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March 14, 2019

Dana Altman

Louis King

Payton Pritchard

Las Vegas, Nevada

Oregon - 66, Utah - 54

DANA ALTMAN: Really pleased with our second half. Thought our ball movement and our ability to attack the rim and get to the basket and our transition was much better in the second half. We were really stagnant that first half. Our ball movement wasn't good.

I thought we worked hard defensively both halves, but offensively we really were not moving that ball that first half and really caused some problems, really took some contested bad shots. Tale of two halves offensively.

I loved our defensive effort. It kept us in the first half, and were able to find a way in the second.

PAYTON PRITCHARD: Our defense got better in the second half, but also what Coach said, our ball movement got better, we started getting lane, attacking their bigs on the ball screens, and we were spreading the floor good. Just two different halves. And obviously this team is capable of a lot in the second half, and that's how we've got to bring it starting tomorrow from the tip.

LOUIS KING: I'm going to piggyback off of what coach and Payton said. We can't afford to come in the first half and have the less energy we had. Coming back in the second half, having a lot of energy and high hands, acting on defense, getting easy buckets in transition.

Q. You started off 1 of 5, and it just seemed in the second half you got more aggressive. You apparently didn't lose your confidence at all?
PAYTON PRITCHARD: You know, that's the thing Coach says to me a lot: Great players and great shooters, if you miss a couple, you can't not shoot. You can't not be aggressive. So in the second half I feel like I was trying to push the tempo, and I got two easy ones to get going right from the start, and it just kind of continued from that point.

Q. Looked like you attempted to get to the hoop whenever you could, but also seemed like when you did that got you fired up, you were into the crowd a little bit, it seemed the team fed off some of the emotion that came there.
PAYTON PRITCHARD: Definitely. It's going to be a different guy each night that can do that. Having the emotion like that can get you fired up and bring more defensive energy, and that's all I was trying to do.

Q. Given the way you guys are playing defense, were you a little less concerned at halftime, just the way you guys are playing defense that eventually the offense would come around?
DANA ALTMAN: We hoped it would. We thought it would. But again, that first half, our defense did keep us in it. As poorly as we played offensively, we were still in the ballgame. I think we were down 6, 24-18. So we were right there. Even though we didn't play well.

And Lou got a big tip in, and Payton got a couple of easy ones, and we tied it up right a way. And our energy level went way up, and it was kind of game on. I thought the start of the second half, Lou's tip in and Payton's easy baskets really helped us get some energy going.

But, yes, I felt we were going to still be able to compete because I just thought our defense is something here the last three or four weeks we've been able to depend on and it really saved us a lot. They missed some open threes, but a lot of them were really contested, and we wanted to run them off the line. And we knew they were a very good three-point shooting team, and I thought our guys were pretty active with it.

Q. Best reported shooting team in the league, and they go 2 for 23. It seemed like you were out there, but then also I think Francis ends up with six blocks, and looked like inside he was able to stop them there and keep them from getting looks anywhere.
DANA ALTMAN: Francis's energy level has really helped us. He competes in there. He's physical. He didn't rebound quite as well tonight as he's been rebounding, but those six blocks, we got hands on balls in there. That really helped us. They got some offensive rebounds there that hurt us toward the end, kind of kept them in it. But I really like the energy and the physicality that he brings to the game.

THE MODERATOR: What about tomorrow's matchup against ASU?

DANA ALTMAN: They're a very athletic team. And we know that their energy level, their athleticism, we're going to have to be really sharp at 8:30 tomorrow night.

We know they're a very talented team. We both have a lot on the line, so I know it will be a very tough contest for us. They beat us at their place. We beat them at ours. So it's going to be a tough game.

They're very talented. They play very hard. I love their energy that they play with. We know we're going to have our hands full. And our guys will get some rest, and I think we'll be ready to go at 8:30 also.

Q. Talking about going three games in three days, where do you feel this team is at physically? They played a few more minutes tonight, but you feel going into tomorrow the team is still pretty fresh?
PAYTON PRITCHARD: Definitely. I know the game is different, it's like the preseason to practice. This is what prepares us for things like this and the opportunities to play three games in three days. So we're going to be ready.

LOUIS KING: Yeah, exactly what he said. Staying healthy, getting back to rehab, and our body is ready for the big game.

Q. Congratulations on your contract extension. The timing of that was pretty perfect. How fun was it to have that announced and then to go out there and win tonight?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, I'm excited. My family is excited. We've enjoyed our nine years at Oregon. And I still want to coach. And so the opportunity to do it at Oregon, I'm excited. Probably a few of the players that are disappointed.

But I'm really excited and my family is excited. So we want to build something special. We've worked nine years. I've got a great staff. And I've received great support from the university, President Schill and Rob, everybody has been unbelievable. Got great boosters. It's a special place and we hope to build something special.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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