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March 14, 2019

Mike Hopkins

Jaylen Nowell

David Crisp

Las Vegas, Nevada

Washington - 78, USC - 75

MIKE HOPKINS: I thought we -- at the beginning of the game, we had great energy, our defense was flying around. We got the lead up into double digits. And USC just kept coming back. You have to give them a lot of credit. They kept fighting back, fighting back. They made the three-pointer at the end to cut it to five.

The second half, it was just a heavyweight fight, back and forth, back and forth. Rakocevic was great around the basket, Bennie Boatwright was really shooting the basketball, one of the great players to ever play in this league. And our guys showed a lot of resiliency.

At the end of the day, our defense our won the game. David did a great job to keep it in front. Got a deflection, Matisse went out and stole the ball. Just an incredible heart, toughness game, and lucky to come out with a win.

MODERATOR: Question? No questions, we'll let them go.

MIKE HOPKINS: Go Dawgs! Get ready for Game 2. Got a question? I'm fired up.

Q. Coach mentioned the sequence, you got the deflection, and Matisse got the steal mid-court there. In a day when Matisse's offense is falling like that, does it surprise you at all to see a defensive play like that from him to finish things off?
DAVID CRISP: Not at all. Not at all. Tisse is such a great team player. He loves defense. And I just told him keep shooting, told him to keep being aggressive and just keep wreaking havoc on the defensive end. He's done that all year. He's the best at it. I told him down the stretch, there was a few minutes left, show them who you are, show them why you are who you are. And he did Matisse style things. I haven't seen a windmill like that, though.


DAVID CRISP: That was crazy.

Q. Wonder about tomorrow's matchup?
MIKE HOPKINS: We don't know who we play yet, until the next game. At the end of the day, our whole philosophy all year has been about us and been about a team. And every night it's been a different night. Tonight David Crisp was as good a guard, and I told the TV after, second leading scorer on the first place team and didn't get many recognition. His recognition is by wins, and he's a champion.

And I thought Nahz Carter came off the bench and gave it, and Jaylen Nowell, like he always does, he hits big shots. These guys are a family and a team. I'm happy we came out with a win tonight. We're really looking forward to the second round.

Q. You guys probably talked about this already, but could you take us through the last minute there, just what did it take to sort of pull this game out?
JAYLEN NOWELL: The last minute? Well, honestly Coach told us whatever we have to do, just go out and do it. And we realized that our defense was the thing that was keeping us in the game really. They hit a couple of big shots. But we just made sure that we kept everything going as far as the defensive end and let the offense flow.

Q. You guys got out in front and kept getting it out to double digits and then had it come back. Can you talk a little bit about defensively and letting them back in, seemingly, every time?
JAYLEN NOWELL: They hit a lot of big shots at the most opportune times. So we would get up, get a big lead and we'd be on our run. But it would be like Bennie or Kevin hitting a big shot which got them back in and got them settled down. They did a very good job with that.

Q. How did this team go from its last game when you guys scored 47 to tonight when you score like 40 in the first half.
MIKE HOPKINS: I think the biggest thing every game, the Oregon game was a possession game, two great defenses going head-to-head, they were taking the clock. And it was a possession-by-possession game. We've got an offensive arsenal. It's also been on the defensive end. We hang our head on defense. When we share the ball, like we did tonight, the ball was moving. The ball was popping. Everybody is popping. Everybody is making it. Dom hit a big one in the second half. We can beat anybody and I think that's the biggest key. We've got to give USC a lot of credit, they've got a talented team. They've had a lot of injuries, different starting lineups. Bennie Boatwright, those guys made big plays and kept them in the game. It was a heck of a game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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