Feb. 14, 2013

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes |  AP Photos 

Thad Matta Ohio State Head Coach
On Northwestern
“I give a lot of credit to Northwestern. They made shots that were difficult and in the first half we weren’t challenging baskets, which we paid for.”

On finishing the game
“Our defense at the end was key. We challenged shots a little better and the game came down to us contesting shots. At the end of the game we had one of our best defensive lineups.”

Deshaun Thomas, junior forward
On switching positions
“I had to post-up instead of being in the mid-post on the side. I played the five which I haven’t done since high school. Shannon [Scott] and [Aaron] Craft found me and I got some easy buckets.”

On going into the half tied at 30
They were hitting their shots and were playing like they didn’t care. Coach Matta told us to play harder and score on the transition.”

On Northwestern
“They play hard. That offense cuts really well and they are very scrappy on defense. A team like that, they have great effort on both ends.”

Aaron Craft, junior guard
On pulling ahead
“We were talking about getting consecutive stops, just trying to push the ball before they could set up their zone.”

On Northwestern
“They are a very good basketball team and they were able to execute very well. You can’t relax or take a breath with this team. You have to stay on the ball and we needed to stick to our game plan. Every time you play Northwestern it’s a grind, it wears on you mentally. They have great pace with their offense.”

Bill Carmody, Northwestern head coach
On Northwestern’s performance
“We didn’t really know what to expect coming through the door, but I’m really proud of the way the guys competed. They played hard and executed what we had in mind. You don’t want to lose but I thought that they really did a nice job.”

On Northwestern’s defense
“We went to a 2-3 zone which we haven’t played in a few years but I thought that was the best thing we could do to stay out of foul trouble. It was effective for most of the game.”

On facing Deshaun Thomas
“Thomas really took over at the end of the game. In the last 10 minutes, we couldn’t keep the ball away from him. He made plays that good players make.”

On Northwestern’s lack of 3-pointers toward the end of the game
“There were threes that we hit that were tough but then there were some threes that I thought weren’t so tough that we missed. I credit the defense for that. They tightened up, not that they weren’t playing hard before, but they really pushed up and did a nice job making it harder to execute your stuff.”

On mentally preparing the Wildcats to face the Buckeyes
“[I said to them:] in your lives you have been in a lot of situations where you thought you were an underdog or that you didn’t have a chance. That’s not unusual for guys at this level. I told them to go out there and play your tails off and if you do that, then you’ll get people’s respect. I thought they did that tonight.”