Jan. 19, 2013
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Memphis (14-3) 60, Harvard (9-6) 50
Memphis, Tenn. (FedExForum)
It's a good win. That's a very good Harvard team. They're extremely well-coached. We won the game through defense. We had a big-time skid offensively where we were not in a rhythm. Harvard comes in as the third-best three-point shooting team in the entire country, and we held them to 25 percent from three and 37 percent from the field. We did another great job on the glass - plus 14.
On giving up a run in the second half
Harvard is a good team. Basketball is a game of runs. We've got to do our job. You're going to have ruts - where you're just in a total skid and you can't score. When that happens, you've got to win games through the defensive end, and that's what we've done.
In shutting down Harvard from behind the arc
We've defended the three but when a team takes so many threes like Rice or East Carolina, they're going to hit a couple. We're holding their two-point percentage in the low 30's but they are hitting a couple of threes because they live and die by it. We did a good job tonight.
Harvard Head Coach Tommy Amaker
I thought we really dug ourselves a big hole against an outstanding basketball team. I think they're as good as advertised; they're explosive and athletic. They're frontline, which has been a little bit of a sore spot for our team, points in the paint, they went right at us and then we couldn't keep them off the backboard the whole game. I was really proud of our guys the way we fought back to make it a game and to actually take the lead in this game. We did some really good things in the second half, but the way we started the game, we got knocked on our heels with they're energy and they're effort right away. I thought that was the difference.
On the slow start
Well they played very well. I thought they came out and played incredibly hard, and put us on our heels. We turned the ball over. Two things we said we need to do in this game and I thought really hurt us right away, we needed to take care of the ball and we need to try to box out and keep them off the backboard, and I thought I thought both of those things were on display completely there for their team. Turnovers by us, open floor transition baskets by them, and getting on the offensive glass. They were just tremendous of climbing the backboard and having second chance opportunities.
Adjustments made at halftime
I thought at halftime we just talked that we knew we were better than that. We knew we were embarrassed by our performance, but you give them credit. They played exceptionally well. They played really hard. We talked about the two things we need to do coming into the game which was take care of the ball, which we didn't do in the first half, and then keeping them off the backboard, which we didn't do for the whole game. I thought those two areas were the difference in how they were able to get the lead and how they were able to win the game.
On the spark Jonah Travis gave the Crimson
He came back and really gave us a shot in the arm at the beginning of the second half. It got us out of the blocks. I thought we were able to rotate guys through there. [Steve] Moundou-Missi gave us some solid minutes up front, but we could never keep them consistently off the backboards. The kid [D.J.] Stephens is an incredible athlete, and his tip-dunk plays I thought were momentum plays and energy plays for their team.