Dec. 21, 2008
Head Coach Pat Summitt:
"Obviously, I was pleased with the way that we played in overtime. We understood what we needed to do. If we had played defense the way that we needed to do, we wouldn't have needed overtime. In the first half, we struggled on the boards. With a team as athletic as this, we really need to fix the situation with the boards. That gives us more opportunities. We go into overtime, and we only give up one point. It was a great effort. We buckled down and had good defensive movement."
(on freshman Shekinna Stricklen):
"I thought Shekinna from the ninth grade on was a special player. She has deep range on the three-ball. She has quickness, but she also has composure to go along with the combination of her offensive skill set. She can shoot the three and also has a nice pull-up game. She has a calming effect on the floor. I like her at the point, but with Bri Bass at the point, that frees her up to run more sets. She does a good job of getting open. We don't have to run a lot of things to her. I think missing Old Domion the other night might have been good for her. She wanted back on the floor to prove her worth to the team. She has kind of a laid-back style off the floor, but she's starting to dial it up. She's beginning to attack more."
(on freshman Alicia Manning):
"I was pleased with Alicia. I spent some time talking with her one-on-one. She's been playing a lot at the point, and I think she's overanxious there. Being able to move her to the wing, she didn't feel that way and was able to get into the flow of the game. She played hard on the defensive end and responded well. You've got to guard her."
(on redshirt freshman Kelley Cain):
"Her size and presence are needed. I thought tonight's game was one of her best efforts. She may not have had a lot of points, but her presence alone meant a lot."
(on growth of the Tennessee team):
"We've been growing as a team. In the first half against Texas, we came back to tie the game, then we had some players who hit the wall. A lot of that was because of youth. We had some great film from that game, and we had some great practices, some demanding ones. We are more invested as a team at making stops in transition. At Old Dominion, we got better there and closed out, and that gave this team confidence. Overall, we're still growing. We have a lot of options. We're getting better at understanding how to compete."
(on Tennessee's lineup at the end of regulation):
"We had three bigs in there. Our staff thought that we needed to go with two posts and three guards. We didn't execute well going against their triangle. We hadn't practiced against that enough."
(on Shekinna Stricklen and Angie Bjorklund from the perimeter):
"We've got three shooters on the perimeter. Bri (Bass) can shoot as well. It's hard to zone us. That gives us a chance to open up our inside game."
(on Glory Johnson's injury): "I was just handed a note that it was a right leg thigh contusion. We might have just dodged a big bullet there. It could have been worse."
(on upcoming games after Christmas against Gonzaga and Rutgers):
"Gonzaga sold out the day that tickest went on sale. That will be a great atmosphere. I don't imagine there will be a lot of orange there. They are very skilled and execute well. They're a lot like Stanford except they don't have their size. It will be a good test for us. Rutgers is always a challenge for us."
"I'm so proud of this team. They could have folded against Old Dominion, and they could have folded tonight, but they found a way to win. I feel so much better (about this year's game against Stanford). I just might buy somebody a gift. Who knows?"
(on missing Candice Wiggins from last year's Stanford team):
"I didn't miss her, and I'm sure they didn't miss Candace Parker. Tara (Stanford Coach VanDerveer) does a great job and is such a classy person. This (Stanford-Tennessee) is a great matchup."
(on Tennessee pulling out of the press):
"They handled it better. They learned from Duke. They spaced better and played off the dribble better. Duke's press was better. I felt like it was time to get out of the press.
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE FORWARD Vicki Baugh
(On using this game as a growing experience):
"Everyone came to play. We all defined our roles and came to play Tennessee basketball."
(On the play of freshman Shekinna Stricklen):
"Shekinna played great. At the end of the game she looked like a go-to player which is a really big role for a freshman. She really came up big tonight, and I give her a lot of credit for contributing so much to this win."
