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March 14, 2019

Bobby Hurley

Romello White

Zylan Cheatham

Las Vegas, Nevada

Arizona State - 83, UCLA - 72

BOBBY HURLEY: Proud of the effort of the guys. I thought it as the first half wore along, we moved the ball along better, especially the last three and a half minutes after they cut it to two. Just Lu hit a couple big threes, but the ball was popping and moving, and then our defense were really active with the pressure and getting deflections. So I don't think we could have finished a half better.

And then we carried that into the way we started the second half and built a really good advantage. They have players that can really get hot in a game, looks and hands, very explosive-type players. We were able to battle through that and get the job done.

Q. Obviously you're pretty motivated for this game, but when you see Washington struggling and Oregon State getting upset, does that enhance the sense of urgency before you even take the court?
BOBBY HURLEY: Not particularly. I think I'm just focused on our team and trying to get us ready to play. USC has a lot of good players, and they're a team that has really come on, and their season was on the line, and they showed that today. It was a high-level game.

But, yeah, I was just kind of focused on Arizona State today.

Q. In that 14-0 run, what did you see? What are you thinking? What sort of enabled that whole thing to transpire?
BOBBY HURLEY: We had a couple of lapses on defense. It ended with Hands hitting the transition three, cut it to two. We had to try to regain momentum and focus. Guys typically have done well in the half and starting the half. So we're not completely shocked. I thought at times in the game we forget what kind of got us there, and that was getting the ball inside to Romello and Zylan. Both of those guys had great individual games, both scoring and rebounding.

Q. You had a great game. Was it the game plan to go to you inside, or was it a matter of taking advantage of Brown, that he had three fouls?
ROMELLO WHITE: It was really taking advantage. My team looked for me today, and I felt like they really tried to get me the ball. And they did a good job of doing that, and I felt like I just finished well.

Q. At the half, what did that do, the half-court shot?
BOBBY HURLEY: We've been on the wrong side of a few of those this year. I was just happy, I guess. Nothing that I did there. It was a complete scramble. But we created the turnover. 16 seconds left in the half when they had possession, and they didn't end up getting the last shot of the half. That was great job by our team collectively to create a turnover and give Kimani a chance to do that.

Q. Semifinals for this program, to be in this spot, talk about tomorrow night and playing Friday night in Vegas?
BOBBY HURLEY: Yeah, it's a big step. It means a lot. We played in a lot of big games this year, a lot of high-level teams. We've been in this spot throughout the year. And this team has a great leadership and great resolve and desire to win. All those things were on display tonight.

Q. You've never played in a NCAA Tournament. Given the uncertainty of your at-large prospects, how are you approaching this conference tournament, and what would it mean to play in the NCAA Tournament? And for Coach, having a guy like that, what are your thoughts?
BOBBY HURLEY: I'm going to start by saying after this game, "What uncertainty?" and then next I'll move on to Zylan has been on a mission, and his mission started last year. And he's just worked as hard as anyone in the program on his game and getting back to be a perimeter guy that's comfortable making plays away from the basket. He's one of our best passers. He goes after the ball like it's every rebound could be his last. And he's a fierce competitor overall.

And beyond that, all the intangibles and leadership stuff that he does in the locker room and getting his team ready to play makes my job as the head coach that much easier.

ZYLAN CHEATHAM: I mean -- I forgot your question, though.

Q. What would it mean to you having not been there so far?
ZYLAN CHEATHAM: It would mean the world to me, obviously. As a competitor, that's what you prepare for, that's what you want to do. To take that next step as an athlete and add to my legacy, I think it would mean the world to me and my program.

That's the approach I'm going with, just taking it day by day, trying no not to look too far ahead or too far backwards. Just maximizing each day.

Q. You had Rob Edwards and Kimani both kind of firing today. Would you talk about the value of having those ancillary pieces also coming along?
BOBBY HURLEY: Kimani, just especially the way he played at Arizona, I thought he was really a big part of that win. And he's carried that momentum into the first half. His first half was great. He's very active. Hit three offensive rebounds and made some shots and defended.

And then Rob always -- I always feel like he -- if he's going well and he's stretching the defense, then it makes their life easier in the paint, Zylan and Mello. So we need to try to get him to play at that level moving forward.

Q. Just for the players, I was wondering what it means to you to have the fan support, especially those with the Sun Devil curtain on the opponents during the free throws?
ZYLAN CHEATHAM: I remember before the game, I had seen that little section, and I whispered to one of my guys, man, this kind of feels like Wells Fargo, just hearing them go crazy and seeing all the gold shirts and stuff like that.

That kind of stuff means the world. That just shows the type of program, the type of environment that we're building around our team and the belief that our city has in us and that we have in them. And their support is everything to us, I mean, especially on the road.

ROMELLO WHITE: For me I feel like it just makes me want to play harder, seeing how much support we have, seeing how many people come out to support us. It makes me and everyone on the team want to play hard.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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