Postgame Quotes:#11/12 Tennessee 76, #17/15 Texas A&M 55

Jan. 26, 2014

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes


HEAD COACH Holly Warlick

(Opening statement)
"It was a great effort by our team. We played solid team basketball. We really worked on that. I was really proud of our team, Meighan Simmons in particular. She played within her game and didn't force shots. She had some great assists. Andraya Carter got the start tonight and played all 40 minutes. I think you see the depth of our team. We followed the game plan. When we follow the game plan, we get the job done and that's what they did. They played Tennessee basketball today."

(On Andraya Carter's performance...)
"We challenged Andraya Carter. I think she's learned from Ariel. It was her team tonight. She had to run the team and she had to do some things she doesn't normally do. She was solid. You see the type of player she can be when she gets that kind of opportunity. She ran the ball when we wanted her to run. She held the ball when we needed her to work the clock. I think at times being a point guard here can be overwhelming. I think we've put her through some tough situations in practice. I'm proud of her performance today."

(On the team's play on Sunday)
"What a performance, what a great team effort. They made some runs and we answered it. Meighan Simmons had a great game. I tell you what, she had 26, but she wasn't alone out there. She took good shots, smart shots. Andraya Carter -- I cannot say enough about her coming in and starting her first game this year. She played 40 minutes and ran the team. It was just a complete team effort. I thought when we needed to hit shots, we hit them. Izzy hit a big shot. Bashaara hit a big shot. Cierra hit a big shot. (Harrison's shot) was one of those where I said, 'Don't shoot. Good shot!' I'm just proud of our effort. Ten turnovers -- we've been working on that so much. We thought we had a chance if we could take care of the ball and not give them fastbreak points. It was just a great win for us."

(On Tennessee playing smart and never getting out of sync)
"They learned and I learned too. I think I've got to be a little bit more strategic on my timeouts. I thought that if they hit four points in a row, I was calling my timeouts. So, I kind of stuck to that and it settled them down. We just answered their runs. I thought we came up with some big defensive rebounds. They were one-and-done. They settled a little bit and hit outside shots, but we wanted to make sure that we were contesting. We didn't want to give them and-ones with the fouling. I thought we gave them long shots, but they weren't threes."

(On Tennessee using the 3-2)
"We worked a lot on it and with certain teams you can use that. We thought we were going to challenge them and they can shoot outside. We packed it in. You couldn't pack it in against Notre Dame, so we packed it in and it's who you're playing and what you need to do. I thought we had a great gameplan and we stuck to it."

(On Bashaara Graves' scoring in the second half)
"That's why she's such a deadly post player for us, because she can go off the bounce. I thought she played a smart game. When she needed to drive, she did. I thought she had a great move inside. The Bashaara that we know has put two games back-to-back and she's settled in. I just love her energy. She and Izzy both did some good things at the right time."

(On Cierra Burdick's night)
"She does the little intangibles for us. Her free throws -- I can't believe Cierra ever misses a free throw. But she had two assists, no turnovers and she played for 35 minutes -- she played smart. When the ball goes up, Cierra's always around it and that's what the great thing about her is. Tremendous rebounder."

(On Mercedes Russell's at halftime adjustment)
"I thought Mercedes, she's handling the physical play and I think it took her a while tonight to get used to the physical play. She doesn't back down and I think she just banged with them. I think she knew the importance for us getting rebounds and getting stops. I know on one series underneath the basket, she missed it and then put it in."

(On how tonight's win helps propel the team for the rest of conference play)
"It gives us confidence. We didn't want to go down three losses in the SEC. We thought we could make a very good statement here. We thought it would be a tough place to play, which it was. We're just building our momentum. If we play solid and play together with eac other, we're a daggone good basketball team. But when we start playing as individuals -- and I mean just coming down and jacking a shot or not moving the ball -- (it's not good). When we have assists and we limit our turnovers, we have a chance."

SENIOR GUARD Meighan Simmons

(On her performance...)
"I just thank God for the opportunity to come out and play the game that I love. It's not about me. I was out there for one of my teammates that couldn't be here. We all stepped up to the plate. I'm very proud of Andraya coming out and performing the way that she did despite the crazy position she was put in. Everybody stepped up like I said. When we go out there and perform as a team we have more fun; the game is more fun. We have a lot more energy. I'm proud of how our team played."

(On the team's shot selection...)
"I was really pleased with how well we shot the ball today. We had 38 points in the paint which were high percentage shots. I was very pleased with our teams ability to find good shots."

(On gaining consistency recently)
"I think I have been. There are some things I still need to work on, but I think I'm playing a lot harder, playing my game and doing what I do best. And that's being an emotional leader and doing what I can to help the team win."

(On playing with Ariel Massengale)
"We really didn't discuss it. It was a last-minute thing. No matter what, we wanted to do this for Ariel. I think we did what we could to make Ariel proud, because she's one of our biggest leaders. Without her today, it was a little rough because we're so used to seeing her out there. But I was very proud of Andraya (Carter) and what she did today. It brought that extra umph for us today."

(On playing smart)
"When we play calm and poise - and lately we have been since the Notre Dame game. Watching film on that game and learning in meetings - it was just one of those things we had to learn from and be clam, not turn the ball over and make the easy baskets. We had 38 points in the paint. We had a 54.1 percent shooting game. The more high percentage shots we get, the better the game will go. I was very proud of the team today."

(On driving to the lane and showing her hops)
"I was doing everything I could to get to the basket and my coaches just kept telling me to keep going. And finally I did. It's one of those things I need to be consistent with and continue to do. I need to use my speed to my advantage and that's what I did today."


(On making the start...)
"I was a little nervous at first. I just leaned on my teammates and coaches. I heard from every angle that everyone had confidence in me. I was nervous. I was anxious for it. My teammates had full confidence in me. It's hard to be nervous when you have such a great support system around you."

(On what helped her on the court...)
"When I start thinking out there too much, that's when I start to play timid or when I'm not at my best. When I'm trying to be an energy spark for this team and just trying to make plays is when I play my best. I think when I'm focusing on that is when I play my best. It's just a game because that's what it is."





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