March 4, 2005
Coach Pat Summitt
"I told the basketball team at halftime that I was happy that we didn't let our offense affect our defense. We had some horrible shooting percentages, but I liked our shot selection. We were able to get inside a lot and we got a lot of opportunities in terms of post play. Defense and board play won this game on a night when we didn't make a lot of shots. That's why we preach defense and rebounding, because you're going to have nights that are ugly on the offensive end."
(On the play of her freshman) "Both Nikki (Anosike) and Alexis (Hornbuckle) have made a lot of big plays for us. I don't think of them as freshman anymore. Nikki's war-like mentality and fight has brought out the best in her teammates. Alexis did some good things for us. She stepped up and played defense. The upperclassmen on this team have done nothing but embrace the underclassmen. We have exceptional chemistry on this team."
(On Auburn's chances to make the NCAA tourney) "I knew that if they won tonight they'd definitely be in. I cannot imagine that this team couldn't succeed in tournament play. They have really gelled in the post-season. We who live in this league and coach in this league know their talent. If I was on the committee they'd get my vote."
(On reaching Rupp's record) "It's interesting since I grew up a Kentucky Wildcat fan and watched their teams play but never had an opportunity to meet Coach Rupp. It's hard to even imagine being mentioned in that company. The credit goes to the University of Tennessee for giving me the opportunity to remain at this school for 31 years. I want the focus to remain on this team."
Senior Forward Shyra Ely
(On emotions of the game)
"You just get really emotional through the course of the game. We just came out with a win and I'm happy about it...Our defense and board-play won this game. Loree did a great job of leading us."
(On LSU's game) "We discussed it in the locker room beforehand and said 'let's not let this happen to us.' We knew LSU had some fight in them. They needed this win to secure a spot in the NCAA tournament. We knew how close each game has been up to this point."
(On playing against Marita Payne) "I kind of saw a disadvantage of the other team. She had the height advantage, but I knew with my quickness I could get past her with a double-drive. Coach noticed that too and gave me some opportunities."
Auburn Head Coach Nell Fortner
Opening Statement "Tennessee proved again how strong they are on the glass. They did not shoot well, but we could not keep them off the glass. They are very aggressive on the boards and that is how they win ball games. We had 18 turnovers and they had 24 rebounds, and you can't beat someone like that. However, it is promising that we were able to stick with them."
On the offensive boards... "We are not a physical post team. We have struggled all year long with that. Our post players are more finesse players. That has its advantages, but its disadvantages are like tonight. We just need more big post players like they have."
On an NCAA bid... "Honestly I do not know if we are in. I have talked to other coaches and they have told me that we are in for sure, but if a weaker conference has some upsets then that puts us at a disadvantage. I hope we get in and I know this team is good enough, but I do not know."
Player Nicole Louden
On what she would say to the NCAA Tournament Committee... "I would say to the committee, 'This is the SEC, arguably one of the best conferences in the country...We're competitors and I hope they look at everything, our RPI...'"
"It hurts a lot. Believing we could win and not coming up with the win is tough to swallow. I don't think they had their best game today and we didn't either."
Player Marita Payne
On rebounding... "They weren't shooting well. They would get their easy putbacks and that hurt us."