Feb. 7, 2010

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Notre Dame Men’s Basketball
Notre Dame vs. USF
February 7, 2010
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center o Notre Dame, Ind.

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

on how tough Tory Jackson played today…
“I turned to him today and I said ‘Tory, I need something to get my team going,’ and he was fabulous. For us to hold Dominique Jones to ten points, that is about as good as you can do. It was Ben Hansbrough, it was Tory, and it was our team. They feed off of the rhythm of Tory really scoring the ball. Tory really did a great job giving us a chance to win today. He made some big free throws, and though we made some mistakes at the end we also made some big free throws and made some big plays to get out of here with a win. To get to 6-5 in this league, I am thrilled.”

on the way Notre Dame played aggressively today…
“South Florida is a very good defensive team. It is not just Dominique Jones scoring forty points that is the reason they have been on this win streak. They do a great job playing half-court defense, and they have always defended us well. We had to just drive the ball, just put our heads down and drive, because it was hard to make passes, it was hard to feed the post and get the ball to Harangody. Tory epitomizes just putting his head down and jamming it down your throat. It is not pretty offense, but it was the only way we could survive today. Tory came out of a timeout and said ‘I am not going to let my team lose today.’ I think he has just been a great leader and a hotshot with the toughness.”

on the play of Luke Harangody today…
“He made big free throws. Abromaitis did a good job of getting the ball to Luke on the side out of bounds. He was the right guy to shoot those free throws at the end to give us some breathing room. We made big defensive plays and we had some big defensive rebounds. When you play forty minutes and have four different bodies flying at you it takes its toll. He deserves the day off tomorrow so we will give it to him.”

On Notre Dame’s position in the Big East conference right now…
“We are in great position here. There is a lot of basketball to be played. We need a little bit of a break tomorrow and we will use that as our off day. Then we have two days to tune it up before we go on the road again and see if we can be better on the road. Seton Hall has been very good at home so it is a great test for us Thursday night in Newark, New Jersey.”

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Luke Harangody | Senior | Forward

on end-of-game situations…
“I want the ball in my hands at the end of the game, but today Tory (Jackson) wanted the ball in his hands. You just want to give your team the best chance to win.”

on a time out called at the end of the game…
“The coaches told us to settle down a little bit. I think we were pressing a little bit too much. It was an ugly game today. We weren’t flowing today like we were against Cincinnati. It was great for us to get a win. I don’t think we’ve had a win like this.”

Tory Jackson | Senior | Guard

on the defensive play of Ben Hansbrough
“(Ben and I) played position D. That kid is very creative and he can get you up in the air get to the rack and finish strong. He did a good job of trusting in us and that’s what really helped us.”

on taking the shot when it was 62-60…
“I’ve missed a lot of those shots before especially when (the game is) that close. I never had a doubt in my mind. I wanted that shot; I wanted that win bad especially against a team like this.”

Ben Hansbrough | Senior | Guard

on the play of Tory Jackson
“Tory really stepped up today. He put us all on his back and I don’t know how many points he had in a row, but Tory really pulled us through tonight.”

on holding Dominique Jones to ten points…
“Tory and I really challenged each other in practice the last couple of days. We didn’t want him to come in here and have a good night.”

USF Head Coach Stan Heath

on the game overall…
“If you had told me we would go 50% from the free throw line, and Dominique Jones would have an off day, and we would still have a chance to win, I wouldn’t know what to say. I was surprised we were still in the game under those circumstances. our guys fought like crazy. our start was horrible, but we really came on in that stretch with the six-point lead. [Tory] Jackson was a big key for them down the stretch. We just couldn’t seem to keep him out of the lane. This is a hard place to win games; not too many people do.”

on defending Luke Harangody
“We gave a lot more help defense in this game inside. The second factor was [Alex] Rivas giving us really good physical play on the inside. The last time we guarded him it just didn’t work. This time we came in and defended him better.”

on Chris Howard stepping up with Dominique Jones’ off day…
“He’s a veteran of the league, so it didn’t surprise me. He’s one of the guys that welcomes that challenge. When things aren’t going well he’s going to step his game up.”

on preparing for Marquette…
“Marquette is awfully good. This stretch off will help us tremendously. We’ve got to step it up. The free throw shooting today was atrocious. We need to get better at that if we want to win close games. We need to execute better down the stretch. our defense has been strong; we just need to play strong the full forty minutes. This three-game road stretch is hard, but it’s going to help to have some time off now.”

on taking two early timeouts…
“We wanted to stop their play. We had to light a fire under the team. We knew it was early, but we had to get going.”

South Florida Player Quotes

Chris Howard | Senioro Guard

on stepping up his performance…
“I think Notre Dame put more attention on Dominique (Jones), and because their defense was focused on him I was able to make cuts, make threes and do the things that I do well to get the ball.”

on the loss…
“A loss is a loss to us. It feels good winning (four in a row before today), but we did come in here and fight. Every loss is a disappointment to us, and I speaking for my team and the coaching staff this loss is no different.”

Jarrid Famous | Junior | Forward

on his inside play…
“I wanted to make a presence-rebounding, posting up strong in the lane.”