Dec. 16, 2015


Ohio State 67 (5-5), NIU 54 (7-2)
December 16, 2015                                                                  
Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 12,880

Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On the team’s performance
“We shot 39% today and missed a lot of easy shots. Even when we missed those we would get back down the floor and defend”

On team’s defensive effort
“Our defense is something we are constantly trying to build with this team because we don’t have that one guy who can get a hot hand and we can just defer to them and say ‘you got them’. Our guys now have to be connected and have to be playing together and seeing things happen especially their rotations.”

On team consistency
“We’re still looking for that consistent game all the way through, we had a six point lead in the first have and that has been a theme of this season like in the UConn game we would go on a good run and start to cut into the lead and then would give it back to them. We just don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot, I just don’t want us to beat ourselves.”

Jae’Sean Tate, Ohio State forward
On their energy in the second half
“When we came out [of halftime] we just had that Buckeye basketball sense to us. Getting on the ground for loose balls, being in the gaps, we just played harder and we got the win.”

On the stalls throughout the game
“It’s really tough to explain. We know that we have another gear to us, we just have to get out of that funk. It’s hard at times but [as] the veterans, we have to do a better job of bringing the energy, the people that have been here.”

Trevor Thompson, Ohio State center
On the feel of the game
“At times our shots weren’t falling, but we just kept playing defense. That’s the biggest key for us. When we’re not hitting shots, we continue to play defense. We don’t lax up on screens, everybody plays together … I feel like going into the second quarter, once [Jae’sean] hit that three-point play, we started “D-ing” up and we started rolling after that.”

Mark Montgomery, NIU head coach
On the outcome of the game
“That was a highly contested game, I thought Ohio State made some key baskets late and their defense obviously bothered us.” 

On the level of compete of the game
“Our guys competed they just had too many more weapons than us tonight and they made big shots.”

On the strengths of his team
“Two of our staples are to play with great energy and great effort; it takes no skill to do that and when you’re talking about something that doesn’t take skill you should see it. I thought our guys competed and tried hard and that’s all you can ask.” 

On the Ohio State team
“Diop and Lyles made two NBA threes and our defense is inside out so if you’re going to take a shot like that were going to try to contest it and they made it. Unfortunately, the lead went up and we didn’t recover.”