Postgame Quotes: No. 6 Tennessee 90, Chattanooga 47

Jan. 3, 2012

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(on the game tonight)
"Overall, I thought we came out a little slow but picked up the pace. It seemed like we had a lot of up and down without converting early on."

(on Ariel Massengale)
"Obviously, it was good to see Ariel have a game like this and score 19 points. She took some tough shots but was really efficient, going six-for-six from the field and four-for-four on her three-pointers. Most importantly, she gets everyone to their spot. I can't tell you how important that is to our coaching staff. She really makes a difference for us."

(on Glory Johnson)
"Glory worked extremely hard on both ends of the floor tonight. She had great energy in the paint and was all over the boards for us with 13 rebounds in just 20 minutes."

(on bench play)
"I was pleased the bench got some really good minutes tonight. Izzy (Isabelle Harrison) had 13 points and eight rebounds. She could have scored more if she had finished some of her shots at the rim. Good to see great balance from Vicki with nine points and nine rebounds. She played hard at both ends and really got on the glass for us. Our fans just love Bree (Briana Bass), and they get excited when she lines up to shoot a three ball. I saw a nice defensive effort from Cierra."

(on return of Kamiko Williams)
"It was good to see Kamiko back out on the floor. She has worked so hard coming back from her torn ACL. I know she was excited when she was cleared to play. I thought she looked good and played on-balance."

(on Georgia)
"Coach Landers is going to bring a very good Georgia team in here on Thursday night. I will tell you it will be a 40-minute battle between two very run-oriented teams."

(opening statement)
"We've worked really hard in the last four days on our defense, and I thought when we held them to 20.7 percent in the first half, I thought what we've done in practice has really paid off. I was excited that a lot of kids got playing time. It was great to see Kamiko Williams back on the court. Just really, really impressed by our defensive rebounding tonight. We had 55 rebounds, and we've really emphasized our defense and our rebounding. As a coach to see what you do in practice go into what you do in a game, it's so positive. I was proud of our players today."

(on Williams return and when coaches found out she could play)
"We found out today. With Taber (Spani) out, we didn't know if we were going to possibly redshirt her still or play her. With Taber out, it kind of pushed the issue for us. She really wanted to get back out on the court, and I thought for the most part, outside of getting winded, it was great to see her back. You see what we missed. She came up with a huge rebound. It's good to have her back, and she's worked so hard this summer for this day to come. I was excited for her to get back on the floor."

(on Williams' commitment to rehab after injury)
"We were concerned. Kamiko's never been injured. An ACL injury is obviously a very serious injury, and we were concerned about how she would rehab, but she's been unbelievable. Hasn't missed a day with Jenny, and has come back. Her knee is so much stronger. I'm just proud of how committed she is to getting back on the basketball court. I know tonight was exciting for her. She's probably had this day to come back marked on her calendar a long time, so I was glad they released her and she had an opportunity to play this year."

(on Ariel Massengale's 6-of-6 scoring night and what she adds offensively)
"If Ariel shoots the ball the way she does, we're a very, very good basketball team. She obviously distributes the ball and runs our team on the floor, but when she's shooting the ball the way she is, it takes a lot of pressure of our post players. It takes a lot of pressure off Shekinna (Stricklen) and Meighan (Simmons) who are supposed to make shots. I don't think people consider Ariel a shooter. They think she's a point guard who passes and gets everybody where they should go. I've always thought she could shoot the ball well, but tonight, she was feeling it. I love how she attacks the basket. She attacks the basket so hard, even if the opponents don't foul, the officials are going to call the foul because of how hard she hits the floor. I love her being aggressive and I love her looking for her shot."

(on Glory Johnson's double-double)
"She is in a good place, because Glory has worked on her game, worked on her offensive scoring ability, but Glory is an athlete who loves to rebound. That's hard to teach. She just has a knack for the ball, and Glory plays hard, and that's Glory's nature. You can't teach that. I was proud of Glory. She was coming out of nowhere to get the rebound. She was very impressive tonight."

(on former Lady Vol Faith Dupree having a good game for Chattanooga)
"It was good to see Faith. It was good to see her back on the floor. I would have liked her to not have made so many shots against us. Yeah, I was proud of Faith. I thought she played hard. I don't think her minutes have been as much as she played tonight just because she's just coming back, but it was good to see her on the basketball court."

(on spreading the playing minutes around before resuming SEC play)
"That's exactly what we wanted. We wanted to get everybody playing time and rest our legs, because we've been on a pretty wicked run. Auburn was a tough game. We traveled, came back home and played this game. Now we're playing Thursday. That's difficult. Skekinna was a little sore. All our players were a little sore, so we got a chance to rest them. We got Izzy (Harrison) a lot more playing time, Cierra (Burdick) more playing time, Kamiko in, Bri (Bass) in, Bri shot the ball very well. We got some players a lot of well-needed playing time and experience."

(on Cierra Burdick saving a ball out of bounds and running into the Tennessee bench)
"Dean (Lockwood) is learning to jump in my path so I won't get injured. (laughs) I'm just glad she didn't hit Pat. If she took Dean or I out and didn't hit coach Summitt, we're in business."

