Nov. 15, 2008
Head Coach Pat Summitt:
"To start with, at halftime, I was the calmest that I've ever been in 35 years in the lockerroom. That was because they were so uptight. I expected it but not quite at that level. I said to our staff, 'Do you think maybe we need to relax?' They had put so much pressure on themselves. It was obvious that they were like deer in headlights. In the second half, they settled down and played much better together. That's what a young team will do. It was good to get a game like this under our belts. We'll learn from it. Virginia (on Monday night) will be a challenge. That's great. That's what we need. We had two starters on the bench. Our freshmen got quality time. We'll have a classroom setting tomorrow and watch film."
(on team's reaction to atmosphere at beginning of game):
"At the beginning, that's what they're supposed to do. They just needed to relax. It was a combination of things. Candace (Parker) came back, and they were excited about that. Then there was the banner being raised and the crowd that we had here as well. It was a little overwhelming for some of us. When we started playing, we were impatient offensively. Once we settled down, we did a better job on the offensive end. I just smiled. It beats pulling your hair out."
(on freshman Glory Johnson):
"She played with a lot of energy. I liked her decision-making. In the second exhibition game, she tried to follow up what she did in the first game. Today was a different story. She didn't have a good practice coming into this game, and I wasn't sure whether I was going to start her, but we started her, and she played well. She is a tremendous athlete. She can cover a lot of ground, and she's a quick jumper."
(on San Francisco coach Tanya Haave):
"Tanya did a great job of getting her team ready. That doesn't surprise me. She knows what to expect, but getting everybody else ready and dealing with this environment and pressure is another story."
(on freshman Shekinna Stricklen):
"Shekinna is a big, long, rangy guard. She takes a lot of pride in her defense. Today, she extended her defense better and limited their touches.
(when she knocked a chair over on the sideline in the second half):
"I told her, 'Don't go over a chair again.' That's the second time she's done that. She said, 'Coach, I didn't mean to.' She lays it on the line. I've been watching her since the ninth grade. I'm glad that I not only get to watch her but coach her."
(on playing without Angie Bjorklund, Vicki Baugh, and Kelley Cain):
"I thought about that last night. We had two, and potentially three, starters not playing. We're hopeful that we can get Kelley back for the Virginia game. Angie is going to be out a few more days. Sydney Smallbone has stepped in and played with a lot of poise. She's a better defender than she was a year ago. She's made a difference, and I'm pleased with her play."
(on Tennessee's board play):
"I do like our board play overall. Our guards not only can rebound. They want to rebound. And speaking of our guards. I thought Briana (Bass) came in and did a nice job. She forces everyone to pick up the pace. We neede a game like this before an opponent like Virginia."
(on Tennessee's first half jitters):
"In the locker room at halftime, we said that we just need to calm down and play more together. We were rushing shots."
(on being the lone senior on an extremely young squad):
"Basically, I've got to help them as much as possible. They don't know the system yet, and that's more pressure on me. I've got to keep them going in practices and games."
(on difference between first and second halves):
"We were more patient in the second half. We were working inside out and working on our threes and rebounding. We did a better job of communicating in the second half. That was one of our main points at halftime in the lockerroom, and that helped us on defense."
(on excitement of season opener):
"Our whole team was excited. This was our first game together that counts. Our freshmen were watching the banner go up. That was motivation for us."
(on playing for Tennessee):
"It feels good to play for a team with a history of wins and championships like this. We've got six freshmen, and people may be underestimating us, but we played our hearts out."
(on what she learned from exhibition games):
"I learned that I've got more work to do on my outside game. I've got a lot to improve on."
(on excitement of season opener):
"It was exciting. The freshmen were watching the banner go up, and that was motivation for us. We're hoping that will be us next year, standing in front of the banner."
(on flying over a chair on the sidelines in the second half):
"I don't know what happened. I thought I was pushed. I tried to stop. I felt bad because I hit a little girl. I'm OK, though."
"Coach (Pat Summitt) has been on us to just go crash the boards. We have to rebound. That's what she wants us to do."
Head Coach Tanya Haave:
(on how the Dons played against the Lady Vols):
"I thought that for the first half, we really competed with them and that was our goal-to compete with this team. We did that all game, but I think that their physical dominance caught up with us. We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish. Rarely will you be happy with a 30 point loss but you have to be realistic. To come back here to Tennessee and play in Thompson-Boling is really special."
(on her team's ability to control the ball and limit turnovers):
"It never really was a problem for us. If you look at the stat sheet, we only had 10 turnovers. We wanted to control the tempo as much as we could and I think we did an outstanding job controlling the tempo and protecting the ball. I think what caught up to us was their physical dominance. I think they're going to be very good and I'm very proud to come back here as an alumnus and see that."
(on the play of senior guard Shay Rollins):
"Shay's done that all three years that she's been here-she's a competitor and she never backs down from anyone. I thought at first that she was a little nervous but she got out there and wasn't nervous at all. That's why I called that first play for her because I knew she would take the shot and not be afraid of it. This offseason, she really developed her leadership and now she's playing both ends of the floor and really leading our team. I think that she got tired towards the end of the game, but she's going to be our leader."
(on what hosting Tennessee next November will do for her program):
"It's going to create buzz for our program, we have a 5,000 seat gym with great character. We have (USF Alum) Bill Russell's number hanging in the rafters, along with KC Jones' and Bill Cartwright's. It's a great place to watch a basketball game. I know that Tennessee travels well and we think we can sell that game out. We're going to start promoting it as soon as the season ends. I think it's going to get our program back on the map, which is what I was hired to do. I told our kids before the game that you won't be the best until you play the best and that's what we did today."
Senior guard Shay Rollins:
(on how difficult it was to matchup against 6-2 Tennessee guard Shekinna Stricklen):
"It's really hard-I'm just 5-4 so to have somebody that big on me means that I have to work extra hard to get open and get off of screens, so by the time I get an open shot, I'm tired. That's no excuse, though. I have to be able to get open and play against girls like that. Today just showed me what I have to do throughout the season to win games and get to postseason play. If you get to the tournament, you're going to be playing teams like that, so it was a good experience."
(on how this game affected her team's confidence):
"Losing by 28 points knocks your confidence, but to come to Tennessee and hang with a team like that for the first half, it lets us know that we can do it. We have a whole season to get to that tempo for 40 minutes."
(on how it felt to have her brother, Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmie Rollins, in attendance):
"It's really special. I was talking to him last night and I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to come to Tennessee and play."