Feb. 13, 2011
Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb
On the second half:
"I think once they got more aggressive again and came after us we got on our heels defensively and didn't do the job that we did (in the first half). Then you get tight on offense because you can't get the stops you were getting in the first half...the frustrating piece is until the last eight minutes we were beating them and their the No. 4 team in the country and there's a lot to be said for that."
On the game:
"We stopped doing the little things. We stopped trusting, we started doubting a little bit and it's not like we started saying `oh I don't think I can make this three or I don't think I could make that,' but we went away from what we do and what we were doing and it takes a whole season to build a trust and with a lot of young players it takes a lot longer."
On Hannah Tuomi's performance:
"Hannah's fearless and she fights, that's kind of expected because she gets all the hustle plays. Hannah brings that for 40 minutes everyday. She amazes most of our other players and our young players have already commented on how they want to develop that work ethic and that desire that she has."
On having a young team:
"I thought Jence had a great game. And that's where I think Jence and Hannah are upperclassmen. I thought Tiffany played really well tonight. Again, the players that have the inexperience in our system and don't trust, didn't do the little things that we needed down the stretch."
Vanderbilt Player Quotes
Senior guard Jence Rhoads
On the difference between this game and the previous one in Knoxville...
"We were more prepared for this game. A lot of our young kids, and us included, we knew what to expect this time. So we came out attacking instead of being attacked."
On UT's second-half run...
"They made a little run and we kind of got tight and turned the ball over a few times and they got some points in transition and we just weren't able to recover from that."
On playing UT again...
"We're looking forward to that. One of the first things we said in the locker room was that we would probably get another chance in the tournament. I think that personally that we love that, we love that challenge and we believe we can beat them."
On if they believed they could win...
"I think when Tennessee made their run there was a little bit of doubt and I think that's the biggest thing we need to overcome. We believed at the beginning of the game and I think we believed at the end. There was just one moment where Tennessee went on their run and we hesitated a little bit. I don't know if doubt is the right word. We hesitated and they pursued."
Senior forward Hannah Tuomi
On the changes made before the game...
"We made changes all around. We worked on getting tougher and checking out, getting the hustle plays, working hard offensively and defensively, and making smarter choices on both sides."
On coming so close to the win...
"It's disappointing, you come so close and then you can't really turn it around and if you don't recover from that it can cost you the game."
On the game's physicality...
"It was a pretty physical game. We attacked them in the beginning but they came right back at us. So we were battling physically down in the post. It was a very physical game."
Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt
On the game as a whole:
"I thought the first half we would never ever catch up. Obviously Vanderbilt did a great job. They came out and had more energy, more passion. They were obviously very skilled. They play well together. We just had to dig ourselves out of a hole and I don't necessarily like the way the first half went, but I have to give our team credit. They pulled together at halftime and made a commitment to commit to our defense and our board play and that's what it's all about."
On Lauren Avant's play:
"That was Coach DeMoss' call. She just said `I think if you put in Lauren it's going to change this game.' And she said `We need a true point guard.' She is really the only, what I would call, true point guard, and she went in and just handled the ball and distributed the ball and she got it moving. She had great communication in the huddles and it was by far her best outing, and I was really really pleased with how she responded and how the team responded to her."
On her explanation for her team's first half:
"You know unfortunately sometimes this team picks and chooses when they are going to play hard and you know as the head coach it just baffles me because they have great potential. We have a lot of laidback players -I'm not going to name names, but I could give you about seven of them. I think from this point on our defense and our board play is going to be number one and number two priorities. It's not going to be about how many shots we're going to get in. It's how tough we're going to be with our defense and our board play."
On trying to find somebody to step up:
"It was pretty frustrating throughout the game and Glory (Johnson) unfortunately gets in foul trouble too much and Kelley Cain was not as mobile as we needed. It's almost like roll call trying to find out who's going to step up and really bring what we had to have. But we found a way to win and that's what championship teams do is find a way to win. And I don't necessarily like watching as we struggle through a lot of possessions, but I think this team has a lot of potential and maturity now and hopefully we'll build on it through this game."
On whether her team's maturity helped them down the stretch:
"We're a junior dominated team and that class has finally come together and really works well together on the floor and I think that's a big difference for us."
On Vanderbilt's play:
"Vanderbilt came out with a lot more energy and defended better than we did. Had more energy then we did. Why? Well because obviously they're here and they wanted to beat us and they've been playing really really well at home and winning here so that we knew that it was going to be a real challenge for us. But we didn't answer the bell in the first half and that's why halftime was pretty telling as to what we had to do that we didn't do in the first half."