FRESHMAN GUARD Ariel Massengale
(On shooting 6-for-6, what her shooting brings to the team)
"I mean - just another threat on offense. You know you have great perimeter players in Miko (Williams), Strick (Shekinna), Taber and Meighan, who can put the ball up, so I think it just makes it harder for other people to defend us because you can't help off the other because you know everyone else is such a threat."

(On whether she's been working extra on her shot)
"I have in practice, just having confidence. That's pretty much what it comes down to. Teammates are great, you know, you miss one, but you've got the next one, and so I think shooting is 100 percent confidence."

JUNIOR GUARD Kamiko Williams
(On being excited to get in a game)
"I was really excited. I had kind of like the jitter bugs at the beginning of the game. I don't know if my team noticed; I was bouncing off the walls. But, yeah, it's great to be back being out for like five, five and a half months. It's hard, so just to be back with my teammates, you know (they were) still encouraging and talking and stuff like that, but to be able to get out on the floor with them is a good feeling."

(On whether she thought she could be back this soon)
"Yes, with the work load that J-Mo (Jenny Moshak) gave me since day one. She was kicking my butt every day, and because I had an isolated ACL, I didn't have too much to worry about. I just took it a day at a time. J-Mo said everything was looking good, and of course she knows what she's talking about, so I had all my faith in J-Mo and God, so it worked out."

(On Kamiko coming back in)
"We were too happy. We know what she's been through and how much work she's been putting in off the court. You know just being excited just to be able to help us in practice when she was barely back in, and to see her actually go back out there on the floor was amazing, so we were really happy about that."

(On what Kamiko can add to Tennessee)
"She plays one through three really, being able to take a lot of people one-on-one off the dribble and jump shoot, and her three pointers have looked better than ever...well, besides the air ball today. In practice she lights us up, so other teams are going to have to actually play down and play good defense."

(On a game like this where no player logs extended minutes)
"It helps a lot. We only have 11 players. Being able to play everyone, it saves the legs for the later games."

(On shutting Chattanooga down for a long stretch)
"We have been putting so much time and effort into rebounding and defense the past couple of practices, and knowing that that's something that as a team we want to work on, and individually we want to get better defensively, and we need to get better. Everyone needs to get better defensively. Shutting them down was huge for us because it showed that everything we did in practice carried over into the game."

(Opening Statement)
"Hats off to them; they shot the heck out of it in the first half. I told our team at halftime that we have to get back to competing in games like this. There was a time, even when Tennessee was winning national championships, we could compete with them and we are going to try our best to get back to that point. The first half was humbling, but the second half I thought we competed much better. I'm happy for Faith (Dupree). That was a good homecoming for her. That was probably the only silver lining I could find. Again, they exposed a lot of weaknesses and a lot of things you need to get better at, and hopefully that's what we'll do here down the stretch in the next couple of months."

(On the feeling in the first half)
"Embarrassing. Humbling. Again, they are great. They're a great team. They're long, athletic but you know things we talked about. They'll turn you over to shoot layups, they get offensive boards and get put-backs. You have to limit those. You have to control the things you can control, and we didn't do that. I know it's hard to come over here and compete with this team, but like I said, we had the deer-in-the-headlights look. We were shaky. We were making mistakes that we would normally not make. So it is something we have to get through, because this program has been where it could compete and at least make it a decent showing and the last couple of times we haven't done that."

(On playing UT going into the conference schedule)
"We normally play it opening weekend or very early in the season but they had a scheduling conflict and wanted to move it. This was the best place, and they are great to work with. This is the best time for us to schedule it, but you hope you can benefit from it. We'll see. After the Baylor debacle early in the year, I thought we picked it up and played better, and I hope this will do the same thing for us. I hope we will realize the kind of intensity and kind of energy you have to play with to keep at this level."

(On whether she had any extra adrenaline playing UT)
"Definitely. Coming back to this atmosphere I knew that I should step up. I knew that their post was going to play harder than what I have been playing against. I had to pick myself up because, I haven't been playing as well as I should have and I knew that coming into the game."

(On whether she expected to shoot mostly seven- or eight-footers most of the game)
"I didn't expect having those open shots. I expected posting up and trying to do moves against their post players."

(On her feelings playing against her former team)
"It was awkward. I was anxious at the beginning, definitely. I think making those first couple of shots helped me calm down a little bit."

(On making her first shot)
"I was just saying please go in, please go in. It finally went in so I had to think get back, get back, get back because that is what we were talking about before the game, getting back in transition."

(On playing against Glory Johnson)
"Playing with her in high school, playing with her for a year here, playing with her at AAU and finally getting to play against her, I guess I was familiar with her so I wasn't as anxious to play against her as I was Vicki (Baugh) or Izzy (Harrison)."

(On how the team competed in the second half)
"I thought we competed a lot better in the second half, executed our four out offense a little better than we did in the first half, so we have to build off of that. From here on out there is no more non-conference games, so it's business from now on. I think we need to build off of that this coming weekend on our road trip."

(On her mom being able to see her play tonight)
"Actually they had school cancelled today. She wasn't going to be able to make it but school got cancelled and the game got cancelled so she was able to make it tonight."





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