They got some good players. Obviously coach pitino had him well prepared. You know i thought ross gave us all kinds of problems in the first half. I thought difference between the two halves was our defense on ross. You know we held them to four points in the second half after 15. In the first half, then i thought our uh our turn problem. In the first half you know, we went from 10 turnovers and attacked only four in the second half, so our points for possession went from like a .89 to a 1.21 in the second half, when we quit turning the ball over, like we, you just you know, When you turn the ball over and you don’t make free throws you put a lot of pressure on your offense, you know so the free throws were an issue which, hopefully we can get that fixed uh, just guys that typically are better shooters. You know quarterly left. Four points out there. I think you missed the front end of a one on one twice. You know petty’s a great shooter that was three of eight it’s, been a good shooter all year for us. So you know those guys left a lot of points on the board and then you know the turnovers were a problem, but i only came ready to play. I guys i thought our effort was great. I just thought, maybe you know, got some ncaa game jitters. I don’t know what it is to be honest with you, but hopefully getting that first game out of the way getting the win even when we didn’t play well.
I thought our defense was pretty good, especially there in the second half. So you know, if you look at the effort stuff, you know on the glass, we beat him by 16. It was 42 26. So i thought a lot of the effort stuff we did great at. We just got to settle down and play a better offensive game. Music, our first question comes from cecil hurt cecil, your line is now open. Coach um didn’t handle the last minute of the first half very well. What did you say at halftime and how did you think they responded? I mean we, i think what were we up? Eight with under two minutes to go and went in they go on a 7 0 run. Maybe i i i i walked in and just said we got to settle down, i mean like it just seemed to me, like guys, were up tight guys were not playing like we’ve been used to them playing. You know we had some really dumb careless turnovers, so you know i didn’t want to put any extra added pressure. I felt like they were already putting way too much pressure on themselves to begin with, and i you know with some of our guys that typically play well that weren’t playing well, so we just need to settle down and lock in control of stuff we can control. I thought you know the effort. Stuff is stuff, we can’t control, but i told him we weren’t giving our defense a chance to win the game for us.
We weren’t turning the ball over 10 times, so told him. If we can control you know, even at the end there, when we gave up the 7 0 run at the half, you know they hit the three off a turnover. I think we had a couple turnovers so just told him to settle in take care of the ball. No more iffy home run plays, and we tried to tell them at the beginning of the game, just reiterated it again at halftime. I think we did a much better job there in the second half. I know we had four in the second half and i think we had two in the first four minutes, so the last 16 minutes of the second half. We only had two turnovers that’s when we kind of settled in took care of the ball. Offense turned up a little bit. I had defense too in the last 10 minutes of the game. I think they scored a total of nine points. Uh they had 46. I believe, with just under 10, to go and finished with nine and kind of in the middle of that we kind of opened the game up. There was a two point game. Then we stretched it up to uh, i think up to 12. Maybe we were down two and then to four runs. I thought reece was huge and that uh ronnie had the two threes and juan gary was big there too. Our next question comes from michael casagrande.
Michael, your line is now open, hey what’s, the message to to john petty. I know he was struggling a little bit to shoot out there tonight what’s what’s the message uh moving forward to the next game. You know i mean he just got us settled down quit. Putting pressure on himself, i mean, i thought he played really hard. I mean he won the hard hat award. He had more blue collar points than anybody. He was all over the glass. He led us in rebounding with seven so like he wants to win at a high level. I mean his you look. He did a great job on guests when we needed him to come in and guard guests, but he’s a really talented, skilled, offensive player. Just let the offense come so you know i don’t know what the deal was to free, throw why but he’s a lot better shooter than that you know even from threes one for five. I thought he shied away from. Maybe you know he wasn’t he didn’t take. I don’t did he take a three in the second half? Was he one for five at the half? I think maybe i don’t think he took one in the second half, but you know he was aggressive. Got downhill, got some easy ones got out in transition off. Some stops so he’s still, you know probably one of his worst shooting games when you take threes and uh free throws together and he still ended up with double digit points.
He played really hard did what we needed to to win, and you know let’s let’s, move on in the next game. He’Ll play a lot better in the next game. Our next question comes from tyler martin tyler. Your line is now open. Hey coach herb said he would have given this the grade for this win. I see as a former teacher is that where it would be on your scale, what would you would you give the grade? What did herb say, give the gray grade. He said c he’s generous, i uh seeming’s average it’s. Definitely not our average. We uh you know and again. Iona came with a great plan. Did a good job. I mean look defensively, give us a b, offensively or probably a d, so maybe put two of them together and maybe call to c, but you know defensively in the second half we’re, pretty close to you know, we’re really good. I think what was our second half uh. Second half defense was pretty good. I thought i got our analytics box score up now. First yeah, we were .79 in the second half before they called it. Uh, analytically final there with a minute 14 to go. So i thought d defensively that’s, pretty good. You know a minus b plus on defense offense. We were not very good. Our next question comes from steve, moulton steve. Your line is open. Coach. Congratulations on the win march. Wins are always precious um there’s.
