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March 18, 2010

Quincy Pondexter

Lorenzo Romar

Isaiah Thomas

Elston Turner


Washington – 80
Marquette - 78

ROGER ROSS: Hi, everyone. We're going to introduce the Washington student athletes up here, Isaiah Thomas, Quincy Pondexter and Elston Turner. We are waiting on Coach right now, instead of doing that we will open it up to questions.

Q. Quincy, how often are clear-outs called for you guys or at all in college and what was said in the huddle before that last play?
QUINCY PONDEXTER: Clear-outs has been called a lot of times down the stretch in games a lot of times for myself and sometimes Isaiah, to attack the basket, that last shot was nothing of a call. We read the situation. We had a second chance, and the time was running down and the ball went in.

Q. Could you talk about your trip to the basket? Looks like you got bumped twice, still got up and under and were able to make the basket.
QUINCY PONDEXTER: There was a little bit of bumps there and they hadn't been calling things like that all game, especially down the stretch. I knew they weren't going to call it. I've been in situations like that before, and I just had to make the quickest move possible and try and get the ball up on the rim.

Q. Quincy, can you just talk in general about your play in the second half during the come-back? It seemed like you were grabbing every offensive rebound insight out there?
QUINCY PONDEXTER: I played horrible in the first half, and my teammates stepped up and played great basketball. Isaiah knocked down shots in the second half. Elston played phenomenal in that second half. As a senior you don't want that to be your last game. You don't want to end on a sour note, and I had to step up for our team to win.

Q. It looked like you had words with Butler on their team, and there was a double technical. Can you talk about how intense it was in the second half?
QUINCY PONDEXTER: It was very intense. No one wants to go home. It could be your last game of the season. It was more of a finding a way to get under his skin a little bit, and he played great, still. The technical was some my fault. I was walkin' back and got pushed a little bit and got a technical called, double technical.

Q. Isaiah, what's the biggest difference between this team now than the team that was struggling to win on the road and maybe couldn't have pulled off a come-back like this say a month ago or three weeks ago?
ISAIAH THOMAS: We're just sophomore mature. I say it all the time, I've always told my teammates to keep faith and anything can happen and do the things we can't control, and players found their rolls and they love doing what they do. A guy like Venoy, he loves playing defense. You've got to excel at something you do great at, you keep doing great at, and I'm in my teammates ears all through the game. We're never out of it, play defense and we can come out of it with wins like this.

Q. Quincy, I know obviously it's huge to move on, but just to win here so close to your hometown and have so many people you know here, what was that like to win it like that?
QUINCY PONDEXTER: Not only is it close to my home This is the NCAA Tournament. There is no other feeling like this. It's a moment I'll cherish forever. It really helps that my family was here to support me and watch, as well as all of our fans. A lot of our fans had a chance to come all the way out here, and we love all the support that they've given us.

Q. For any of the guys, some of the Murray State players this morning said they didn't look at their game as an upset, and I just wondered for you guys, did you feel like this was an upset, or did you go in thinking you were going to take it over?
ELSTON TURNER: Our team didn't feel like it was an upset. We knew we were capable of going into the tournament. We won 7 in a row, and 12 out of the last 14, and I think a lot of people doubted us and we took that to heart during practice. We had a meeting last night talking about we got to bring it and it's all 14 of us that have to play together in order to get the win. We just feel like we finally are clicking on all cylinders and playing the right way.

Q. For any of you, how concerned did you get when you got down by 15 and what do you think turned it around?
QUINCY PONDEXTER: Our defensive intensity kicked up in that little stretch. Things weren't going our way, we weren't playing great basketball and we just found a way to win. Everyone stepped up. Elston made some huge shots. Venoy was terrorizing the ball defensively. Isaiah locked up with who was their best player tonight, and it was a real gut check.
We came out and knew our backs were against the wall with that little bit of time left, down 15, and we came out with a win.

Q. Elston, can you talk about that first three-pointer you hit in the second half? It seemed like you came out and shot that confidently. Is that something you knew you were going to get that opportunity or talk me through the second half?
ELSTON TURNER: I was just trying to find openings to get us going a little bit. Like Quincy said, we weren't playing the best at that moment and we needed something to jump start us and, you know. I feel like if I could do something to help the team we could start getting going a little bit and that carries -- the energy of the offense carries the defense and that's pretty much what happened tonight.

