Two-Minute Drill: Inside Ohio State’s Postgame
By Brandon Castel
LOS ANGELES — Another game, another exhilarating win for the Buckeyes.
This time it was sophomore LaQuinton Ross playing the role of hero. After Aaron Craft drilled a last-second game-winner against Iowa State, Ross came up with the big shot Thursday night.
His three with two seconds left broke a 70-70 tie and sent the Buckeyes back to the Elite Eight for the second year in a row. Here’s a look at what Thad Matta and his players had to say in the locker room after the game.
* The final play was basically the same one they ran against Iowa State last week.
* This time both defenders stayed with Craft and it left LaQuinton Ross open for the three on the pick and pop.
* Ross said he wanted the ball on the last play and he was ready for that shot. He figured they wouldn’t want to let Craft shoot it.
* Craft said he was yelling at Ross not to foul on that and-1 play, "I think he did it on purpose."
* Ross was visibly upset after that, said he didn't think it was a foul, but he wanted the chance to redeem himself.
* Arizona players agree game was not lost on the Ross shot. It was lost in first 5 minutes of the second half.
Just Call Him Kobe
* Ross said last weekend in Dayton he wanted to get Kobe Bryant's locker room at the Staples Center. It ended up happening by accident.
* He just sat down at the far side of the locker room and someone came in and told Q he had Kobe's locker.
* After that, Ross said he took it as an omen something special was going to happen. His teammates said he wouldn't let anyone else near it.
* Lenzelle Smith said he went to the coaches and asked to cover Solomon Hill after he went on his tear in the second half.
* Smith said he felt like he was being selfish about his stats while they were in Dayton. Tonight he just wanted to be the "glue" guy.
* Matta said he loves having guys on the team who come up and demand to cover the other team's best player.
* Smith said Matta told him before the game "if you don't do anything else tonight, we need you on the glass." He grabbed 8 boards.
11 Games and Counting
* Smith said he remembers when the team was 18-7 and everyone was writing them off. Now they're one game away from the Final Four.
* Sam Thompson said this team would have folded a few months ago if it fell behind by 12 in the first half. They stayed together today.
* Matta on what changed in the second half: "Our defense. In the first half we didn't defend anybody."
* Craft said early in his career he wouldn't have been able to come back in with 2 fouls in the first half.
* Craft said he would have picked up his 3rd foul with the way he plays, but now he's mature enough to realize giving up 2 points is better.
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