Postgame Quotes: No. 9 Tennessee 88, Mississippi State 45

Jan. 31, 2013

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Head Coach Holly Warlick

(Opening statement)
"Well, it was a great win for us and good to get back on the winning side, especially in the SEC. We got a chance to play a lot of players, some like Nia (Moore) and Jasmine Phillips, who hadn't gotten a lot of playing time. I thought we did some good things with them there, and we've just got to build on it and get ready for Missouri on Sunday."

(On decision to start Kamiko Williams)
"I think Jasmine (Jones) is more comfortable with coming off the bench. She and I talked about it, and I talked to Kamiko as well and came to the conclusion that it would be good to get Kamiko to start because she has experience. Jasmine likes to sit and watch and see how the game progresses before coming in, so we went with Kamiko."

(On Williams' performance)
"It was a great game, one of her best games since she's been here. That's our expectation for her. Six steals was huge, then her assists and rebounding. She was at the point a lot. She needs to put those numbers up every night for us to maintain and be consistent."

(On Burdick playing at the 4 position in Isabelle Harrison's absence)
"Cierra was playing a little bit at the 4. With one hand, she had five rebounds. She's not going to make up for Izzy's presence on the defensive end and her power around the basket. Cierra is really creative in how to score and is a great passer, so we need to play her at the four to get some minutes."

(On Burdick's return)
"Well, she loves the game. She got hurt playing and working on her game on New Year's Eve, so yeah, she's been dying to get back in and she's been chomping at the bit. She's done conditioning and stayed in great shape, and Jenny (Moshak), our trainer, wanted us to play her limitedly. I just wanted her to get out there, and I told her to just be careful with her hand. I just wanted her to get back and get in the rhythm and the flow because she's going to be big for us."

(On Williams' most important stat)
"I think it's steals for her. She has a great presence on the defensive end, and she can be one of our best defensive players. I'm happy for her. She just had a complete game. Let me back up. (laughs) Probably her playing 32 minutes was a huge stat. Her maintaining and her conditioning, I think her playing 32 minutes was huge for us."

(On if she has to coach more situationally due to injuries)
"I think we're going to have to be real strategic in what defense we play. I don't think we can play the style that we want to play for 40 minutes, we're going to have to throw in some zone, press a little bit. I had to use some timeouts today to just get us some rest, and I'm going to have to do that to try and figure out where I can get some timeouts to get some rest and still have some for the end of the game. We're going to have to mix it up."

(On not coming out flat after a loss)
"We talked about it, we addressed that. Obviously, it was disappointing with the Notre Dame game, but we really wanted them to focus in on the SEC is the most important thing right now. And Mississippi State is the most important thing for us and how we play, how were going to come out, how we were going to bounce back from the loss. I thought for the most part we played solid, playing people in and out. We tried to play zone and our zone wasn't very good and we have to go back and work on that. Overall, I was very pleased with our effort. We got the win and I think Taber Spani played a great game. We just have to keep building on what we're doing."

(On if she expects Isabelle Harrison to return)
"I honestly don't know, I hope she's back. I think until they go in and figure out what's going on with her knee, I don't know. I'd love to have her back, but not at the expense that it's going to hurt her down the road. It's a waiting game right now."

(On coming out strong in the second half)
"We really emphasized not playing the scoreboards. We have to get better and we talked about against Notre Dame having lulls, and we can't. We've got to make sure we maintain our intensity and how we're playing and just continue, no matter what the score. We're behind, we're ahead, we've got to get better and focus on us and understand the importance of how hard we're playing, the game takes care of itself."

Sophomore F Cierra Burdick

(On discomfort coming back after her time off the court)
"It's different when you're sitting out for a month, and then today was the first day I really went up and down with my team. It was different, but we thought this game was the best game for me to come in and get adjusted back to things and hopefully be back to full speed when we play Missouri."

(On Nia Moore)
"Nia is extremely long; if anything, she is a shot blocker. Y'all don't see her in practice, but we do. I think when she gets more comfortable on the court and has more minutes under her belt, she'll be a benefit to us."

(On getting back as soon as possible with Izzy out)
"It's huge. We needed to get back. We need to have Izzy's back. We're so big on being a family, and when one of our family members goes down, it's important for us to have each other's back. Nia and I were just trying to get back in the groove of things and step up for Izzy."

(On the crowd's reaction when she came back)
"I was all smiles. Smiling from ear to ear. When basketball is your life since you were five years old and it gets taken away from you for a month, when you get to come back, all you can do is smile. I was so energized on the bench trying to be positive for my teammates, but there's nothing like stepping in between those lines and having the ball in your hand. Our fans are great. The acknowledgement that they showed me was awesome."

(On giving Izzy cheerleading tips)
"I don't think Izzy is as mobile as I am, so she's going to have to learn to step up her cheerleading skills after her surgery."

(On playing inside or outside)
"It actually works out for me because right now I can't shoot. But don't tell anybody, that's a secret. I can't shoot outside four feet from the basket. My strength and range of motion isn't perfect right now, but playing inside works right now."

(On being effective inside once she's 100%)
"I definitely think I can help with rebounding and passing the ball, and just stepping outside. I'm not going to be the post presence that Izzy is, because she's phenomenal, but I can be a versatile 4, but when I have to play the 5, I'll step up and shoot my midrange."

