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Postgame Quotes: No. 16 LSU 80, No. 5 Tennessee 77



Jan. 2, 2014

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TENNESSEE QUOTES

HEAD COACH Holly Warlick

(On embracing a pressure defense)
"Our defense wasn't very highly motivated to play until probably like the last six minutes of the game. There's a time when you've got to open up and play defense whether it's half court or full court and we just didn't get the job done. We didn't have an answer for her and I hope they learn from that. That's how we want to play, but we just were backing up and we didn't have enough defense until probably the last six minutes."

(On the technical fouls)
"Well apparently Meighan had some body language that wasn't very good and I guess he didn't like what I said."

(On Ballard getting inside the defense)
"I don't know I'll have to go back and watch the tape. She took the ball the length of the floor, the lay-ups, she reversed a couple times and scored so I think it's a variety of things. I just don't think we were down in the stance. I don't know. I don't know what our approach was. I don't know if there were distractions, we've had distractions, we've seemed to handle them but we just didn't come out ready to play. Just plain and simple."

(On Bashaara Graves injury)
"She wasn't getting any lift off of her jumps. She was in pain. I don't want to chance playing her because I don't know what she hurt. I didn't want to do anymore damage to her, but she is tough kid. When she says she is hurt, she is hurt."

(On getting beat on the boards during the first half)
"We drew notice to it because they were killing us on the boards. They weren't hurting us on the second shot. It was the third shot, and they were getting pretty easy lay ups. When you do that, you are going to shoot a pretty high percentage. We worked on it out of our zone, and we work on it everyday. We just didn't drop down and get the defensive boards, and that is what our emphasis always is. We just didn't get it done."

(On last possession shot)
"We wanted Ariel Massengale to get a three. She just didn't get a chance to get the ball. I thought Andraya Carter got a good look. She has hit some big threes, but it just didn't go in. You go back to making free throws. I keep saying this, `We missed nine free throws.' A lot of those were one and ones. You have to hit free throws and put backs. Free throws have been a little bit of our demise. It is not all on Izzy, but she ties the game, and you can go back and look at all the free throws that we missed. We have to get better. It is plain and simple. We have been shooting them, and we will continue to shoot them. That is just a confidence thing, and we have to get our confidence back."

(On Isabelle Harrison's play)
"She is a competitor. She had 26 points. I am pleased. I am not putting any blame on Izzy. We all contributed in being down early, and then we all contributed in getting back into the game. It is a team sport. We have to learn from it. We have to turn around and play Georgia Saturday. We can't dwell on this too long. We will go back and watch the tape to see what we can do. We will get better."

JUNIOR CENTER Isabelle Harrison

(On not giving up)
"I think that after all the chaos that was going on, we just pulled each other together and no matter what we just have to get stops, and really focus and not worry about anything else. I think that during that stretch we did really well at coming together."

(On shooting free throws at the end)
"Yeah it did. Maybe I just had too much thinking in my head. I should have concentrated. It frustrates me, a lot."

(On taking this game more serious than games in the past)
"I think honestly, like C (Cierra Burdick) said, we wanted to bounce back from Stanford and show the coaches that we can play team ball, we can play defense. I think we went out there and as a team, we played really well. We took this team serious, and we are going to do that to every team we play from now on."

(On the absence of Bashaara Graves)
"I'm use to having Bashaara in the game, having that physicality and if i missed and see basharra I put it up and vice versa. She is a huge aspect to our offense and defense. We don't have another strong post player like that and we she got hurt it really affected us."

(On the short turnaround to Georgia)
"I just think we need to do the same thing we did from Stanford. We have to learn from it and watch it and bounce back from it. We just need to go back to the little things and keep getting better."

JUNIOR POINT GUARD Ariel Massengale

(On the second half)
"It is tough, especially when you work so hard every day. This is what we were looking forward to, to this night. We played great the last eight minutes, but it has always been our problem not being ready in the first half. We came out and they had 22 paint points in the first half. We knew that is where we had to stop them because that is what they like to do. So we just have to go back to the little details, and get back to the basics of doing what we know we are capable of doing. How we played the last eight minutes of the game, we have to find a way to play with that energy and contain that for 40 minutes."

