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    FIGHTING IRISH
    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    March 2, 2005

    Recap |  Box Score

    Notre Dame Coach Mike Brey Quotes

    On the BIG EAST...
    We're in the deepest league in the country. When you think about Seton Hall, Providence, and St. John's, we beat those teams by three points and we had to defend against shots at the buzzer.

    On the game...
    We expected Rutgers to play well and to play loose. I thought we defended pretty darn well overall, and that was the key for us. We kept them off the foul line for the most part in the second half. We made big shots, and Chris Thomas made big plays like the senior captain he is. Colin Falls had big points. Omari Israel's minutes were huge, so it just shows that you can still find new things in March that will help the team.

    We were very good on the line. Rutgers had a rhythm and was changing their defense on us, but we were fluid. We were pretty poised. Chris [Thomas] and Chris [Quinn] kept us calm.

    On sophomore guard Colin Falls...
    He really gets his shots off quickly. I don't know if there's a guy here who can get them off quicker than he does. He's shooting at a heck of a percentage. He made some big ones for us, and he's doing a great job defensively. He was guarding Ricky Shields, a really explosive guy, and he only had two points, so that's pretty good. Colin Falls earned his scholarship tonight.

    On senior guard Chris Thomas...
    Despite the guys who are wondering, when he senses we need one, he finds it and gets it. That's what you love - you love his fearlessness. It's his team, and he's a pretty confident guy. I can't believe he blocked two shots, so we'll probably hear all about that for the next two days.

     

     

    On the team...
    I'm really proud of our group. We've got a winning record over the last five years with what we've been handed in the league, and I think that says a lot about the consistency of our program-but we're still not satisfied.

    On the upcoming Pittsburgh game...
    We have a lot to play for: Senior Day, the 100th Season Gala, and having our All-Century Team back. It's going to be an unbelievable day, and we should get every call.

    Sophomore Guard Colin Falls

    On his shooting...
    "I felt good shooting tonight. I got a bunch of open looks, and even missed a few open ones, but it felt good. I don't think my stroke ever went away. Even the best players in the country go through slumps, and you just have to shoot your way out of it."

    Senior Forward Jordan Cornette

    On Notre Dame's defense...
    "We took the offensive defensively tonight. We were trying to create problems for them by getting our hands on the ball and forcing tough shots. We had them playing on their heels offensively, more so than them being in the attack mode, which Rutgers likes to do. We were able to contain them, and for the most part we did good with interior defense as well."

    On the game...
    "We still need to work on our defensive rebounding. That was one of the flaws in tonight's game, but you have to draw on the good things. Look on the board, there was 29.5% field goal defense, and that was our main focus. UCLA came in here and shot the lights out so we wanted to come out and make Rutgers, which runs on their guards' shooting, struggle. That was one of the keys to the victory tonight."

    Senior Guard Chris Thomas...

    On his shooting...
    "I was a decoy on offense for most of the game tonight. I forced a few three's early, just trying to get going, and Coach told me to let the game come to me. I had a few looks in the second half, so I took advantage of them."

    Rutgers Head Coach Gary Waters Quotes

    On the game...
    "I thought we played a tough first half, but we didn't keep them off of their shooting percentages. Falls was really shooting the ball well and at the start of the second half we allowed them to get a jump on us. I have to give them credit. They played hard defensively and we had to work for everything we got. It wasn't a game where we had open shots. They worked extremely hard."

    On Rutgers' play...
    "I thought we had a great chance to win this game. You can't go 18 for 61 and win a game. When you have a chance to take a victory, you have to grab it and take a hold of it. I was happy for the effort. We still didn't close the game out."

    On the Irish guards...
    "I thought we defended them well, but when Falls was open, he hit the shot. Thomas had one of the toughest defenders of the league on him, Marquis Webb. I give Thomas credit though, he didn't force shots, but he had 12 assists. When they shoot three-pointers that well, you have to extend your defense and that can cause some problems inside. "

    Sophomore Center Byron Jones

    On Rebounding...
    "I just felt that the ball was there and I had the opportunity to go get it. I kept my man off the glass and I just went to go get it."

    On being taken out of the game right before the Irish went on a quick two basket-scoring run...
    "I got hit in my face but I didn't know I was bleeding till somebody said something, and they took me out."

    On the motivation this loss provides...
    "I mean it does a lot, from the standpoint that we have to bounce back from this. It's basically time to win and right now is not time to lose...like coach said, every game is a must win."

    Sophomore Guard Quincy Douby

    On Rutgers shooting percentage...
    "We had a couple of opportunities to go on a run but it just wasn't a good night I felt that it would have went in our moment, it wasn't like a transition plan where I had the lay-up, it was goaltending; it wasn't called...you know if we had gotten that lay-up it would have them on their heels a little bit. But instead they got a three-pointer that fired them up."

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