Jan. 20, 2014
HEAD COACH Holly Warlick(Opening Statement)
"I'm just proud of our kids' effort. We had a great first half, just couldn't sustain what we had. We went against a tough team and we just came up short. Loved our effort. It's a great foundation for us."
(On the foundation set)
"Well, we came out and played. We played hard and we played together in the first half. I just loved our energy. I loved our passion from the game and I think it's been so up and down the last couple games but I thought we came out and competed and that's what I wanted them to do - compete. Just couldn't finish the job."
(On Notre Dame's defense in the 2nd half)
"I didn't think we took as good as shots as we did in the first half. They're switching. I keep saying, 'you've got to go back and make layups and make free throws' and we couldn't do that. Then they made us rush and we turned the ball over. In the first half, we didn't turn the ball over. In the second half, we turned the ball over which led to open layups for them. But you can't turn the ball over against a team like Notre Dame. It's going to be layups. Our ability to take care of the ball in the first half was outstanding for us and for some reason we stopped running the ball and started pushing. We didn't make shots."
(On Notre Dame's defense vs. UT's offensive execution)
"I think it was a combination of both. I think they were switching and I don't think we were executing, and we were getting one shot, and we weren't rebounding. I think it was a combination of a lot of things. "
"I thought we had guards that could handle the ball. No, I didn't think turnovers would be an issue. Of course, it has been for us in the games that we've lost."
(On zone defense and Notre Dame's 3-point shooting)
"We were in a zone the last three minutes of the half and went man (defense) and they scored six points. So instead of going into the half with a double digit lead, we were up by five. In the second half, we lost our assignments, man and zone, and Notre Dame is so good at moving the ball and finding the open player. We missed our assignments, we didn't react when we should, and we gave up ten three's. We'd identified and knew who their 3-point shooters were but they had to make them - and they made them. They made them when they needed to make them."
(On first half play)
"We were in a zone and the last three minutes of the half we went man and they scored six points, so instead of going into the half with a double digit lead, up by five- the second half we lost our assignments man and zone and you just can't. Notre Dame is so good at moving the ball and finding an open player. We missed our assignments. We didn't react when we should and we gave up 10 threes. We've identified and knew who the three-point shooters were, but they had to make them and they made them. They made them when they needed them."
(On team communication)
"I don't know. I'm sure that our offense affects our defense. We missed shots we should get. You have to stand up to the line and make free throws too. It's just one of the most important parts of the game. I'm sure our offense affected our defense, but you have to remember what got you there the first half and that was pretty solid defense and keeping them off the boards and running the basketball. In the second half, we didn't take great shots for us and then we missed shots. We didn't push the ball. We were just spent. Once they went ahead, we were just kind of- we stopped pushing the ball. I thought Meighan [Simmons]- her drive kicked out to Andraya [Carter] for a three- that kind of got the wind out of our sail and it's a combination of a lot of things- missed defensive assignments, turning the ball over, you can just go right down the line."
(On moving past Notre Dame loss)
"I'm going to feel bad about it tonight and then you go back- basketball, these kids are hurting. They feel bad. I think they played good enough to win the first half and they just couldn't sustain it. I know they're upset. I'm upset. You have to go back- now you have to get back in your conference play. We have Florida here and then we go to Texas A&M, so it doesn't really get easier for us."
(On moving past Notre Dame loss)
"I don't know. It feels like this team is very sensitive and we want it so much it's almost a little detrimental to this week. We have so much- we want it so badly. I would love to see how we would play when everybody's clicking on all cylinders. It would be a lot of fun, but that's up to me to put them in positions and get them ready for the next game. We will learn from it. We'll watch tape and hopefully we can point out some good things and then obviously some things we definitely need to work on."
UT JUNIOR GUARD Ariel Massengale(On what Notre Dame did different in the second half)
"Nothing changed the way they were guarding ball screens they started switching it on the permitter. Sometimes I think we took bad shots or took quick shots and didn't necessarily run our offense at all like we should have." (On Lindsay Allen and Jewell Loyd stepping up in the second half)
"I mean, that was huge for them. Both of those players that you named are great athletes and you know granted on the defensive end of the floor I was playing against Jewell and Ive known Jewell Loyd for a long time. She is great player, and getting them back on the court defiantly helped them." (On what Coach Warlick said to them after the game)
"She told us to keep our heads up, she said I know its disappointing after how well we played in the first half. We will be alright, we just have to find out what it will take this team to play forty minutes of basketball. In the first half we played the best basketball have played all season, we just have to be able to sustain another forty minutes."
UT JUNIOR FORWARD Cierra Burdick(On how frustrating the second half was after the first)
"It was tough, I think we played the best basketball we've played all season in the first half, and for us to come out and just play kinda down in the second half when we were so close is tough, its disappointing. We just have to get back to the drawing boards and continue to work and stay together."
(On the team's struggles in the second half)
"I just think we have to come out and play a full forty, it is what it comes down to. Great basketball teams are going to switch their defenses, they are going to play us differently from half to half. That is what halftime is for. You go back to the drawing boards and you readjust. It is just a matter of us coming out and accepting whatever they throw at us and contining to take punches and fight back. I think we got hit in the mouth a couple times today and we just let them keep hitting us instead of pounding back. We have to play a full forty and we will get it right."
