March 25, 2007
Head Coach Pat Summitt
Opening Statement: "We are really excited and pleased about the win and how we played, especially in the first half. Our full-court pressure created turnovers. I went into halftime feeling confident. We had people who didn't play on the defensive end with same intensity in the second half. Survive and advance. It's what you do this time of year."
On Tennessee's perimeter defense: "I think our perimeter defensive pressure is effective because we can play with Nicky Anosike. Alexis (Hornbuckle) set tone from outside. The pressure she brought was key for us."
On where Marist caused some problems early in the second half: "They started running their action with cross screens on the baseline. We didn't defend it very well. That's why I called that timeout. This Marist team doesn't quit."
On whether she brought up Duke's loss to the team: "No, we really didn't talk about Duke. We talked about respecting Marist for 40 minutes. We try to encourage players to stay in the moment defensively and talk about what we need to do to avoid (an upset.)."
On the intensity of the NCAA regional tournament: "In most regional games, there's a lot of pressure. As a coach, I try to live in the moment as a team. As a coach and coaching staff, I try to stay composed."
On the parity in women's college basketball: "I think you are looking at a lot more upsets. Parity is a good thing. I want to see the women's game continue to grow. More and more universities are providing resources for their programs to grow."
On Shannon Bobbitt's defense: "Shannon has always brought quickness and speed. She's taken a lot more pride in defense. Shannon makes up, because of speed and quickness, what she lacks in size."
On whether team goes as Candace Parker goes: "Candace has to have a presence at both ends of the floor for us to win. I'd like to think we can get Candace good looks and touches, but some teams have played three people on her. But, that means others have to get involved. I don't want others watching. I want them involved. If we are in that situation, I don't think we'll panic."
Tennessee Player Quotes
Shannon Bobbitt on her general approach on defense: "They definitely had advantages over me in the post and I'm thankful that they didn't take those advantages. I just tried to use my quickness and energy when I could and I'm thankful that we came out on top."
Alexis Hornbuckle on defending Marist's three-point shooting: "We dedicated our time and preparation on knowing that they were a great three-point shooting team. Our team was able to cut down on there penetration which did not allow them to kick it out to open shooters."
Candace Parker on how Tennessee prepared for an unknown team like Marist: "Our coach did a good job preparing us by showing us their tendencies. We saw their three-point and learned their personality on TV."
Candace Parker on playing the Cinderella of the tournament: "We personally looked at it like any other game. We knew that a lot of people we rooting for us to lose and wanted their Cinderella story to continue. We wanted their story to end, so we came out with great intensity in the first half."
Candace Parker on the possible match up with Oklahoma's Courtney Paris in the next round: "It's not a match up between Courtney Paris and I but a match up between Oklahoma and Tennessee. We are going into the game with that mindset, like we have all season, that we are a team and believe Oklahoma looks at it the same."
Candace Parker on taking on double teams in the post: "We came into the game knowing that they like to double and some times even triple team, so my natural reaction is to reverse the ball for open jump shoots. I think we did a good job of handling it."
Candace Parker on Tennessee's second half timeout: "Since it was aimed at me, I think I'll take this question. Coach very calmly told me, I need to step up and play some defense and I didn't come out with same intensity in the second half. So it was time out for Candace."
Alexis Hornbuckle on playing such a lower seed in the tournament: "I think it's great for women's basketball because now you turn on the TV and don't know what to expect. Usually the top seed makes it to the elite eight or the final four but now everything is so up in the air because everybody needs to play a great team game in order to move on."
Marist Head Coach Brian Giorgis
"Obviously, we went up against a tremendous basketball team today and one that it's tough to lose but to lose to that team, it's not really that tough. Early they (Tennessee) scored both inside and out and really took us out of what we like to do. In the second half, we made some adjustments that made it a little bit better, but, they were tremendous and I would like to give my kids a lot of credit.
"They really could have quit and got spanked in the second half but they made some adjustments and were still diving for loose balls. I couldn't be more proud of them."
"As you can tell, we don't have the biggest, tallest, strongest team in the world but we do play with a lot of heart and don't quit. I think we represented the mid-majors very well and like I told our kids, we just finished an experience that will last a lifetime. One of the tremendous experiences the kids and I have ever had. For Tennessee, this is an expectation, but for us, this was the greatest moment in our athletic lives."
"We have no qualms. We are going to go home with our heads held high and very proud of ourselves, Marist College and what we stand for in our community."
On following the TV timeout when Marist was trailing 8-5 and Tennessee went on a run if he saw something he has never seen in his team before:
"No, because we don't play Tennessee all the time. It's funny, because so many people kept asking me, `How do you stop Candice Parker?' It's a great question, which I think every coach gets. My woes were what could we do against their defense. As you can see, we don't have a lot of height. Their size is just incredible. I think my disappointment in the first half, which I got on my big people about, was that we didn't post up strong. That is what we needed to do. We noticed on film that Candice Parker is a great help defender, but, when you attack her she realizes she has to stay in the game and might give up two points because I start going crazy and get into foul trouble. It's the same thing with a lot of the other kids. In the second half, I really challenged Rachele (Fitz) that she needed to get more physical. Sometimes for her it's tough, but, she did. We got the ball inside more, because their perimeter defense is excellent. Unfortunately, we made the adjustment on the defense a little late."
