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March 13, 2014

Justin Cobbs

Mike Montgomery


Colorado – 59
California - 56

THE MODERATOR:  Coach, can you tell us what you're thinking right now?
COACH MONTGOMERY:  Well, Colorado and ourselves are pretty equal, pretty even.  We beat them by 1 at our place.  They beat us here on a neutral.  The things that you don't do and the things that you know you struggle with a little bit always come back to haunt you.
I thought we didn't play hard enough first half.  I thought they competed harder than we did, probably coming off the fact that they lost to us.  We were kind of back on our heels a little bit.  They outrebounded us pretty substantially.  In the second half we got a little life and had multiple opportunities to go ahead, but just made critical mistakes in critical situations, whether it be good defense and a missed rebound, even with one possession left.  Rebound the ball, we had probably a couple of opportunities to score.  Missed free throws at times; you can't miss free throws.
They went to Scott late, which is nice to have a go‑to guy at the block.  He scored a couple baskets that hurt us.  But it was just, games like that, teams that are fairly even, you have to make plays at critical times.  We've had some problems with that throughout the year.  We make two or three plays at the end.  Don't turn it over.  We turned it over twice when the momentum was clearly on our side.  Could have gone ahead.  Turned it over.  Had to play defense.
When you give up 59 points, I don't know how much better defensively we can play.  But we've had difficulty off and on all year long scoring the ball.

Q.  Can you talk about, the second half you obviously got your transition game going with some defense, why you didn't have that in the first half?
COACH MONTGOMERY:  Because we didn't play hard enough.  We weren't coming up with 50‑50 balls.  We were back on our heels.  Second half we started scrapping; we started getting it together defensively.  We got out on the break.  We pushed the ball.  That is the way we have to play.  We don't have the luxury of trying to just outscore people.
We have to be really scrappy on defense.  We have to do our jobs.  We have to help each other and that helps us get out on the break where we're best, like most teams are best.  We're not, I wouldn't classify us as a pure shooting team.

Q.  A lot of people have said this is a play‑in game for your team in terms of the NCAA tournament.  Do you think you guys are still a tournament team after this?
COACH MONTGOMERY:  Did anybody who knows what they're talking about say that or just people talking?

Q.  Just people.
COACH MONTGOMERY:  People talking, so they don't know and I don't know.  There is a committee that knows, and I'm not on that committee.  Can we compete in the tournament?  Yes.  Are there others that will be in that we're better than?  Absolutely.  But at this point it's out of our hands.  The job needed to be done for sure before, so now we're at the mercy, and we've made it tough on ourselves.

Q.  Can you talk about how you finished out the end of the second half?  Discuss what the problems were in finishing it out.
COACH MONTGOMERY:  In this game or the season?

Q.  No, the second half of this game, at the end of the second half.
COACH MONTGOMERY:  Well, we were down 9 and very fortunate to be only down 9 at the half, because we didn't do much very well.  We didn't play very hard.  We weren't getting 50‑50 balls.  We were getting outrebounded, couldn't shoot it.  We were getting pretty good looks, relative to what a good look would be, but it wasn't going in.  They were running on us, and we just played.
Now we came out‑‑ again, if you look at it, Ricky Kreklow hits two threes to start the second half, and those were not shots we hadn't made all first half.  So we've got six straight points and it goes from 9 to 3 just like that.  It's not very complex.  It wasn't like we were doing anything different.  We just got a couple shots to go down.  We got a little life, and we had a 3‑5, 5‑4 or 6, kept right in that range, and then we got even with them and had a real chance.  We made some mistakes down the stretch.
Substitution patterns are difficult for us a little bit.  Sometimes we feel like we're getting some offense, but we're giving up something on defense.  I don't have a lot of big‑guy depth so sometimes we get stuck there.  But big guys are having to play a lot of minutes and they're having to play against really good players.
So we just played harder.  We played harder, played together, moved the ball, attacked the basket, and maybe they kind of did what we did in the first half.  Got back on their heels a little bit.

Q.  Justin, would you say that your offensive difficulties in the first half ended up ultimately costing you in this game given the deficit at halftime and what the final score was?
JUSTIN COBBS:  No, it's just energy.  We didn't have any energy, so we lost.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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