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March 13, 2015

Jarvis Garrett

Dan Hurley

E.C. Matthews



COACH HURLEY:  Great regular season for us coming into this game.  We were obviously excited about the opportunity to play in the quarterfinals, get some rest, because we knew the quality of team that we were going to be playing here.  Obviously strong feeling that GW would be able to advance and meet us here on Friday.
I thought our defense today was as good as it's been, especially in the second half of the game, as it's been all year.  You know, huge credit to our players.  I thought our young players were brilliant today.  I thought E.C. was brilliant.  I thought Jarvis was brilliant.
It was a great win for our program, and now we get an opportunity to play on semifinal Saturday here, which it's a great thrill for us.  Obviously Dayton is obviously a tough, tough, tough opponent.
But for our program, it was huge to win today and get to Saturday.

Q.  I think it was 39‑39 and four free throws and you counter with an 8‑0 run and seems like the defense went to another level.  Did you feel a change energy‑wise on this team at that point?
E.C. MATTHEWS:  I apologize for the technical foul.  Yeah, Coach was preaching that we had to get stops and it was going to come on the offensive end, and we feed off making stops.
So, you know, Hass, T.J., everybody else on the floor, they did a great job of rebounding, and we went from there.

Q.  It's been a long time coming for you guys.  How does it feel to not only win this but being the two guys to step up when it mattered?
JARVIS GARRETT:  Just have to thank my teammates.  My teammates helped me do it.  They kept giving me the ball when I was open.  They kept trusting in me.
E.C. MATTHEWS:  Like he said, this was a team win and everybody had a part in it.  It wasn't just us two.  I'm happy we get to play another game and I get to play with these guys here; I love 'em.

Q.  Tough stretch in the second half, like you were saying.  How do you battle through that, battle through the foul trouble, battle through the frustration?
E.C. MATTHEWS:  Just keep composure.  We've been there before we've been to a lot of tough games.  I've got good teammates and good coaches, but just keep telling everybody, going to be okay.  They are going to make runs but it's how we respond and we stay together, and we got stops.

Q.  Seemed that the pace of game was very scrappy, especially when you got the technical foul, seems like it could have done either way.  How do you keep your teammates from keeping composure and ultimately come out with the win?
E.C. MATTHEWS:  Yeah, it was scrappy.  Both teams want to win badly so we can advance in the tournament.
But like I said, just kept our composure and they was going to make runs and we responded well, and our defense won it for us, making free throws?

Q.  Last year the game against UMASS, you guys are in the second half and the heat got turned up similarly.  Turned into a very physical, defensive game.  This year, you guys had the answers.  What was the difference?
E.C. MATTHEWS:  Been there before.  We were freshmen last year; we're sophomores now.  We have great freshmen and we have got T.J. who is a great leader, and Gil, and Coach Hurley.  So like I said, just keeping our composure.  We are going to win the gameif we got stops and we did that, and free throws.

Q.  At the end of the first half, you had two big threes and a couple free throws.  What were your thoughts?  You guys were down six at the time.
JARVIS GARRETT:  I hit those shots and kept believing in myself.  First three didn't go in but everybody kept telling me, just keep shooting.  If it's there, just shoot it.

Q.  Last year, very similar environment against UMASS in the second half and this year you come good.  What was the difference?
COACH HURLEY:  We're a better team.  We're better, obviously, than we were last year.  We've developed during the course of the year, obviously coming into the game with 21 regular season wins, our team has a belief in themselves that we haven't had the past couple years because we just haven't been a very good team.  We've been building to get to this point.
I thought Jarvis, you know, we had that stretch‑‑ forget the technical foul stuff in the second half.  I just thought Jarvis there, we were taking water in the first half.  We had major foul trouble and multiple key players with two.
Those two threes he hit in the first half, I think for me, what were the difference in the game, even just two shots like that in the first half, just kept us close going into halftime.  And then we played that lockdown defense.

Q.  You said all week defense was the focus.  Was this the kind of effort you were looking for?
COACH HURLEY:  Yeah, sometimes when you're in‑season and you're playing sometimes three games in six days, you know, you get late in the year; two brutal conference games a week in this league.  The quality of this league is hard.  So you end up practicing less as the season goes on.  Your fundamentals on defense get worse.
By the end of the year, we were just trying to hang on and keep the guys rested.  The fact that we were able to have a great regular season and get the bye all the way to Friday allowed us really, starting on Tuesday, Monday into Tuesday, to start doing a lot of the fundamental defensive drills that we had not been able to do just because you can't practice real long late in the year.

Q.  How great was it to have your dad in the crowd?  He gives that you emotional lift I'm quite sure‑‑
COACH HURLEY:  Probably more my mom.  She was yelling stuff when we were missing free throws.  I heard her a lot.
It's a neat thing for me.  I got raised in the game.  This has been my life and I know he's proud of his sons, not just‑‑ I don't think just obviously the winning, but the way we run our programs, the way our players compete for us.  I'm proud that he's a proud dad.

Q.  Could you talk a little about the quick turnaround for your team now?
COACH HURLEY:  Quick turnaround, obviously tomorrow is an exciting opportunity for us against Dayton.  Obviously there's going to be a ton of emotion, a ton of energy for us.  It's semifinal Saturday.  You know, I don't think that that turnaround will be any type of factor for us.
The bigger issue for us is how good Dayton is.

Q.  The two T's, any team could have unraveled at that point.  What kind of mental toughness did your guys show?
COACH HURLEY:  Two things.  I'm obviously an intense coach.  My technical, I felt like, you know, I wasn't obviously pleased with the call, and I was really walking away from the play.  I'm not going to sit here and tell you I tried to get that one.  I didn't want that one; I was trying to head in the other direction.
Listen, conference tournament time, I watched these games on TV.  This is an intense time for coaches and players.  There's a lot at stake here.  We're very emotional, we're very intense.  These games are played at a life‑or‑death type of feel to it.
So the technicals were obviously disappointing.  We wish we didn't get them.  But I love the way our team, I think they reflect me and they reflect each other with just how hard they play, how all‑out intense they compete.  I'm proud of them.

Q.  Bobby got a technical tonight, too.
COACH HURLEY:  Did he?  Again, I watch‑‑ I've been watching these conference tournaments.  I watched the game last night.  These are intense games.  The coaches and the players have a lot on the line, and I think that that should probably be considered a little bit.  Both our teams won, too, right.

Q.  On that note, with Bobby having gotten to the championship game, if you were to advance, as well, what would it mean for you and your brother to both potentially make the Tournament together?
COACH HURLEY:  Obviously it would feel great for us.  But I think we think more about T.J. Buchanan and Gil Biruta, what it would mean to them; Gil having been at Rutgers, and then leaving that situation.  T.J., having 29 total wins in his first three years, I think about those two and what it would mean to them.
I think about what it would mean to our university, our state, our community.  And a fan base that I think has been dying for a program that can really elevate and create this type of excitement.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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