Dec. 2, 2008
Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt
"Obviously, this was a tough, tough game. We expected that. We expected to get a little more from our bench play. We're young and some of our freshmen played very young tonight. I made the decision early that they were done for the night. Obviously Glory [Johnson] was not one of them. Shekinna [Stricklen], I sat her for a while because she's got greatness in her game, and she gave it to us in the end. Alex [Fuller], great leader; that's what you expect from a senior. She made some big shots, but just having her on the floor with her leadership and toughness was key for us. I just like the fact that we found a way to win. That's a hard thing to do on the road...Fortunately, we can go learn from this game without having to go home with a loss."
"I have to give George Washington a lot of credit. They fought hard and played tough. There's a real toughness to this team. I think they're going to win a lot of basketball games if they play everyone the way they played Tennessee."
The rebounding bailed you out tonight, especially the offensive boards.
"Well, we had a lot of opportunities to rebound because we missed a lot. I have to believe that this team's going to get better. When you play as hard as we do sometimes, you're not as efficient; you don't have the composure I'd like to see us have. But I'd rather slow them down than speed them up."
Were you surprised at how long GW stuck around in this game?
"Just from watching them, they play really really hard. I think probably tonight, from the film I saw on them, they dialed it up a little bit. That's what Coach is going to expect from them now every time they go out."
Talk about what you've done to improve from the free-throw line.
"Coach has us shooting about 150, 200 free throws before, during and after practice. Just working on it is personal; if you miss your shots, it's no one's fault but your own because you should be practicing them. It's a mental thing."
What's it like playing in your hometown? Does it add more pressure to you?
"No, I enjoy it. I know half the fans, and my family comes to every game. My friends are just around the corner, and they get to see at least some of the games. So I just enjoy playing in front of my family. There's not too much pressure."
What did you need to bring the team in a tough road game?
"I think they need to hear my voice. They need a leader on the court. I'm a senior, so that's my role on the team--to have everybody where they need to be, and make sure the game is going the way it's supposed to."
How important is it to win a game like this when you're struggling to make shots?
"It shows that we need our defense and our rebounding. We relied on them and each other.
What do you learn from a game like this?
"We have to be together as a team. We have to communicate and have each other's backs. We just have to be a good team on a road trip."
GW Coach Mike Bozeman
"I understand that both teams are very young; the turnovers reflect that. We had some untimely turnovers that really prevented us from doing something historic here. The girls on both sides competed hard, and the lessons learned in this game can potentially help us in March. That's the goal of scheduling these kinds of games. I don't know how many times we'll be down by two points and have a layup to tie it. I was proud of my girls. It wasn't necessarily the best performance we've had...It gives my young girls confidence, it gives my coaches confidence in them, and this game will go a long way toward helping us during the season."
What was going through your mind during some of those off-balance shots that went in?
"We came into the Tennessee game not wishing we could win, but really believing that there was an opportunity for us to pull what would be a big upset. I considered those make-up shots for some of the ones that were in and out. I thought we were due; Antelia was 2-for-14, but I felt like maybe four or five of her shots were halfway down, but came out. Something had to work for us and those line drive shots were it."
Rebounding was a problem for you though.
"If you add all their height together, they're probably 50 feet tall out there. They're big, strong and athletic. You emphasize blocking out in practice, but you can't mimic that size and athleticism that they come with...They're formidable opponents, and we have to step up to the challenge of that. I thought this game would be something we could measure ourselves on, and it turned out to be just that."
What's it like to match up against one of the game's great coaches?
"You realize that it's not just because she's been in the game so long, but also because she's talented at what she does. There's a reason why Tennessee is always there at the end...You best believe when we almost tied the score, she knew what to do. But I want to test myself against the best."
F Antelia Parrish
Is it any consolation that the game was so close even if you didn't shoot well?
"Definitely. We didn't get that much going tonight, so it shows a lot of skills our team has, and our confidence in each other that someone can step up any night."
G Tiana Myers
What things can you take away from a game like this?
"I always think you can do more and there are things you can work on. It's the little things, like capitalizing on turnovers and boxing out on rebounds. It hurts us when they have such a big advantage on us."
F Tara Booker
Along with making threes, you played a very physical game. Was that because you were playing Tennessee?
"I'm a six-foot wing. I've always had size, and my coaches have always tried to incorporate that into my play. I can shoot, but I like going down low."