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March 18, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Oregon excited about rematch at Washington

Oregon and Iowa combined to produce the highest scoring Division I game this season, but following the Ducks’ 108-97 win, they advanced to the NIT quarterfinals and a potentially explosive rematch with Washington.
Aside from Northwest bragging rights, both teams are playing for a chance to travel to New York’s Madison Square Garden and play in the NIT semifinals.
Had a chance to pose five questions to the Ducks after their game and they’re excited about facing the Huskies in a rubber match. Both teams won decisively during the regular season at home.
Oregon said the key to Tuesday’s game is playing good defense and keeping tabs on Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox.
Here’s the transcript of the interviews.

(Thoughts on facing Washington again.)
COACH DANA ALTMAN: “We’re excited just to be playing. They’re a very athletic and talented team. We’re going to have to play awfully well. They beat us pretty good up there the first time so we’re going to have to play a lot better.”
E.J. SINGLER: “Just excited. Excited to go up there and play them and have a chance to go to Madison Square Garden. That’s our main goal right now.”
DEVOE JOSEPH: “It’s one step closer to getting to New York. We played them already so I think that’s an advantage just like they’ve played us so we know each other. It’s a rival here so we’re just going to come out and play hard.”
GARRETT SIM: “It’s exciting to play them again. Both teams really wanted to do well in this NIT because we both wanted to be in the NCAA tournament. It will be a fun rematch. Both teams really play hard whenever we play each other so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
(Why was Oregon so effective the last time you played UW?)
ALTMAN: “Defensively we didn’t give them a lot of easy buckets. Tonight our defensive effort wasn’t what it needed to be so we’re going to have to pick that up a lot. They’re very efficient offensively especially at home and we’re going to have to try and get them under control a little bit.”
SINGLER: “Defensively we held them around 50 points and if we do that we have a good chance of beating them because offensively they’re so good. If we get stops that will really help us.”
JOSEPH: “Our defense. We held them to like 50-something points. We guarded the personnel the way we wanted to. We didn’t give them easy looks and that’s what we’ll need to do again.”
SIM: “Definitely just defense. Taking away their shooters and knowing their personnel, I think our zone really got to them. We’re just going to have to be effective on defense.”
(Do you try to repeat that defensive performance from your last meeting?)
SINGLER: “Definitely. Especially up there because if they get going offensively, they’re really hard to stop. That’s our main goal going in there is our defense and getting stops.”
(What are you going to take away from the last game?)
JOSEPH: “Our defense. We held them to 50 points. We’re a team that can score a lot so if we hold a team to under 60-70 points, we’re going to win 99 percent of the time.
SIM: “Definitely defense. Taking away their shooters Ross and Wilcox. You can’t let them get going and make shots. Especially at their place.”
(After UW’s win Friday, they made it clear they wanted to a rematch with Oregon. What do you think about that?)
ALTMAN: “They’re advancing so they wanted to play. Both of us want to go to New York so it’s a big game for both of us. We would like to be at home, but obviously we’re going to have to go on the road and play as well as we can.”
SINGLER: “I think it’s great. It’s a good rivalry. Obviously they have a little bit of bitter taste in their mouth from us beating them. So I don’t blame them for wanting to play us, but we’re going to be just as ready as they are.”
JOSEPH: “We wanted to play them so that’s great. I think it’s great. Obviously there’s a rivalry involved. It’s great to have two Pac-12 teams in the quarterfinals.”
SIM: “Not too much. They can say all they want, but we’ll be ready. We’ll be ready to fight them.”
(With everything that’s happened this season, what would a NIT semifinal appearance mean for Oregon?)
ALTMAN: “I’d like the guys to be able to go to New York. It’s a lot of fun the Final Four of the NIT. It would be a lot of fun to go.”
SINGLER: “Going to the NIT Final Four is on the equivalency of making it to the Sweet 16. That’s a great goal for us and I’d be really proud of our squad if we make it there.”
JOSEPH: “It would mean a lot. This program has had its ups and downs and right now it’s on the rise. I think the semifinals would be great, a championship would be even better.”
SIM: “That would mean a lot. Getting to New York kind of proves that you are a pretty good team. And the NIT I feel like it’s a good bracket this year. It would just be a lot of fun. As a senior it would be a fun last trip to go to New York and play in Madison Square Garden.”

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