Northern Iowa Head Coach Ben Jacobson – “I was having as much fun as anybody on our side, our fans and everybody watching and cheering for us on TV. A big part of it was how hard the guys were competing. Even in the first half we were fighting really hard to defend and to rebound.
“Obviously you want to win but at that point as a coach you can feel really good about the group of guys you have. Had we gotten beat in overtime or had they made a shot late in regulation, we had accomplished a lot tonight with the way they stuck with it.
“We went to that lineup with four guards and moving (Klint Carlson) to the center position. He’s comfortable. The last month or two last year he was in that spot for us and he made a difference in that spot. That group did a good job putting pressure on Oklahoma and finding guys in the right spots. Everything had to go our way to get it where it got.”
Northern Iowa forward Klint Carlson – “Coach drew up plays and put the ball in my hand and my teammates gave me the ball, put me in the right spots and I just had to make the plays. I guess I was feeling it. I don’t really remember how many shots I took but at that point I was just happy they were going in. I was just focused on one goal, that was to win the game. It felt good to be able to make those shots and lift my team above the level we needed to be at.”
Northern Iowa guard Jeremy Morgan – “Our defense and our rebounding were hiuge going down the stretch. If we don’t get a couple of those stops going down to the end, if they get some scores it could have turned out a different way. We came through making big plays.”
Oklahoma Head Coach Lon Kruger – “For 30 minutes, really a great job on both ends of the floor yet we didn’t finish like we have to. Obviously Northern Iowa did a terrific job. They’re capable of hitting 3s and they did that at a critical time and got back in the ballgame and took the lead. But we’ll learn from it as disappointing as it is.
“It’s a game that gives a lot of opportunities to learn – turnovers, valuing possessions and finishing plays strong, all those we’ll get better at. When they made some 3s and got back into it, we didn’t handle that very well, but all things to learn from, the good and the bad and certainly a lot of good in the first 30 and a lot of bad in the last 15.
“Give Northern Iowa credit. They competed really hard, they made some 3s and they got a little momentum going, their energy picked up and at that point we turned the ball over several times and didn’t get shots on goal so that’s never a good thing.
Oklahoma forward Kristian Doolittle – “Driving was my first option on the play but if they gave me space, I had the freedom to shoot the ball and that’s what I did. We can become more mentally tough when adversity hits, not to drop our shoulders and pout, just keep going to the next play.”