(On being able to shoot by Sunday)
I've been making leaps and bounds since I've had my cast off; it hasn't been an easy process. It's been extremely painful-more painful than I thought it would be, but I think I'll be full strength by Sunday."

Senior G Kamiko Williams

(On being torn between running onto the court and greeting players)
"Not at all. I love doing the handshakes with the team and giving my friends hugs before the game. That's something I enjoy doing. I'd rather be out there."

(On when she found out she'd be starting)
"Taber told me when we were shooting. She just told me to be ready, and I just had to get my mind right in the last ten minutes of the warm up."

(On her numbers tonight)
"Mickey Dearstone told me. Now that Isabelle is out, it's going to have to happen again. Like C said, we all have to step up. This game, I was just trying to focus on defense and rebounding."

Freshman C Nia Moore

(On helping with Izzy out)
"It definitely gives me confidence. With our players going out and being injured, any time I can go out there and help my team is good."

(On stumbling over the cameraman)
"I'm sorry about that. It was a hustle play; I didn't mean to hit you. I was just trying to get the ball back into play."

(On Jasmine Phillips getting in the game)
"Any time one of the players gets the time out there, it's good to see that."


Mississippi State Head Coach Vic Schaefer

(Opening remarks)
"Well, they obviously didn't have a hangover from Monday because they came out and really took the fight to us especially in transition. Offense, they beat us up and down the floor from the tip. Holly's doing a great job. Her and her staff are doing a great job. I know right now she's band-aiding it, holding it together with some injuries, and that's an awfully hard thing to do. They're doing a great job. Those kids play extremely hard. Their motors run at a very high level. I they're very indicative of their staff and the motor that their staff runs at. Transition and rebounding have been an issue for us all year. Again tonight it was a big problem for us. They play awfully hard. She's got eight (players). She played her ninth one tonight. All those kids come in and play just like you're supposed to at Tennessee. This isn't the first time I've been in here. This is not the first time I've been in here and lost. There's a level of expectation in this building, and everybody that wears Orange and White is living up to it. That's a credit to them."

(On expecting transition and rebounding being a problem)
"Sure. You've got a great staff over there, veteran staff, they do their homework. They're going to know that's an issue for us. Everybody's attacking us in that area. We have a very young, immature team, and we play a lot better at home than we do on the road. That's been the case all year long. Our energy level seems to be a little bit less on the road than it does at home. We're very young. Other than Martha (Alwal) and Kendra (Grant), our other nine players really none of them have been in a meaningful minute of college basketball. While they may have played some, they're in the fire right now."

(On wanting to get Martha touches)
"We're always going to try to get Martha some touches. We're always going to want her to try to get fouled and get to the line. She didn't shoot the free throws well tonight, 2-of-7. She's been leading the SEC in free throw shooting or close to it. We want to give her opportunities to score, get fouled. We knew they were thin inside; we tried to go down there as much as we could. Again, their pressure out on the perimeter and our size on the perimeter especially at point guard sometimes limits us in what we're able to do. Give Tennessee credit. They kind of took us out of that a little bit early."

(On Tennessee keying its defense on Kendra)
"We got plenty of good looks. I thought we got good shots the first half. Kendra's 4-for-19. Katia's (May) 2-for-13. When we beat Ole Miss on Sunday, Kendra's 8-for-12, and Katia's 6-for-13. We made shots. We got plenty of good looks. We've not been a good offensive rebounding team, and we're not going to be because we're small at the three. We got plenty of looks early; we just couldn't make shots. I'm supposed to be a defensive guy, and we gave up 88 points again tonight. It's not the first time in the league that we've done that."

(On Kamiko William's play tonight, first start of the year)
"She obviously played well. I thought the whole team really chemistry-wise was very, very good. That's preparation. Okay it's her first start, but she's obviously been in the rotation whether it's been in practice or in competition. Their chemistry was very good with her. Just like Martha was saying: it was her time to step up. And, you know what? I'll bet you that she prepared for tonight. ... She seized the moment tonight and really played well."

(On Bashaara Graves' game) "She got a lot done tonight. She's 5-out-of-10 down low, takes up a little bit of space. Sometimes it's not bad to be young. What you don't know sometimes doesn't hurt you. For them I think right now they're getting the experience. You think about it how young they are. You give them another year, and by the time two years from now, this is going to be a veteran, salty team with salty leadership starting with their head coach. They're going to be hard to deal with, and they're leading the SEC by the way. They are undefeated in our league. They're awfully talented. The fact that they're young sometimes doesn't work against you and can actually work for you. Sometimes, again, what you don't know doesn't hurt you ."

Mississippi State Sophomore C Martha Alwal

(On if she felt outnumbered inside by multiple defenders)
"I don't think it's so much that we were outnumbered. I think that we were outworked most of the time. We could've kept up with them, but we didn't have as much heart as they did. They went 110 percent the entire time, and we took plays off. So, no, I don't think we were outnumbered."

(On their other go-to player Kendra struggling tonight, having to do more herself)
"I mean for Kendra we really need her to be our scorer and be that go-to player for us, but everyone's going to have an off night. When she has an off night, we're going to need someone else to step up. It can't be just me and Kendra all the time. Someone's going to have to step up for us, and as soon as we have more people step up, then (opponents) can worry about more people on the team other than just us two."





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