Jan. 10, 2010
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Pat Summitt QUOTES:
Opening comments... "Our coaching staff demands a lot, especially when we have the talent like our girls possess. Today we improved on our great guard play and were very consistent. Glory Johnson had one of her best games of the year on both sides of the ball. Our screens improved a lot which helped out on our assists tremendously."
On their defensive scheme... "We played all zone today. Watching tape last night convinced me to come out in zone and stay there. We are very long and rangy and our size plays to our advantage in the zone defense. The length of our players negated a lot of the athleticism that Mississippi State possesses."
On sophomore forward, Glory Johnson... "Johnson was very efficient with her touches, kept her composure, and worked to get open. She did a great job of picking and choosing her options on the offensive side based on how Mississippi State's defense responded. Johnson is a very quick jumper which presents her with an advantage on the glass. I'm very proud of her and this game was something she needed for herself and her confidence."
# 25 Glory Johnson, SOPHOMORE FORWARD...
On her thoughts of their defensive strategy ... "I think our zone defense worked so well today because of the surprise. Usually we come out in our normal man defense so when we started with a 2-3 zone, they were not expecting it. We reduced their penetration, which they are so good at because of their athleticism, and kept them from getting to the basket."
On her rebounding... "In our zone defense, the opponents post players are the ones usually crashing the boards so it was my job to defend that. Every time the ball was in the air, I was blocking out and pounding the boards to prevent her from getting the ball."
# 5 Angie Bjorklund, JUNIOR GUARD/FORWARD
On their effort in the game... "We knew Mississippi State was a very aggressive team and the whole week we talked about starting out and playing strong through the entire 40 minutes. They are a very difficult team to defend and if you let up at any time, they will surprise you."
On their offensive efficiency... "We have to share the ball and today we did a great job with 19 assists and seven out of our ten players that played accounted for at least one. Also, our starters only turned the ball over six times in 33 minutes so we did a great job of keeping the ball secure."
MISSISSIPPI STATE HEAD COACH SHARON FANNING-OTIS
Opening Comments... "I am very, very, very disappointed relative to work ethic. For those of you from our area here, we let you down in a big way relative to just the character and class with which we played. We are going to strive to coach better, and these players are going to strive to play better. I say that because I expect to win. I don't expect to come in and just play a game and say, `great effort.' I want to compete and win every game. When it is a game like today, there were several phases of it where we just totally shut down, and we can't do that. I realize we have a starter that is out, and there are new people in some new roles. That just means that everybody else who does have experience is going to have to step up and communicate harder. I know the rebounding is somewhat close, but to me it wasn't even in the park. We had 20 missed shots at halftime and only four offensive rebounds. If you are missing shots, you have to find a way to rebound and find extra shots. We have to find a way to play pressure defense. We have to find a way to penetrate the seam. There were times when we did that, but times against Tennessee are not good enough. You have to guard hard and be alert. I am just totally disappointed in our effort. I know we are going to regroup and evaluate it and move on. You have to give credit to Tennessee."
On whether or not she saw this coming "No. I expect this team to compete. That is all I am thinking about. If I start thinking about seeing something coming, then I am not thinking about the right things. I am focused on finding a way to win. Whatever the situation, these guys have to communicate with me and tell me what I can do to help them. There can't be excuses. The only thing we can do is look inwardly to ourselves. We are in January and February and in the league. You have to play your very, very best. I don't care who it is; we have to have great effort. You have to find a way to get it done."
On how tough Tennessee was on the defensive end... "They are big. You are going to have to set good screens. If you are not setting screens at a good angle, then not only are they guarding the perimeter, but they are now guarding the middle. We don't have people in the right spot and we are not seeing people. You have to expect mentally and focus and expect to win."
On the size advantage of Tennessee... "You are going to have to hit some jump shots, but some things didn't fall our way. We had some times in transition where we had open looks and didn't score. We didn't blockout a lot of times. You add that up and that is 20 points."
2-ALEXIS RACK, SR. GUARD
On how this Tennessee game compares to meetings in the past... "This game doesn't compare to our greatest effort. Since I have been here, my sophomore year was the best we have played them. We came out ready today, we just didn't weather their run. We knew they were going to get on a run but we were just supposed to come back with one too. We weren't able to get stops and that is one thing that we are used to doing. Stops turn into our transition offense and that is one of our strong points."
On the defensive problems Tennessee was able to create with their size... "We should have attacked it in a different way. We were attacking it at the sidelines and we should have been attacking the middle. It was hard to see over them and we should have adjusted better because of that."
On not being able to drive to the middle of the lane...
"I think I could have got there. In the first half, when I was getting to the middle, I was forcing up shots so we started to work the ball around the perimeter and then penetrate for better shots."
33-MARY KATHRYN GOVERO, JR. GUARD/FORWARD
On the teams feeling after the game... "We were definitely excited with the win that we got against Vanderbilt. We came into today's game with the expectation to compete and win this game and it is very disappointing. It was not just the loss but it was the way that we lost the game because we didn't execute the way we want to. We just have to learn from this game, bounce back, and get ready for our next game."