March 23, 2009
2009 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - Post Game Quotes
(5) Tennessee vs. (12) Ball State
Head Coach Pat Summitt
"Obviously our team and our coaching staff are very disappointed. I thought we had good preparation and that our team was ready to play. I think Ball State really put us on our heels early and for whatever reason we were not committed to defending the way we needed to defend. Porsche Green did a tremendous job. This team is very well coached. I think Kelly has done a super job. They play with a great deal of confidence and a lot of freedom. I thought we were tentative and maybe uptight. You have to give credit where credit is due and that's to this Ball State basketball team. They had a lot more toughness than we did. They beat us to loose balls and they made shots. They played well together. We had a lot of empty possessions. Our post was 9-of-12 and you combine that with 14-for-41 from the perimeter. Obviously we have been very fortunate at Tennessee to have advanced to the Sweet 16 and this is the first time we haven't done that. Our hope is that it will be motivation. We only graduate one senior. It is all about what this team decides to do in the offseason. Angie has had a big year for us. She is a special player. Shekinna has grown a lot. I have counted on her a lot. I've for the most part been pleased with what she has done. These two young ladies need to step up and provide leadership for us next year. Tonight was a night where Ball State was better than Tennessee and I wish them well."
Angie Bjorklund, G/F, Sophomore, #5
On cutting the lead to eight late in the game:
"Throughout the game you cannot think you don't have a chance. We were trying our best to come back and fight through it, but obviously it was too late."
On handling Ball State's guards defensively:
"Their guards did an awesome job. We were trying to switch to steal. That was our game-plan in the second half. Sometimes we switched and had some mismatches with a post on a guard. At the same time that's not an excuse. You have to defend no matter what."
Shekinna Stricklen, G/F, Freshman, #40
On cutting the lead:
You just can't give up, no matter what. You always have to continue to work hard and hopefully you can get a turnaround. We weren't able to get enough turnarounds.
On making adjustments without Kelly ...
That was a big loss for us when Kelly wasn't able to come back in during the second half. In the first half she was really killing. When she couldn't go in the second half, we just had to move a lot on offense. That was a big loss for us.
Ball State Quotes
Head Coach Kelly Packard
"Our entire program obviously wants to start with the awe that we came in with yesterday for Tennessee. We did come in with awe and with complete respect for their tradition, legacy and everything that Tennessee is. Right on the heels of that, this was an accomplishment by a group of people with great heart that came in here respectfully of an opponent but had some real healthy, classy pride in our own talent. That is all I wanted today. I wanted us to play with class. I wanted us to play with character and I wanted us to finish no matter the outcome the same way these young ladies have represented themselves and Ball State University the entire season. It is okay to be in awe of an incredible, worthy opponent."
On what she is feeling:
"Pride and pride in these young women. I just think of watching them grow and build something so special. That has been all the fun for me, the fact that we are pretty darn skilled and have a lot of fun together is awesome. To put it all together, we put competitiveness at a really high level against an opponent that you can only dream of playing. To get to go out and do what they just did, it's going to take us a really long time to get our minds around the accomplishment that they have been able to achieve."
On defeating Tennessee:
"We were obviously really concerned about the mismatch from a height standpoint. We really expected a physical game. We do things as coaches that we think strategically will address the size issue but you can't. After that, I think that the biggest thing that I saw was the implementation of the scout strategy that we gave them. On top of that, it's not something that you see on a stat sheet, its desire, will and belief in one another. I think as they started to see some success that it bred confidence. I think the biggest factor that I saw was sheer will. We got outrebounded strongly so I think that you have to look at other categories to see where we made a difference. I told them all along that our offensive execution and the number of screens that we could set knowing that team that is full of freshmen that haven't had to defend screens for a long time, that that would be our best thing. Then we could see how mature they have gotten so far this year."
Kiley Jarrett, G, Senior, #12
On the margin of victory:
"This is just unbelievable. Tennessee is a great team. I would be lying to you if I told you I thought it would be a 16 point victory. They are a great team and I'm not going to take anything away from them, but we were just confident coming into this game and we knew what we could do. It hasn't hit me yet. It is just unbelievable." On preparing for Tennessee: "We knew that they were going to be physical from the tip. You can't prepare for that in practice. You can play against your scout guys in practice but you can't simulate how physical they are going to play. We knew it was going to be physical from the tip and we just had to execute our plays. I think it worked pretty well for us tonight."
Porchia Green, G, Senior, #3
"Pat Summit gave us a compliment about our great screening action and we just used that to the best of our ability. Screening is what gets you open and helps you execute. We knew it was going to be a tough game and there are no words to describe the basketball tradition at Tennessee but we came out and gave it our all and played to the best of our ability. We stayed focused and stuck to the scouting report and we ended up with a good outcome."
On what she prayed for during the game:
"I pray all the time. I say that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and I prayed for our team. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us and he answered my prayer tonight."
Emily Maggert, F, Sophomore, #41
On Tennessee's Kelley Cain leaving the game:
"Once one tall girl came out another one came in. They just kept bringing big girls in and we just had to keep pushing them back and boxing out."