Nov. 14, 2013
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Holly Warlick
"We need to start the second half in the first half. I don't know what I'm not saying or doing. It's a good win. I thought we were tired, I don't know if that was from the travel or the emotion of playing Chattanooga, but I thought we got winded early. We had some kids step up. I thought (Ariel) Massengale the second half came in and kind of got the ball rolling. I thought Basharra's (Graves) defense the second half started off hard as well. It's good to see Mercedes (Russell) compete the way she did as well. It's a win, a great teaching tape for us, a great defensive teaching tape for us, we just have to continue to get better."
(On her frustration in the first half)
"I must give a heck of a halftime speech, I don't know. It is frustrating because I watch how hard we play at practice and how we play against our practice guys. It's hard to watch when we don't give effort and I thought in the first half we didn't give effort. I thought we got our point across at the half and we came out and were a totally different team in the second half. Against great teams, you can't do that. I thought our talent helped us win. UTC hung tough and their talent was good tonight as well."
(On Graves and Simmons)
"I think people are keying in on them and rightly so. We probably have to do a little better job of getting them the ball and getting them some shots. We'll go back and watch the tape and see how we can help them."
(On Basharra Graves)
"I think it will be good for us to go back and watch the tape and see how we can get her shots. They are going to key in on her and they should because of the player she is and how she played last year. I think she came around in the second half, hit the boards and drove to the basket. Our game plan was to get the ball inside, whether it was post feed or it was drives . It wasn't to jump shoot the basketball and that's what we were doing. We've got to change our mentality of how we want to start the game."
(On Massengale saying she would "Make their life miserable" if they lost the game)
"In those exact words, I did. I just said they they had better not come in tomorrow and have not won the game. I would make their life miserable, that;s the short of it."
(On the feeling at halftime considering last year's result)
"I have a lot of respect for UTC and what they do and Coach Foster so I knew it wasn't going to be an easy game. I thought that last year we were scared. I thought this year in the first half we weren't giving effort. Once we got that straightened out, once we got our effort straight...But we didn't want it to be close with this team because they shoot the three ball so ell, everybody shoots the three ball so well. It was a little touch and go."
(On the team's rebounding)
"I thought we rebounded good, but I don't think we rebounded great. I thought there we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds that we should not have. We've worked really hard on our rebounding, but I thought we gave up a few too many boards. But if we get second-chance points, it's a great chance that you're going to win the basketball game. But we can be so much better and as a coach that's what's kind of frustrating. We haven't reached our peak yet, but we are winning and I'm not complaining about winning. I just want to make sure we're playing as hard as we can. As a coach, you want perfection. I don't know if you ever reach perfection, but that's what we strive for."
TENNESSEE FRESHMAN CENTER Mercedes Russell
(On having a better game than Monday)
"Yeah, Monday I knew I had a pretty off game. So I knew this game that I just needed to get involved more, and when I was open just needed to finish hard, and send my girl off."
(On what she took as a learning experience from Monday's game)
"I really learned that there is going to be ups and downs throughout the whole season, but we just have to learn from every experience and just keep building off that."
(On watching last years Chattanooga game)
"Definitely was, when we were watching film. They showed the end of the game, a clip of it, and we knew that wasn't going to happen again, and we needed to come out and just play hard."
(On trouble at the free-throw line)
"I'm struggling a little bit. I've been working on it. I really don't know what's wrong. I'm just going to keep working at it, and hopefully I'll get better."
TENNESSEE JUNIOR GUARD Ariel Massengale
(On getting in foul trouble)
"You know, nobody wants to sit on the bench, and you know just getting in foul trouble. It's hard to lead your team from the bench, and so the second half I knew we just had to bounce back. We had to play better than what we did in the first half, and just get after it, but sitting on the bench your able to watch and see what's open, and what's not being done, and kind of get the coaches feel and how they feel about things. So, everything I was hearing them say on the bench. I just tried to go execute it, and do what was best for the team and get us going in the second half."
(On her offensive game plan)
"Just being aggressive. You know the coaches kept talking to us about attacking and making them defend us. They were dribble driving on us, and so we have to do that same thing to them. I think I played my best in the open court and being able to get stops on defense, get out and run. It makes things a lot easier. That's the way that I like to play, and just being aggressive on the offensive end."
(On strong second half run)
"It was huge, and you know, I think that's why the coaches are on us so much because that's what we're capable of doing every possession, and so when they don't see us doing that and getting the job done, I mean it frustrates them, and it should frustrate us too, because we could be so good, if we just do the little things."
