Nov. 28, 2009
Head Coach Pat Summitt:
(opening remarks): "It certainly wasn't pretty. We had several ugly possessions. I don't know why we were not focused, why we weren't competitive, why we weren't driven. I don't know why players would come here to wear the orange if they were not driven on every possession. We were slow. We had spurts, and we fouled when we shouldn't have fouled. There wasn't a lot that I liked except the final score. We'll practice tomorrow. We go on the road and win a couple of games. I guess they've been reading their press clippings."
(on what she said to the team at halftime): "You couldn't hear me? I said a lot. I was disappointed. Shekinna (Stricklen) didn't run the team like she should have. She looked like she was about to fall asleep. We have upperclassmen now. We have no seniors, but they have to take accountability for bringing intensity. Give Nikki (UCLA head coach Caldwell) and her staff credit. They were far more motivated than us and outplayed us in the first half. Our accountability wasn't there, and it's got to be there."
(on junior Angie Bjorklund): "Angie did a lot of good things. We had low energy today. It's not like we've been doing a lot of training. We've been preparing and doing our scouting report defense. It appeared that we didn't respect UCLA. We've got to grow up and get ready for every opponent."
(on UCLA): "Obviously, they did a great job defending us one-on-one, especially in the first half. They did a great job of breaking us down. They had dribble penetration wherever they wanted to go. Nikki (UCLA head coach Caldwell) did a great job. I never doubted that she would be successful. They'll win some games in the Pac-10. Their guard play was really good."
(on UCLA head coach Nikki Caldwell's family): "I knew they wouldn't have on orange. I love her family and have ever since I started recruiting her. And they can cook. They're great people. Nikki is a class act. I'm proud of her and proud for her. She gave her family strict orders there would be no orange or there would be no tickets."
(overall thoughts): "I'm not happy. I'm glad we won. I thought our maturity level would be above what it was."
TENNESSEE JUNIOR GUARD/FORWARD Angie Bjorklund
(On the team's slow start): "Like Coach (Summitt) said, we just came out with low energy. I take that upon myself as a leader. We have to come out and set the stage in the first four minutes."
(On the team's defensive effort): "If shots aren't falling, you still need to contribute to the team as much as possible. Everything starts with defense and that's what got us going in the second half. I thought we came out strong and played with a little more energy, but we're still not quite where we wanted to be. Defense and rebounding is what helped us get back into it, and the shots came later."
TENNESSEE FRESHMAN GUARD Taber Spani
(On the team's energy level): "As a team we need to be more consistent with our energy, whether it is in practice or in a game. In the first half, we didn't bring it consistently every single possession. We talked about that at halftime and did a better job in the second half, but that cannot happen against any team, especially against a team as good as UCLA."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE FORWARD Glory Johnson
(On the team's slow start): "I think we just started slow. Whenever we would get a steal or conversion from defense to offense, we weren't scoring. We didn't do a very good job of getting it inside-out early, and we were letting them drive. When they were penetrating, we weren't taking charges and we were reaching in."
(On what the team did to get back on track): "We just had to keep supporting each other and telling each other to keep playing our game and keep taking our shots and they will fall eventually. If we weren't scoring, we needed to play good defense. We kind of struggled with that in the first half."
(On whether the team's ball movement in the second half got the offense going): "I think it did. It was still in our heads to get it to Kelley because she is bigger than any of the UCLA players, and Kelley is really confident in her game. Once we were able to do that, it opened the shooters on the outside because they were doubling down on Kelley."
UCLA head coach Nikki Caldwell
(opening statement): "It was good to come home and see my family and friends. I had a great Thanksgiving dinner with my team. I'm very proud to bring my team back here. Tennessee is true to my heart. I'm very privileged to be a former player of the Lady Vols, and I obviously have much respect for Coach Summitt and what she's meant to the women's game. Tonight our team gave a valiant effort. They really came out and tried to execute our defensive game plan. I would've liked Angie (Bjorklund) and Taber (Spani) to not have made as many jump shots, though. We left them open and they killed us. They're two great players. (Tennessee) is going to do very well this year, and I am looking forward to seeing how far they go. We've got to do a better job. Tennessee has always been known as a team that defends and rebounds. They got a lot of second and third opportunities and I thought that was an area we struggled in. I'm pleased with our effort. We're going to take this game and learn from it. We wanted to come into one of the more hostile environments to prepare for PAC-10 play."
(On family support at Thompson-Boling Arena): "It was great. I brought a bag full of stuff for them to wear. It's always good to have my family around. They are loyal fans. I threatened my mom today. I told her, `Three-hundred-and-sixty-four days out of the year you can be all about Tennessee, but this one day that we play you have to wear the blue and gold.'"
(On her assessment of the Bruins): "I thought we played hard, but didn't always play smart. We didn't finish on our defense. I thought we threw different looks at them, but we didn't capitalize because we didn't keep them off the boards. We gave up second and third opportunities and I think that really hurt us. Then putting them at the free throw line was another area that we struggled at. All in all, I'm very pleased that we did not give up and that we fought on every possession.
(On freshman Markel Walker, who had game highs of 19 points and 14 rebounds): "Walker has been very consistent for us. She's a kid that pretty much averages a double-double. I like her ability to take the ball off the glass, penetrate and look to kick. I was very pleased with her effort coming into one of the bigger crowds she's played in front of ever. I thought she stepped up to the challenge."
(On if it was strange being in the visitor's locker room after being a Lady Vol player and assistant coach): "Today at shootaround I just went and sat at the visitors' bench and I thought, `wow this is a little different.' It was different going into the locker room because I had been used to going into a museum, with all of the trophies. I never feel like a visitor coming back home, though. It's a game. We both went out there and competed. Anytime you can be on TV promoting women's basketball and bringing more attention to your program, you accept that challenge."
(On Lady Vol Head Coach Pat Summitt deciding to have the team practice tomorrow on what was originally an off day): "I think (Pat) Summitt looks at the future. Everything that she does is for a reason. I would probably be in agreement with her if I was still on staff here. There were some things we were able to exploit that I know didn't please her. If we didn't have to catch a plane and could stay the night, I would try to get some gym time too.