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March 7, 2012

Ken Bone

Marcus Capers

Brock Motum


Oregon State – 69
Washington State – 64

THE MODERATOR:  Coach, an opening statement, please?
COACH BONE:  Tough game.  Oregon State came out and threw the first punch and landed it pretty hard.  I don't think I had our guys ready to go from the beginning.  It seemed that we were very lethargic that first eight or ten minutes.
But then to their credit, we battled back to take a one‑point lead at halftime, and that was pretty impressive the way our guys played.  Our guys did a really nice job that last ten minutes of the first half.
Then down the stretch, Oregon State made plays and we didn't.  Ball went in the basket on one end, and we had some great looks on the other, and we did not convert.  So give Oregon State the credit.

Q.  Even though you guys closed the gap by halftime, does having them make that big of a run in that short of a time still kind of take something out of you?
COACH BONE:  I think it takes something out of you.  But it takes something out of Oregon State to have the run early in the game too.  In my mind, it's the same thing.

Q.  Can you talk a little about the last three minutes of the game?  You did touch on it.  Can you give us more detail to what you saw the difference was?
COACH BONE:  I thought Oregon State did a good job of getting to the free‑throw line and getting baskets right near the rim.  We had a few really good looks.  We just did not convert.  Unfortunately, some of those were from the free‑throw line.

Q.  It seems like all year there have been periods where you guys played really purposefully, and then there are periods where you get really tentative.  What is the difference in those two teams to you?  Why do you think that happens?
COACH BONE:  I think it's a great point and valid point.  I don't know.  I don't know exactly why.  I know we tried to execute some of the same plays.  We go back to a lot of the same plays that are successful early and try to execute those late.
The only thing I can put my thumb on is I'm probably to blame at times for playing guys too many minutes.  Reggie Moore tonight, for example, played 38 minutes, and he really struggled to shoot the ball that second half.  I believe in Reggie, but sometimes it can be a fatigue factor.
Oregon State played more guys.  They rotated a few more guys, and we went with seven.  So that could very well be the reason why down the stretch we struggled to execute as well as other teams.  It was just a fatigue factor.
If that's the case, then it's on me to try to milk it with what I think of our best players, but at the end it can play a part sometimes.

Q.  Coach Robinson said that had somebody told them that Cunningham would have four points and they'd still win, he wouldn't have believed them.  Being able to do what you did against Cunningham, were you happy with how you played him?  Would you have believed it that you would have lost while holding him to four?
COACH BONE:  Yeah, I think Oregon State has a good team.  I think they have a lot of weapons.  Starks has proven all year what he's capable of doing, and they just keep coming at you with other good bigs that are at times extremely efficient.
Tonight Devon Collier was a difficult match‑up.  He kind of had his way with us down near the rim.  He goes for 19.  For all I know, might be a career high.  But he was very good.

Q.  The crowd was so small.  Was it tough to get started?  Obviously, Oregon State started fast, but what was going on at the start of the game and what did you think happened down the stretch?
MARCUS CAPERS:  I feel like a lot of people were overexcited.  Then we got there and a couple people didn't play in the Staples Center, so it was new to them.  But after they threw that first punch, I feel like Coach got into us and let us know like if we want to get blown out, he wasn't going to have it.  He was going to put people on the court that wanted to play.
We just rallied together and came back.  If we don't start off that bad or that down, I feel like we would have had a different conversation and been on the winning end of this game tonight.
BROCK MOTUM:  Yeah, I feel the same thing Marcus said.  If we had come out and thrown the first punch, it may have been a different story.  But it was a credit to our guys that stepped in and played and got the lead back.  A close game at halftime, and it was like a new game at the start of the second half.
But as Marcus said, who knows what would have happened if we had not given up such a big lead at the start of the game.

Q.  Marcus, I know this is a tough loss for you for obvious reasons.  But you look back on your career, what do you think about and what are you feeling right now?
MARCUS CAPERS:  Well, I just want to apologize to the fans because I feel like we should have won more games while I was here.  But on a good note, I feel like I had a solid career while I was here; and I just appreciate the whole Cougar nation for all the love they showed me the four years I was here.

Q.  Brock and Marcus, what do you think you'll learn from this game after you go home and think about it?  What do you think you learned from this game even though you didn't win?  But as a ballplayer, and hopefully you'll move on into a career in the pros, what is the one thing you can say you learned from this game tonight?  Both of you guys.
MARCUS CAPERS:  As a college player, Coach always stressed possession by possession.  When you're looking at things, it's not a sprint, it's a marathon.  So one thing that I'll take from this, or from Coach Bone, is you've got to play the whole game, 40 minutes, as a college player.  You can't just slack off because the higher up you get in the competition or the level you're at, the harder it is to slack off.
I just say keep fighting the whole time you're on the court, for the most part.  Because I feel like if we had done that tonight, just like I said, we'd have been winning.  But just like you asked the question, we're up and down, and you really can't do that in the Pac‑12.
BROCK MOTUM:  I think from this game we can learn that, just like Marcus said, we've got to value each possession sometimes.  A few defensive slip‑ups and it can be‑‑ in the bigger picture and bigger scheme of things, they can go unnoticed.  But those little things at the end of the game are what hurts you.  If we hadn't made some of those mental errors and missed defensive assignments, we could have even established a lead if we had converted enough.
But learn from this game.  That's what we need to value.  Every possession on the defensive end especially we just need to take care of our own defensive assignment as a team, and we can't overlook those things.  So I think that's the main thing from this game I'll take.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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