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Postgame Quotes: Tennessee 93, Auburn 63

Feb. 20, 2014

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Tennessee Head Coach Holly Warlick

(Opening Statement)

"Loved our effort. I wasn't thrilled about the last nine minutes, but we're still striving to play a perfect game. I guess that's why I have a job right now."

(On not finishing game strong)

"I was proud of them. I thought we did some good things toward the end, but I think when you're striving for perfection, then we wanted to do some things and stick to our game plan and I thought we got away from that probably on the defensive end a little bit. We didn't chase. We didn't lock and trail all the defenders and we went over the top and got caught. I think it's just a matter of sticking to the game plan and just finishing the game. Obviously our goal wasn't to run up the score, but we just need to make sure we understand what we want on the floor and we have to do it. I thought our bench got in and played some good minutes and I'm very proud of them, but I just know how much better we can be."

(On Andraya Carter and Ariel Massengale)

"Ariel- it's still day-to-day. I just listen to what the doctors and the trainers say and continue to do what we've been doing, just hope that she gets back soon. Andraya- that's how Andraya [Carter] plays. She plays hard and she dives for balls and that's what I love about her game. That's what we need her to do. That's the kind of energy we need to get the team going."

(On Meighan Simmons)

"When the ball was leaving her hand, I thought it was in just about every time. I keep saying- Meighan [Simmons] is taking great looks for Meighan [Simmons], she really is. I don't see her taking a lot of bad shots right now and she had five assists. I'm probably more proud of her because she had six rebounds. We're trying to get her to get on the board. I think Meighan [Simmons] took good looks for Meighan [Simmons]. If she keeps doing that, she's going to score a high percentage and she's going to probably continue to be our leading scorer."

(On South Carolina)
"I'm not. I haven't watched anything about South Carolina at all. I'm not going to focus on South Carolina until we get ready to play them. We have Missouri, who beat us up there last year. We have LSU who beat us here. I just hope we get to South Carolina with no loses."

(on turnovers in Kentucky compared to Auburn)
"When you do not turn the ball over 22 times, that's I thought 15 turnovers was too much for us, but we got a little sloppy towards the end. But, I think you are right. It is a fast-paced game, and we ran the ball. Our goal was to run the ball, push the ball. I was worried about their defensive pressure, especially full-court. I thought we handled that pretty well. We worked the last two days on handling their pressure and their quarter-court. I do not think we turned it over, I may be wrong. I do not think we turned it over against their press, so I am proud of us for doing that. But, we can always get better. 15 turnovers, we like to stay within the 12. Obviously, you do not want to turn the ball over, but 12 is a good number for us. You are going to get some walks and probably some things you do that are unforced errors, but we still want to get better than 15."

(on Auburn's defensive pressure)
"I thought their pressure would affect us more. I thought we handled it really well because I think Terry [Williams-Flournoy] does a great job in mixing up her defenses and making you play fast and making you turn the ball over. That was probably our biggest concern. You are looking at a team that went down and did what we did not do--they beat Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt, and then come home and get beat by Missouri. So, I think it is a team that is up-and-down. They are young. I think they are going to be a very good basketball team."

(On awareness of Simmons' points during game)
"I was not. I though, what went up, I thought were going in. We were trying to make sure Meighan [Simmons] did some thing we wanted her to do on the defensive end. I was proud of her. She took great shots. I think she is just playing really, really good basketball for her right now. Really solid."

(On 2013 at Missouri game)
"That was not very fun."

(On prepping for Missouri)
"Missouri is a team that shoots probably in the 40 percents in 3-point shots. And so, they can shoot themselves in or out of the game. I doubt we will play a whole lot of zone. We may, I do not know. But, I want to say that we probably will not because they are great. That is her philosophy, the 3-point shot. Our philosophy is get the ball inside. Her philosophy is shoot 3-pointers. We have done a better job of defending the 3-point shot, but we have to be doing an excellent job when we go up there."

