Jan. 29, 2009
Tennessee vs. Ole Miss Post-Game Quotes
Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt (Opening Statement):
"I didn't really know what to say. I told the Ole Miss players and coaches that if they played that way against every SEC opponent, they're going to win a lot of ball games. Everybody right now thinks that they can beat Tennessee. Fortunately, we've had people step up somehow and finish out games."
(On the game's dramatic ending):
"That may be the best ending I've seen to an absolutely miserable game to watch and coach. We turned the ball over just like we did against Auburn. I thought that we rebounded better, of course, we didn't make free throws. Tomorrow (at practice) they're going to get in the gym and get a lot of free throws in."
(On Angie Bjorklund's performance):
"I was glad to see her not give up and not let all the missed shots affect her. It'd be fine with me if she started (making shots) in the first half."
(On the look Angie had for the game-winner):
"She didn't have a good look but she made a big shot. That says something about a shooter's focus when they really are focused."
(On her defensive lineup):
"I like the mobility of having Glory and Alex in there. I thought Alyssia Brewer gave us some good minutes. I thought it was going to be an up and down game and we'd press more."
(On her team's poor shooting performance):
"I know they've been getting extra shots in. We started out well and then I thought we forced late. Glory (Johnson) getting in foul trouble didn't help. We seemed overanxious for the whole game-I didn't see a lot of composure, even late in the game"
(On Ole Miss' defense):
"They did a great job of being physical on the ball and on cuts. I think that bothered some of us and we've got to be mindful that that's going to happen all the time."
(On how the crowd affected tonight's game):
"We had a lot of help. I thought that the volume was turned up and it gave us a lot of momentum. Typically, it probably has the adverse effect on the visiting teams when that happens. We want to continue to thank our fans for coming out and probably helping us win."
(On facing Oklahoma next Monday on the verge of 1,000 career wins):
"Well we're going shoot 1,000 free throws. We've got to get ready for their high-low game. Their guard play is better this year as well. It's going to be a real tough road game for us but it's doable. We've got to regroup and put this one behind us and forget about the things we didn't do well tonight."
(On what it would mean to win 1,000 games):
"When I think about 1,000 wins in this game, it's hard to believe I've been a part of 1,000 wins. I just think of all the great players and coaches I've had. I think our teams have had a lot of toughness to win on the road and at home. It's a record that may or may not be broken. When I think about getting to 1,000 wins, I think about the University of Tennessee saying yes to women's basketball long before it was a popular thing to do. I thank the administrators and Joan Cronan for making this possible."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE Angie Bjorklund
(On her game-winning three-pointer with 6.8 seconds remaining):
"I was just trying to get an opening. I definitely want to take the last shot at the end of the game. It came down to just going until I found an opening, and then I was just praying that it would go in and it did."
(On hitting two late threes after a slow start):
"As a shooter, you just have to think about the next shot. It does not matter how many shots you miss. In the end, I was just asking for God to take over, and He hit those last shots."
(On what she was looking for in her last shot):
"With the seconds going down, Ole Miss had great defense. I was just trying to get my shoulders square and get an open look."
(On using tonight's performance as a springboard):
"I think getting in and getting extra shots, especially tomorrow before we go to Oklahoma, will be real important. I team needs to get some free throws in too."
TENNESSEE SENIOR Alex Fuller
(On how the team won):
"I think it comes from our rebounding. We out-rebounded them by 17. That's where it came down. We turned the ball over way too much, and they came for a war."
(On tonight's crowd):
"They definitely helped us in the end. I remember looking around and just about everybody was standing up. I'm just glad nobody lost hope in us."
(On what it would mean to be part of Coach Summitt's 1000th win):
"Because of the type of year we have had, it would mean a lot for this team to get that for her. That is a great pinnacle for a coach to reach. I mean, 1000 wins, who else is going to reach that. For this team, especially the young players that we have, they've never played in a game like that, so it will be good for them."
(On the team's turnovers):
"I think it comes down to us being composed under pressure. When we see pressure, we get overanxious. A lot of them were us just not taking care of the ball."
(On being able to come away with a win):
"I think it shows the heart that this team has. During the game, I heard somebody in the stands behind our bench yell, "We can't lose!" And that's the only thing I heard. I think that's what motivated me and helped me to motivate my teammates."
Ole Miss Head Coach Renee Ladner (Opening statement):
"Tennessee knows how to win. They're an incredible program with an incredible coach. They know how to win and they know what it takes. Most of the games I've seen this year, they found a way to win in the end. They hang in there, they fight, they're of course - naturally - well-coached and they make the big plays when they have to.
(On forcing 24 Tennessee turnovers):
"We believed we were faster than Tennessee. Naturally, we're smaller. I thought we could put a lot of pressure on them, in particular the point guard where they're young. I think I have two really good on-the-ball defenders. I just believed my entire team took it up a notch. I asked for 40 minutes of effort. Tonight I think they brought the effort."
(On what she said to her team after blowing a nine-point lead in the final minutes):
"I'm heartbroken for a team that put forth that much effort. That last shot (a three-pointer by UT sophomore Angie Bjorklund with 6.4 seconds left), as good as it was by Tennessee, it was not the defining moment in the game. With 3:21 left on the clock we were up seven and we panicked. Our turnovers were huge at that moment, and we didn't understand that we were up seven so all we had to do was get the ball in, run the clock down and make Tennessee take the ball from you. It's not every night you have the opportunity to come into this facility and play in this environment and walk away with a win. And I really believe that would've helped our kids' confidence."
(On what she thought the Rebels needed to do to win):
"I really believed if we had more free throw attempts, fewer turnovers and more boards we could win. That had been a constant. We only came out with one of those. We had fewer turnovers. I knew we were going to have to battle for boards and really attack aggressively, offensively, and get to the free throw line. We struggled offensively, but I thought if we could get to the free throw line we could make up for it."
(On what it means to play against a coach on the verge of 1,000 wins):
"(It's) incredible. I have so much respect for Coach Summitt. She was a pioneer. And I've had the opportunity to play against her. I've been in the SEC a long time, playing and coaching. Just to have someone of her stature on the verge of 1,000 wins is immeasurable. What she's done for this program, what she's done for women's basketball, the way she carries herself, the way she carries herself so beautifully - I guess we should all emulate her. I'm extremely proud of her. I'm just sorry she got 999 against me. I wanted this one tonight."