|"We had a good lead at halftime, and then came out the second half and started making a lot more shots. Ryan, for example, makes a three and then a couple of twos. Lester gave us a big lift in the first half (13 points), when T.J. got in foul trouble. But we have more players. I don't mean that to be a cut, like it might sound. We have veteran players, and they have young players. And when you have that in the game of basketball, a lot of times it ends up helping you. Our guys have played pretty doggone good on the road. I think they did tonight, and this is one of the toughest places to play. All around Paul Pierce, Ryan, Lester off the bench... a lot of guys gave us some good play.
"We tried to run some traps early in the second half, and got some steals out of it. But again, we're playing veteran players against very young players for them. Down the line they're going to be able to handle the double-teams better than they did tonight. But that was part of our plan, to see if we could pressure them and still not overrun and gamble so much that we give them easy ones.
"They came out and spread the floor on us, and it's very difficult to maintain your patience for 35 seconds on the defensive end without trying to go for the steal all the time. But I was pleased with what we did defensively. They shot a good percentage, but we were able to get them to turn the ball over. If we hadn't been able to get them to turn it over, it wouldn't have been a very good defensive plan. But we were able to get them to turn it over, and got some easy baskets out of that.
"Paul is a good free throw shooter. He's a good shooter. He hasn't been shooting his three-point shots as well. I think he made one in the first half tonight.
"At the 4:00 timeout we set that one up, to have (Raef) come down and shoot a three-point shot, because I knew I was going to take him out there. I just wanted him to shoot one more three. I was pleased tonight. The majority of the Cyclone fans cheered for him. It wasn't like it's been in the past. There was one sign out there that wasn't the nicest in the world, that said, 'Raef, after tonight, don't ever come back to Iowa.' But I know the majority of Iowa people understand that he's a great kid. And I wanted him to have a chance to make one last three here, because this is his senior year and his last game (in Iowa)."
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