Nov. 28, 2013
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Holly Warlick
"We were quick to shoot the basketball and then we got into foul trouble and when your best player is sitting on the bench in the first half with two early fouls, it's hard for us to adjust and we had to. Then Mercedes came in and did some things, then Izzy got into some foul trouble and Cierra had to go inside. It's part of the game. I was proud of our players for having my back. I told them that they had to come back out and play. I didn't have to do much, they were all pretty fired up at halftime. I didn't have to go in and give a lot of instructions like you're supposed to."
(On Ataria Franklin)
"We decided to face guard her. When you do that, we take someone totally out and they can't help or anything. Their only job is to make sure that kid doesn't touch the ball. I thought Cierra was phenomenal on what she needed to do and she did the same thing against (Kaela) Davis (Georgia Tech) in the second half, too. It's part my fault, too, that it takes a half to decide that we better start face guarding someone. But I thought she did a great job and then Andraya came in and did a great job on her too. We needed a strong team effort today. You look down the list and Massengale had a career-high 13 assists, Meighan broke out, Cierra is shooting 50-percent. I thought Bashaara's play was huge for us. You just go down the line and I thought Izzy came in and Mercedes did some good things. We just have to get out of foul trouble and adjust to see how the officials are calling it."
(On the team's effort)
"I think Jordan hit a big three and anytime no one is a liability off the defensive end. I hate that Nia didn't get in, but we needed everyone in to take care of business and it was a strong, strong team effort."
(On Graves and Harrison)
"(Virginia) was packing it in and playing in front of us, and we weren't getting the ball in enough to get them looks on the rebounding end. In the first half, we only shot two free throws. To us, that's by jump shooting the basketball. For us, we needed to penetrate and get inside and move the basketball. We moved our posts some more and that was a huge help for us."
(On Simmons' shooting)
"Meighan is a volume shooter. I kept running things to her and she was in the corner and they weren't covering her so I told them to give it to Meighan. She was on fire and in the zone and when she is, you just have to get her the basketball. I didn't think that she forced the basketball. She took a shot and probably 99-percent of the shots were good shots for her and I'm okay with that. We have to do a better job shooting free throws, but I'm very proud of our team, we came from behind and took care of some stuff."
(On Friday's game)
"SMU is a little more athletic and K. State is a shooting team and a great disciplined team. Any game is a big game for us." "Great crowd here, Tennessee came out and it is unbelievable. I wish everybody a happy Thanksgiving. I have a lot of my family here and my mom Fran is at home, and she wasn't very happy the first half at home, I'm sure, but I just wanted to wish everyone at home a happy Thanksgiving. It's so special to have these fans here and that's what makes this program so good and so special. They were up and yelling and having a great time."
TENNESSEE SENIOR Meighan Simmons
(On today's game)
"I've always been waiting for this moment and it's Thanksgiving day and what a great day to show my gift that God has given me. It's a great day to be playing basketball."
(On the team's effort)
"For me I feel like the comradery is completely different and the chemistry on the floor is different. We have that extra fight in us. When we hit adversity in the game today, we didn't give up and we came together in the locker room and said we were not going to lose this game. Everybody had to step up on every end of the floor and everyone did that today. Everyone did something to help everyone else out during the game."
"That's something that we have to do. We keep ourselves accountable in the locker room before (Coach Warlick) got in there. We knew we needed to step up our defense and get more rebounds. Those two things together and when we do that and stick together during the game, everything else just falls into place. I just thank God for this win. We came back in a tough game. Virginia is a great team and they have great potential, but I think we had more heart today and I think that shows."
(On shooting the ball)
"It's not a lot about pressure. There is a lot about being a senior and having to step up and communicate, but as far as shots go, I'm going to shoot the ball. Holly just said to relax and the shots would fall in. Today I was just in a rhythm and I don't know what it was, but I just thank God for the opportunity to get out here and show my gift."
"I probably have the best teammates on this earth right now. Our depth is something that we're really going to need later on this season when we get into tough games. If everyone keeps working on their own things individually, then we'll bring all of that cohesively together."