Q. Quincy, what sparked your game in the second half and the first half, what changed in you? How much do you like having the ball at the top of the key 5 seconds to go, last shot.
QUINCY PONDEXTER: The fear of it being my last collegiate game ever. I think that's what propelled me to play well my second half. I know my teammates didn't want to go home. I definitely didn't want to go home, and I had to step up. I didn't want to let these guys down and we want to advance and prove a lot of people wrong.
Having my hands on the ball the last 5 seconds is something you dream of as a kid. It's one of those story book shots. Things weren't going well a lot of the game. I wasn't playing that well and our team scrapped back and I had a big shot. I'm glad my teammates played that well to get me into the position to make that shot. I'm just so happy right now I don't know what to say.

Q. Quincy, or anybody who had a good view that last shot, the Hayward's heave from half-court, it looked close most of the way. Could you describe how it looked to you and how long that 1.2 seconds seemed?
QUINCY PONDEXTER: Man, it seemed like it was an eternity because he had a chance to put it on the ground and get a good look at it. It wasn't rushed at all, and I thought it was going to be another reverse senior moment, and he hits the big shot. I'm glad that ball didn't go in. It looked like it was in. He's a terrific player, and I'm sorry it had to end like that.

Q. Quincy you mentioned how your defense turned it around and with you guys being known as a high-power offensive seem is it especially rewarding to have defense be the key factor in the game?
QUINCY PONDEXTER: Defense has always been a key factor for our team. That's the number one rule in Husky basketball, to defend. People think because we score so well we're not a defensive team, and we take pride in our defense. And for us to play the way we did when our backs were against the wall it proved that this is a good defensive team, too.
ROGER ROSS: Gentlemen, thank you for your time. Questions for Coach Lorenzo Romar.

Q. Coach, Quincy said that clear-out kind of evolved, I was wondering what was called in the huddle, was that what was called and how it came about?
COACH ROMAR: First time we went to that was several weeks ago at Stanford on the road, and Quincy, we put I am up at the top like that and he helped win the game for us that way. He made several big plays, scored, assisted, down the stretch he was really good at it and several times since then we have gone to that and it was called.
Well, the way it was this time, with 18 seconds I thought about calling a time-out and then again at 12 I thought about calling a time-out, but then he had the basketball in his hand and we were very familiar with how to play at the top, how to rotate, how to space when he's up there, and I decided not to call a time-out, let your senior have a chance to win it, and no need to call a time-out because we were in position to run with -- maybe we would are have run anyway.

Q. How often do you see that play in college basketball and how many players are there that can pull it off like Quincy with the game on the line?
COACH ROMAR: Depends on who it is, sometimes a player can have the ball at the top and everyone else loads up in the paint and you can't get in there, but with Quincy with the ball there is already one tall we are guy out there with him, and Elston Turner is in the game, Isaiah Thomas is in the game and those guys can knock the shot down.
So you didn't want to leave them so in this certain circumstance I totally felt comfortable with him with the basketball thinking that he would make the right decision. He's also good if someone were to run at him to pass the ball off for a shot.

Q. Coach, what happened to Isaiah's glove? Didn't seem to affect him at all today, the hand?
COACH ROMAR: No, Isaiah has been -- his hand has been bothering him for about a month now. It wasn't made public. Just now there is a lot of questions about it. He's been playing like that for a month. It's a big deal in terms of it is a nagging injury, but in terms of affecting his play it hasn't affected him a whole lot.
Sometimes he just gets frustrated with it and he throws it out of the way. But he's been able to play, again, he wore the glove most of the game, did pretty good tonight.

Q. Marquette is a team it had come up that played so many close games and survived so many close games. How proud of you are your guys -- of your guys are you for coming down that particular stretch.
COACH ROMAR: Couldn't be prouder. Marquette is battle tested in these situations. We continued to talk to our team about how good they were down the stretch because they were so tough and their ability to shoot the three always allows them to have a chance to win the game, and it's hard to put them away. We showed our team film against Villanova this year.
They were down 7 with 12 or 13 minutes to go, and they came back and won the game, and for us to do it with defense, it forced turnovers, bad shots, and kinda got us going and we began to play with confidence. So to finish that way and, again, to beat a team that has done so well in those type of games, I think it speaks volumes about our team but also where our team is now as opposed to six, seven weeks ago.
ROGER ROSS: Thank you very much, Coach Lorenzo Romar.

End of FastScripts

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