment. It helps make our team grow and you find out a little bit about what the team is about. I see (playing in front of a tough crowd) as a postive experience. I really appreciate the Gonzaga fan support. I think they do a really great job. I think down the road it will help us.
"(On second half run)We really wanted to get open shots. They prevented us from really doing that a lot in the first half. We were looking for quality shots and we were looking to do as well as we could on the boards. We ran a couple of things in the second half, but so did Gonzaga. We have a pretty solid knowledge of each other.
"(On outrebounding Gonzaga, the top rebounding team in the nation) Sometimes the ball just bounces right for you. You never know. We work hard at rebounding and it worked out tonight in that respect.
"We are starting to mature as a team a little more now. We are playing a little harder. We were really playing soft (the first half of the year). We are playing with more purpose. We are starting to understand how to play the game a little better, intellegence-wise. We are still not where we want to be, but we are getting closer. We lost some pretty important guys from last year, but I think Brian Vaka and Kyle Bailey are each showing some of the leadership characteristics that our teams needs right now from its leaders."
Senior Forward Steve Ross
"It's not important what happens to me individually. What matters is what the final score is. Tonight we came up a little short and that is really disappointing. This is the second time I've played here. Last year, I was a little affected by the crowd. This year, I just told myself the crowd was going to be here and I need to do my best to put it out of my mind and focus on the five guys on the court.
"We feel we have a pretty good gameplan. With every team we play, the coaches have a great gameplan in mind. We did an average job of doing what we were supposed to do tonight. We will get better at executing a gameplan and our chances (for success) will increase.
"I think every game I have some pretty good chances to get good looks (at the basket). Sometimes, and I am probably the biggest culprit, we take shots that we probably shouldn't. Tonight, I shot some that I probably shouldn't. But, I felt like the ball was going in and I had a good chance for success and the ball went in the basket."