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March 29, 2016

Steve Fisher

Winston Spencer

Skylar Spencer

New York, New York

George Washington - 65, San Diego State - 46

COACH FISHER: Tonight did in the turnout quite the way we had anticipated, thought or hoped for. Our opponent, George Washington, had a lot to do with that and we had a lot to do with it. We didn't play particularly well. In fact, we didn't play well. They played very well. They were part of the reason we didn't play well.

And for that I feel bad, especially for our seniors who have done so much for me and for San Diego State and for our program. To have it end on a note that -- it's one thing to go out where you know you played well, and then you just lose. But tonight, we didn't play well. But again, I want to say, George Washington was superb in what they did and how they did it, and I congratulate them.

We have played really, really good basketball of late. And we couldn't make a basket. I think that affected us at the defensive end some and we got 15 behind and they maintained, and when it looked like we had a chance, when we got a basket and a stop, we couldn't get that next basket to give ourselves a chance to feel like we had some momentum.

So we're going home, and I'm going to reflect back on the ride home about the marvelous season we had with 28 wins and 16-2 in our league and a three-game spread in our league and all the good things that happened. And the leadership that we had with these two guys, starting with Winston, who has grown into a man; and Skylar, who is the consummate team player.

So we will miss them and what they have done, and we will forgive and not forget. We will be determined, have another opportunity and perform on a stage the way we know we can perform.

Q. Is this just one of those games that just happened or do you have any explanation for why you guys played the way you did?
SKYLAR SPENCER: It was just a bad game at the wrong time. We've been playing really good basketball lately and shots have been falling, and one of the biggest games of the year, we couldn't buy a bucket. Just real bad timing.

WINSTON SHEPARD: Hats off to George Washington. They played really well. Feel bad, like I let the team down, and got to use this for motivation next time.

Q. Their coached talked a lot about their 1-3-1, which he admitted they didn't plan to play but their point guard was had you ever had and they had to hide him with his ankle; the idea was they wanted you to keep shooting threes. Did you feel you were unable to get the ball further inside or was that the best option?
WINSTON SHEPARD: We had some good looks. We just didn't make them. I think a lot of those shots the past month we've been making. Just missed some shots at the wrong time. I thought my teammates did a good job getting in spots, found them. Myself, I was 3-for-13, so I didn't make enough shots. That's just the way the ball bounce sometimes.

Q. Their 1-3-1, why did you guys struggle so much against it?
COACH FISHER: I thought that we had some really good looks, from both three-point range and in and around the rim. And you've got to make them. You have to find a way to get a basket. If I go back and look and say, okay, how many of those shots would I say I wished they hadn't taken them, there would be a handful probably.

But for the most part, Malik's threes were good looks. Trey's were good looks. Matt Shrigley's were wide-open looks. So I would say that we took -- in the second half, I thought we did a good job of playing through Winston and the high post and he made some passes out for some guys that had open looks, and you have to be able to make one or two to stretch them out a little bit to give you chances.

We did try to drive it, and the times we drove it a little bit out of control on some of the shots we took. We struggled to do anything offensively. There's no question about that. But we struggled defensively, too, and we've not done that -- we've not given up as many off-ball, back-screens, layups, that sort of thing, in a long time. We're usually really alert.

I think our inability to make shots affected our concentration at the other end, and all of a sudden you've got a snowball going downhill that turns into a gigantic glacier as it builds up steam, and that's what happened.

Q. You mentioned what you will remember about this season. How hard is it when you lose a game like this to keep things in perspective and not keep this sort of bitter taste in your mouth and let it define the season?
COACH FISHER: I just can't define the season. This is our last game. This was on a big stage in Madison Square Garden. We were immensely excited to be a part of it. And we thought we were going to win. We thought we were the better team and we weren't, and we didn't.

To me, it doesn't take away what I've seen from way back in October when we started to what we did when we struggled in the non-conference to how we righted the ship and banded together and had guys like Winston and Skylar lead this team to a wonderful conference season.

We played poorly. It's that simple. Again, I want to come back: George Washington had a lot to do with us playing poorly. They sliced and diced us at our defensive end and put us in positions that put us a little bit out of character. It wasn't just us; it was them.

But if you let up just a little bit, teams like that will have an opportunity to do it, but you have to make some baskets, and 6-for-25 in the first half, and then we had some chances in the second half but we just couldn't get two scores together. And if you can't do that when you're 15-down, you're going to stay 15-down. Smart enough to know that.

Q. Just to go off the last question, I know you haven't really had a lot of time to reflect on the season so far, but what's one thing in particular you'll tell this group of seniors about this year in general?
COACH FISHER: I already told them. I told them in the locker room. Hold your head up high. Reflect back on all the great things you accomplished. I just went over some of the things that we have done: We won 28 games; we had an extremely difficult non-conference season; we got to the NIT semifinals and we played poorly. But we had a wonderful season, and that's what I'll reflect on.

I'll be determined just like our players need to be determined. We want to find a way when we're in this situation the next time to bore back and find a to be playing in that Thursday night game and winning the Championship.

But I'll reflect back nothing but good thoughts about this team when I think about what they have done for San Diego State basketball, for our city and for the pride of this program that's become very good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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