Coach Roy Williams
"Needless to say, we feel very good. It was fun to have some excitement in the locker room. We haven't been able to have that this year. That's what you coach for. I don't know what everybody does but those are the kind of moments I coach for. I see kids enjoying themselves, feeling the satisfaction of doing some things that are fairly difficult to do.
"Vegas' team is really good. We played the best defense we we've played all year long in the first half today. Their last two possessions were two threes in the first half. One, which we shouldn't have given them the opportunity, [was] when Marcus (Paige) tried to throw the length of the court pass. The ball was given back to them and then they make another three and they had made one right before that possession. We were really good defensively in the first half.
"Second half, I was really proud of our toughness; you haven't heard me say that yet this year. They came out and we missed some easy ones in my opinion and all of a sudden they take the lead. James Michael (McAdoo) had struggled like crazy all day long and he looked like he was out of sync and everything, but he scored six straight points for us and we took the lead back. Then I think after that they make a three, then P.J. (Hairston) comes up and makes a big three and then we give up a three on the other end.
"But it was a survival thing at the end. I feel so confident when our guys get to the free-throw line; we didn't make as many as I wanted to. I think the two biggest ones were when it was a three-point game, a one possession game, P.J. (Hairston) stepped up and made both of them. Needless to say that was big but to have five guys in double figures, I love that. I don't like to be out-rebounded 38-33 but I knew and said and emphasized to our guys that the backboards were the biggest thing about the game. They're really good. Dave Rice does a good job with this team."
On how much the players excelled
"I'd like to think they grew up 100 times but who knows. They're 17- ,18- ,19-year-old kids who knows what they're going to do tomorrow. We've been practicing in 47 practices and 14 games and that's the first time we've been able to feel really good about what we did. That's the nice part about it."
On P.J. Hairston's performance
"P.J. had four steals and two offensive rebounds and I think both of them were for baskets. If you had a poll of my team of everybody really close who knows what we are trying to do, it would tell you that Reggie (Bullock) has been playing better than anyone else on our team up until this point. All of a sudden to find out he's not going to play is a pretty big blow. He told P.J. that he didn't have to be anyone else, just be yourself. He played 32 minutes, a few more minutes than he usually plays. He's been playing 20-21 minutes. He did a lot of good things for us defensively. "
UNLV Coach Dave Rice
"The first thing is to give credit to Coach Williams and North Carolina; they had a terrific game and played extremely well. They played a great first half and even better first 10 minutes of the game. We dug ourselves into a hole in the first half. I was proud of our resiliency and being able to come back.
"We knew going into this game that we would get a great effort from North Carolina. It was a great experience for our team. We'll continue to make progress. Obviously we're disappointed with the result. It's very difficult to go on the road and allow a team to shoot more than 50% and think that we're going to have a chance to win.
"We've got to do a better job of defensive rebounding the ball than we did today. They really hurt us on the boards.
On UNLV's poor offensive play in the first half:
"This is a difficult place to play. A lot of the credit goes to North Carolina and their defense. They were aggressive. We talked in a timeout about driving the ball directly to the basket... and once we did that we settled down and did a much better job. We started the game and were not nearly as aggressive as we needed to be."
On UNLV's second-half push:
"We did a much better job of our baskets coming from assists. It's all a part of the process and a great learning experience for our team. We're very disappointed with the result, but we'll learn from it and be better for it next week."
North Carolina Player Quotes
On the team's defensive effort
"We played with such a sense of urgency on the defensive end. We were attacking them on the defensive end, making them turnover the ball. We were doing the little things as far as taking charges, getting to the loose balls, scrapping, boxing out, and doing everything it took to win."
On his own play, in the absence of Reggie Bullock
"Like I said, with Reggie [Bullock] being out, I had to pick it up on both ends. On the offensive end I got to the offensive boards, had a couple points that way. And like you said, taking charges and getting steals. I just wanted to pick it up on the defensive end and be there for my team."
On the postgame locker room atmosphere
"That was the happiest I've ever seen Coach [Roy Williams] after a game this season, so it was great. As soon as he walked in we just jumped around and had fun. I mean, he's proud of us, but we still have some things we need to work on defensively and offensively. But we will only get better, so it's just up to us to work on the things we need to work on."
"I think we came out ready to play, a lot of energy. We knew we were going to have to step it up because of the loss of Reggie. I just think everyone did a good job."
On upcoming conference play
"The next couple of games are conference games, so I just look at it as a new season. It's our opportunity to get better and just show people that we are a much better team than what we have been playing."
"They beat us up last year. We felt like we had a great chance to reverse that and I just think that we came out with energy and ready to play, we did what Coach wanted. Coach was hyped up about the game and so were we."