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March 17, 2017

Andy Enfield

Elijah Stewart

Chimezie Metu

Bennie Boatwright

Tulsa, Oklahoma

USC - 66, SMU - 65

COACH ENFIELD: We knew SMU is one of the best teams in the nation. We played them in November, and it's no different. They're 30-5. They went 26 out of 27 coming into tonight. They've had an outstanding season, and we really respect them.

We also think we have a very good basketball team. We just set the school record for wins at 26. We play in a very tough conference, the Pac-12, had a challenging schedule against some of the elite teams in the nation. And I thought our players showed tonight. It doesn't matter who we play, we're going to get down and then we're going to come back, and hopefully we'll pull it out.

But these three here and the rest of our team, very, very proud of them, and excited for Sunday's game against Baylor.

Q. Coach, it seemed like you all were working that corner three a lot throughout the day. Is there something you saw in film leading up to that that you thought might be an advantage for you all?
COACH ENFIELD: Well, we know that the way they give early help, they're one of the best defensive teams in the country and they have to give up something, so we thought the corner three would be there, and it was.

We just missed a lot of open ones in the first half and early in the second half. We made a couple big ones and then Elijah made a big one down the stretch. We ran the same play the possession before and we noticed the corner three was open in the right. So we ran the same play again and Jordan didn't hesitate. He threw a perfect strike to Elijah and he stepped up and made the perfect shot, biggest shot of his career.

Q. Elijah, Coach just described the shot. Will you tell us about it from your perspective?
ELIJAH STEWART: We ran the play previously before, and I was open. And then we had the media timeout came in. We discussed it. We ran the same play again, and I was open, and I just let muscle memory take place.

Q. Bennie, did you all get a sense that SMU's bigs were in foul trouble? It seemed like you all were starting to attack them once they picked up those third or fourth fouls?
BENNIE BOATWRIGHT: Yes, we knew they were only about six or seven players deep. So when we drove they didn't want to foul because they knew they needed to stay in the game. So throughout the game we knew we needed to attack them, and it worked out.

Q. Coach, what about what they were doing offensively led you all to stick with zone for most of that second half and why did that zone work?
COACH ENFIELD: Well, we played a lot of man, a lot of zone, and we went with zone most of the second half, at least the last ten minutes, because we were more active in it. We took their middle away and then the short corner, and we were rotating well out of it. So we gave up a few offensive rebounds early. But we noticed we could probably defend them better in zone than man, so we stayed with it and it kept working. And then they kept hitting shots at the end of the shot clock. I think they hit four or five at the end of the shot clock. And good players, they were tough shots. So just fortunate to find something that worked against a very good offensive team.

Q. Elijah, you guys tied the game like four times and they would bounce back out to another lead. What did you guys think whenever that keeps happening to you guys?
ELIJAH STEWART: I felt like they shot abnormally well tonight, and like we're kind of used to it. A lot of teams shoot very well against us. We just had to keep fighting back. We've been in those positions before. So we're kind of seasoned to it. And you just can't stop. You just gotta keep going.

Q. Coach, I know your wife is from here. She was in the crowd. She was crying, hugging everyone. What does it mean to get the win here with her and her family all around?
COACH ENFIELD: Well, what a special event for the state of Oklahoma because we love the state. She grew up in Mustang outside of Oklahoma City. We've been to Tulsa quite a few times and just the people in Oklahoma are so nice and friendly and to come back here in front of her whole family. And my family flew in from the East Coast and we had a lot of people from LA fly in. Kind of the middle of everything, but to be two hours from her parents. Really special for them. Her grandfather is 88 years old. He's here and she's probably on top of the world right now enjoying this with her whole family.

Q. Coach, I don't know if you've had a chance to look at Baylor at all, but any early impressions of them?
COACH ENFIELD: I know they have a great coach, friend of mine Scott Drew. He's done just a miraculous job how he built the program over the years and the players they've had. They're long, athletic. They have guards that can shoot, and there's a reason they're a 3 seed in the NCAA tournament. They're just an outstanding basketball team, but so are we, so it should be a great game.

Q. Elijah, what were you thinking on SMU's last possession as you kind of watched that last shot go in the air?
ELIJAH STEWART: I noticed that two players were arguing about who was going to take the last shot. Usually when something like that happens, like whoever shoots it, it just messes with you. The floater was short, and I felt like if -- like it could have went either way, honestly. I was just -- I had my eyes closed.

Q. You didn't see it?
ELIJAH STEWART: I looked like last minute. I seen the rebound.

COACH ENFIELD: Now you know why we get down so many games. He closes his eyes for about two-thirds of the game and opens them (laughs).

Q. Coach, after the hectic couple of days you guys have had, have you been able to put any thought into what tomorrow and the rest of the time before the Baylor game will be like?
COACH ENFIELD: Well, it's nice to be in the same city. After the Dayton game, we got in, I think, here to Tulsa at 3:30 in the morning, got to bed after 4:00. And had a busy day yesterday with practice and the media and the shoot around. And last night we were just exhausted and an early game today. So it'll be nice to catch our breath, enjoy the moment.

We try to tell as a staff with our players, you prepare your entire life for these moments, and you have to step up, and our guys stepped up in the moment tonight and won a big game. And now take a deep breath and enjoy the moment because it's most important to enjoy what you have and also focus when you need to. So we'll take the evening here and probably watch a little film on Baylor. Since it is an early game, get back have a nice dinner and get a good night's sleep and at the same time enjoy the moment.

MODERATOR: Anything else for the gentlemen from USC? All right, gentlemen, you're dismissed. Best of luck on Sunday.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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