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March 14, 2019

Tim Jankovich

Jarrey Foster

Jahmal McMurray

Memphis, Tennessee

SMU - 74, Tulsa, 65

COACH TIM JANKOVICH: Well, first of all, is it me or do you have to be like Ferdinand Magellan to find your way up to this media? That was an experience. Happy to be here.

The first half could not possibly have gone better. I didn't really like the first four minutes. I thought they were a step quicker and a little more aggressive as the game opened up and that worried me. Right after that, from 15 minutes on in the first half, I -- couldn't have been better. At both ends, in all areas, I thought we played fantastic and probably built a big enough lead to win the game.

And then second half, as you know, defensively, could not script that any better. I don't know how many minutes it went without a field goal that they did, so we solidified our defense. The one thing, I thought we were a little sloppy. I think we missed two dunks and a lay-up early to stretch it, which could have maybe put it out of hand.

So we're in great shape. But Tulsa did a fantastic job, I thought, of staying aggressive, staying with it. Wore us down a little bit and made a great comeback. But the games are won in the last five or six minutes, and we were able to stay strong and finish it.

Q. It looked like you were making shot and shot in tough situations, Jahmal, in the second half. What was your mindset on those possessions?
JAHMAL MCMURRAY: To stay aggressive and take the good shot. I know I'm a scorer, so making big shots is something I can do. But just really stayed poised and not rushing in my shots, not getting sped up is what allowed me to play good tonight and make shots. And just like I said, stay patient and moving the ball, and we were getting good looks and shots in, and they were falling for me.

Q. Coach, you mentioned that stretch in the beginning of the second half where you held them scoreless for more than seven minutes. What were you doing right with your zone defensively to go on that run?
COACH TIM JANKOVICH: I don't know. Did we do anything different? It didn't look different. I think maybe we were a little more aware of the guys we thought were key guys, maybe. After a game starts going a while, sometimes you get a feel. On different nights, different guys are cut in a little differently, their confidence is higher, their determination -- they're human. And we felt like there was a couple of their guys that you could really feel that were capable of having a big night, and we made sure to try to be on point and be in their area.

So if anything, maybe we were a little more aware. But we didn't really make adjustments, really. We just kind of stayed the course. It had been working pretty well, but not as well as it did for the first six or seven minutes of the second half.

Q. Jarrey, ten points today, it's the most you've had since coming back for the second time this year. How did you feel out there?
JARREY FOSTER: I would say felt great. At this point in the season, just Championship basketball. In my four years here at SMU, this is my second time playing in a conference Championship, and I just wanted to finish this off the right way, you know. I was kind of putting my injury and everything that's been going on this year in the past and kind of play for me and for my teammates, and play to win and see how long we can keep this going.

So, I mean, I'm proud of myself for doing that. I'm glad that we got a win today and advance in the next round.

Q. Jahmal, every time Tulsa went on a run, you were there to answer with a bucket. Is that sort of on your mind as you're playing offense and maybe stop their runs, or is it more in the flow?
JAHMAL MCMURRAY: I would say it's more in the flow. I did start noticing that they made a nice little run, and we weren't making -- you know, a few shots missed. And I just felt like I had to take advantage of a shot attempt, and I knew I would knock it down. I just felt really strong that I would knock it down, a little mid-range jumper if I got inside the paint.

So I just tried to answer their run with a good shot and just keep us alive in that game and just advance. But other than, I'm just out there playing my game. I'm not really looking or thinking too hard.

Q. Cincinnati, in the conference tournament, you have a chance to face them tomorrow night. Does that bring extra motivation for you all?
JAHMAL MCMURRAY: It is going to be another great game. We got to stick to our strengths, rebound the basketball, and I feel like the battle will be a great battle between both teams.

Q. Cincinnati, a team you have played close but lost twice to this year. How do you feel going into the match-up against them?
COACH TIM JANKOVICH: They are hard to play against, you know. And Tulsa's hard to play against. Tulsa runs, they're switching defenses on you a lot, they play the match-up. Cincinnati has gotten famous for, if you want to call it, a match-up. I don't know what to call it -- switching five, whatever. They are not an easy team to get rhythm and feel comfortable. You have to manufacture a lot of baskets by making plays for each other. You have to rebound and get extra possessions. You can't turn it over. They always make you play really pure. They are hard to play against. They're tough. They've had a tremendous season, so any time we play them, it's a great challenge. And on zero day preparation, it makes it even tougher. We have played them twice before, and a lot of things will come back to us quickly and we'll be ready in a day.

Q. They are a physical team, with a limited bench and having a game today, does that make it harder not having 100 percent fresh legs?
COACH TIM JANKOVICH: We're not going to be tired at all. Noone is tired. We will be less tired tomorrow than we were today. We have made that decision. Normally, you would be right, but we've already made a decision, that's not going to be the case. So, it will be a challenge, you're right, yes.

Q. Nat Dixon's minutes have slipped this year, he's out the last couple of games. Is there a reason why you are playing him a bit less?
COACH TIM JANKOVICH: He's been out, he's been less than 100 percent, and I don't know that I'd call him 100 percent right now. And when you've been out and start to lose some conditioning and the more you miss practice, the more you miss your rhythm, your confidence, those kind of things. He certainly didn't do anything wrong. But he has missed a great deal, so really that -- the long and short of it is he's missed a lot, and I'm not sure I'd call him 100 percent.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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