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March 9, 2016

Stephen Thompson

Malcolm Duvivier

Gary Payton II

Las Vegas, Nevada

Oregon State - 75, Arizona State - 66

THE MODERATOR: We'll have assistant coach Stephen Thompson take over for an ailing Wayne Tinkle. Coach, could you summarize the game?

COACH THOMPSON: Well, it was kind of a must-win for us tonight. It was a hard-fought game, and we take our hat off to Arizona State. They came in and battled, and it wasn't easy. I just think our guys fought. They had the will to win and they just stayed with it. It wasn't a thing of beauty, but they kept a hard hat on and we kept fighting until we could get some cushion there down in the end. We made some big free throws and came up with the stops when we needed it.

They shot 36% from the field, and that's getting back to the numbers we used to have last year, so it was great to see our guys rally and give that defensive performance that they gave tonight.

Q. Gary, I believe you were scoreless at halftime, but altogether this team just balanced all across. What did that say about the team effort today?
GARY PAYTON II: It's just we're finally getting that chemistry we've been looking for throughout the year. Like Coach said, we're going to peak at the right time, and everybody bit in down the stretch, and just stepping up, basically.

Q. Gary, do you guys feel like this one gets you in or do you need to beat Cal? Do you take the mindset of what's next for you guys?
GARY PAYTON II: I don't see any reason why we can't keep winning. It doesn't hurt us if we keep winning, so we're just going to leave no doubt and go out there and play and of course try to win.

Q. How is Coach Tinkle feeling right now?
COACH THOMPSON: Yeah, he's really sick, and I'm really proud of the fact that he even came out. It just shows to the character and the toughness that he has that he even coached tonight's ballgame. Our guys needed him, and he knew it, and he just was determined to get out there and do it. So he's pretty sick, so he's going to get some rest tonight, and I know he'll be ready to go again tomorrow night.

Q. Malcolm, you guys started the first half and second half with three straight three-pointers. Seemed like that got you going in the start of both halves?
MALCOLM DUVIVIER: Yeah, we've just got to continue to shoot the ball. Whenever we had a lot of guys contributing, and we have to be the aggressor. So when those shots come, you've got to be ready and knock them down.

Q. Looking down the stat sheet it was offense by committee especially in the first half before it felt like a couple guys were able to get rolling. What was the discussion in huddles, timeouts, on the floor, about trying to get everybody going and yet still it's just a couple guys with a couple points here, couple points there in the first half?
COACH THOMPSON: Well, at this stage of the season, all hands on deck. We need everybody to contribute, and we had some great contributions off the bench early. I look here, Jarmal Reid, ten points, big G, six points, and Langston in the first half, four points.

So it was great. I mean, that bench lifted us, and we need that. Here on out you're going to need it. When you start getting to this time, everybody knows what you can do. You're scouted and they try to take away your main options. I think somebody asked a question earlier, Gary was scoreless in the first half, so other guys had to step up and that's what it takes to win it this time of the year.

Malcolm came in in double figures as well. Guys stepped up. It was a great team effort. One of our best team efforts of the whole season, offensively and defensively.

Q. Coach, you split with Cal this year, didn't you?

Q. What do you think about tomorrow?
COACH THOMPSON: Well, just like Gary said, why not? We split with them, and now we're going to win this game tomorrow. It's going to be a tough game. They're a really good team. They finish really well down the stretch. I think they are number one in defense in our conference, so we know it's a battle. It's going to be a war. They're sitting there watching us tonight, so they're well-rested.

But at this time I don't think it matters. We're going to go out and give it a fight and we're looking to come out on top.

Q. Coach, you played a lot of zone tonight. Do you think you can do that tomorrow night against Cal?
COACH THOMPSON: We'll see. We'll mix it up. I thought tonight we actually played the last couple games a little more man than what we normally played. So we'll mix it up and see what's working, and see how we can shut them down. But you'll see a combination of defenses.

Q. I know you split the series with Cal this year, but when you look back on that home win against the Golden Bears, what went well for you guys during that game?
COACH THOMPSON: We played tough. They're a big, physical, strong team, and we just matched their physicality. We matched their intensity and we just played them really tough. That was another good team win that we had against them. We're going to have to have that effort again tomorrow night.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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