COACH DREW: Well, I thought our offense was good both halves. The big difference was second half. We held them 36 percent and 2-8 from three. So really defended better. And then we only had five turnovers, which we were able to keep them out of transition more because of that. I thought they're a very good team, very explosive team.
And I thought our effort in the second half to take care of the ball and make sure we got back in transition was really good. And all year long our depth has been a good strength.
Al and T.J. had monster games, and that's what the beauty of having depth is. So they're experienced players. They didn't want to stop playing, and they did a great job stepping up, especially when Mot was in foul trouble the first half.
Q. Terry, that first after in particular, with J. Mot in foul trouble, did you feel like you needed to step up at that point?
TERRY MASTON: Yeah. He's a really essential part of our team and they was giving me the mid-range jumper and I made a couple and they just kept falling for me.
Q. Terry, it had been maybe three or four weeks since you've had a big game. Were you kind of anxious to have a game like this?
TERRY MASTON: Yeah, I knew in the tournament anything could happen. So I was just waiting on my opportunity when my team needed me, and I'm glad I could step up today.
Q. I think your bench scored 20 straight points in the first half. Can you tell me what that meant to the team and did it surprise you a little bit?
COACH DREW: Again, our staff doesn't look at it as starters. We look at it as a team, and that's the great thing of being able to have multiple guys who can come in and there's no dropoff and a lot of times there's a lift. So the great thing is it makes it harder for the other team to prepare against everybody, and when someone on our team has an off night there's somebody there to pick them up. Or if they're taking away certain things or giving us things, like T.J. giving him the jumper and he was able to take advantage of that and our guys did a great job getting him the ball, too, so he could.
Q. Probably the last three or four weeks you've been a really big contributor. What's kind of been the turnaround for you the last few weeks?
AL FREEMAN: That's a great question. Probably just confidence. When you see the ball go in a few times, you loosen up and you become more free. And I think early on in the season, I was really pressing and wasn't letting it come to me. And you know, these last few weeks I just had -- just keeping it simple. And once you see the ball go in a couple of times, you feel like you can put it in every time you shoot. So I just really thank God for that.
Q. The first five or six minutes of the second half, what adjustments did you guys make defensively to really clamp down on them and make the key run of the game?
JOHNATHAN MOTLEY: Well, we just made sure that we guarded the three-point line a little bit better. I think they went like four straight at the end of the first half. So we just made sure we guarded that and made them try to shoot tough twos over our shot blockers.
Q. Johnathan, just talk about you guys have had a couple of disappointing appearances in the NCAA the last couple of years as high seeds getting upset. Just talk about how you guys weathered the storm when they took the lead and were able to avoid that feeling again?
JOHNATHAN MOTLEY: We know the tournament is about making runs. They made their run and it was our job to come back and make our own run. So we went in at halftime and made some adjustments, made sure we carried out those adjustments. And good things happen when you follow the game plan, and we're glad we got the win and we did everything possible for us to get that win.
Q. Johnathan, did those early exits the previous two years serve as any kind of motivating factor for you today?
JOHNATHAN MOTLEY: Yeah, for sure. No one wants to leave the tournament early. Our ultimate goal was to come in and just win it, so we want to just take every game for what it is and make sure we come in and just play our hardest, play desperate, you know, because after this, you lose, you go home. So we knew one team was going home today, and we made sure it wasn't us.
Q. Johnathan, you've lifted the team on your shoulders a few times this season. When you go out with two fouls in the first half and guys like Al and Terry step up, what does it mean to you for them to help carry that load and keep you in the game?
JOHNATHAN MOTLEY: It means a lot, because we have full trust in each other. Like Coach said, our depth is what makes us so good. Anyone can step up on any night. So we know what type of player Al and Terry is and they're both great offensive players. So we know that we have full trust in them and when I go down, someone is going to step up. And that's just something we know.
And they did a good job of it today, being aggressive and making sure they made shots and also played defense as well.
Q. Scott, their first half, obviously they hit some three-pointers. That's not what they've done most of the year. Did the game plan have much on three point defense coming in? Did it surprise you a little bit in the first half?
COACH DREW: No. Coming in we knew that they had several guys that were good three-point shooters and made a lot this year and we didn't do a good enough job contesting some of those.
The other thing is transition. They're so good in transition, the last thing we wanted to do is turn it over and give them easy ones, which we did in the first half more.
I thought second half, maybe it was our depth, maybe the sense of urgency, but we did a great job of getting back taking care of the ball so they couldn't get in those transition opportunities. And then really defended the arc a lot better.
Credit to them, and they made some tough shots because they're a good team. When you win 28, 20 in a row you got good players and you're well coached, and you gotta give them credit.
Q. Same thing I asked Johnathan about using the previous early exits as a motivating factor. Did you guys talk about that or do you want them not thinking about that?
COACH DREW: Actually we didn't talk about it as much as we did the previous year. I think you can look at it, two Elite Eights and a Sweet 16 or you can look at it as two first round losses. If you're in the tournament enough, you're going to have both. So the goal is to win more in the tournament than you lose.
I thought the Big 12 tournament for us was a great indication to that when it was one game and we were home. At the same time, it allowed us to get healthy and get some practice time with some guys, and I think that was critical for our team. And hopefully we can keep playing good basketball and have guys step up, because this is the best time of year. This is why you spend all those hours in the gym in the summertime and in the preseason is for March.
Q. Scott, you talked about it being a breath of fresh air getting away from the conference. You're 13 and 0, one of six remaining undefeated teams outside of conference play. How much of a breath of fresh air was that? Maybe it wasn't at halftime, but just for the whole game?
COACH DREW: I think players prefer to play in transition than they do half court; right? (Laughter). So I know our K State's first game they scored, what, 90. That was an up-and-down game and fans like watching up-and-down games. And again, in the conference when you play someone a third time and they start to lineup in a set and you're telling them no, you gotta go there, it's tough to get easy buckets or transition buckets because you're so well scouted. So the tournament's great for you to have an opportunity to play other people.