Utah State head coach Tim Duryea
On the game:
"We came out with probably the best defensive mindset, defensive mentality that we've had in probably a couple years. It really set the tone for the basketball game defensively. That's not something we've been able to say a lot. That's something we've been trying to establish, that's something we've been working on, trying to become, trying to make our identity. Today was a program game. It was about who wanted to show up and compete in an empty arena at noon on our eighth day on the road. Our guys showed a lot of character, a lot of togetherness and I'm really proud of them."
On if any player stuck out individually:
"Sam Merrill always leads the way, is very composed and gets us going for three or four games in a row now, he has gotten us started offensively. Thought he did that again today. But, it was a group effort. It was on the defensive end. We took their best player out of the post by double-teaming him, we did a good job when the ball went on the glass of blocking out and limiting them to one shot, and it allowed us to get used to the zone that they started out in, get our feet wet a little bit down there and our defensive stood up on the other end."
On the team shooting a season-high 80 percent from the free throw line:
"That's more us. That's more of what I've seen. That's our track record in practice and in scrimmages. That can be us as a group, and, hopefully, we grew in that area today."
On the tournament:
"Good to come out with a couple wins in the tournament. Don't want to play in too many of these where we don't have a home game or two, try to avoid that in the future. But, this team needs to develop a little bit of road-toughness, and maybe we're doing that."
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