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TENNESSEE POSTGAME QUOTES



Feb. 21, 2007

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TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl: "Those were two teams fighting for their NCAA lives out there. Alabama is fighting for first place in the West. We knew this could be our sixth victory over a ranked team, so now our record against ranked teams is 6-3.

"Our effort was nothing short of tremendous. I liked the energy in the building. Sometimes we shot earlier than we should have, but we usually had good looks. It was a team effort because we had some hodge-podge combinations out there.

"To hold Richard Hendrix and Jermareo Davidson to as few touches as they had was outstanding. I do not know if we have enough victories to get into the NCAA tournament. But what we want to do now is to go on the road and win. We have played well on the road, although not recently.

"We are a good basketball team; with Chris Lofton playing well, we can be a very good team. Our ball pressure was the key tonight - 26 turnovers and 18 steals. Ryan Childress had 23 minutes in which he played hard all the way. I appreciate the crowd's reaction to Childress. His work in the weight room has paid off.

"To get into the field of 65 would be special, but we are not there yet."

ALABAMA HEAD COACH MARK GOTTFRIED: "I thought our guys played really hard, especially the group off the bench. We had enough chances regardless of the turnovers. We had leads and got the ball right where you want to get it a number of times. So we had enough chances. We needed to make some plays and keep scoring and we did not, and they ended up making a few shots there late that made a difference.

"We put ourselves in a position to win the game and got good shots, but just did not make them. But our guys, I am really proud of their effort.

"We wanted to foul on the last possession. There was a little confusion. Prior to that, it was foul anybody buy Lofton. We had some young guys on the floor and I think they got confused. Having heard `don't foul Lofton' for five straight minutes, they just kind of froze. That is OK.

"Mikhail Torrance was great. Ronald Steele is really hurting. He did not play because he is hurting. It is as bad as he has felt - that is not great news for us. But I did not think he was effective and Torrance just played great. For a young freshman who has not played a lot, to be put in that situation on the road, this time of year, I could not be more proud of him."

 

 

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