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March 17, 2017

Jim Larranga

Davon Reed

Ja'Quan Newton

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Michigan State - 78, Miami - 58

COACH LARRANAGA: Well, I thought Michigan State really controlled the backboards and executed very well. Miles Bridges and Nick Ward basically made every shot almost that they took. One of them was eight for nine, the other was eight for 12. We just couldn't stop them, and I thought their guard play was very good at finding open men and carving up our defense.

Disappointing to lose, certainly, but even more disappointing that we didn't play the kind of defense that we've been playing for most of the season. But very, very proud of my guys, very young team that made it to the big dance, and proud of these guys, Ja'Quan Newton and Davon Reed. I think they stepped up and gave a great effort tonight.

Q. Coach, you really seemed to have MSU rattled and on their heels early. Did you see something change in the game? Did you see something shift that in your opinion?
COACH LARRANAGA: Well, two things I thought happened. Number one, I thought their defense really picked up and they started to beat us to some of those 50/50 balls. And then second, I think I made a critical decision, we went from the zone to man to man, feeling like at some point we're going to have to play it man to man, and I wanted to see how we would do. And once we did, Nick Ward came back into the game and really got it going. And then once the momentum shifted from our side, I mean I thought we played very well the first ten minutes -- to their side, and they basically totally controlled the last ten minutes of the half and then were able to keep that control throughout the second half.

Q. Coach, can you talk about what you talked about with the guys in the locker room at halftime and just what you were trying to say to kind of get this thing turned in the other direction?
COACH LARRANAGA: Well, we explained to our guys that we basically led for the first ten, 12 minutes of the game and then they went on a run and took control and they led at halftime and that we needed to come out of the locker room and try to gain control again, basically play like we did to start the game. We went back to the two-three zone, ran some things offensively that we thought worked early in the game, but we never could stop them, even on the first possession where we stopped them on the first shot but they got the offensive rebound, stuck it right back in.

Q. Davon, just talk about it looked like you had -- you only had three points in the first half, and you picked it up and played a much better second half. What was the difference for you?
DAVON REED: They did a really good job of packing the paint, making it hard for me to try to get into the lane and they did a good job closing out on the three-point look for me, so I just tried to adjust at halftime and tried to remain aggressive, but they played really good defense tonight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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