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What Tommy Lloyd said after Arizona’s triple overtime win at Utah

tommy-lloyd-comments-arizona-wildcats-basketball-utah-utes-pac-12 Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats persevered through three overtimes to win at Utah 105-99 on Thursday night. Our recap of the game can be found here.

After the game, Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd discussed the win with reporters. Here’s what he had to say.

On what it took for Arizona to get over the top: “It was tough. Both teams played a lot of minutes. There wasn’t a lot of subbing going on. When it goes to overtime, especially if it goes to multiple overtimes, if you can get that four, six point lead, it makes a huge difference. And we were able to do that. I think Caleb hit a three, then maybe got fouled shooting a three. So you go up six points and it’s like now you have something to work with and a little margin for error. We were fortunate enough to do that and thankfully Caleb got us that lead and one of their didn’t get them that lead.”

On whether Arizona’s defense came back in the third overtime: “I think so. I think the defense we made one or two small adjustments in that third overtime. We put (Jaden Bradley) in there who was doing a good job defensively. We stopped switching one of their actions and it seemed to help out a little bit. The shot bounced off the rim. They were shooting some long shots, some short shots, and fortunately they kind of bounced to us on the rebound.”

On Caleb Love hitting the big three in triple overtime: “The beautiful thing about Caleb is he’s not scared and he doesn't have to be perfect. I just kept telling him, play good defense, good play defense. And stay aggressive on offense. It’s gonna come. Those are the games you gotta hang with it.”

On Arizona’s start: “I’m really proud of the way we started the game. You go up 16 on the road, it’s really important. Because these games are hard to win. You’re playing at a place where they haven’t lost. I’m assuming they’re going to make a run in the second half so to have that buffer to be able to absorb their run and then it kept coming. I would have liked to get it back up to 10 or 12 but we didn’t. So the lead in the first half allowed us to absorb how well they played in the second half. Got it into overtime and we were able to find a way.”

On what allowed Utah to get back in the game: “They switched defenses a little bit. They hit a few transition threes. They hit like three threes in a row that were pretty impressive shots. They switched defenses, played that funky zone they play a little bit. We got a bit tentative. They’re playing at home and we’re playing on the road with their fans and it just gets a little bit tougher.”

On Pelle Larsson’s play: “He kind of figured out how to attack that zone so we were able to figure out how to get him in the right spot in the middle of the floor. Pelle is a problem solver and he’s a winner. We’re lucky to have him. And I know this game is never easy for him because he’s not one of those guys that left Utah unhappy. He had a good experience here. I know coming back here, revenge in Pelle’s language probably isn’t a strong word, so I think it was kind of an emotional game for him. So to see him play well and get us over the top was awesome.”

On letting Love attempt a 35-footer at the end of second overtime: “Maybe I could have called a timeout. Maybe I could have called a timeout there. I regret that now. But I trust Caleb with the ball in his hands. And when they’re in the double bonus I told Caleb maybe you gotta be a little more aggressive there. But playing against that zone is a little funky. I probably should have called a timeout and probably put our guys in a little bit better position. But I also know this: Caleb is fully capable of making that shot no matter how well he’s playing because he’s not scared. He made, I don’t know how many threes he made tonight – three – two of them were in overtimes I’m pretty sure. So that’s ballsy.”

On Kylan Boswell’s shoulder injury: “I haven’t heard. He told me he was fine to come back in. Obviously he got hit in the shoulder or something. I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express, I stayed at a Marriott, so I’m not a doctor. Okay? I don’t know and I’m being 100 percent honest with you. I just know that they told me he was okay to play.”

On the importance of this win in the Pac-12 standings: “It’s crucial. If you want to compete for a conference championship you have to be able to compete and win some games on the road. We didn’t get it done at Washington State. We didn’t get it done at Oregon State. Stanford obviously we didn’t get it done when we played there. But I think we’re playing better basketball now. I think that we’re building. I think that all these experiences are accumulating. We’re going in to another place on Saturday where they haven’t lost at home. They have really good players and a good coach. It’s gonna be tough. But we just need to dig down to see if we can find a way.”