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March 22, 2013

Jared Berggren

Sam Dekker

Bo Ryan


Ole Miss – 57
Wisconsin – 46

JOE DALFONSO:  We're joined by Wisconsin head Coach Bo Ryan and student‑athletes.  We'll ask the coach to give a statement on the game, then go to questions.
COACH RYAN:  Well, I'm extremely proud of these guys to get here.  I think there's not too many people that wouldn't agree with the fact that these guys really overcame a lot of odds, really did some nice things during the year.  Forgot about their weaknesses, forgot about everything, and just pulled some games off.  We won a lot of close games, beat a lot of good teams.
But again, it's not a team that really shot the ball well all year.  It happened again.  So defensively, effort‑wise, getting on the floor, trying to get some charges, trying to do some things.  But for us I think for our guys, they didn't handle the physicality in the last five to seven minutes.  To me it seemed like the game changed and our guys didn't react as well as they did.
JOE DALFONSO:  Questions, please.

Q.  It seemed like when you had chances to get some separation, talk about how you couldn't put them away?
COACH RYAN:  We only had three in the second half.  In the first half, there were some opportunities that we let get away from us that were very uncharacteristic.
It's the NCAA tournament, a little anxious, first game of the day.  You know, they're kids.  They're 18 to 22.  I thought they played through those pretty well to take us into the locker room.  I thought if we could take care of the ball in the second half, even shoot the same percentage we did in the first half, we'd have been fine.  We're not fouling in the end when you're trying to play from behind.
We're not built to play from behind.  We maybe had only two games all year where we came from behind in the last three, four minutes.

Q.  Could the players talk about that.
SAM DEKKER:  I mean, we had looks.  We had the chances to pull away from this team.  We were up four and six there a couple times.  We had chances.
Just like he said, some costly turnovers.  A lot of times with a good team like that, things will spiral away from you.  It happened.  Credit them, they hit some big shots, took advantage of the weaknesses we had.
Like coach said, they just out‑worked us in the last eight, nine minutes, really took it to us, and we didn't know how to handle it.  We didn't get things to drop.  Whenever the ball doesn't go in the hoop, it's going to be tougher to win.
JARED BERGGREN:  Yeah, I mean, I think they pretty much said it there.  We had a couple turnovers, not as bad in the second half.  Second half did a better job taking care of the ball.  When we had a lead, we weren't really able to extend it out.  We let them get going a little bit.
We knew Henderson was going to get going.  I thought we did a good job on him in the first half making him hit tough shots.  Second half, doesn't take much to get a player like that to get going.  He got hot, did what he does.  I think that was part of the difference.

Q.  Was there a certain point in the second half where you felt like Ole Miss took control and started to pull away a little bit?
SAM DEKKER:  You know, I don't really know if there's a point.  We had a four‑ or six‑point lead.  I thought one of us was going to hit a big shot because it usually comes.  I thought one of us was going to get one of those big shots, that would have been the step on the throat there.  It just never came for us.
They managed to chip away, get some big boards, finish around the hoop.  Whenever they can get some offensive boards, I mean, I look at myself for that, too.  I'm at fault there, too.  When they get those offensive boards and put those right back up, those are easy free points for them right there.
They just out‑toughed us and managed to chip away at our lead.  Henderson got some of those big shots.  When he hits those, if you're not stopping that, they're going to be a tough team to beat.
JARED BERGGREN:  It's hard to pinpoint a certain play or anything like that.  But I remember we were up six coming out of a timeout.  I want to say Henderson hit a big shot to cut it to three.  I'm not sure exactly what happened from there.
I think kind of once they got on a run like that, I think that's a team that's done that.  Especially down the stretch, they've had a lot of games like that.  I think they kind of started feeling it, feeding off that energy.  We didn't do a good job to stop their run and get things back in control.

Q.  It seemed like Ole Miss controlled the paint on both sides of the floor.  Is that a credit to their length or something else?
JARED BERGGREN:  Yeah, I mean, they have some big, athletic guys inside.  I think we didn't do a great job of taking in their strong, pump fake, drawing fouls.  I think the first half we did a decent job of getting to the free‑throw line, catching them out of position a little bit.
Second half, they kind of cranked up the pressure.  We folded.
COACH RYAN:  Well, when you talk about the rebounding, we had more offensive rebounds.  They got more out of theirs.  They were able to put theirs back.
When you say about the rebounding, unless you have a different stat sheet than I do, they got three more overall.  We had three more on the offensive end.  It had a lot more to do in the game than that.  It's what they were able to do with them.
So you always go to the next column and you say, All right, second chance, three‑point advantage.  That was part of it.  But there was a lot more to it than that.
JOE DALFONSO:  Gentlemen, thank you very much for your time.  Continued success down the road.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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