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Postgame Quotes: Lady Vols 56, Missouri 50



Feb. 23, 2014

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Tennessee Head Coach Holly Warlick

Opening statement...
"Obviously, I'm proud of our team. Missouri's team is never out of the game and they're very well coached. I'm just glad for the win. It's a good win for us on the road."

On the defense today...
"We worked a lot on not allowing three-point looks and they shoot a lot of threes, but we wanted to make sure that they shot contested threes. I think, for the most part, we did that and that's tough for us because we're a team that gives up a lot of threes. To hold them to seven threes, for us, is awesome. We worked a lot, over the last two days, on defending their concepts; defending their players. I think Dean did a great job of scouting. I thought today they carried out our game plan very well."

On the difference in last few minutes to win...
"We got stops. They came down and hit two threes in a row and then we turned it over twice in a row. It boils down to stops and rebounds. I thought that we came up with some big rebounds toward the end. We came up on the good end of shooting free throws. We made the game interesting."

On Missouri's defense...
"They were sagging in and making us make a play from the outside. We knew it was coming; we watched them do it against Auburn. A lot of people haven't done that and you don't get used to it until you see it. At the beginning of the game, we were quick shooting the basketball and then we settled down, moved the ball around, and ended up getting the ball inside."

On how the team stayed aggressive with the press without fouling...
"That's unusual [to only allow Mizzou to shoot six free throws]. Usually, we would put them at the line a little more. We made sure that they stayed in front of us and shot over us. I was proud that we were able to press. I don't think they shot a free throw in the whole first half. Missouri's not going to go to the line a lot because they shoot a lot of threes."

 

 

On Missouri's offensive style...
"I think it's great. I think you can win a game or shoot yourself out of a game and I think those players understand it. I think they do it extremely well. It's different, you don't see it a lot, it's hard to guard and it's hard to scout. They're doing something right when they've won 16 basketball games."

Tennessee Redshirt Freshman Andraya Carter

On if she was nervous at the end of the game...
"No, I don't think we were nervous. We just kept telling ourselves to stay composed. We knew that we had to get stops and stay composed. I don't think there was a feeling of panic at all."

On the team's defense
"I think our defense really got us going. We kept telling each other that it starts with stops. Bashaara and Isabelle really got us going when we went on that run. They were on the boards and putting the ball back in. We were playing really hard and we knew we had to come out and not give them much hope. They ended up making a little comeback, but that 16-point lead that we got was really good for us."

Tennessee Senior Meighan Simmons

On the team's defensive strategy...
"Our goal was to hold them under four threes. We allowed them to shoot 32 and we kept them to seven, so I think our defense was really solid. We didn't get down on ourselves when they did start hitting threes. We knew that we needed to help the helper. We got a lot of one-and-dones on the defensive end with rebounding."

On Missouri's offensive style...
"It's definitely a good test for us. We've never played anybody in the SEC who shoots as many 3's and shoots the percentage that they shoot. 42-percent of their shots are three-pointers and with the shooters that they have out there, why wouldn't you have an offense focused on your shooters? They have a really good offense. Their coach does a good job of getting them open and setting screens."

Tennessee Sophomore Bashaara Graves

On the difficulty getting ball inside...
"They were sagging off and it might look like we're open for two seconds, the guards pass it to us, and they collapse on us. I think that's how we turned the ball over a lot, but we got used to it and kept moving the ball."

On the team's defensive struggles...
"I think we're getting used to playing to our defense and getting steals. That's what we did today. We didn't get frustrated when our offense isn't going well. Our shooting percentage was not that good, but we still played to win."

Missouri Head Coach Robin Pingeton

Opening Statement...
"First of all, I appreciate everyone coming out. What a great turnout. Just the support we have from the state is really exciting and seeing our fan base grow. Obviously, tonight was an outstanding turnout and appreciate everyone's support. I am really proud of our players. I am disappointed in the loss obviously. A couple of possessions here and there, but I like the fight in our kids. We got down 16, but we didn't quit and continued to hang in there and made a nice little run at the end there. We had some good looks, but tonight they weren't falling for us. I thought defensively we did a great job following the game plan. Simmons is one heck of a player and just so explosive and so quick. You are not going to shut her down. She is going to have her points, but I really felt that our mindset guarding inside out was right on point. So, I like the way we executed that offensively, I thought we had good looks. They just didn't fall for us tonight."

On defense tonight...
"I think one thing our kids are really getting good at is guarding personnel. I think my staff does a great job with scouting reports and really picking up tendencies of our opponents and our girls executed it extremely well. We just felt like that even though they have some good three-point shooters, the key was going to be to try to keep Simmons in check and really clog it up on the inside. I thought our kids competed well and they did a nice job."

On getting good looks at the end of the game...
"I thought we had good looks. I think we had the kids shooting the ball that we would want shooting the ball. Again, we had some rushed shots from the three-point line throughout the course of the game, but also I think part of our success is that our kids have a short-term memory. They are shooters and they put in a lot of shots outside of practice. We have talked about this before that I don't think that there are too many teams that consistently up and down the roster kids are in the gym outside of practice and getting up 1,000 shots a week. So, they have the green light to shoot those shots and we are not to reel them in too much. We are going to challenge them every time out. Just because you are open doesn't mean it is a good shot, make sure it is in rhythm, pass up that good look for a great look. I felt like there were a couple possessions that we could have made one more pass to settle into a shot that is a little more in rhythm, but we tried to get things going on inside with our dribble drives to the post. We felt like we could take advantage of our post players getting into the paint off the bounce. We got some post feeds. We just had a tough time scoring the basketball with our backs to the basket. They have some length inside and some pretty good athletes. Overall, I thought we got some pretty good looks."

Missouri Junior Morgan Eye

On three-pointers being rushed...
"I don't know. Maybe they were a little rushed. I feel like I just got so many good looks, and that's where I need to just have more poise. Being a veteran on the team, I need to be able to stick my shots. But we were just talking, we wouldn't have traded any of our looks that we had tonight. They were just a little short and just barely off."

On Mizzou's active defense...
"I felt like throughout the 40 minutes, we defended correctly for the most part. We had a lot of good help side, digging in on the bigs and knowing who to help off on. We were trying to really be destructive on (Meighan) Simmons, but again, she's a really good player, too."

On improvement during the last three games...
"We've seen improvement statistically. I think there's a feel within the locker room. It's very disappointing to lose this game here today. There's no moral victory. I think we're past that. We want to put a win on the scoreboard now. But we still got two games left, and we know that we still have a great opportunity to do something great this season. We're looking forward to these next two games. We have senior night, and then we're finishing up at Arkansas and the SEC tournament."

Missouri Senior Bri Kulas

On Tennessee's defense inside...
"They have really good defense. I think one thing we were trying to focus on was just screening each other and not just looking for one screen but looking for two screens. We just had to keep moving on offense."

On Mizzou's run in the second half...
"I think just staying to the game plan. That was one thing we talked about before the game was that no matter if we got up or if we got down, we were just going to stick to the game plan the whole game. I wouldn't question anybody's effort tonight. I thought everybody played hard, so it was just a mixture of sticking to the game plan and playing hard."

On importance of going inside with the struggles from deep...
"I think getting the ball inside is one thing that we look for in our motion offense, but our shots just weren't falling tonight. That played a factor in trying to get the ball inside more. We're still going to continue to shoot those shots because we have confidence in ourselves, and we know that we can knock down those shots."

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