No doubt about that yeah you mentioned about defense and how well you played defensively, but that rush there under 10, especially the couple of steels that turned into transition buckets. How big was that in terms of gaining momentum under 10 to go, i mean it just won. The game to be honest with you and we needed to break the thing open. You know you think about the steal when petty head to one and juwon had the one juwan goes, the line goes two for two at the line. You know i, it was big. You know i thought juwan was great tonight, he’s been great for us, you know i uh herb got the steel and the dunk. You know herb petty jawan made big defensive plays, so just we need everybody it’s, really stepping up that way. That’S what we tried to tell these guys coming in, like you get yourself some easy buckets by getting some runouts, you know off stops and getting the offensive boards. I think what that’s? What petty did i mean you look at what you know petty hit? The 1 3 – he had double digit points, i mean shoot her second lead scorer had eleven winning quinterly and petty, petty and jack both had ten each. This was not one of our better offensive displays, but you know petty’s our third leading scorer with ten and he didn’t play very good at all, but he went got some easy buckets.
Some transition buckets off steal some old board put backs. You know he had two offensive boards, you know so he uh. He found a way to help us win and i think, all of our guys really kind of just found a way to break that thing open there in the second half running off our stops. Our next question comes from drew de armand and your line is open. Yeah coach – i just wanted to ask you about the bench as a whole. Uh rhys has to sacrifice a lot for this team. He made two huge threes played some good defense on junior joseph in the second half and then juwan made some big time. Uh plays defensively and then, of course, quinley had the huge drive and layup to keep the lead at nine with about a minute to go. Yeah, the bench was great, i mean juwan reese and uh. J.Q were scored 23 points between the three of them. It was big. You know, cornell he’s been used to scoring at a high level. I mean corners he’s, clearly he’s, essentially a starter, but we bring him off the bench and you know we need to keep him out of foul trouble, he’s playing more than 21 minutes for us. But you know i i thought uh. The contributions juwan gave us were huge as as they’ve been, and those two threes that reset were like game opening threes. That was, i and i couldn’t be happier for a kid.
I think he’s just had a great attitude all year. I thought he was great defensively tonight for us. You know i thought i just i couldn’t be happier for rhys. I mean look i’m looking right now. You know our defense. You know we’ve got the defensive analysis when, as a team, we were at a point eight. Two tonight and reece was a .74 when he was in the game, so we were much better defensively when reese was in the game, then when he wasn’t, you know you look at our bench guys. Those three guys were talking about, like offense, turns into defense. You know like quarterly was a point: six five on d juwon gary was a point. Six eight and reese was a .74. So all those guys we were a lot better defensively when they’re in the game and then that defense turned into offense, which uh, which was the case. Now we got to get some of our starting group to be a lot better defensively than what we need them to be rather than what they were tonight, but i thought those guys off. The bench were great for us tonight. Our last question comes from kevin mccaskill kevin. Your line is now open: kevin, mccaskill, junior fp sports, springfield massachusetts uh. How has herbert jones impacted your program? The past two seasons? I mean herb’s kind of the lifeline of our program. To be honest with you, i mean him and petty are two senior leaders: he’s the sec player of the year and defense player of the year.
It’S happened three times in the history of sec, so that speaks to the respect that he’s got from the media and the coaches in the fcc. You know he does every all the little stuff we need him to uh do to win. He did all the little stuff last year. You know he had his left hand in the cast, pulls down 17 rebounds and a big win against allishu. You know he just shows up to work. Every day shows up to play hard. He shows up and makes winning plays every day. You know now in this game biggest game of you know. Essentially these guys careers. We put ourselves in a great spot with a two seed to you, know, come out and make a run, and you know we’re struggling and he puts us on his back and it kind of carries us. He has 20 and six tonight. You know he got to the rim he’s he’s, the only guy that went 100 at the free throw line. He goes four for four, so i thought he was really locked in you know his leadership’s been great. The culture’s changed a lot in the two years. We’Ve been there, you know he’s been at the heart of that culture change and i just you know he can’t sing his praises enough that’s.