Feb. 10, 2014
HEAD COACH Holly Warlick(Opening Statement)
"It was an awesome game. It was fun to watch as a coach, fun to watch our players get a game plan and stick with it. We played 40 minutes of man-to-man. For someone who loves man-to-man defense, I was proud of them- great win for the Lady Vols."
(On Meighan Simmons second half)
"I thought it was key for us when we came out in the second half and we scored the first 6, 7 points. I thought that was key. They had a couple free throws and then we went on 11. I think that's where Meighan stepped it up and we went on about an 11-0 run, so yes, I think Meighan is playing great basketball right now. I think she's taking shots that are great shots for her and she's playing on the defense. I'm really proud of her because she's doing what we ask her to do and the result is she's scoring and getting great looks. We want her to run the ball and when Meighan Simmons gets out front, there's not too many people that can catch her."
(On Bashaara Graves)
"I think Bashaara had to do some things to carry this team and Bashaara- she played great defense. She got 10 rebounds, so her game, she's going in different levels of her game, had some good looks and missed them, but I'm not worried about Bashaara. She's a competitor. She's a workforce and we rely on her. We go to her. As Cierra [Burdick] and Meighan [Simmons] were struggling, Bashaara stepped up and played well, so I think this is a team that plays well together and they honestly don't care who steps up and gets the point. I think they're really excited about this team and I think you can see the team unity that we have."
(On players stepping up)
"I told Isabelle [Harrison] that it helps that she played more than 58 seconds in the first half. She didn't get in foul trouble. That helped us. We needed her to set the tone and I thought our defense was solid. We worked too hard on their concepts and I think Dean [Lockwood] did a great job of preparing us with the Vanderbilt scout and they bought in. They just bought in. We didn't want [Jasmine] Lister and [Christina] Foggie to, those two, it's a good combination, they're great players. As hard as we played on Foggie, she still got 22 points, so I have a lot of respect for her game and I just think we stepped up. We stepped up and got stops. We got steals. We limited our turnovers, so I think it's one of our best all-around games, I really do."
(On playing with a purpose)
"Yes, when you get beat down in Nashville, you're not happy campers. We haven't been happy for awhile. I think, yes, we had a little chip on our shoulders and I loved it. I love that we're competing and I thought tonight we played every play like it was our last play and every defensive play, it was like we needed to steal on that play, so I loved how we worked tonight. I loved our energy and I just say let's have a chip on our shoulder all the time."
(On the shot clock violations forced)
"I think we had a couple of shot clock violations. They have put in the time and I think now they result of how hard we played. I was happy for them. They were as excited about that as after game I told them they had two days off. They loved that as well. You would have thought I had given them all a million dollars. Two days off when they play the way they have and we have been traveling so much and going. I thought if we could get past this game and play well we would have a couple of days off."
(On effect of not having Ariel Massengale)
"Well we have quality guards. Andraya Carter and Jordan Reynolds have stepped up. They haven't missed a beat. That is because they are players. They run the team. They are leading. They had the opportunity and took it and ran with it."
(On Andraya Carter's growth)
"It is just game experience. When you have game experience I think you get better and better. You can simulate in practice and we have been pretty tough on her. I was pretty tough on her tonight for letting Christina Foddie get those threes off whether she was guarding her or helping. She is a competitor. I think she is taking this as a challenge."
(On whether or not that game performance would win in tournaments)
"I would think that performance would have won an Elite Eight game. We shot 58% from the field. We caused 17 turnovers and we out rebounded them. I think it was a solid game for us. I think we had balance scoring. I think if we play like that we have a great chance."
"We lost a really important person today in women's basketball, Betty Jaynes, who started the women's basketball coaching association. I just wanted to throw that out. She is one of the reasons why we have the opportunity to make the salaries that we do. She fought for us. I just wanted to throw that out there. It is a really sad day for women's basketball coaches because Betty had been doing this for a long time."
SENIOR G Meighan Simmons
(On losing the locker room after Vanderbilt loss in January)
"We did and I think that was weird when we lost the locker room I think everyone was shocked. We wanted to get back down to basics. We need to take care of business from practice to preparation the day before the game to preparation on the day of. So we just didn't take anything for granted and worked hard in practice and got better and better and showing the coaches we wanted to play intense basketball"
(On playing hard)
"We just have to play every team, everybody has to give their 110 percent and we just have to continue to get better and continue to play Tennessee basketball like we have been doing. We have to let the game come to us and continue to play together and it just makes the game a lot more fun and brings a lot more energy."
