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Happy New Year!

No. 23/24 Ohio State (10-1; 1-0 Big Ten) 68, Iowa (10-4; Big Ten 0-1) 65
Postgame Quotes
Dec. 31, 2008
Value City Arena
Attendance: 14,946

 
Thad Matta, Ohio State Head Coach
On Jon Diebler’s performance
“I was very proud of the effort by Jon today. He came up huge on the defensive end when the shots weren’t going down for him in the first half. He catches fire in the second half and to his credit he stepped up for us to take the big shots. I thought our guys did an excellent of finding him open and passing at the right time. Great shooters are only as good as their passers.”

On P.J. Hill’s effort
“I thought the energy brought by P.J. was tremendous at the defensive end. I couldn’t be happier for him and never flinched when he comes into the game. He goes to work and brings energy to the team and really pumps up the defense. P.J. is committed to the team and is a competitive guy.”

On momentum in the game
“I’ve been trying to explain to the guys about momentum in a game. I was at football and I heard Coach Tressel talk about momentum in a game and he’s right. In sports, momentum swings are huge in a game. I’ve been trying to get our guys to understand that in games you got to make a play at the other end and be ready for the other team to come back at you.”

Jon Diebler, sophomore guard
On his hot shooting
“The guys set great screens for me and I was shooting open shots all day. Guys like Will (Buford) and Evan (Turner) were penetrating and kicking out to me for open looks.”

On P.J. Hill’s block
“I just remember hearing the ball get smacked and P.J. flying around me. That’s the way P.J. is he comes to practice and works hard. When his opportunity came today he stepped up in a big way and made some plays. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

P.J. Hill, junior guard
On the team’s defense
“We miss having David Lighty out there so the rest of us have to step up and play with more energy. We’ve tried different combinations of players out there and we are really starting to come together.

On Jon Diebler
“Jon holds himself to a high level of performance and sometimes he gets down on himself if he has a bad shooting day. We know it will turn itself around, and days like today are proof of that. He carried us out there.”

Evan Turner, sophomore guard
On his game
“I missed some easy shots today that I usually make. There was more contact than usual, but I guess that should be expected in Big Ten play.”

Todd Lickliter, Iowa head coach
On the game overall
“After the first 10 minutes we played pretty well. Our demeanor in the first just was not good. To our guys’ credit, even though we didn’t play great we competed in the second half. Diebler was terrific; he hit open shots and made some even when we were in his face.”

On what got his team going after the slow start
“We just responded well. In the first we were hoping things would go our way, but by the start of the second half we realized that we were going to have to make things happen. Unfortunately our good response was just not good enough today.”

On the performance of Matt Gatens
“He made some big open shots for us tonight and really played aggressive in the second half. For someone who has grown up watching Big Ten basketball, finally experiencing it first hand must have been eye-opening. To his credit, he responded really well.”