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Postgame Quotes: Louisville 86, Lady Vols 78



April 2, 2013

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THE MODERATOR: Okay. We're now joined by the Tennessee coach and student athletes. Coach, your thoughts about tonight's game.

COACH WARLICK: Obviously disappointed for us, congratulations to Louisville. But I want to talk about these two young ladies. These are our two seniors. They're tremendous leaders for us this year.

And they put their heart and soul in the whole year. And I just want to say on behalf of staff and the Lady Vol program, we're extremely proud of both of you and appreciate all you've done.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student athletes.

Q. Kamiko and Taber, would you both talk about obviously you guys got yourself in a big deficit and trying to fight back, you almost made it. Did you think you had a shot there?

Kamiko Williams: Most definitely. Throughout the whole game we believed in ourselves. The coaching staff tells you to go out there and fight. And we've been in situations like that before.

And we practice it in practice, with practice guys. Having drills where we get stops. And that's what we tried to focus on was getting stops and convert on the offensive end.

Taber Spani: This team never gives up. And we believed in each other. We just put ourselves in too big of a deficit at the beginning and our defense wasn't the way it's been the last few games. It let us down.

Q. Both of you, could you just talk about this season. I know it's just ended, but did it live up to your expectations? I know a lot of people wouldn't have picked you to get this far when the season started.

Kamiko Williams: I'm tremendously proud of my team and the coaching staff. Everybody, like you said, counted us out. We were picked fifth to finish. We finished first; unfortunately we didn't win the tournament.

But we made it this far. Believed in each other. Our coaching staff believed in us. And we just stuck together. It was a family. And we just bonded, and I love that about my teammates and our coaching staff. And like I told them in the locker room, I'll take this team over the past three teams I've been on, because I've never seen so much fight in a group of girls.

And I actually love that and appreciate that, because no matter what they always had our back. We knew we could count on them.

Unfortunately we fell short today. But we fought. I mean, that's all I could ask for.

Taber Spani: Yeah, I just echo Kamiko. I can't say how proud I am of this team and what we've accomplished. I think any Tennessee team, when you don't make a Final Four that's the great thing and the amazing thing about this program is no matter what the transition was, no matter what it looked like, no matter what excuse you might put out, if you're a young team or not, the bar is the Final Four.

And I think that's what makes this program special. So to come short of that is disappointing.

Q. Where do you think this got away from you tonight? Obviously you dug such a big hole there in the second half.

COACH WARLICK: Well, you gotta get stops and rebounding. We didn't those especially the first half. And can't give up ten offensive rebounds the first half and we just dug ourselves in a hole. So we started battling a little too late.

Q. You were down 3 with four minutes left. What did you talk about the last four minutes?

COACH WARLICK: We just talked about just keep battling and keep fighting. And we're down and then Taber gets a shot at a 3. And it's a good shot. It's a good look. And it didn't go. And then we fouled and then they were up by five, and so we just we needed to make that 3 to get the momentum, and it just didn't go down.

But we talked a lot about not giving up. And that's been the mode of this team this year. It's like Taber said, we thought we had a good year. But we didn't have a great year.

And that's just the nature of our program and our expectations, whether you're Pat Summitt or myself, it's just what we're all about. It's in our blood. It's in our makeup.

Q. Can you talk about Louisville and what you see for them going forward? Obviously they put together a good run.

COACH WARLICK: They had just a heck of a tournament. You've gotta do something right if you knock off Baylor, because Baylor's an unbelievable team. And so to knock them off and then to come in here and play the way they did, they had a great tournament. And we just I think they'll be competitive. And I'm sure they'll be ready to play in the Final Four.

 

 

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