Miami 78, Fresno State 76 – Post-game quotes and Wooden chips

Coach Jim Larranaga, Miami – Opening Statement: “I thought Fresno State was able to get the tempo they wanted to start the first half but when Zach Johnson came in the game he really calmed us down. We quit turning the ball over, started to get better shots and then the lead started see-sawing back and forth. We got into some early foul trouble in our frontcourt so it made us smaller and we were able to survive until halftime. In the second half, I thought we played really well and it was a great contest. They (Fresno State) are very good and I thought we played really well. It came down to one possession and one missed shot that turned into an offensive rebound dunk. Zach had himself a great game and deserves a lot of credit for helping us win this.”

On Zach’s performance: “I look at like we have seven starters. I didn’t start Zach at the beginning game of the but I did for the second half and moved Chris Lykes to the wing. Zach is bigger and stronger against their press and can see a bit better over it. He and DJ Vasilijevic handled the pressure very well. We ran a different offensive set and Zach was very good at making the decision of whether to score or dish and he had three big assists, those were important plays. The defense collapsed to stop him from scoring at a high rate but what makes a guy really good is if he can make his teammates better and he did that.”

Guard Zach Johnson, Miami – On game-winning tip in: “I thought Chris (Lykes) had a great look. There was about six or eight seconds left and I knew that our best chance to win, if he missed it, was to get on the offensive board. I took off, the ball just bounced my way and I put it back in.”

On playing for Championship: “It means a lot. A lot of teams don’t get to play for championships throughout the season and to have the opportunity to play in this championship is great for our team and our program and it’s a good feeling.”

Coach Justin Hutson, Fresno State – Opening Statement: “That’s a good team over there. Very well coached. Not a surprise. Coach has been doing it for a long time and I was proud of our guy’s fight throughout the game. There were ups and downs but if we had a little less turnovers, it would have helped us. Twenty turnovers are not going to beat a team like that.”

On foul trouble – “Get them out and get them back in, try to make sure you keep them fresh so they don’t make a mental mistake while they’re tired. They recognize they have four fouls but sometimes when you get tired, fatigue makes us all do silly things. Get them out, get them in, keep reminding them so they don’t pick up the pressure. “

Guard Braxton Huggins, Fresno State – On hot hand: “I guess a little bit. I was just trying to get it going on defense and get some stops. That was the main thing our team was focused on, trying to get some stops to win the game. “

On the end of the game Miami’s missed three-point attempt: “Yeah, I definitely did (think we were going to overtime). That possession wasn’t the one that made us lose the game. Like coach said, throughout the game we had silly turnovers, we had our pick-and-roll issues and our defense wasn’t that good. We have to get back and work on that, watch some film. But the last couple of possessions weren’t the ones that made us lose the game.”

Wooden Chips

Miami (5-0)

Fresno State (2-2)