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TENNESSEE POSTGAME QUOTES



Feb. 24, 2007

Recap |  Box Score

Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl: "Our approach today was win it to get in it (the NCAA Tournament). This was our first win on the road in the SEC and we knew we were coming into one of the hardest venues. I told the guys you can't play good today, you have to play great to get this. Chris Lofton was our difference, to play 32 minutes and have zero turnovers. He put his team on his back. Yet he wasn't a distraction, the other players got theirs (points), too. The first half we just hung around. They knew about our press and had prepared and gone over it, but then when they didn't see it they forgot about it. That was our strategy. We needed full-court pressure. It gives the appearance of playing harder. It's like sharks in the water, one bite and the players see blood."

Tennessee Guard Chris Lofton
"There's nothing better than (winning on the road)."

(On Tennessee's defense)
"It was like the old Tennessee of November and December today. We felt like we could pressure (Arkansas). We made great defensive plays down the stretch. I can't remember the last time our press going the way it was today."

(On Tennessee's NCAA Tournament possibilities)
"Coach (Bruce) Pearl told us 20 was the magic number, and somehow that would get us in."


Arkansas Head Coach Stan Heath: "This was a game of two different halves. In the first half we looked like we could handle the press and score. In the second half, all of a sudden, they got a spurt and we didn't recover well from it. We blew opportunities and didn't make enough plays in this game, pure and simple.

"We are playing good teams. They are fighting out there just as much as we are to win. Momentum is a big thing in college basketball. We struggle with that. When things go south, we need to finish strong. We have to get on the same page, offensively and defensively. This is when our chemistry should get better, not worse. Right now we should be playing our best basketball and we are not doing it. We still have some opportunities but we need to all get on the same page."

 

 

(On Tennessee's press)
"We knew what it was and what they were trying to do. We have got to make catches and we have got to make passes. In the first half we did a good job, but in the second half, not as well. It is something they are good at and do all the time. It is hard to prepare for it in two days with inexperienced guards. Experience is the difference here."

G Gary Ervin: "Everything is still open if you ask me. We still have a home game left and I think we can beat anybody on a neutral court. We have to stay positive and finish strong. (On Chris Lofton) I think we did play good defense but he just kept shooting and shooting like good players do. Unfortunately a lot of his shots dropped even though we contested him."

F Sonny Weems: "We had it toward the end but we just made mistakes. (On Chris Lofton) He's hard to guard. Anybody is when your team shoots 40 percent. He's fast and a good fade-away shooter. You can't give him any time or he'll make you pay."

F Darian Townes: "When we turned the ball over they scored every time. As a team we have got to get better. We can't turn the ball over. It is very frustrating losing games like this. We have one more home game. We need to put this aside and work on the things we need to work on. We handled their pressure well in the first half but in the second half they were a completely different team. We need to keep our heads high and get ready for Mississippi State."

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