Jan. 24, 2007
NIU BASKETBALL POSTGAME QUOTES
Akron (87), Northern Illinois (64)
January 24, 2007 * DeKalb, Illinois
Akron Head Coach Keith Dambrot
"I really feel for Rob and his team. They're beat up physically. I'm sure it was demoralizing to play as well as they did and in the last three minutes of the half, cough it up like they did. In the second half, we couldn't miss after the first half when we couldn't throw it in the ocean. I was worried coming in because Dru [Joyce] had about the worst three shooting days of practice that I've ever seen him have.
"We're not as quick as Toledo. I wanted to pressure them into making mistakes but I didn't want to give up easy baskets. So for the first 15 minutes we pressured and you see how well that went, so then we went a little more conservative.
"Middleton's been great all season long. He's a super hard worker. He's been one of the most improved players in the league for the last year and a half."
Akron Guard Dru Joyce
"In the first half their defense was pretty good and we missed shots. We kind of had happy feet. We were jumpy but we finally calmed down. I think our defense led to our offense. The last three minutes of the first half kind of carried over to the second half."
Northern Illinois Head Coach Rob Judson
"We played good basketball for the first four four-minute segments, then we had a flurry of turnovers and got sloppy and that carried into the second half. The four threes in the first four minutes of the half by Akron turned the game and they kept it going and that was the story. Our team is in a tough stretch. Every day we have a chance to get better in practice."
"Today our turnovers were fundamental turnovers * being able to pass, catch and dribble the basketball. In the first half, our zone defense was our best defense. So we started in the zone [in the second half] and they made two quick threes. Then we went to man-to-man and they made two more. The three-point shot is the equalizer, but it's also a game-breaker and that's what happened tonight."
"This is a tough stretch. It's easy to become frustrated quickly. With our group, we have to do everything we can to keep getting better. We have a lot of season left, a lot of opportunity and we have to stay focused on the opportunity and seize every chance we have to play."
"It's difficult when you lose, there's no question about that. Our practices are energetic, the players are enthusiastic. We have to keep pressing forward and be positive in how we get through a difficult situation."
"The game was quick-paced early and I saw some tired legs. We've been playing 10 guys and I was trying to keep people fresh.
NIU Forward Shaun Logan
"We have to be better with the basketball. These are simple mistakes and we can fix them. [Seeing them go on a big run in the first half] was tough. Teams have runs and you have to stick together and know that we can have a run as well."