The Arizona Wildcats led wire-to-wire Thursday night in a 72-60 win at Washington State. Our recap of the game can be found here.
After the game, coach Tommy Lloyd, Benn Mathurin and Dalen Terry spoke to the media. Here’s what they said.
Lloyd on his overall impressions from the win: “They’re a really good team. They’re well put together. You have two guards that can shoot and score like that and then you have two bigs that have that active energy and they have a bunch of really nice role players. They’re a really good team and we were just able to get into them defensively a little bit today and made things tough for them. That was the difference.”
Lloyd on what Arizona did well at Thursday: “I wish that we shot a little bit better percentage. I thought we rushed some of our finishes in there. Finishing and fighting to get good shots is something we work a lot in our offense. Like I said, they’re formidable. They’re a really good defensive team. I thought we did a good job moving them and breaking down some of their pressure and got a lot of things that ended up being on our terms.”
Lloyd on prioritizing guarding the perimeter: “That was huge. I really wanted them to guard the 3-point line today. Half their attempts are from three and I just felt like if we could make it into a two point slash free throw game that we would be in good shape.”
Lloyd expanding on Arizona’s defensive focus: “Just guarding how we guard. We lived with some of their bigs taking a few 3s and they made a couple of them. But there’s tradeoffs right? Maybe it allows us to pressure the ball a little bit more and stuff when their bigs are out on the perimeter holding it.”
Lloyd on being back in Spokane: “It was good. It was nice. I’ve stayed at The Grand whether coming back from vacation or moving in between houses, stuff like that. So it’s good. We had a good time. It was really the first time I’d been back. So it was to great to see a bunch of friends and we met up with a bunch of people and had a really good night.”
Mathurin on Arizona’s strategy Thursday: “We knew before the game that they were a pretty good defensive team. So our was to have a plan and stick to the plan and execute it in order for us to win. Play fundamentals. Make the simple play and just play together. Make simple passes.”
Mathurin on his success playing at Washington State: “I own the gym. No, I’m just playing. To be honest it’s a pretty good experience playing (at Washington State). It was great. It was really cool to play with fans at the game tonight. Really experienced it my first time. I would say it was pretty fun.”
Mathurin on creating his own energy: “It comes with my teammates. My teammates always pushing me to my limits and pushing me to my guts. I’m grateful for them. Pretty happen with the win.”
Terry on guarding the perimeter: “We knew what the stats said. Obviously they’re the best quote unquote “two punch team” in the Pac-12, so we emphasized our defense, made sure we ran them off the line and made them shoot the tough jump shots over our bigs. We just stick to the team plan. When we play like that we can do anything.”