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TENNESSEE 75 - PURDUE 54 - POST GAME QUOTES



March 23, 2005

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Head Coach Pat Summitt

(remarks from the court following game) "Let me just say thanks to all of you fans. You are such a part of this. This has been a special year for this team. You (fans) have helped build a great tradition here and helped us recruit great players. To all of you (former) players who played here-I love and appreciate you. This team is on a mission. Stick with us. Our assistant coaches-I do listen to you occasionally. The administration has been awesome. Having the floor named "The Summitt" is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life."

(opening remarks in press conference) "First of all, I'm excited that this team is headed to Philadelphia. We played in spurts, but it was good enough for us to advance. I'm proud of this team, and I'm proud for this team. We'll enjoy tonight and start preparing for Texas Tech tomorrow. Tye Fluker got the award for focus for this game. I hope she'll keep those glasses (the award) for a while."

(on the court at Thompson-Boling Arena being named "The Summitt") "I had no idea. It really touches me. It is a tremendous honor. I never ever thought of anything like that ever. I don't think anyone knows how much I love this university. It was a vote of confidence. This recognition was very touching. I want to thank all of those who have been behind the program for years. It is an honor for me personally, and my family as well."

(on whether she was relieved on reaching the record) "I turned the volume on the TV down last night, and Tennessee wasn't playing. I appreciate the attention that women's basketball has received because of this. I want to keep my focus on this team. I didn't want our players to feel pressure from this. They handled it well. Like they said, it was in the back of their minds. It's special for them, to be a part of this. Now, it's strictly about this team. This team has a chance to do something special. We'll prepare for Texas Tech and move forward."

 

 

(on defensive improvement in the second half) "At halftime, I was not real happy. Purdue can make shots, and they play well together. We didn't disrupt them. The way our program was built was with defense and rebounding. That's the way we win in March. Obviously, Purdue's shooting in the second half was not what it was in the first half. Our defense was better (in the second half)."

(on who she was surprised to see in the crowd at the game) "My mother. I don't know how many former players were here. I had voice messages from many of them. Cindy Noble Hauserman was here. Lea Henry left a message that she was going to be here. I saw Daedra Charles. There were a number of them. (Former Tennessee associate head coach and current Kentucky head coach) Mickie DeMoss came down from Lexington. I was sad because I thought my mom and dad would not be here. It was great when my family walked in. When I saw my mother, she cried, and then I started crying. When your mother cries, you cry. The longer that I'm in this profession, I see a lot of my mother in me. That's a good thing because it means I've mellowed."

(closing remarks) "I just want to thank you (the media) for being here. I appreciate what the media has meant to the growth of the sport."

Shyra Ely

(on why she came to Tennessee) "It was important for me to come here. I became an adult, a better person, and disciplined. I'm a homebody. I'm really a little girl at heart. I knew that coming here, Pat would take care of me away from home. What influenced my decision was the family atmosphere here. It was a major decision in my coming here."

(on the pressure of the record chase) "It was in the back of our minds. We were reminded of it all week. When you looked in the crowd, you'd see the 880 (signs). We were able to separate it and keep our focus."

Tye'sha Fluker

(on her performance) "I felt good. My teammates gave me the ball."

Shanna Zolman

(on the team staying focused during the record chase) "This was well deserved. Now our focus is on the Sweet 16 and preparing for Texas Tech. I don't know how she (Coach Summitt) stayed focused. We are playing in the moment. We're not thinking of the future. We're not really relieved, but now we can focus on the tournament. It was amazing."

(on the pressure of the record chase) "I didn't feel any more tightness. She did a great job of keeping us focused. As a team, we kept focused on the game at hand."


Head Coach Kristy Curry

(opening statement) "Congratulations to Coach Summitt, I am really happy for her but I am really happy for my team and hard they fought and battled. We will be better for the fact that we played Tennessee tonight, and it may be a year from now but our kids will be better."

(on the turnovers and how they affected the game) "It definitely hurt us without question. Anytime you play in this environment and on their home floor it is one of biggest keys is to keep it to 13 turnovers night in and night out. I see where Sharika Webb had nine but honestly I thought she battled all night. They were effort turnovers. They were not for lack of effort, they were attacking. They were able to convert that into good possessions for them. It is always going to hurt you."

(on the play of Sharika Webb) "She has really turned the corner. There are some kids that the light goes on and off. For the last month the light has been on all night long. That is what you want kids to do in the career is to turn the corner and step up with their heart and character, and their work ethic. She has finally understood what I have been trying to tell her. I am just really proud of her. I look forward to having her lead our team a year form now. I think she finished strong and she will have a great senior season. I have loved her character, her fire and her heart for the past month for our basketball team. She has put us into position to get in the tournament and she had excellent play against New Mexico and I thought tonight she didn't back down. She has a toughness about her that really feeds the rest of our team."

(on her young squad being able to compete and carry it over to next season) "That is what I told them is that you have to learn from these experiences and it is important to understand they can either make you better or make you worse. There is no staying the same. We have to get better so that a year from now we have two Big 10 Champion rings on our fingers, one from the tournament and regular season. We look up and a year form tonight we are headed to the Sweet 16 and we are going to be in a situation to be on our home floor. So you turn the experiences into a positive and I told them I loved them and I was proud of them."

Katie Geralds

(on the numerous turnovers and how that affected Purdue's play) "Against any good basketball team you have to take care of the basketball, and Tennessee is a great basketball team. We mishandled a few times and they took advantage of it. But coach said this was something to learn from, but give them credit as they took advantage of our turnovers."

(on Purdue's ability to continue to battle against Tennessee) "That's huge, you know because we never really hung our head. I think that shows how far we have come along since the season began. I think since the midway point of the season we have improved. They gave it to us a few times, but we did not hang our heads and we kept battling. I am proud that we didn't quit. I saw a lot of fire out there in people's eyes and that is something to look forward to in the future. We are going to miss Emily and Hannah (Anderson) quite a bit, but we have got a great squad coming back with some pretty good freshman coming in."

Emily Heikes

(on the quickness and size of Tennessee's post players and how that affected the rebounds) "I don't know if it was a matter of their quickness as it was us boxing out, and we didn't do that at all. We maybe did it a couple of times, but we did not do it consistently. And that really hurt us by letting them get second chance shots and putting it in."

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