(On the second half of the game)
"Notre Dame is a great team, they are going to make baskets. I think we really executed on the front end of the game, in the first half. In the second half, we stopped executing. So many turnovers, they capitalized off of them, they had 20 points off of turnovers. That can't happen. We have to take care of the basketball. When we turn the ball over, we lose momentum and they gain momentum. It is just a matter of us taking care of the basketball, tightening things up on the defensive end of things and playing a full forty."
(On Notre Dame's adjustments in the second half)
"I think they started to hit shots but we have to go out on shooters. We have to recognize that, we have to identify them. I think we closed out short a few times when we should have closed out long. That is just knowing personnel, id-ing your man and sticking to the game plan."
(On playing a lot of zone)
"Just depends on who we are playing. We have played zone a lot but we also played some switching-man. So, it is really just feeling our opponents and making sure we are prepared for them and stop whatever they are going to throw at us.
UT SOPHOMORE FORWARD Bashaara Graves(On how it feels as a player to have the second half that they had)
"I think it was frustration, and I think we just let down on defense when our shots wasn't falling our defense wasn't up either. We shouldn't have that, when our shots aren't falling our defense should pick it up. When we needed a stop, we didn't get a stop."
(On moving past this loss back to conference play)
"We just have to bounce back and get ready for Florida. That is all we can do."
NOTRE DAME QUOTES
HEAD COACH MUFFET MCGRAW(Opening statement)
"I thought at halftime we were lucky to be down five. I thought we really could've been down a lot. Got down eleven and had a nice run at the end of the half to kind of tighten the gap. I thought our bench was outstanding with Michaela Mabrey and Madison Cable coming in and just hitting huge shots. I think we had three three's in a row to take the lead, but Kayla McBride, what can you say about her? She does it all. She rebounded, she scored, she defended, and she did everything she had to do. I thought we kept our poise on a night when Meighan Simmons was unbelievable. I mean, she had a great game. We had a lot of trouble containing her. We had a lot of trouble in the first half with our two best wing defenders on the bench with two fouls each. We struggled in the first half, so really great second half for us."
(On getting those two players back in the second half)
"I thought it was the difference in the game. We can get up and guard the ball with Lindsay (Allen) and Jewell (Loyd). Simmons is a tough matchup for us, and I don't know that we slowed her down in the second half, but I thought we at least had a hand in her face."
(On why they did not panic)
"You know, we're veterans. I thought we're going to learn a lesson win or lose. It's going to help us down the road, prepare us for the ACC. I mean a great crowd, a hostile environment. We haven't really seen anything quite this big this year. So, I thought it was a great opportunity for us to see where we are and it wasn't really going to change a lot of things if we lost the game, but we would've had a little more focus heading into the ACC games."
(On if she thought the Lady Vols would cool off after their hot start)
"We did. You know, I said they had their run and now it's our turn, and they did. They cooled off a little in the second half. I think our defense might have been a little better, but they were on fire. We tried some zone and we tried man-to-man and we couldn't guard them off the ball screen. We were just struggling really to guard them in any way. Forty-six points in a half, not what we wanted. Twenty-four, that was a lot better."
(On if they feel they are underrated nationally this season)
"It's hard to say we're underrated ranked number two, but you know, I really don't look at the rankings. I don't care about the rankings. We just want to get better every game and get ready for March."
(On what they learned about themselves tonight)
"I think there were two really big positives. One, we can come back from a deficit. That was the biggest one we've faced this year and didn't panic. Two, our bench is really ready to play. I thought we got great contributions off the bench."
(On if she was eager to see what happens when tested)
"Yeah, we really haven't been challenged as much in games with this kind of crowd and all this hype on somebody else's court, so I think it was good for us. It was good for the freshmen to be in this environment, first time on ESPN for them. I think the veterans really carried today."
(On if other teams zone them as much as Tennessee did)
"No, that's the most zone we've seen all year."
(On if her and Holly have talked about keeping the series going)
"We did, we're on a four year plan right now. We came here twice in a row; they're going to come to us twice in a row. Yeah, it's a great game for our fans to see and we'll get a good crowd. It's just a great game to play. Whenever you can play a top ten team I think it helps your team."
NOTRE DAME GUARD KAYLA MCBRIDE(On not being shaken when down 12)
"I think it comes from experience. I feel a lot more comfortable with Ariel (Braker) and Ace out there, just that veteran group. We've been through so much, three Final Fours, so we've been in these types of environments with NCAA tournament games, and we had to just calm everyone down and execute our game plan."
(On what changed the game for them)
"I think we just started making shots. I think we were just missing some easy bunnies inside. We were still attacking, they weren't really calling anything, but we just had to keep attacking and they started falling at the end of the first half."
(On what was different defensively in the second half)
"Like coach said, Lindsay and Jewell, their ball pressure, it does so much for us because it allows us to help more and be in the right position. I think that the way they pressure the ball, I guess it just helps us defensively."
(On if she was surprised at the amount of zone defense)
"No, I think we anticipated that from the prior games that we have seen. We knew they were going to switch up defenses a lot and we just had to be ready."
(On the play of their bench)
"I'm so proud of them. I think that they're getting better each and every game. Their confidence is escalating. When you see Mike (Mabrey) hit those shots, and Maddie (Cable), and Tig get the and-one. Things like that, it's going to do so much for us down the road, and I'm just so proud of them. I can't even explain it."
NOTRE DAME GUARD MICHAELA MABRY(On why she was able to step up tonight)
"I'm a shooter, that's my job. So, no matter what I'm just going to keep shooting. Kayla really helps me in that. When I miss the first couple few, she always comes up to me and tells me to keep shooting. I think that helps me build my confidence back up."