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March 8, 2017

Cuonzo Martin

Stephen Domingo

Jabari Bird

Las Vegas, Nevada

CAL - 67, Oregon State - 62

THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement and then questions.

COACH MARTIN: We thought it would be a hard-fought game. All year long Oregon State has battled. They've competed. They've played well. I just think for the league it's a tough thing to experience. Those guys are of moving forward with so many young, talented players.

I thought it was a great finish for that team, the way they finished this last game, how they competed. So going into the spring and summer, I think that those teams will be one of the better teams in our league. And Wayne does a tremendous job.

But we knew it would be tough just finding a way to win, get the rust off us. Felt like we were playing with a 15-pound-weight vest on our backs. We found a way to get the win, and now we can move forward.

Q. Cuonzo, Stephen didn't play against Colorado in Boulder. What was the decision-making that he played such an important role today?
COACH MARTIN: I think Stephen is one of the few guys I've been around, whether as a player and a coach, that when he hasn't played, he still comes in ready prepared. He spends a lot of time working on his craft. He doesn't get down on himself, because there are a lot of guys that don't play and you can see it.

But in Stephen's case, you would think he's a starter with his energy and practice. That's what happens. That's how he got in the game, because of his preparation. That's a sign as a program. You always say stay ready. You never know when an opportunity will present itself, and it presented itself and he was ready. Not surprised, because, again, his preparation and his energy has paid off for him in practice, and it carried over into the game.

Q. Jabari, with about 10:30 to go, you and Charlie hit those back-to-back threes. When they called timeout, you kind of gave a little fist pump, and it was just a hint of a smile on your face. What were you thinking at that point?
JABARI BIRD: I mean, it's just me and him having good chemistry on the court. He found me for a good shot and he just hit one, so we were feeling pretty excited about what's happening. That's all. It was just two teammates coming together, celebrating a sequence.

Q. Jabari, could you talk about the play where Manuel had that pretty open three it looked like from the left corner about a minute to go, and it was an air ball and you leaked out and ended up with that old-fashioned three-point play?
JABARI BIRD: That was a great play by King, because he threw the pass to me. I ran out, he made a great play to throw to me, and I finished the play strong. Got a three-point play, so that was cool.

Q. Stephen, you're one point away from your season high, you've been struggling with the three ball, and you went 2-for-5 tonight. What was feeling good today for you?
STEPHEN MANUEL: Just was ready for the opportunity, ready to step in. I've been in the gym. I've put work into my craft, and you have to trust your craft at this time of the year. It's win or go home, so that's all you've got to do is trust your craft.

Q. Coach Martin, it was a rough first half for Ivan shooting the ball 1-for-7. It seemed like he kind of calmed down a little bit in the second half. What did you see from him on the offensive end?
COACH MARTIN: I thought he settled. I thought he's 4-for-11, but I thought he still passed up some opportunities in the second half. I thought he was two feet from the rim, and he passed it out to Charlie for a three.

But that's the type of guy he is. But he has to shoot those balls. I think the thing that probably slowed him up, he didn't see the double in the first half, so now he's just making one-on-one moves, getting back, used to playing the one-on-one against a guy. He just missed some shots that he normally makes. But I think settling in and being more assertive in the second half and having a presence was the difference.

Q. Coach was talking about feeling like you were playing with weight on your shoulders. Did you guys feel that way after the last five or six games of the way the regular season went?
JABARI BIRD: Definitely. You lose five out of six, that's obviously rough. And you lose back-to-back to end the year, we were kind of feeling it a little bit. But coming into Vegas, everybody's zero and zero, so we had to put that behind us and move forward. I'm just happy we got the W today and look forward to tomorrow.

Q. Coach, you said there may have been something missing last time you guys played Utah. Obviously you face them next up. What do you do over the next 24 hours?
COACH MARTIN: Same thing we always do, watch film. We'll be fine. It was our worst game all season at Utah. Give them credit. We didn't play well. Sweep it under the rug, watch that film in June and July.

But we'll go over tonight what we didn't do. The plus about that, we just didn't play well as a team. It's not as if four or five guys played great, some guys struggled. We didn't play well as a team. Learn from it, move forward. We'll clip the film and go from there. We'll be ready.

Q. Jabari, with facing Utah tomorrow again, coming off that 30-point loss, be how much added motivation is there for you guys to come out and put forth a better effort in that game?
JABARI BIRD: It's not added motivation, it's a game in March that we need to win, so that's enough motivation right there. But, I mean, Utah's a great team, and like I said before, we're looking forward to the challenge.

Q. Cuonzo, the first Utah game they played mostly that match-up zone they use, and in Utah, the game in Salt Lake City, they played man pretty much the whole game. So how do you prepare for that game since you don't really know?
COACH MARTIN: Well, we still approach it, even in a match, we approach it like it's a man. We don't run zone plays against it, so it's the same way. We just again didn't play well. But if they play man, I think that's great. But they're both the same, really, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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