Feb. 5, 2007

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Alexis Hornbuckle

"We knew they were going to come in here for vengeance after we beat them on their home court. The SEC was pretty much up for grabs if we lost this game and LSU won tonight. We knew that this game was very, very important. They had a lot to lose and a lot to gain, so they were going to come out hard. We didn't rely on our offense tonight, and I think that's what got us off to our good start, which was important."

On the emphasis of going inside tonight:
"With the exception of our first two jump shots, after that we pushed the ball inside, whether by penetration or getting it to the post and letting them get to work. If you penetrate and kick, it opens up so much on the floor. If you sag in, the jump shot's open. If you don't, the lay-up is open. That's where the emphasis of going inside is, to create shots."

On this year's team defense compared to last year's:
I think this year, we have a lot more heart in playing defense. We realize we can't rely on our offense. That showed early in the Duke game and also in the North Carolina game. There were spurts when we were doing great offensively, but we couldn't stop anybody. You can't cut a lead, no matter what the score. Our team realized that, and we've played with heart ever since."

Sophomore forward Candace Parker

"We just came out and we attacked, going to the basket, running on them and getting to the free-throw line. That was one of our points of emphasis at halftime, that we hadn't been to the free-throw line as much as we wanted to. We tried to take care of that early in the second half.

"I learned from the first half. When Alex opened up the lane by hitting outside jump shots and Sid came in and hit some jump shots in the second half, that opened the lane up for me and Nicky to go to work.

On getting better looks in the lane:
"In the second half, we played from the inside out, whether it was penetration or getting the ball inside. That allowed us to be comfortable enough to take the shot. Sid hit two three's late and Alex hit a three. That opens it up so they can't help."

Sophomore forward Alex Fuller

On the bench player's mentality:
"We don't come into the game to score. That's not our main motive. We come into the game to bring energy to who's out on the court and to elevate where we are."

On hitting her open looks:
"You can't really get open unless somebody helps you get open. They drew the defense when they penetrated in, and they kicked it out to me on the three.

On holding a lead on everyone in the SEC:
"It's a very good position to be in, being two games up on everybody. I think one of our first goals is to win the SEC regular-season title, because we haven't done that yet. We not only want to win the tournament, but we want the regular season title."


"I think the obvious is, as far as Georgia is concerned, there were far too many turnovers. Tennessee puts you in a position to make choices, and if you choose incorrectly, they make you pay for that because it normally results in a turnover. And that sometimes results in quick offense for them. I thought in the first half that we played reasonably well, we defended fairly well, we rebounded well. Early, we executed well in spite of turnovers. But the turnovers were too many for us to be in any better shape than we were, score-wise, at the half. In the second half, Tennessee got momentum by taking the ball inside. We were poor in our efforts to keep it out of there and to defend it once it came in. That hurt us, and then they got big momentum from (Sidney) Spencer's threes. All of a sudden, a game that can be decided by a spurt was decided by a big spurt in terms of the spread. We're not a basketball team right now that has the ability to create a whole lot with our defense, so we're kind of in a hole from that point on."

(on UT working it inside):
"I know at least one of the jumpers came at the end of transition, one of Spencer's threes. One of the threes might have come out of a half-court set. You're right, they went inside and hurt us. And then they hurt us with a drive and a three from the perimeter. I'm disappointed in us coming out in the second half. I thought we were flat, I thought we were dead. I thought there were some missed shots, some tipped balls, some deflected balls on their end of the floor. We didn't get to any of them; they got to all of them. And that's when they were running pretty hot and usually scored. I don't understand why we didn't have a lot of energy right after the half."

(on Alexis Hornbuckle):
"You hear it all the time, but with this team, it probably suits her more than many of the times you try to apply it. She's the straw that stirs the drink. You've got (Candace) Parker on the inside, you've got Spencer out there waiting like a coiled cobra to strike, then you've got her mixing it up in the middle, drawing people, kicking out, drawing people, laying it off, or just feeding it in to Parker . She's that in-between person that negotiates the defense as to whether it's going to Parker or whether it may be going back out to Spencer. I think she's an excellent defender. She's obviously much more than an excellent defender, but she's perhaps the best perimeter defender in the league. If you watch as much tape as we've watched of her, you really come to appreciate that about her. If you're going to play defense, you've got to be really unselfish to be a great defender, because you're not going to get any credit for it. She's really a spectacular defensive player."


(on UT's run at the start of the second half):
"I think they just brought the intensity that we lacked at the beginning of the second half. They came out and hit some big shots; then their fans got behind them. We didn't step up and meet that challenge."





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