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Northwestern-Purdue postgame press conference notes

The Wildcats weren’t happy but stayed optimistic after a tough loss on Senior Day.

Northwestern fell 69-65 to the Purdue Boilermakers on Sunday afternoon in the team’s last game before the Big Ten Tournament in Washington, D.C. later this week. It was also Senior Day, and the final game to be played in Welsh-Ryan Arena until it is renovated for the 2018-2019 season.

Here’s what Purdue head coach Matt Painter, Northwestern head coach Chris Collins, Bryant McIntosh and Sanjay Lumpkin had to say afterward:

Matt Painter

  • On his offensive gameplan with Caleb Swanigan: “We wanted to get as much post entries from Vince Edwards as possible. We tried our best to put [Northwestern] in the toughest possible situation to double the post.”
  • On limiting Vic Law: “We tried to get on top of his pin-downs and not let him get shots at the rim. Dakota [Mathias] has had a great year defensively.”
  • On his team’s free-throw shooting late in the game: “When we got into the free throw game, our guys were able to stretch the lead out. That has been the common thread in our wins.”
  • On his go-to offensive guys being Edwards and Swanigan: “A lot of times, late in games, you see point guard like [Bryant] Mcintosh and Melo Trimble take over. But we try to go to our horses, and stick with Plan A.”
  • On the loud Welsh-Ryan atmosphere: “This year, Northwestern has done their job. It’s great to see the following come out and support them.”

Chris Collins

  • On his team’s performance: “We withstood some cold shooting from our key guys and hung in there against a really good team.”
  • On where his team is at right now: “I’m excited going into the postseason. We’re getting better at the right time and we just need to get rested up.”
  • On the atmosphere: “There is no way there has ever been a crowd in there like it was today.”
  • On Sanjay Lumpkin: “He’s just a warrior. I love that guy. whether he scores 13 and 7 or not, just his presence on the team has been a rock for us.”
  • On getting ready for the Big Ten Tournament: “We’ll be fresh, we’ll be rested, we’ll be ready to go.”
  • On his attempts to pump the crowd up in the second half: “Sometimes, your crowd can give you that juice you need late in the game. At that point, i knew we were a little tired...That crowd is everything I dreamed of here. Hopefully, it’s something that becomes the norm.”
  • On Scottie Lindsey still struggling to regain his form: “You don’t just take three weeks off in the middle of the season and come back right away.”
  • On the difficulties in guarding Swanigan: “He’s not just a power guy, he’s very skilled. I admire that kid. We were mixing it up and Dererk [Pardon] battled him hard all night. He got his 20 and 14, but he had to take 15 shots to get those 20 points.”
  • On involving Vic Law in the offense: “We run a lot of stuff to get Vic shots. He got some good looks. If we can get Scottie and Vic 24 shots, that’s a good amount for a college game. I want them to keep attacking.”

Bryant McIntosh

  • On the crowd: “Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a win but that atmosphere was the best I’ve ever played in and I come from Indiana with a great basketball background.
  • On the mindset for this week: “We have to do a great job of taking care of our bodies. It’s going to be a fun stretch coming up.”
  • On Nathan Taphorn’s missed three (that could have tied the game): “One thing you can take from it is how hard it is to come off the bench cold and make a shot like that. He’s a great shooter and we believe in him.”
  • On Lumpkin’s importance to him: “Sanjay is going to be the toughest guy to let go. He’s the senior I’ve spent the most time with on the court.”
  • On Pardon’s play: “His basketball IQ is right up there with pardon. He’s really smart and good about reading the defense.”

Sanjay Lumpkin

  • On the pre-game Senior Day festivities: “I definitely knew I was going to cry. It hadn’t hit me all of yesterday and this morning, but it did when I went out there with my family.”
  • On playing his final home game: “A lot of people reached out leading up to the game. We’ve been through a lot and seeing the ovation I got from the crowd was awesome. This will always be a special place to me...We wanted to play as hard as we could to send out Welsh-Ryan the right way. We’re just trying to keep these jerseys on for as long as we can.”
  • On the rest of the season: “Every game from now on is win or go home. We get to play for a championship twice.”
  • On going to Northwestern: “The reason I came to this school was to be a part of history, and to be a part of something bigger than myself.”