(On facing full-court press)
"I think we could because we do like to speed the game up. Whatever the coaches call, we have to go out there and play, and play hard. The guards, we hurt us in the first half on the offensive end when it came to rebounding. We have to do a better job at that. That is something we worked on yesterday. Just being able to transfer what we do in practice to game time."

(On Danielle Ballard's play throughout the game)
"She is a great player. We knew coming into this game that she is great when it comes to one on one and getting to the rim penetrating, hesitation she has great handles she can do some great things and is very capable of doing those things on the offensive end. She put her team on her back in the first half and went out there and did what she needed to do for them and it cost us. We tried to fight back in the second half and towards the end we didn't have enough to get over the hump.

(On how their shooting percentage dropped in the second half)
"I think its from where we were pressing on the offensive end because the game was getting away from us from a scoring stand point. So, we weren't moving the ball and getting the great shots we were getting in the first half, but we just have to work on it and get back to the basics. It hurts, its not how we wanted to start the SEC but it is what it is and we have to learn from it. Just like Coach Holly said in the locker room it's not the end, its a long season and we have plenty of time to get better."

LSU QUOTES

LSU HEAD COACH Nikki Caldwell

(Opening statement)
"We knew it was going to be a hard-fought game. I'm just so proud of our team for really taking our game plan and they executed. Players stepped up and made big plays. We knew Tennessee was going to come at us and make a run. That's who they are. Again, I can't say enough about how proud I am of this group. They really just laid it out on the line and were courageous to come in this tough environment and come away with a win."

(On guard play)
"It was huge. We were without our bigs in the first half. Ballard just took it upon herself to really be aggressive. That was the first key we put on the board tonight. To play aggressively. Ballard did that. Jeanne is coming into her own as far as being that threat from the 3-point line but more importantly just being that general for us. You know, we know Dashawn Harden could shoot the basketball. She's been in a little slump, but she's been in the gym and put in the extra work to fill her tank to be able to come into an environment like this and be successful. It was definitely a team effort. Great screens by the post game helped."

(On if getting win at Tennessee was special)
"I think the one thing is -- and I told the team about this in our pregame speech about greatness -- I've been fortunate to be part of this program as a player and as a coach, obviously Coach Summitt means the world to me. I said through us, Tasha Butts one of my assistant coaches and Tony Perotti another assistant coach, we all came through the Tennessee family. That's part of them too. We talked about that and what that means to come into this arena and play in this environment. But more importantly to have the respect for Coach Summitt and what she's meant to the women's game for us to even be in this situation when you have 15,000-plus fans here. They're touched by her through us."

(On if it was more meaningful than another SEC win)
"One thing I will say about being a competitor that Coach always instilled in us is the biggest competitor you'll face is yourself. It doesn't matter who's on the other side. You have to respect their game, respect who they are. It's about these young ladies playing with tremendous passion for the game. We were together and we talked about in your life you'll have special moments. This is going to be a moment they remember, but it's more about the journey."

LSU GUARD JEANNE KENNEY

(On Tennessee's late press defense and rally)
"I do have about six turnovers and that was probably all in the last minute. We just came together. Danielle kept looking at me every time I turned the ball over and I was so mad at myself. She just gives me that energy and effort. I'm not going to turn the ball over again because I'm not going to ruin Danielle's night. That's how I feel whenever Danielle looks at me. It was everybody. Shanece was setting screens. Theresa was setting screens. Derreyal was killing screens. Just coming together. It wouldn't be a game if we almost didn't lose the lead. It wouldn't be LSU basketball if we didn't almost lose a lead. But we finished strong, and that's something we've worked to improve upon since the preseason."

(On starting SEC season with a win)
"It helps us tremendously. It shows how far we've come, especially after losing to NC State. It's a new year. The crowd was fantastic. It's always an incredible experience when we come here. We have to capitalize on this now. We can't take two steps back and one step forward."

LSU GUARD DANIELLE BALLARD

(On scoring off the screen)
"Coach was calling out plays that really worked for us. The team trusted me with the ball. I got to the hole each and every time. That play worked for us."

 

 

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