Feb. 16, 2012
HEAD COACH Pat Summitt
(On Tennessee defensive and rebounding play)
"I thought it was a very good sign for us. I thought they were very focused on the boards and on our defense. Things weren't going our way all the time, but I thought we buckled down and did what we had to do."
(On Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen)
"I thought Glory (Johnson) and (Shekinna) Stricklen did a good job on the boards. We needed that. If you can control the boards, you have a great influence on controlling the game."
(On whether Tennessee rushed shots early on)
"Definitely at the start of the game. We were all over the place. Once we settled down, they did a much better job."
(On Vicki Baugh)
"I think her playing in the post she has a great presence and she's good around the glass. I think it's where she's best suited as opposed to being at on top of the floor."
ASSISTANT COACH Mickie DeMoss
(On the defense in the first half)
"It did (help us). We started in a zone again and I felt we covered their shooters and their scorers pretty well and held them to 13 points in the first half. Then our bench play was key for us tonight. We couldn't make shots. Our starters were struggling to make shots. We went to the bench pretty early and Kamiko Williams came in and was a spark on the offensive end. They Cierra Burdick came in and knocked down some big shots. So I think our bench really came through for us, bigtime."
(On playing a lot of zone defense)
"We did what we needed to do. There were some gaps in it. (Mississippi State) penetrated on us a little bit and got in the gaps a few times. All in all, it was pretty solid and that's a good thing .A lot of people have zoned them this year, so I knew they would have more options against the zone. All in all, we went to some man (defense) in the second half to change up to cover their shooters a little bit better. I thought our zone was pretty good."
(On the overall game)
"I wouldn't say this was a pretty glamourous game. It was just a grind. I think anytime you come to Mississippi State, they have a good basketball team. We knew that it was probably going to be a grind. We thought we might shoot the ball a little better than we did. Our defense stayed tact, kept rebounding, and we didn't let our offense effect that phase of our game."
(On the pace of the game)
"We still wanted to run, but we wanted to be a little more selective with our shots at the end of transition. We felt we were rushing our shots, going down and taking really quick shots. A lot of times, weren't set and ready to shoot it. Against Kentucky, we were standing on shots and early shots went down. Some games they don't fall. Then you have to be selective and let's get ready to set up our half-court offense."
SENIOR FORWARD SHEKINNA STRICKLEN/b>
(On Tennessee's slow start in the first half)
"We started off a little slow. In the first half, shots weren't falling. I think our defense really helped us out. In the first half, Cierra (Burdick) and Kamiko (Williams) came in and really carried this team. They stepped up coming off the bench. I give those two a lot of credit because they really got us going in the first half."
(On rushing shots early)
"I think we were starting to rush a little bit. They were making us play a little fast. We didn't really have composure on our shots. We were fading away from our layups. Glory and I were just fading away. We just have to start going into it and going up strong."
(On the difference between her first and second halves)
"I was more aggressive, not thinking and just playing. My teammates were carrying me a lot. They were telling me, `It's going to fall. Just keep going hard.' That's what I did with my teammates having my back, this team being together, everyone stepping up and playing their role."
(On the keys to Tennessee's turnaround)
"It is, but we just bring our defense and rebounding. That's what we had in Monday's game. I felt like our defense was pretty good though (tonight) and it really helped us this game. Our rebounding was outstanding."