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Ohio State (4-2, 0-0 Big Ten) 55, No. 1 North Carolina (6-0; 0-0 ACC) 66
Value City Arena
Columbus, Ohio
Nov. 28, 2007
Attendance: 19,049

Postgame Quotes

Thad Matta, head coach
On Ohio State’s effort
“I am proud of the effort that our guys put forth. They played with a lot of intelligence and intensity. The ball just would not go into the basket for a while. But, they stepped up and made some good plays.”

On what the team can learn from tonight
“We can look at this game and build; this was a great test for this team early. The fun part is building from here.”

On Kosta Koufos’ performance
“Kosta was up against Tyler Hansbrough who is probably the best post player in the country. It is one of those games he just has to learn from; all of our players do. Coach Tressel said it best when he said, In a game like this you have to play better than you are.’ We will learn a lot from this.”

On Othello Hunter’s performance
“Othello has to keep it going. He gave a tremendous effort tonight. He came up with some lose balls and made big plays. He has to build on this game and that has to become a standard for us.”

On Ohio State’s defense
“Our defense was there to win the game tonight. We knew where (Tyler) Hansbrough was, but we lost (Wayne) Ellington a few times and he made us pay. I thought our defense played pretty well overall.”

On Jon Diebler’s shooting
“I told the guys I do not think there is a team in the country that shoots more than we do on a daily basis and eventually they are going to fall. Jon got a roll there for a while tonight. I am not worried about our shooting.”

Jamar Butler, senior guard
On the game
“There was nothing going on in the inside. Their guards had to set up and make plays. When you are going up against Tyler Hansbrough, who I think is the best post defender in the country, the guards have to play well.”

On the game
“This game will help us a lot in the tournament. We kept our guard up and kept fighting for 40 minutes. It will help down the line.”

Jon Diebler, freshman guard
On the game
“We played hard. It was an exciting game. We had a 10 minute stretch in the second half that we just couldn’t score. You can’t do that against a team like North Carolina.”
 
On his last second first-half shot
“Jamar has done a great job all season of getting inside. I set a screen for him and my defender went with him. When he (Jamar) got me the ball I knew we were low on time and I just tried to get it off.”

David Lighty, sophomore guard
On the game
“I hate to lose, so that is always going to be a negative. There is also some positive to be drawn from this. We went toe-to-toe with the No. 1 team in the country.”

On the game
“I was just trying to make something happen. I remember the game from last year and all the contact it was the same this year. We just have to knock down shots.”

Roy Williams, North Carolina’s head coach
On the game overall
“We feel very fortunate. It feels good in the locker room right now. Having Ohio State win 27 in a row at home, it feels good to come out on top tonight. It was a good crowd tonight. I have a lot of respect for Thad (Matta) and his coaching staff. He has a young team with a lot of potential and they’re going to be very good in the years to come.”

On both team’s shooting
“Neither team was making shots in the first half. The second half we started making shots. We know Ohio State missed shots that they normally would have made. I think there was some nervous energy that drained both teams and we had more experienced players that we could put in towards the end of the game.”

On Ohio State’s players and coaching staff
“Jamar (Butler) is their only guard with experience and we wanted to wear him down. He is a great player. I have to utmost respect for the coaching staff and their young players. They have a lot of potential and they’ll be good for a long time.”

Wayne Ellington, sophomore guard
On the guard play without Ty Lawson
“It shows how deep we are and how experienced we are. The guys that came off the bench really stepped up.”

On the stretch of road games
“I think it will help us in March both physically and mentally. I don’t really think it is that big of a deal (negatively). We have really bonded as a team because we are always together at the arena or the hotel.”

On guarding Jon Diebler
“He got hot on me. Coming into the game he was 2-of-24 (field goal shooting). When he hit that long one, I knew I had to step up.”

Tyler Hansbrough, junior forward
On Ohio State going 0-for-18 for a stretch of the second half
“That was one of the things we keyed on, especially off of ball screens. We wanted to stop the open looks.”

On guarding Kosta Koufos
“Defensively we played well. Koufos is a good player and we didn’t allow him any easy baskets.”

Bobby Frasor, junior guard
On Jon Diebler
“We knew he was a very good shooter and he made some big shots for them in the first half. We just tried to do a better job on him in the second half.”

On defending Jamar Butler
“He’s tough. He can shoot it well and get to the basket. I tried to take advantage of my length against him.”