Arkansas vs. Alabama
Feb. 21, 2006
Arkansas Head Coach Stan Heath:
“We never, never, never gave up. We kept fighting and the fans were incredible. This was a hard-nosed game and we finished it. This game was one of the best that I’ve ever been a part of.
“Steele is a really special player. He is one of the most underrated players around. He played great against us; you’ve got to give him credit. We knew he would get the ball in the final seconds. He got the ball but Steven (Hill) was down there and made a great presence for us.
“We took care of the ball with only nine turnovers. In the first, we were just clustered offensively and then in the second we finally got together and were in sync. I wasn’t pleased with our defense in the first. They kept getting second and third chances. The second half was different for us. We disrupted them and took them out of their rhythm.
“(Darian) Townes stepped up and Eric Ferguson gave us some good shots with some good points. Ronnie had a huge play at the end. I am really happy for our seniors. They set the tone.”
Arkansas Guard Ronnie Brewer:
“There was a lot of excitement. We were sluggish at the start and they got out to a big lead. We showed a lot of heart and character to come back.”
(On the winning shot)
“We just wanted to get a good shot. I faked and pulled it back out, then I felt like I had a lane to the basket. When I saw it was me against (Davidson), I knew I wasn’t going to lose.”
Arkansas Guard Charles Thomas:
“You’ve got to credit our fans. Our fans are great. They support us no matter what. The game plan was to go at Davidson. We knew he had four fouls. We knew if we could get him out, our chances of winning would increase. We were just playing hard and feeding off this crowd.”
Arkansas Forward Darian Townes:
“They came out pumped up, and in the second half we came back strong. They were a little fatigued, and us coming back just showed how tough we are. I wanted to be aggressive and get them in foul trouble. We just played real aggressive and the momentum started shifting our way. We scored on big possessions and played good defense down the stretch.”
Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried:
“We played our hearts out tonight. This is a tough loss. It hurts., but we just have to move on. It’s all just one game. That’s what we preach. Even when we beat Tenneessee, it was just one game.
“Our foul trouble affected us offensively. These things hurt. Our foul trouble made us very cautious defensively and it was a tough situation for our team.
“I am proud of our guys. This is a disappointing loss because we just needed one more defensive stop. We’ll learn a lot from this game. They did a nice job. We turned the ball over too many times. Ron Steele was terrific tonight. Even his last shot is a shot we can’t be disappointed with. It just didn’t go in but we almost had a tip. This is a tough environment. Arkansas had its back against the wall and they came through.”
Alabama Guard Ronald Steele (On Last Play):
“I wanted to drive to the basket and try to score, and if not get a put back but it fell short. Arkansas did a great job down the stretch and that’s what a good team does to win.”
Alabama Forward Jermareo Davidson (On Foul Trouble):
“It cost me in the second half, because I could not get into my rhythm. We let one slip away because we thought we had this one, but you have to give Arkansas credit for a great comeback.”