(On second half defense)
"It was huge, I mean our defense created our offense. It's easy when you're getting stops, getting steals, and you're able to shoot lay ups and wide open shots. It makes the game so much easier for you, and it's a lot more fun when you play that way."
(On improving her game)
"I would say the main thing is confidence. It's something that I put a lot of work into this summer, and you know I just wanted to be more of an offensive threat. So if Cierra or Meighan were having a tough night shooting. Then I could also help them out in that position, and a lot of teams in the past have played me for the drive, and so Coach has always been talking to me about being an offensive threat, and so just having that confidence. It will take you a long way
(On what Coach Warlick said at half time)
"I think the main thing she told us. Y'all don't come out this game with a win. I'm going to make your life a living, you can finish it. That's what she said. I know we got another game on Sunday, but those two days in between. So we know what she is capable of doing to us at practice when the doors are closed, and so we just didn't want that to happen. So we had to come out and play ball in the second half."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE FORWARD Bashaara Graves
(On playing well in the Second half)
"I definitely haven't been as aggressive that I've been in the past, and the first half I started off not being aggressive like I have in other games, and the second half I just wanted to come out with great energy and be aggressive on defense and offense, and that's what I did." Graves
(On reason's why she hasn't been as aggressive)
"I don't even know to be honest how I can have an answer for that, but I just know I have to get back to getting that aggressive player again."
(On the team not being comfortable with each other)
"I don't think we're, we just can't get it right now. I don't know what it is, but on defense we have to get better. Defense has to be better, and rebounding. I think that's our biggest problems, like it was last year, and we just have to knuckle down on that, buckle down on that. So that's basically what we need to work on."
CHATTANOOGA HEAD COACH JIM FOSTER
(On the difference in halves)
"We weren't the best in the second half. We didn't step up to meet them. I knew flat out (that they would come back). But talking about it and playing against it are two different things. Hopefully we can move on and be a more aggressive team down the road."
(On the biggest challenge)
"It was on ourselves, giving the ball to people who didn't want the responsibility of it. The way we play, all five people need to willingly take on their share of the ball. The ball moved very well in the first half and not very well at all in the second half. We gave them quick shots."
"This is the first opportunity I've had to see that (an away game atmosphere), so ask me in a month and now that I know, we'll be different."
(On Ariel Massengale)
"We had her play downhill and she's too good. We had her stand up slow and play sideways, east/west, we were much more effective, but when she goes north/south, she gets better."
"We've already addressed no one wanting to take responsibility of the ball. If I were a freshman, I would come to practice Saturday very anxious."
CHATTANOOGA FORWARD Faith Dupree
(On what the difference was between the first and second half)
"I didn't think we did well getting into our offense. We didn't get the flow of the game or box out like we did in the first half. We just let the guards penetrate and the post out rebound us."
(On defending Graves)
"I just think we focused on our boxouts. She's very athletic and she can jump over us on the boards. In the second half, we didn't focus as much on that. That's what hurt us, her athleticism kicked in definitely."
(On if they were worried that a second half like that was inevitable)
"I knew they were going to come out and press us really hard in the second half. They've done that in the past. They've always done that. That's the kind of team they are. We went over that in the locker room at halftime and we just didn't execute when we came out."
CHATTANOOGA FORWARD TAYLOR HALL
(On the Tennessee offense in the second half)
"I think so. They kind of got going and we didn't do anything to stop them. We stop controlling the things we should be able to control, like rebounds and knocking down our open shots. We kind of let them get a head of steam and they just went with it and we kept getting down."
(On defending Massengale)
"She came in a way that she wanted to take over the game. For a while, she was doing that. She got to the free throw line several time which hurt us, getting our point guard in foul trouble. I guess she was very frustrated sitting out the first half and she made up for it coming out in the second half."
(On whether the Lady Vols were imposing their will in the second half)
"Whenever they came at us, I guess you could say we backed down. We didn't handle it very well. Instead of putting our foot down, gathering together and working as a team we dug a hole that got bigger and bigger as the time passed."
(On whether she thought they were in good shape in the first half)
"Yeah, we really wanted to reverse the ball and wear down the defense and use as much time as we can. It was working for us and in the second half, i don't know if getting down caused to get frantic or cause us to rush, but we weren't doing that as well. We weren't spacing the floor and that really hurt us."