Final: WKU 95, Minnesota 77

18 11 2010

The loss means that WKU will take on Hofstra, who lost to North Carolina today, on Friday at 5 p.m. CDT.

Some comments from WKU coach Ken McDonald after the game:

“We have to play better and we have to play harder. We need more mental focus as well, we had a lot of mental breakdowns and we have to know that our system is strong and we have to know that every night we have to play defense and rebound.

“We gave up way too many rim shots and a lot of breakdowns with help and it’s hard to keep confidence on the offensive end when they scored so easily like that.”

“Sometimes a reality check’s a good thing. I believe the guys will really take from this and come back ready to play (today).”

“They mixed it up (defensively), but we shot ourselves in the foot standing around and not moving the ball. We had 10 assists at the half and we could have had 20 if we’d have made extra passes.

“But the pressure mounts when each trip needs to have bucket because you’re down 10 or 15. Guys start thinking they have to do one-on-one stuff and we have to stay away from that.”

“We had some open looks and missed some, even though we took 16 3’s at the half. We could have cut that number down and they did  a good job of swarming to the drive and I think we’ll get better.

“Our zone offense will get better with time, but we have to move and take care of the ball – way too many careless turnovers.”

“We held the line pretty good (when Juan Pattillo went out with foul trouble in the first half). Guys came in and gave good minutes. Cliff Dixon made a lot of hustle plays, Jamal Crook did a really good job and Kahlil McDonald is coming on.

“In games like this, which should be a very close possession game, you can’t have breakdowns but everybody’s got to be able to play and have energy. The focus and mental breakdowns will get better but you can’t do that against quality teams, because it’ll get you.”

WKU senior forward Steffphon Pettigrew:

– On going up against Minnesota’s size and the game overall:

“It was difficult (to handle Minnesota inside). We fought the best we could, tried to make them shoot difficult shots but we just lost our energy in the second half – hopefully we can just get this taste out of our mouth and move ahead.”

“We can’t have careless turnovers and we have to start moving the ball more. We had a lot of mental breakdowns also, and we’ve just got to get better.”

Minnesota coach Tubby Smith:

“Western Kentucky came ready to play, they’re a scrappy hard-nosed team and coach McDonald and their team will win a lot of games this year. We did some things good tonight, I was pleased with the team effort all the way around.

“When you shoot 62 percent, you’re going to win a lot of games.”

 

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