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March 13, 2019

Wyking Jones

Matt Bradley

Justice Sueing

Las Vegas, Nevada

Colorado - 56, California - 51

WYKING JONES: Hard-fought game from both teams. I was happy with my team's effort. I felt like we played with a lot of energy. We forced them into 23 turnovers. A team that typically takes care of the ball. 12 steals. We were very active, very active defensively. What really hurt us is giving up ten offensive rebounds, out-rebounded us. It's hard to win a basketball game when you get out-rebounded by that margin.

I felt like in the first half we were a little stagnant offensively. We had a couple of scoring droughts. But defensively I thought we did a really good job, and I was definitely happy with my team's effort today.

Q. You touched on the drought in the first half. I think you guys started out 9-3, and they go on a 20-5 run. What were they doing defensively to get you guys off your groove?
WYKING JONES: Hitting the offensive glass, getting put-backs and getting to the free throw line off of offensive rebounds in the first half. I didn't feel like they hurt us in transition, particularly, but a couple of kick-outs. McKinley Wright caught fire, hitting three threes in the first half. It's not something that we expected from him.

More than anything, it was just us not being able to -- our defense is a lot better when we score. And we just have more energy, we're able to set our defense after we score. And I just felt like the drought affected us, even though we still held them to a decent percentage, only shot 43 percent from the field, but we didn't have the same kind of energy that we would have if we hadn't had those scoring droughts.

Q. Can you talk about the improvement in Connor's defense? It seemed to really strengthen you guys down the home stretch.
WYKING JONES: The three games that we won the end of conference he became the real protective that we desperately needed all season. He had six blocks against Stanford, changed a bunch of shots, as well.

Tonight he had three blocks, and you could see his presence in the middle. He made it tough to Tyler Bey and for Evan Battey as well. And just his length and timing and fight in the middle really, really helped us to end the season defensively.

Q. Coach Boyle mentioned that he believed your zone defense had vastly improved from the first time you had met. How do you see your zone progressing from the beginning of the season to obviously this game today?
WYKING JONES: Well, like I just said, Connor Vanover was a big part of that. And also we just became a lot more aggressive in the zone. We saw our guards come down and dig on the post more. We saw our guards do a much better job when the ball went to the high post, putting pressure on the post guy, as well.

And I think we just became a lot more aggressive. And the guys, they were able to be more aggressive because they knew at the end of the day Connor would change the shot or block a shot. You had that stability at the rim that allowed us to be more aggressive defensively in our zone.

Q. Can you talk about that last second three? Looked like you got a pretty good look at it. Talk about the play call and the look itself?
MATT BRADLEY: I thought it was going to go in, and I was pretty frustrated that it didn't. I thank my coach for giving me the opportunity and my teammates to let me step up and try to take that shot, being a freshman, and trusting me and just like put the game on the line hitting that three, and I am really proud to be in that position, but I wish it would have went down.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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