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March 8, 2017

Derek Kellogg

Luwane Pipkins

Zach Lewis

C.J. Anderson

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

UMASS - 70, Saint Joe's - 63

DEREK KELLOGG: I'm pretty happy with our team today having to play a tough Saint Joe's team for the third time, come away with a victory that was right down to the end. I thought we played a great stretch in the second half and then they made some great plays to get back in the game.

So a well-fought college basketball game. I love the environment out there. I thought it was a fantastic arena with a great crowd, support for our game and our team and we're excited to go after St. Bonaventure again tomorrow. That's it.

Q. Austin, does it feel to you like you guys got a little tight in the second half when you got the lead?
C.J. ANDERSON: You could say that. I felt like we got a little complacent. We saw the lead and we was trying to slow the ball down. Felt like we could have kept attacking them but that's pretty much it.

Q. Zach, did it feel like you should have kept attacking more at that point?
ZACH LEWIS: Definitely. That's the toughest part of a game when you have a big lead and we're looking at the same, so we're waiting for the time to go down but be aggressive and score. That's just a tough part for any team really.

Q. You guys have been in conference tournaments before, and you win today, but obviously have a quick turnaround now against St. Bonaventure. How you do you prepare for that and getting yourself ready to play a game in 12, 18 hours from now?
ZACH LEWIS: It's survive and advance. It's all-or-nothing. That's why we're here. We've been preparing for it and we're ready for this moment, so now we're just trying to win and keep it going.

C.J. ANDERSON: I've been saying the same thing, as soon as we got in the locker room, just stay focused and locked in there for the next game.

Q. I just wanted to hear from you, about your freshman class, and kind of how things were at the beginning of the season and what they are like now, just on the court, off the court, how has that class grown to this point?
LUWANE PIPKINS: Beginning of the season, we was mature kind of, on and off the court, but as the season went on, we got deeper in the season, we matured more on and off the court. Now we just have to keep it out on the court and win this conference tournament.

Q. Does Dede (ph) owe you anything for making the free throws after he put one in the wrong basket? Is there anything that he has to do to you now to make up for that?
ZACH LEWIS: We got to the locker room and I said, that's going to be Shaq (indiscernible)(laughing) excited to get the win, so we're just ready to go.

Q. Does winning a game like this, the way that this game went, are there good lessons to be taken from it when you still get a win?
ZACH LEWIS: Yeah, definitely, from every game there's always going to be lessons, always something to get better at. But right now, our biggest thing is survive and advance, so we're happy to survive.

Q. Did you know you got a thousand points in the game?
ZACH LEWIS: Cody just told me.

Q. Do you feel relieved after that?
DEREK KELLOGG: Absolutely. To see -- you know, we've had some strange things happen this season on the court, some things haven't gone our way and when Decky (ph) kind of knocked the ball in for them, and the three, I was like, wow.

So to come away with a win, after a couple of those things that happened, there's some relief. But also, I think these guys deserved it. We talked about, you know, once you kind of felt like we definitely weren't in the race to win the league or whatever, we felt like, let's get ready for the end of the year and also tournament play where we're playing at a better clip and playing together and everybody seems pretty energized and still with it. You come here to Pittsburgh and you give it a great effort.

Q. Was the way you were playing up until of the offense -- was that what you're hoping to be for as long as this tournament goes?
DEREK KELLOGG: Absolutely. As long as in a game of 40 minutes that we can play that way, I'm kind of mushing for.

Q. How much did Luwane give you a lift with the three-pointers?
DEREK KELLOGG: It's nice. I like shooting threes. I like it play faster and make some threes and shoot them. When they go in, it's much better than playing fast and not have them go in. So seeing Luwane make some and a few of the other guys, it was good. And Zach Lewis was 1-for-7. If he makes a couple of those, I think we're in better shape.

Q. You heard me ask Zach and C.J. about the quick turnaround. How quickly will you turn the page, and look ahead to St. Bonaventure and how does your preparation change?
DEREK KELLOGG: There's not that much preparation. Luckily, I think we played them six days ago. So there's not much as far as, I know they know game plan. The good thing is we play a lot of players and we've done that all year. One guy played 35 but everybody else was under 30, and sometimes it's not all bad for a quick turnaround.

We've played in the tournament before, advanced a few games, and that third game we were a little tired a few years back but also felt like the team was energized and ready to go. Each team is different. I think my team wants to come and play. I think they will be engaged and want to compete and go against a very good St. Bonaventure team who has beaten us twice.

Q. Was there a game where Holloway, a few less shots and minutes, why was that the case?
DEREK KELLOGG: We've kind of spread out a little bit throughout the last, whatever, and once we went man, we had to go smaller because they were playing four kind of perimeter guys and one big. And our rotation, I thought Chris Baldwin was playing fantastic, and I didn't really want to take him out of the game defensively. But then Rashaan made a couple easy baskets on the offensive end.

So sometimes you weigh the defense versus the offense, and it just so happened that he only played 14 minutes but had eight points and I thought he gave us a decent boost.

Q. Last time you guys played St. Bonaventure, you did a good job keeping Mobley and Adams in check. What's the key to doing that again tomorrow?
DEREK KELLOGG: That's a good question, because in the second half, Jaylen was fantastic the other day against us at St. Bonny's.

I think we just have to pay constant attention to those two. They average 40 points a game, they get to the free throw line, they make threes and they score in transition; and are about as tough a duo, not only in our league but college basketball for the production they put up. I think when they have the ball, everybody is on high alert, pay attention and make them drive into the guts of our defense.

Q. When you look back on the start of this season with the group that you had, it was young and you had a talented freshman class. What would you say at this point, hey, you know, I knew we were going to go through some of these pains and whatever, early, but we've improved here, we've done this. What are some of those things now as you get to this point where people can get excited and energized about this young group that has made some great plays at times?
DEREK KELLOGG: They have. I mean, I think consistency has gotten better from maybe, we only turned the ball over ten times tonight. I've had guys that are freshmen turn it over eight themselves, maybe nine, and you can't really win college games with that.

But you've also got to go through those growing pains and some of the maturity process if you're going to get them to where you want them to be. They are closer. I mean, Chris Baldwin is playing more. I think Bryson is playing more. Ty is playing more.

So those guys are finally getting some minutes to improve. But I will say it's tough when there's five or six of them. You know, you're plugging one in at a time, so that you don't have two guys doing the same thing on the floor. But you know, at times tonight, we had four of them out there in basically a playoff game.

They have come a long way, but the good thing is I think they have got a long, long way to go but they are maturing pretty quickly and I think they are going to play good basketball because it's tournament time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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