BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana senior guard Xavier Johnson put up 19 points in the Hoosiers' 74-57 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Johnson went 3-for-3 on three pointers contributing to the Hoosiers shooting 76.9 percent from the arc.
Redshirt senior forward Race Thompson walked away with 18 points and tied for the team-high six rebounds.
Here's what Johnson and Thompson had to say following the win. Read the transcript, or just watch the full video of the press conference.
Q. On the energy from the starters tonight…
THOMPSON: We have to bring every single game as starters. That's the main thing. We just talked about it for the past two days of getting off to better starts because I think Coach said we were, like, minus 47 over the past four games or something, or however many games, so I think we just talked about that as a unit, and we came out, we responded. That was good for us.
Q. On Woodson challenging the team...
THOMPSON: Yeah, I think we took it personally. I think it really was just about energy, just calming down a little bit, playing with more energy, but at the same time being composed and really keying in on what they're doing.
Again, it just starts for us on defense. If we can get some stops, we're feeling good about ourselves, and then our offense will come.
Q. On Xavier Johnson's role tonight...
JOHNSON: My game is to get downhill first. Coach told me to get downhill, make plays, and that's what I did tonight, and I made the correct read. Going into Maryland, I do have a lot of family down there. It's only 45 minutes from being home. I know it's going to be a good environment overall. I'm still going to play with my team and go and win the game on the road, another one.
Q. On the defensive intensity Indiana showed early…
JOHNSON: That's a big part of who we are as Indiana. When we first came in, our number one thing was defense. That's the first thing we worked on, and that's what got us to this point in the season of winning as many games.
Q. On how Johnson has helped Indiana this season…
THOMPSON: He is getting everybody involved and getting himself involved when he needs to. He really helps set the pace of the game, and then again, it starts for him on defense.
I know if I see X playing defense and he is getting a steal, I know he is going down to finish or dish to somebody. Really, he is just getting everybody involved, making everybody feel good. I think he really helps our team. I think he will continue to do that.
Q. On Johnson's sudden calming influence...
JOHNSON: Like I said, I know my level of play wasn't as good at first. I just knew I was in a slump, and I knew I was going to come out of it, and I was going to keep playing and keep getting better.
I know when my dad came up here, my family came up here, I needed that because I haven't seen them for a long time, and my teammates always pick me up. We're just going to keep getting better, and I'm going to keep playing with my teammates and keep believing in them because I know they believe in me.
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