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March 17, 2012

Steve Alford

Drew Gordon


Louisville – 59
New Mexico - 56

COACH ALFORD:  Well, very proud, one, of these three young men.  They've had brilliant careers, Drew for a year and a half, and A.J. and Phillip for four years.  Drew's been a double double for us, and he finishes his career with another double double.  Came back from straining his knee in the first half.  We're very, very proud of what he's been able to do and accomplish.
Phillip and A.J., 102 wins, most ever by a Lobo, just fantastic careers.  All three of then on pace to graduate.  They've just been tremendous seniors.
Very, very proud of them and proud of our team.  We battled like crazy.  We knew it was going to be a tall order if we had a game that was going to be a low foul shooting game.  We shoot 8 free throws.  You shoot 8 free throws, it's going to be tough playing the pace and aggressiveness that's played with this type of a game.
So I think that was pretty much the difference in the game because we've been a pretty good team of getting to the line and scoring from the line.  Overall, just extremely pleased with the effort our guys gave.

Q.  On that final play of the game on the missed free throw, going into that did you know that you were going to catch and shoot as soon as that happened or did you look at the clock at all?  What were you thinking there, did you think you had another second or so?
DREW GORDON:  We didn't really have enough time to look at the clock.  There was 2.8 seconds left when we started.  It kind of rolled around on the rim and was tipped a few times.  So I figured by the time I got the ball there was, what, maybe a second and a half.  It's tough to get it to an outlet and have the outlet shoot an accurate shot.  So it was just kind of a last‑second heave and unfortunately it was way off.

Q.  Could you explain what happened when you hurt your knee and how did it feel afterward?
DREW GORDON:  It felt like my life flashed before my eyes.  I went up for ‑‑ to try to block a shot and A.J. was trying to take a charge.  So when I was going up, he was coming down and forced me back down and he fell kind of against my leg in an awkward position.  I felt a couple of pops, but the doc checked it out and it was okay.  So I can't finish my senior season going out with an injury.

Q.  The first seven minutes of the second half got away from you, what happened there and then what got you back?
COACH ALFORD:  Yeah, we were just out of rhythm, out of sync offensively, I thought.  And then to start the second half, I think they really came at us and got some easy baskets, which we hadn't given up in the first half.
Then we settled down and started guarding and we made a run ourselves and made some shots in that stretch.  It was a game where we didn't make very many shots.  We shot 20 percent from the three‑point line, and 39 percent overall.
But I told the guys, you give us effort and defend, that's all I ever ask.  If you have a night where you don't make shots, you've got to hope your defense and effort is enough.  It wasn't quite enough tonight.
But I love the effort that we gave.  We never stopped fighting.  We just couldn't make enough shots.

Q.  You mentioned the free throws, but outside of that were there any irregular patterns that surfaced tonight that were not indicative of what this team has done for most, if not all, of the season?
COACH ALFORD:  No, I don't think so.  It was a night we had a lot of guys not make shots.  And we've had games where two or three hadn't made shots, but then two or three have.  And this was just a night where it seemed like we couldn't get anybody making shots.
In that you've got to credit Louisville's defense.  They're one of the better defensive teams in the country.  And it paired up that way.  We're one of the top 15 defensive teams in the country and they are as well.  It came down to basically last possession and 59‑56.  Two teams that really battled defensively.  They made the three‑point shot better than what we made it tonight and I thought that was the difference.

Q.  In the last minute or so of the game there were some near missed turnovers and it seemed like there might have been some nerves down the stretch.  Do you think that played a part in the players at all?
COACH ALFORD:  I don't think so.  I thought we battled like crazy.  So sometimes the ball bounces your way.  I thought we got some really good turnovers from like the four minute to the one minute.  That last minute there were a couple of possessions that were a little bit crazy and seemed like the ball just bounced their way.  But I don't think we didn't get a loose ball or those type of things because of nerves.  I think the guys were over that by that time of the game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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