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Dec. 28, 2006

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Santa Clara Head Coach Dick Davey

On the game:

"The offense played okay, but I was really discouraged with our offensive efficiency tonight. We were sloppy, almost to a man; each guy had his moments of taking us out of what we were trying to do and hopefully we get something out of it, but defensively I thought we played really well at times.

On holding Colgate's John Simon to only three points:

"We chased him pretty well, and we've been doing that reasonably well with other teams' leading scorers, except for against Kentucky."

On heading into tomorrow's championship game:

"I'm not going to be able to anticipate what George Washington or Air Force have in terms of ability, but I would like to think that if we play like we did tonight then we're going to have some trouble."

"The two teams playing in the next game are high quality teams and they are going to make it very difficult to play with the same execution that we had tonight."

Santa Clara Center John Bryant:

On scoring 10 points underneath:

"We were trying to get the ball inside, and we were doing a good job of it, so we kept trying to take advantage of it."

On getting the win:

"It's a victory but yeah the game was kind of messy, kind of sloppy, we need to come out hard tomorrow. We know we have to play hard tomorrow, because if we don't, then obviously we'll lose."

Santa Clara Guard Calvin Johnson:

On his 10-point, 4-of-7 shooting performance:

"I felt good tonight, a lot of the time I was the open man, and I just put it up. I mean, you have to put shots up to make them. We're a good team, we know how to move the ball around and get it to the right people. The times that it got around to me, I had the look so I just put it up and it was going in."

Colgate Head Coach Emmit Davis:

On the game:

"We didn't shoot the ball very well, but we did a much better job defensively in the second half, limiting Santa Clara to only 39% shooting. But when you dig yourself a 13-point hole at halftime, its tough to come back from that. Looking at their stats before the game, they're 9-0 whenever they shoot a better field-goal percentage than their opponents, so that bodes well for them."

On Santa Clara's height playing a role in the rebounding battle:

"I thought it played a role at times, but they were also getting some of those bounce-around rebounds that were going to the guards. Bryant's obviously a big kid and he grabbed nine rebounds, but Pariseau got five, and he's only averaging about three or four a game. We just didn't do good enough of a job or pay enough attention to detail on our box outs. They are a good rebounding team."

On getting the team ready for tomorrow's game:

"It's a quick turnaround, and both George Washington and Air Force are great teams, so we just have to prepare as best as we can, because it's a strong tournament."

Colgate Forward Kendall Chones:

On the rebounding battle:

"With the size of Santa Clara's guys, we just tried to do the best we can in pushing them out from underneath. They have some heavy bodies, and its hard to jump over them to the basket. We obviously want to try to put a body on them, but we didn't do a very good job of that tonight."

On the team bouncing back in tomorrow's game after shooting only 34%:

"We just need to execute better on offense. I think we did a good job in holding them to only 53 points, but we should be able to get more than 39 points, so hopefully we can execute better tomorrow."


Air Force Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik:

Regarding how the second half went as opposed to the first:

"It's hard to simulate that in practice, I think our guys became more aggressive. We had six turnovers in the second half as opposed to eight in the first, we were a little bit more aggressive, more solid defensively, we were just a little bit better in every area."

On George Washington's defensive play:

"Again, you cant simulate the length and the quickness that they have in practice, but still, we shot 50% from the floor and 55% in the first half. We found a way."

On opening the second half with a 10-0 run:

"[The second-half-opening run] gave us a little separation, which is always a good thing."

On the win:

"It's a huge win because George Washington has been having and is going to have a great year, and you just need to keep trying to win as many games as you can. That's the objective. This was a quality, quality win."

On facing Santa Clara in the championship game:

"Santa Clara is an extremely well-coached and disciplined basketball team. They are rock-solid in all positions, they don't beat themselves, and they are big, strong and physical."

Air Force Guard Tim Anderson:

On the win:

"It's a big win for us, especially coming back from the break, it gets us started off on the right foot. To play Santa Clara tomorrow night is a great opportunity for us to keep our momentum going."

On the tight first half:

"We were expecting a good team, and they switched up a lot of defenses on us, trying to get some mismatches, and it worked for a while, but in the second half I think we caught on and got better from there."

Air Force Forward Dan Nwaelele:

On the second-half adjustments that led to the win:

"Coach came into the locker room and told us we were in good shape, only down by one. It was a time for us to keep our composure and come out strong in the second half."

On his second-half performance (14 points):

"Coaches kept telling us to be more aggressive, and that's what I was trying to do out there. I was getting open, so when I was getting it I was just trying to be aggressive and go to the hoop, try to shoot outside, and do everything."

George Washington Head Coach Karl Hobbs:

On Air Force:

"In my years of coaching, they were probably the most well-disciplined, balanced team that I've ever coached against. They remind me of a little bit of the West Virginia team we played a few years back. They were just so impressive, and play with a great deal of poise."

On the game:

"I thought we did some very good things in the first half. We did a terrific job attacking their matchup zone, we kept them off-balance a little bit, but we weren't able to maintain that level of focus for the second 20 minutes. I thought we lost the game in the first five minutes of the second half. That was the difference tonight."

On George Washington's performance:

"I thought we got some really good looks, but they were having a good day. What makes them so good is that when we made a mistake, they capitalized on the other end."

On GW's speed and quickness playing a role in the game:

"I thought we did a good job of playing to our advantages in the first half. We were really forcing them to have to make plays away from their regular offensive sets."

On playing a Top 25 team:

"Now we can go back to playing our style of basketball. Tonight they didn't really allow us to play the way I like to play. We had to have a separate game plan coming in."

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