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March 9, 2010

Fred Hill

Hamady Ndiaye

Mike Rosario


Cincinnati - 69
Rutgers - 68

Q. Can you discuss the last 20 seconds of the game, how you got back in it and the final sequence.
COACH FRED HILL: I thought our guys were phenomenal in the last two minutes of the game. We talk about execution, no time-outs left. They did everything they were supposed to do offensively and defensively. And that's what got us into the game and gave us a chance to win the game. I couldn't be more proud of the way they did that down the end. This has been a team all year long with an unbelievable amount of heart. Made plays, and we knew this would be one of those games that would go right down to the wire and thought the difference would be on the glass. And that's where the game was won and lost.
To do what they did and execute in the last two-and-a-half minutes, I'm extremely proud of the way they played. They put themselves in a position to win the game. And really deserved a shot to come away with a great win here in The Garden. I wish we could have gotten it into overtime and give them five more minutes. They were playing really well.

Q. I know that it's kind of secondary, your career has come to an end. You did tie the block record tonight. What does that mean to you? You broke it.
COACH FRED HILL: Career leader in shots blocked and single-season record in shots blocked.
HAMADY NDIAYE: I'm really happy, you know. I always wanted to leave a mark at Rutgers and everything. This was one of the ways besides everything good I did on the court. With all the guys as the captain and leader and everything. But it's one of the things I probably could come back later on and read somewhere about it. Things like that.
So I'm happy. It's one of the good things that happened today.

Q. When you hit that circus shot at the end, did you think that was going to be enough to send you into overtime?
MIKE ROSARIO: I just did what Coach told me to do. I executed the play. Coach told me to get the ball, if he makes the next free throw and we'll be down by three. He wants me to either shoot the three or get it up in the air and try to get him to jump into me, so I can make the shot or get fouled and shoot three free throws. I thought I did a great job executing the play and it was a great shot.

Q. Can you describe the last defensive sequence, Stephenson had the ball.
HAMADY NDIAYE: I definitely just saw the ball -- I definitely thought I was going to get the block and everything. I can't see any other things that happened. I just went up and everything. So I don't exactly know what exactly happened. We have to see the film and actually know. I just know I went for the block.

Q. Coach, is it kind of this game do you think it's kind of symbolic the way you guys played so well so close from getting a big win, how the season has gone, maybe last season losing so many close games?
COACH FRED HILL: This season I'm really proud of the guys. We have a new group. And H has been our leader and our captain. We really wanted to win for him going out here. Thought we had some great opportunities. But you know, Mike is a sophomore. He had a great freshman year. He was kind of a marked man this year. I thought his game really developed. He saw things tonight. His mid-range game is coming along. He's getting to the rim. He's getting to the free-throw line. He's doing some really good things. James Beatty, junior college point guard. I think he has great basketball ahead of him next year. You have to get used to what the BIG EAST is all about, especially at the point. Dane Miller was phenomenal and consistent. Eight assists. He couldn't get a couple of shots to go down, his free throws. But he has a bright, bright future.
These guys have a great heart. They have great chemistry. They work extremely hard. I told them in the locker room how proud I was of them going through a tough stretch. They never took a day off. They kept coming every day and working extremely hard. They really like each other, and I think it showed. And, you know, once in a while, you come up a little bit short. Tonight was one of those instances. I really thought they did an unbelievable job. Maybe deserved with the way they executed to win the game and get the right bounce down the stretch, and that's the game of basketball.
So I'm very proud of them and they did a terrific job. They're a great group. And we'll take a week off, because it's spring break coming up. And they're ready. They're ready to go back to work for next year already. So we just talked about that, and we have some guys that are very hungry that want to be very successful.

Q. Do you find it fitting that that final trip down the court Lance and Dane head to head, two guys, Rookie of the Year? Does that sort of strike you as odd at all?
COACH FRED HILL: No. It would have been very fitting if there wasn't a foul called. We went into overtime. Yeah, I guess there's a little irony that Lance and Dane were the two unanimous selections to the All Rookie Team. Two great players. Lance Stephenson is a great player. He has lot of talent. I really thought that he probably had his best four games when we watched on film, the last four at the end of the year. Like most freshmen, there was a little bit up and down throughout the course of the year.
What I thought Dane did for us, I thought he was extremely consistent through the whole BIG EAST season. In fact maybe even kept getting better and better and better and better as the whole year went on. A little ironic that two great freshmen in a big game in a BIG EAST Tournament in the Garden. Lance had the ball in his hands at the end, Dane was the guy defending him. So, you know, they did a great job. And give them credit. He got to the free-throw line. Got a foul. And he made a big free throw.

Q. Going back to the blocked shots, the one that tied the all-time record against Thomas, does that make that a little better for you?
COACH FRED HILL: Tell the truth.
HAMADY NDIAYE: It does. It does. It's actually funny because right before the game I think somebody told me that he said that I never blocked his shot and everything. So it was funny. On the court actually I told him, "Now I got one against you and everything." But it's all love. That's my little brother and everything. He knows. He knows that I was going to go for it anyways.
THE MODERATOR: Rutgers, thank you.

End of FastScripts

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