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November 21, 2016

Brad Underwood

Phil Forte, III

Jawun Evans

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Oklahoma State - 98, UConn - 90

THE MODERATOR: Coach Underwood is joined by Jawun Evans and Phil Forte. We'll start with an opening statement.

COACH UNDERWOOD: Nine of their first 10 from three in the second half, I was concerned to say the least. I think we saw the fight that a Kevin Ollie team is going to have. Tough, tenacious. Had another little setback tonight with Terry going down.

But that team did not quit. I thought Rodney Purvis was off the chart. They get those kind of performances from the back court with he and Adams. They're playing a young group of guys and they fought tonight.

I thought we got off to a great start. I thought our defensive intensity was bothersome for them. And I love the fact we had 18 steals. That's a great number. That means we're being active and bothersome now.

We weren't very smart in terms of committing three fouls on a free throw or four fouls on a free throw, missed free throw. We gotta be smarter than that. Gave them opportunities to score with the clock off. But these two guys here to my left were outstanding. I thought they managed the game very well. And obviously it's disappointing that Phil missed a free throw. He doesn't do that very often. And then Jawun gets to the line 17 times. I think we lead the country in free throw attempts. And these two guys are awfully hard to guard and that's a great weapon.

So I am very pleased and the other big step for me is 61 field goal attempts. We had eight more field goal attempts than them. And that's partly in response to the 18 steals.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the players.

Q. Can you talk about your defensive effort?
JAWUN EVANS: Just being out there on defense and then transitioning to offense and scoring the bucket.

PHIL FORTE: Like Jawun said, giving up 90 points still is not what we're necessarily about. We have some things we have to finish and how to close the game and everything. But in a tournament a win is a win, so we survive and advance. We get ready to play a good team tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks. Questions for Coach.

Q. Oklahoma State was predicted to finish seventh in the Big 12. But you guys are undefeated. Do you feel that the team has been underestimated?
COACH UNDERWOOD: I think we have good players who are really good people who are trying to work really hard. I worry about all the predictions and the preseason stuff so little that I didn't even know we were picked seventh.

It's not something I pay attention to, to be quite honest. We try to get better every day. We beat a very good UConn team today, and tomorrow when you're in a tournament you don't get very long to enjoy it. You've got to bounce back and tomorrow we'll try to get a little better.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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