Dec. 16, 2012
Tennessee Head Coach Holly Warlick(Opening statement) This was a great win for us. We came off of a two-week break and I was really concerned how we would come out and play. I keep stressing how hard we play and our energy. We have the talent, but it's what we do with our talent. We came out and stuck to our game plan and played hard. We had to use our entire bench, so it was a team effort and a really good win for our basketball program.
(On Tabor Spani's performance) She had a breakout game. She shot the ball and wasn't worried about her offense. She kept shooting and had some big threes.
Sophomore F Cierra Burdick(On the balance of the team) I think we are extremely balanced and that's one of our strengths. We have at any moment somebody [who] can go out and score 20 [points], so the fact that we have six players in double figures, that says a lot about our team basketball.
Senior G/F Taber Spani(On having to play defensively in the post) We pride ourselves on the versatility that we can bring. We're always guarding guards and posts, so if we're thrown in that situation where we have foul trouble, we hope we can do that successfully. I was just trying to be physical with [Texas' posts] on the boards, because they're really good on the boards.
Texas Head Coach Karen Aston(Opening statement) This team that we have right now is definitely a work in progress. We talked just a few minutes ago about the fact that this was a journey. It's not the end of it right now. First of all, I do want to credit Tennessee with what I thought was a really good performance. We've watched a lot of film on them. They've been playing hard all year. They did some things that we saw on film, which were rebound the ball really well and transition really well. I thought they shot the ball really well today. At times we made runs. We defended hard. I thought they just made really tough shots, which deflates a young team that struggles to score. But I'm pleased with the second-half effort as far as we tried to make runs and showed some ability to make plays and do things in the half-court better in the second half. I thought again, we got ourselves in trouble sometimes by shooting too quickly. Overall, you're never pleased with losing. We gave up way too many points. We're not going to beat anybody giving up 90 points. But I do feel like we responded after the UCLA game to playing a good basketball team.
(On the team continuing to fight in the second half) That's where I thought we grew up a little bit from the UCLA game. Obviously [junior guard Chassidy Fussell] helped us in this game tremendously having her, an older player who understands this type of basketball game, how you have to go play-to-play. I thought [sophomore forward] Nneka [Enemkpali] was a lot better in the second half. Part of it was just that we got the ball to her in the second half. Just more than anything it was mental. In the UCLA game we just didn't fight at all. I thought we kept fighting [today]. We fought until the game was over. Every timeout they were engaged in what we were saying. They were talking to each other, encouraging each other, and that's a really good sign for this team because I didn't see that a week ago. And in one week we made a lot of progress.
Junior G Chassidy Fussell(On her first game back) It was different, a lot different than practice, a lot faster than going in practice. I felt like in practice we should have gone game-speed instead of, like Coach [Aston] says, we go hard for an hour and then the next hour we don't go as hard. That was a big challenge for me. And in the beginning of the game, I went I think 0-for-7 [on shots]. It was a rough start but once I got in my flow it was good.
(On if she was extra motivated to play a team from her home state) No. I'm fired up for every game. And with my teammates helping me, it keeps us all together.
Sophomore F Nneka Enemkpali(On she and freshman center Imani McGee-Stafford having to step up today) Having [senior post] Cokie [Reed] out for this game, Imani was forced step into her shoes and start. And really bring big minutes and bring a big offense in her game as well. She empowered that role - her and me both. But we did lack on offensive rebounding, rebounding in general. I feel like we could have done a better job on the inside rebounding.
(On a low first-half shooting percentage) I think Tennessee brought a pretty tough defense against us. But I also feel like our shots just weren't falling for us. We were getting good shots. We were getting good position. Our shots just weren't going in.