Redshirt Freshman Andraya Carter

(On limiting turnovers)
"I think we just focused on playing. We were just focused on us. We weren't thinking about what we could do with them. We just wanted to play Lady Vol basketball and that ended up forcing turnovers. When we're all playing hard and together, that's the result."

(On playing with no regard to physical well-being)

"When I get to thinking too much I feel that's when I don't play very well. That's the only way I think I play well, when I'm out there just playing hard whether that's risking my body or anything like that, it doesn't matter. That's the only way I can play. Once I start thinking, it doesn't go well. We have to get me to refocus and this is just the only way I can play."

Senior Meighan Simmons

(On Auburn's coach being happy to see Meighan graduate)
"I have enjoyed my time and being able to play against Auburn. They are a great athletic team and they have a great coach. I have a lot of respect for her. It's been a fun ride playing against them so hopefully next year my teammates will take care business, too."

(On what sparked her game)
"On the sideline when they were guarding the ball, Coach Law was yelling at me to go get the ball and I stole it after the first time. I think that's what really got me going."

(On UT being 6-0 coming off losses this year)
"I think it's just gives us the mentality that we know what we're capable of. When we lose, we know there are some things we need to change in order to be better the next game. In the four years I've been here, this team is completely different. When adversity hits, we come together even more. We talk to each other in the locker room, making sure we stay encouraged and don't get discouraged at any point in time when we do lose. We knew we had to bounce back. Like Andraya (Carter) and Cierra (Burdick) said, we prepared well. Coach Law did a great job preparing us for this game. We have to take it one game at a time, win or loss."

Junior Cierra Burdick

(On hitting first shots to boost confidence )
"No doubt about it, when you see those couple of shots go in you just start to feel it and you get your momentum going. It helps things feel better and seem better. It helps your defense as well."

(On focusing on UT basketball or SEC as a whole)

"First and foremost we are focused on us. We have to control what we can control, we can't worry about other team. Obviously we can see what is going on in our conference but we have to focus on getting us better and continuing to improve what's ahead. Right now that's Missouri so that's what we are focused on."

(On surprise of Auburn strategy)
"We knew they were going to throw a lot of defenses at us but we thought it would be more full-court pressure. They would drop back into a three-fourths court or half-court press. But I think we just continue to break it. We did so much preparation these past few days just getting our press ready and I think Coach Law did a fantastic job at preparing us."

(On playing at Missouri last year)
"We got a little payback. We blew them out by 40 when they came here and they returned the favor when we went to their house. They're a great basketball team. They shoot the ball extremely well. They're some of the best shooters in the SEC. They all shoot it, positions 1 through 5. We have to key in on limiting help. We have to focus on one-on-one defense and matching up with their shooters. We have to come out with Lady Vol intensity, play lady Vol basketball and I think we'll be just fine."

(On gaining confidence)
"We do a lot of shooting before practice and during practice. Elzy does so much work with us, especially with the guards, just focusing on the game shots we're going to get in the game. It helps a lot. Like Maria (Cornelius) asked, when we see those first couple shots go in, our confidence just builds. We get that momentum. We feed off of each other, especially us there. We love getting hyped. We love the intensity. We love chest bumping, high fiving. Once somebody hits one shot, we're all in. We're all for it. It just continues to build. We love playing with passion." ...

Auburn Head Coach Terri Williams

(On Tennessee playing well coming off losses)

"They played well against Kentucky. They didn't play bad. It was a very good basketball game against Tennessee vs. Kentucky. They both played well. We knew they would be angry and upset coming off the loss, and they would be ready to go against their next opponent, which just so happened to be us."

(On Andraya Carter's play with Ariel Massengale out)

"Andraya Carter has done a great job with Massengale being out. That comes from competing against other teams and practice. I think that helps her prepare for games. I don't think they have lost a beat."

(On trying to force turnovers)

"We are a pressing team. We cause turnovers against some of the best teams in the SEC. That is who we are. Our game plan is to always try and turn teams over with our pressure defense."

(On what was working for their offense)

"I believe that all the shots Tra'Cee Tanner was making in the second half were there in the first half. I just don't think she was playing as aggressive in the first half as she was in the second half."


 

 

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