(On playing with energy tonight)
"Like Izzy said, we were just playing with so much energy and it is good to see everybody out there smiling and it looks like everybody is having fun. The more fun we have the better the game gets, the more uptempo it is, the more the coaches get involved and Holly is telling us that she is going to dunk the ball on the sidelines. It is just a lot of energy and when we do that out there on the floor it is a consistent thing and we continue to play basketball and it is a lot of fun. That is all I can say."
JUNIOR F Isabelle Harrison
(On game being personal)
"Definitely. Ever since we lost in Nashville, we were upset about that. Its been on my mind. I knew I couldn't let my team down or my coaches down or my family. When we lost in Nashville I know I let my family down so I wanted to play my best and take care of business."
(On the game tonight)
"I think we are just playing and having fun honestly. We weren't thinking about anything. I think in Nashville we were overthinking a lot of stuff. We are in TBA, this is home for us and it allowed us to be a lot more open and free and carefree. Our offense was working great, people were hitting shots, people were getting paint points and we do that and you can see the results."
"Did I play with a chip on my shoulder? I guess."
(On Holly Warlick's orange jacket)
"It is fly! She walked into the locker room and I was like `Ok Holly!" She looked good in it."
SOPHOMORE G Andraya Carter
(On increased offense in past 2 home games)
"I think its just a lot of us putting a lot of individual work in but also while we've been playing we've been playing together. Its been a long season and I think we are finally starting to know each other really study each other. We play inside-out, so I think our ball movement and everything is just really starting to come together for us. We hit shots because we're getting to know people well so we're getting good looks."
"It was great we always try to utilize the post. I think we have some of the best posts in the nation. We want to get the ball inside, we have our best people inside. They start collapsing and pitch it out to the guards and we get our shots. So Izzy (Harrison) got us going, she was on fire and really was a huge spark for us."
(On the Vandy rivalry)
"I saw it last year, I see it every time we play them, we are just battling for the state. It is a huge rivalry, it is always a battle, it is always a tough fight. They don't like us, we don't like them and that is just a healthy rivalry. Every time we play them we are all giving our best. We all want to win, we are all out there competing for the same thing. As chippy as it gets, the little things that happen out there, it is a healthy rivalry. We have fun."
(On coming out in the second half)
"I think it was just determination. We went into halftime in the locker room and all we wanted to do was get stops. Everyone was talking about how great our offense was, but we held them to 22 points in the second half and that got us rolling, we got confidence from that. We always say it starts and stops. It starts and stops. We just didn't want to let up at all and we all talked about it in the huddle, in the locker room. Just don't let up. Don't let them get going and they didn't."
HEAD COACH MELANIE BALCOMB(On what the difference was in tonight's game and the last and who looked more like a Final Four team)
"I couldn't tell you who the Final Four team is right now. I can just tell you that they dominated us inside. They used their height this time. From the tip, we had trouble guarding their size inside. They buried us. They were on the boards and basically, in the paint, we got killed, and they were very aggressive from the tip at doing that, which they weren't last time."
"They set the tone more inside. They dictated what they were going to do and you could tell right away that was their game plan and they stuck with it all game. You can't get beat off the dribble, and we got beat off the dribble, and then they got offensive boards. We were late; we didn't dictate the way we did in the first game, and we weren't able and in position to take charges and get Isabelle into foul trouble. We were on our heels, and we let them dictate the play for us."
(On how UT has adapted to the absence of UT's Junior Guard Ariel Massengale)
"To be honest with you, you'll have to ask them. I'm not focused on what they're doing, I'm more focused on what we're doing."
(On the passing of WCBA director Betty Jaynes)
"Well, she's another pioneer in Women's Basketball and a tremendous lady. I think that she has done so many things for the Women's Coaches Association, this game, with her loyalty, and I just loved her spirit. She was a great lady, she was fun, and she had a big personality. It's a very sad time to hear about her passing."
SENIOR G CHRISTINA FOGGIE
(On cooling off offensively in the second half)
"I think in the first half we just did a good job of attacking and getting open shots. In the second half, I could have been a little more attacking instead of just staying at the perimeter, but that's just something to learn going forward. I don't think it was anything they were doing defensively, I just need to be more aggressive and move more around the perimeter."
SENIOR G JASMINE LESTER
(On the scoring drought to start the second half)
"It was a little frustrating, but I think because we didn't get stops on the defensive end, it made us a lot tighter on offense. In order for us to be successful on offense, we need to buckle down and get stops and rebound."
(On team mentality at halftime)
"We definitely felt like we were still in the game and that we had a very good chance of coming back, we just didn't execute our game plan in the second half. We came out a little flat and gave them a few buckets."