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March 12, 2016

Mark Fox

J.J. Frazier

Yante Maten

Nashville, Tennessee

Kentucky - 93, Georgia - 80

THE MODERATOR: We're ready to begin with Georgia.

COACH FOX: It was a very competitive game. I was proud of my team for the effort that they gave, and we just couldn't close it. So we leave here with a hard-fought defeat.

Q. J.J., what happened to your ankle, and how much was it bothering you down that last 10, 15 minutes of the game?
J.J. FRAZIER: I was on a break. I made a move and planted wrong, rolled a little bit. And I just couldn't get it loose again. It didn't really affect me too much, but I just wasn't feeling right.

Q. For both guys, did you feel like you all played almost about as well as you could have but Kentucky just had so much?
J.J. FRAZIER: I feel like Kentucky's a great team, and they made plays at crucial times, and we didn't make enough. That's part of basketball. It goes like that sometimes.

YANTE MATEN: I think we were doing just about as well as we could do on offense. I think our shot selection was pretty on point, but we just needed to get some more stops, and we didn't do it.

Q. For both players, especially in the first half, able to score 49. How pivotal was those substitution patterns that Coach was implementing for you all? How beneficial was that for you all today?
YANTE MATEN: That was really beneficial because, me personally, I was pretty tired, and Coach was trying to get our lungs and our legs ready to play a good portion of the second half. So it was really pivotal.

J.J. FRAZIER: The pattern kept us fresh as possible, as long as we could. It was a good game plan, and it kept us fresh until the bitter end. Like Yante said, we just couldn't get stops when we needed to.

Q. This being you guys' third game in as many days, how much did fatigue sort of set in during that last ten minutes of the game?
J.J. FRAZIER: A little bit, but it didn't affect us too much to not get stops. We just didn't make the necessary plays at the end.

YANTE MATEN: Me personally, I was more tired the second game than I was this game. So I don't think our condition was a problem at the very end. We just needed to make stops, as simple as that.

Q. What more can you say about your team with guys like Turtle and Houston hitting that big shot? I know you weren't able to close the game, but to be able to put up that kind of -- that effort and fight against a team like Kentucky.
COACH FOX: I love our team, and our team has great character, great competitive spirit, and we made a lot of plays until about the last eight minutes. So I think that we felt like this was a game we could and should win, and we didn't. We just couldn't close it. But I was really proud of the effort we gave.

Q. How sort of similar does this feel to the game when last year they came to Stegeman and played them close and just couldn't finish it out?
COACH FOX: I don't know. I guess it feels similar in many ways. I guess it feels similar. They have a great team. They really have a great team, and they're playing well. But I guess there's some similarities there.

Q. Coach, what do you think was the big turning point in the game?
COACH FOX: We just weren't able to get our defense stabilized, and they were in a one and one. So we just got a little bit on our heels because we didn't want to send them to the foul line as much, and our defense just wasn't as good in the last seven or eight minutes. We couldn't get the stops that we needed to get.

Q. Do you think J.J.'s injury played into that towards the end of the game, having to leave?
COACH FOX: We won't say that. We have to give Kentucky credit for playing very well. We're not going to say that we were fatigued and we were hurt. We didn't get enough stops at the end of the game. It is obviously challenging to play late and turn around and play in the afternoon, and we've done it three years in a row, but Kentucky beat us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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