Jan. 27, 2011
TENNESSEE vs. MISSISSIPPI STATE
January 27, 2011 HEAD COACH Pat Summitt
"I was not at all impressed in the first half. We didn't come ready to play. I was very disappointed. I hope it was a great teaching moment. It's not the way we want to do it if we want to pursue a championship. In the second half, we did a lot of good things. We shot better later on, but we can always work on deflections and defense and controlling the boards even if the shots aren't falling. Overall, I was very, very pleased."
"It was very significant. They're two of the best shooters on our team. We're used to having a punch from both of them. I was pleased with the way she responded. Taber has a good skill set. She's not as athletic, but she works on her game. She gets in the gym and makes shots."
(on Glory Johnson's performance):
"I don't know what more I can say. If I could buy her dinner, I would, but I can't. She fights for paint points, and when she goes rim-to-rim, there are not many that are going to stop her. Her feel for the game is so much better. She's not as herky-jerky. She's playing with composure. She picks the shots she wants, not what the other team is going to give her. She had great shot selection tonight. Give her teammates credit for getting her that many touches."
(on Alyssia Brewer):
"She's not fully back. She's getting some playing time. Once she gets her cardio where it needs to be, that will help her mobility and speed. Baseline to baseline, she doesn't have the speed that our other posts have. She can't do it overnight or even in a month. She can be a factor, though."
(on Mississippi State's showing in the first half):
"We didn't pick them up early. We were lazy. That was the worst half of basketball that I've seen this season. That was a very immature team in the first half. They knew that Mississippi State hadn't won a game in conference this season and thought that this would be a cakewalk. I know Sharon Fanning, though, and I knew that it was not going to be a cakewalk. She does a great job, and her staff does a great job. We took them lightly. . .until halftime. And halftime wasn't lightly."
(on Glory Johnson's overall performance with 22 points, 18 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 blocks):
"I don't see why she can't do that every game. Of course, she'll have more of a target on her (in future games). When Kelley (Cain) gets back, we'll have two players (in the post) that they'll have to pay attention to. Tonight, she got all the attention. She's doing a better job of slowing down. She's getting the shots she wants, not just the shots that the other team wants her to have. Her skill set is so much better."
JUNIOR FORWARD Glory Johnson
(On her career night):
"We were missing our post play. We're used to having so many post players. We're missing Kelley and Angie too. Not having them in practice hurts as well."
(On the team's fouls):
"It was a rough game on both ends."
(On being more aggressive):
"I tried to go up strong every shot I had. Even with rebounds coming down I had to come down strong (with the ball) because people were trying to get it. Ball security is important."
SOPHOMORE GUARD Taber Spani
(On Angie being out):
"With three girls being out (Vicki and Kelley), we realized that we had to step up, but I think that's the beauty of our team. We want to be the same no matter who's on the floor. I think we saw spurts of that. I think for us we just need to focus more on the system and not necessarily relying on one person or the other person. It needs to be the same no matter who's on the floor."
(On looking to shoot more):
"Angie helps spread the floor so much. She's always a big part of their defensive scheme, so I think when you see a senior captain go out like that you know you have to step up. I tried to."
(On the first half):
"Dean (Lockwood) was in halftime saying, `We are the one that dictates their shots.' We weren't doing that at all in the first half. That's not who we are. That's not who we pride ourselves on being. Thirty-seven points in a half for anyone against us is unacceptable."
(On the lack of leadership on the floor):
"It's a personal responsibility for everyone. Talking's hard when you're tired, but you make an effort. It's just about focus. Talking is a little thing that makes a huge difference. I know that all of us want to do that. If one person isn't talking, it makes a big difference, and when we had no one in the first half talking, obviously, you saw what happened. That's unacceptable."
FRESHMAN GUARD Meighan Simmons
(On Glory's game):
"Glory's a beast. We had some injured people and Kelley missing; Glory knew that she had to step it up. I told her, 'Be prepared to play a lot of minutes and just go out there and give 100 percent all the time.'"
(On the first half):
"We weren't in sync. We kind of underestimated them. We kind of let up in the beginning, and we didn't have a strong start."
(On MSU's threes):
"That was just a lack of communication between us. We were inside most of the time. A lot of people got stuck on screens. We just weren't communicating out there."
Mississippi State Quotes
HEAD COACH SHARON FANNING-OTIS
"Tennessee has won a lot of ball games through the years and they are one of the greatest programs in the nation. I thought that we were ready to play hard in the first half. I was really disappointed in the second half. I have to give credit to the players stepping up because they took it to us from a defensive standpoint and from a transition standpoint. We made some poor decisions and had some mental lapses. We have 11 new players on our basketball team. One of our goals is to be the most improved teams in the league. I felt like we lost focus in the second half. Great teams don't let that happen to them. We have to take care of the basketball and get to the free throw line. Glory (Johnson) had been coming off the bench for them in different roles. She's a great rebounder and she had her way. Great players like that you have to box out by committee. Tennessee is a good basketball team and has pretty good depth, probably as good of a rotation as I've seen. As our basketball team continues to progress, if we can get tougher and stay focus, we can find ways to win. That's what we have to do. We need to have a great work ethic, better execution and take care of the basketball."
(On what her team can take from this game):
"I'm hoping that we're getting better. There's a lot of room for this team to grow. You have to play with confidence. When you play in our league, it's so physical here and you can't get tired. You have to step up and make good decisions with the basketball. We're going to build on this. We're going to say it is progress and we're going to try to duplicate it for more minutes. We have to be able to play through adversity. Even great teams miss shots. Tennessee missed some shots but they found ways to get to the free throw line and do some other things. They also took care of the basketball, having 20 assists and only 11 turnovers. Some of the stats that we talk about are a reflection of what Tennessee was able to do, especially in the second half. We just have to find a way to play for longer periods of time. There are a lot of games ahead for us to get better."
(On the team's offensive strategy):
"Our strategy was to try to take advantage of what we saw. We were creating shots based on screens and having the right people taking the right shots at the right place. In the second half as they were trapping a little bit more, I didn't feel like we attacked like we needed to. We didn't attack the paint and we were a little bit more passive."
JUNIOR GUARD PORSHA PORTER
(On the team's mindset):
"We just wanted to go out and play hard in the second half. Everybody was excited in the first half and we came out and played well. In the second half, we let it go downhill and let Tennessee get their confidence back. We knew they were going to come out hard and that's what they did. We have to learn from our mistakes and come together as a team to try to play for 40 minutes. We have to bring energy and effort as a team."
SENIOR GUARD MARY KATHRYN GOVERO
(On how the first half can give the team confidence):
"It gives us confidence but it seems like we've had one good half of every game. We're working on putting two good halves together. We know when we do that, we're going to see the results that we want. There were things we can learn from in both halves. We have confidence that we can build on what we did tonight and progress through the season."
(On her role as a senior):
"A lot of new people coming in is going to be a challenge for anybody. For us returnees, our roles are different on offense. We're more of a first option for shots and we have to be ready to shoot and score each and every game. There are so many people learning. We try to help communicate on the floor, both on offense or defense. We encourage people and let them know that we can build on what we're doing each game. If we keep working hard, we'll see the results we want eventually."