On what's next for the program:
"Hopefully, this will help our recruiting. I think first and foremost for the kids we have and the kids that are coming back, they had a great experience. Once you had that experience, you want to do it again and again. You don't want it to be a one-time thing. I think that will help our kids work extremely hard, between now and next year. Because, I think, we lost possibly one of the best players in the history of our school in Alisa Kresge. Even though she's not a scorer and sometimes allergic to shooting, I think you see the value of what she meant to our program. Last year, we lost the player of the year in Fifi Camara and I think the kids responded well.
This year, this is going to be an even bigger loss but knowing our freshmen and people we have coming back, we want to do this again. That is what the kids said in the locker room. Tennessee is an incredible program."
On playing in the Sweet 16:
"I have already taken it all in. I told my staff and our kids, this is not an expectation at the mid-major level. We have enjoyed every bit of it. It has been a great run. Personally, to have my family here, that's been great."
On his wearing of a pink ribbon:
"There are two reasons. First, the MAAC is very involved in breast cancer awareness. One of my assistants and I know Susan Yow (NC State coach Kay Yow's sister) and obviously watching she is going through is incredible. She puts everything in perspective.
"This was a game against a great team and allowed us to live a dream. I watched last night what she (Yow) goes through, and that's heart. Three weeks ago, we hosted a Hoops for Hope Tournament. There were 27 former players there, I thought I was at a reunion. It was for the same type of thing. This is the type of stuff that is really important. Coming up with the dollars and if people can help see it and donate money or pray for Kay, that's what it about. We just happened to lose a game to the greatest team in history, and that's secondary. Sometimes we need things to put life in perspective."
On locker room atmosphere after the game:
"There were a lot more smiles than tears, especially for the way for we played in the second half. I think the kids knew what they accomplished."
Marist Player Quotes
On the14-0 run Tennessee had in the first half:
"They're Tennessee. They're a number one seed for a reason. They're a great team, and that's what they do. They came out ready to play. They weren't taking us lightly. I give them respect. They did a great job."
How tough was it to find someone open on the perimeter given Tennessee's defense?
"They obviously did a great job scouting, and they knew that our guards would shoot the ball. They weren't going to give any open three's. It was tough, but I think getting the ball inside, which our girls did great the entire year, instead of worrying about hitting the three."
How did it feel to be a part of this magical run for Marist?
"It has been a great ride. It really has. I think this team has worked so hard. I think they believed in us. We got here because we worked so hard and we believed. It was so much fun, and I think our team definitely deserved to be here."
Did playing Duke and Maryland early in the season help to prepare for this game?
"I think so. Definiately. They are all the same caliber. They are all great teams. We knew coming into those games, they were going to be tough games, and after seeing `hey we can play with them,' we were only down by 10 at halftime against Duke. That gave us the confidence to come in here and just play our game."
On the second half adjustment that opened things up for Marist:
"Coach was talking about how we were letting them score from the outside and the inside pretty much at will. They were taking us out of what we do on defense, so we made some defensive adjustments. Overall, it led us to win-out in the second half."
On poor shooting during the first half:
"They didn't go in. Most of the shots were right there. Maybe, if we had a little bit more legs. We aren't used to playing this far into March, and obviously they are even into April. Our legs were giving us a little trouble. I think that the shots we took weren't that far off, so I think we were a little tired."
On the great fan support today:
"I think we were still down by about 25, and they were going crazy. That's how our fans are. If we make a bucket, they're going to scream their heads off. That's thanks to Marist chartering a flight out here, and students driving the 10 or 11 hours it takes to get out here and our family and friends coming out to support us."
How did it feel to be a part of this magical run for Marist?
"I think before the game, it was so surreal to be in the `Sweet 16' that before the game, I don't think still fully believed we were here. Now after, looking back, we just played Tennessee, and we only lost by 19. That's pretty cool, and that's something that I'm going to carry with me for the rest of my life and tell my kids and tell my grandkids. I think that's amazing."
On being a lifelong Tennessee fan and playing them:
"It was awesome. I've always had the dream to play them. To play against a team that you have idolized since you were in elementary school, that's the greatest thing. I was a little star-struck yesterday when I saw Pat [Summitt], but I toned it down today. I think we did a great job. We came out and laid everything out on the floor."
During the surge in the second half, did you sense you might break through and make it to your hometown of Cleveland for the
"We came into the locker room at halftime, and coach told me I needed to be stronger and post-up stronger and get the ball. I knew I had to pick it up. The first half wasn't the greatest first half. So, I just went out there and tried to do what I normally do, score points in the paint. As far as Cleveland, I was really happy to get to Dayton. A lot of family members got to come out and see us here. I would have loved to have gone to Cleveland, but Dayton is just as good."
How did it feel to be a part of this magical run for Marist?
"I was just so happy to be here too. I'm glad now that Marist is out there and people know where we are from and before people were like `Who's Marist?' or `Where are they from?' We put Marist back on the map. We helped our school out in a big way. I'm very excited about that."