Post-Game Quotes: #21 Missouri 70, Auburn 68

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Jan. 11, 2014

Auburn Basketball 2013-14
Missouri at Auburn
Saturday, Jan. 11, 2013

Auburn head coach Tony Barbee Quotes
On the game...
"I think we need to rebound better. We got crushed on the backboard. I thought that was where the game was won and lost, in the trenches. I thought defensively we played a great game. I thought offensively we executed fairly well, shooting almost 54 percent in the second half. But when it matters the most, in those key moments, your execution has got be at its highest, and in those key moments, those last three or four possessions, our execution was at its lowest in this game."

On Chris Denson at the free throw line...
"He's been working on it. He knows it's an issue, and he has been working on it."

On execution in close games...
"You've just got to continue to simulate them in practice like we have been doing. That's what brings confidence is repetition. It's not like we haven't been in those situations because we have been in it hundreds of times in practice."

On the freshmen...
"I think we have a special freshmen group. They are showing it as they get more and more comfortable on the floor what they can do. I'm proud of the young guys and the way they played."

On the different lineups...
"We mix and match lineups all the time in practice. Tonight, the different lineups were out of foul trouble. We had to go smaller, we had to go big. We work on playing a lot of different ways."

KT Harrell, Jr., Guard
On tonight's loss...
"It was a tough loss. We played as hard as we possible could. The little things beat us today. Rebounding and not making free throws hurt us towards the end of the game. We are really proud of each other because we fought so hard."

On what the team has to do better to close out games...
"We have to execute. Coach made the right decisions on the plays he called to give a chance to win the game. We got good looks, but we just need to execute."

On snapping the conference game losing streak...
"We don't think about that. We just try to go out there and play as hard as we can each game. We have to take it one game at a time. We have to go as hard as we can to go out there and get a win each game."

On losing back-to-back close games...
"It is tough. We have a group of guys that are really competitive. Nobody wants to lose on this team. We believe we can win every game. It is tough, but we have a bunch of guys that are mentally strong. We are going to bounce back and come out harder next game."

On taking the workload off of Chris Denson...
"Chris is a confident guy. He struggled tonight, but we believe in him. He knows that. We need him to score. That is one of his roles on this team, especially as a leader. We need him being aggressive. You will have games like that, but he will bounce back. He will be ready for next game."

On the atmosphere...
"They definitely pumped us up. The support we had was amazing. We tried to give some energy back. It is always good to see we have the support from the people around here. We are going to keep fighting and trying to win games at home."

Tahj Shamsid-Deen, Fr., Guard
On the amount of fouls...
"I think it was a physical game. There were two teams playing physical and playing hard. Sometimes that is how it goes. We just have to knock down free throws. Ultimately, that is what decided the end of the game."

On getting out-rebounded...
"We were in a zone, so you have to box out an area. We were trying to find somebody, but they were crashing hard and playing tough. They played tougher than we did tonight and it showed on the offensive glass. They had 20 offensive rebounds tonight. That is something we have to work on in practice. It is something we will fix, and get ready for the next game."

On the freshman class performing well...
"Coach gives everyone an equal opportunity. He tells us all the time that when our opportunity arises, produce. Tonight, Alex (Thompson) came in and played great for us. I played decent tonight. Matt (Atewe) played great, but got into some foul trouble. We are just going to keep working and get ready for the next game."

Missouri head coach Frank Haith Quotes
On tough performance...
"We showed great toughness. We played together through some adversity and foul trouble. I thought our guys really held their composure and made some big plays. A big block by [Johnathan Williams III] and big free throws by Earnest Ross. When we needed a stop there at the end I thought we got a great defensive stop. Jordan Clarkson had a great defensive stop in the last 2 minutes of the game. It was a gritty performance. It wasn't pretty but winning is hard and I love how our guys hung together to come out of here with a W."

On Torren Jones...
"He was terrific. That's what he can do. We stuck him in there the last game and he played a little bit. Torren gives us a guy who's an SEC athlete. He's aggressive and I think he's only going to get better."

On Earnest Ross' performance and the four late free throws...
"That's what a senior's supposed to do and he did it. Obviously Earnest spent two years [at Auburn], two really good years, and he has nothing but good things to say about Auburn. We're just glad we were able to do the things we needed to do to win the game."

On winning first road conference game...
"It's huge because those are hard. You want to protect your home court which we did not do the other night so we had to get one back. We've got another road game next Thursday so we've got to get ourselves better than we were today and go compete in Nashville on Thursday."

Senior guard Earnest Ross
On the win...
"To come out and play my old school on the road, it was a great feeling. I'm glad we got the win."

On focus at the foul line...
"Coach told me to just knock the free throws down and to be calm and patient. That was what I did. I just took my time, believed in myself and knocked them down."

On toughness of the game...
"Auburn is a great team. Like I told the team, every team we play from now on will be a tough road game or a tough opponent to play. Coming out and showing great poise like we did in the second half, I think we did a great job to get that win."

On next game versus Vanderbilt...
"Vanderbilt is a great team, and we are looking forward to them. We have a couple days to prepare for them and study film. We're going to get in the gym, know their personnel and get ready to go on the road to face them."

Junior guard Jordan Clarkson
On the win...
"It feels great to really get back into our rhythm. I felt we really didn't start to get into our rhythm until the second half. I think we played a solid game overall. We still have to fix some things on the defensive end."

On team's rebounding...
"It was a big key for our win. Torren Jones came in and gave us a real big boost. He is a big strong body, and he has a lot of poise as a freshman to come in on the road and get rebounds like he did. Rebounds were the emphasis before the game."

On Earnest Ross performance...
"It was big. He was coming back to a school he attended. You heard the boos. I think he quieted them down when he hit those free throws. It was a big win for him. You always want to win against a team you used to play. He was more focused. You could see it in his eyes that he was ready to play today on the defensive and offensive end. He finished the game out for us."

On the team getting to the foul line...
"It was just one of those games. Both teams were playing physical. The SEC is a physical league. I learned that the first game when we played against Georgia. I didn't know how physical it was until then. Auburn did a great job defensively. It was just one of those grind it out games."