Postgame Quotes: No. 24 Ohio State (21-6, 8-6) 76, Northwestern (12-15, 5-9) 60

Feb. 19, 2014

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No. 24 Ohio State (21-6, 8-6) 76, Northwestern (12-15, 5-9) 60
Feb. 19, 2014
Value City Arena  – Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 15,878

Thad Matta, Ohio State Head Coach
On focusing on shot selection
We had a good mixture of 3-point shots and drives to get to the foul line. We told our guys coming into this game, we were going to shoot a minimum of 25 shots and we executed and got 29.”

On Ohio State’s run at the end of the first half, extending into the beginning of the second
I think it was the consistency - no question. The big thing was we felt like we needed a run. I thought we did a pretty good job keeping our composure. Guys knew coming out of timeouts what they needed to do and executed it.”

On the progression of the Buckeyes
I like the direction we are heading. This is historically where we have tried to play our best basketball. With the landscape of college basketball, who knows what is going to happen when you take the floor. That is why we have done everything we can to keep our focus on us, in terms of us getting better.”

Lenzelle Smith Jr. senior guard
On what fuels Ohio State’s offense
“Our transition game and getting offense off of our defense is our strong point. Anytime we can get in the game and force other teams to turnover and make steals — usually we can get wide-open layups, dunks or transition 3-pointers off of those plays. It gives us momentum and everybody is fired up. It just carries us throughout the whole game.”

Sam Thompson, junior forward
On Ohio State’s play at the beginning of the first half
“It’s what we talk about needing to do. We talk about having that killer instinct to put teams away. And I think that on both sides of the ball we did that.”

On shooting well from 3-point range
“Just being ready to shoot makes all the difference. We saw a few things in their defense where we thought we could get some open shots. We thought we could shoot behind the dribble hand-off. We also saw they helped off the strong side. I just had a bunch of open looks.”

Chris Collins, Northwestern head coach
On the Buckeye defensive effort in the second half
“We had a very poor start to the second half. [Ohio State] made shots early, got out in transition a little bit and we had a number of fouls that put us in a tough spot. I sensed they turned up their defense a notch. I felt an extra burst of energy and aggressiveness.”

On trying different line-ups in the second half
“I gave Nate [Taphorn] a chance to see if he could bring some offense to the table.  It wasn’t anything I was particularly displeased about with Kale [Abrahamson]. I wanted to give him a chance and see if he could shake things up for us and give us some energy which he did.”