Postgame Quotes



March 7, 2012

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East Carolina Head Coach Jeff Lebo
Opening Statement
Well, I am just really proud of my group. That was an unbelievable game that went back and forth. Luckily for us, we had enough at the end. Erin (Straughn) and Darrius (Morrow) were terrific and had a big game for us. We shot the ball pretty well from three and that was something that we needed to do to win the game. We had some big defensive stops coming down the stretch. I thought that was very big." "Rice has a very good basketball team and they play with a lot of energy and passion. I thought that our rebounding was big today, too. We have struggled rebounding the basketball (throughout the season), but today, we had some key offensive rebounds. (Maurice) Kemp had some and Erin (Straughn) had some boards that kept us alive, in crucial times, to win the game."

On scoring 20 second chance points
"Well, typically we are not a team that is a big offensive rebounding type of team. They (the ECU players) were very active on the glass tonight. Erin (Straughn) is an excellent rebounder, and he made some big ones. (Maurice) Kemp had a few that were on the rim, and he turned those into dunks. They were active on getting to the glass and they utilized their quickness to get there. That is a stat that, usually, we don't win. We haven't won that (stat) a lot, this year, because we aren't very big."

On holding Rice to only two second chance points
"That was big. Early in the season, our first six games, we were just getting crushed on the glass, just manhandled. We were losing, on the boards, by 16 or 18. But, as the season went on, we have done a much better job of coming down the stretch and keeping the opposing teams off of the glass. And we did a lot of drills to work on that."

On the match-up with Southern Miss
"They are a terrific team and they have had a great year. I think that they are the highest RPI team in the league. They are very physical and very tough. They get to the foul line and they have made more foul shots than we have attempted. Not only do they get to the foul line, but they are the No. 1 free throw shooting team in the league. So, they rebound, they get double figures, typically each night, and they get to the foul line. That is where they punish you--at the foul line. They make you work for everything, on the offensive side of the ball. And, they just beat you up with their physical nature."

ECU senior Darrius Morrow
On the keys to being successful against Southern Miss
"We will just have to rebound. They are a good team, and they really rebound the basketball. They are really tough, so we are just going to have to look past this win (over Rice) and get ready for tomorrow."

On being able to score points in the paint
"Well, I just stuck to my game. I missed a couple of shots, early, but I just stuck with it. I just kept doing what I normally do, and I give Rice credit, they play great defense down low in the post."

Rice Head Coach Ben Braun

Opening Statement
"It was a tough finish for us, in the first half I thought we established ourselves on the boards defensively holding ECU to 30 percent we had the edge on the rebounding. In the second half I thought the key to ECU's turnaround was them getting offensive put backs and reloads against us and that really hurt us. I thought we had some great opportunities, I thought we converted pretty well.

"To me the big difference in the game was the rebound margin in the second half. We obviously took care of the ball better, we only turned it over two or three times which is a pretty good number, but the rebounding margin specifically in the second half spelled the difference for us."

On the rebounding difference
"It wasn't so much the long rebounds, it was the backside rebounds. They happened on three point buckets; we had to go over the backs a few times to get some balls near the basket. It was not so much the long rebounds, they got to the basket and got to the rim and that's unfortunate because if we could have secured three or four loose ball scrambles underneath the basket, those are opportunities for us to have possessions.

"We shoot over 50 percent from the floor, and in so many ways we played well enough to win this game, usually when you shoot 52 percent for the game and almost 50 percent from the three, and I guess free throws probably hurt us a little bit down the stretch to but rebounding was the most significant thing. When they take 24 threes we have to go out and rebound."