Air Force at Utah State post-game quotes
Jan. 24, 2018

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

USU head coach Tim Duryea:
"A lot of credit to our guys. They did a great job handling the game plan and really being focused defensively on every possession. When you play Air Force, you know it's going to be a possession-type of game. Their time of possession is something they take pride in and you're going to have to guard 15, 20, 25 seconds on a possession. It takes defensive patience and some defensive confidence. Our guys did a good job of preparing and then executing.

“Offensively, a few too many needless turnovers in the first half. We were making good plays, but our delivery was not very good. Diogo Brito, a few times, did a good job of making something happen and then didn't throw the right type of pass to complete the play. I love the aggressiveness, we just have to be a little bit better in our decision making with what type of pass we throw.

“In the second half, we did a better job of moving the ball and finding the open man and delivering it on time and knocked some shots down. Obviously, Sam Merrill was unreal. I mean unreal. Leading our defense, communicating and then offensively, 8-for-10, 21 points, that's as efficient as you can be as a player. He was tremendous."

USU sophomore guard Koby McEwen:
"Our defense was really good this game. We prepped this stuff really well. The coaches know how to guard that Princeton system. We executed the defensive plan. It was hard for them to get buckets. They shot 13 percent from three and 32 percent from two. We did a good job there. We communicated a lot tonight because they do a lot of stuff off the ball. Our defense stood up for us, and that's what won us the game."



USU junior forward Quinn Taylor:
"As a team, we played really solid. Anytime you play Air Force you know you're going to have to guard the system. They run Princeton so it's a lot of back cuts, a lot of talk. We guarded really well in the first half and then came out in the second half and guarded even better. We were able to turn up the intensity and turn our stops into points and just kept rolling on what we started in the first half."

Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich:
"We said at halftime that we weren't really good on the perimeter in the first half or shooting the basketball. We were only down four at the half, but we talked about it the last three days, when Merrill and McEwen get going, they are very good, and they went 21 and 20 tonight. Their perimeter was really good, they're a big matchup and it was a little bit of a struggle for us. We didn't shoot the ball well from the perimeter, and that's been a struggle right there.  Second half, (Merrill) starts the half with the first eight and gets us into a bind, and we get down. As fragile as a game is, we started well our first three or four possessions."


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