(On her knee):
"I felt incredible. I told (Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine) Jenny (Moshak) today after treatment that my knee has never felt better. Stanford is a great team, and I was just looking forward to playing them. I was excited so I wasn't thinking about my knee at all."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE GUARD/FORWARD Angie Bjorklund
(On tonight's crowd):
"The environment tonight was unbelievable. It was amazing to play in, especially toward the end. It was an exciting night. Getting that big of a crowd is just the Tennessee tradition, so we would like to thank the fans."
(On her performance offensively):
"I'm starting to get back into game shape and starting to get the feel for my shot."
(On the team's defense in the overtime win):
"This was a huge growing experience for us, especially in the overtime and shutting them down. That was huge for our team because we've been working on defense since day one. The coaches have been pounding us on defense and rebounding, and I think our defense really grew during this game."
(On becoming more aggressive offensively):
"Our first look is always to get paint points and pound it inside, but it helps our posts if we can play that inside-outside game. We can take a lot of pressure off our posts if we are hitting shots like that, and I thought (Shekinna) Stricklen really stepped up during overtime."
"Stanford is a great team. I thought they came in ready to play and I thought they did an awesome job executing offensively. It was a close game the whole way. We knew they were going to come in wanting to win this game."
(On going home to Spokane to play Gonzaga):
"I'm looking forward to going home. We're all going to enjoy our Christmas break and head out to Spokane. It's a hometown game and I'm really looking forward to it."
Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer
"First of all, I am really proud of our team, and how we battled. We did a great job on the boards. We had a chance to win the game in regulation, and unfortunately we weren't able to convert on our last possession, but we battled back in the second half. In overtime, (Shekinna) Stricklen hit some big threes and we just got down too fast and weren't able to stay with them. I'm really excited about our team, and how we came in and really worked hard. I'd compliment on how well they played. I thought Stricklen had a great game and so did Angie Bjorkland. They were the two keys. They have a lot of young players and, like them, we have a lot of young players. I expect we will both benefit from this matchup, and I hope that we will play them again."
(On the youth and talent of Tennessee):
"I think they have great young talent, and they are extremely athletic. Yes, they are learning a new offense, but they are running the same stuff. We are very familiar with that team as they are very familiar with our team. I think you are looking at two young teams, and hopefully we've made each other get better. We started playing here 20 years ago. They play the same basketball. They are very physical, they rebound, they play defense and they are very athletic. It's always a puzzle for us to figure out how to run an offense and how to play defense against them."
(On the Cardinal's three-game road trip):
"I think it will help us a lot. It's been a long week. We had an opportunity to win this game, and we had an opportunity to win the Duke game. We missed a lot of five-foot shots and we missed a lot of free throws. You can't make those mistakes. We paid for it."
(On the current state of the rivalry with Tennessee):
"I don't think we've really held up the bargain in terms of making it a good rivalry. Our team came off a great season last year. I think playing for the national championship maybe sparked the rivalry back. We did have a great game in Palo Alto (last year). I thought this was a great game. There was an excellent turnout by the fans. They really love basketball here in Knoxville, and we really appreciate the support. Hopefully we have rejuvenated the rivalry and made it more of a battle.
(On the game-tying three-pointer by sophomore guard Jeanette Pohlen):
"It was a big shot. Jeanette's a young player. She came off the bench last year. And now she's got to be a primetime player for us. She's having a great season. I'm really proud of how hard she's worked and how much she has improved."
(On the play of UT freshman Shekinna Stricklen in overtime):
"For someone shooting 20 percent from three, she really hit some big shots. I saw her play at USA tryouts. She was a top recruit. She had a big game, and then she was kind of sick last game. She made me sick in this game. She's really a tremendous talent as I think a lot of the freshmen are. They'll just get better and better. She and Bjorkland were the keys. They really knocked down some big shots.
Junior center Jayne Appel
(On Tennessee's depth in defending the post):
"I think we expect that at Tennessee - that they are going to have one after another coming at you. We have to prepare mentally more than even physically."
(On executing the lob pass):
"Tennessee plays very aggressive and up-tempo defense. They really pressure out which opens up that lob. We knew coming into the game to look for that pass. We worked on it all week, and it was just there tonight."
Sophomore guard Jeanette Pohlen
(On playing the Lady Vols):
"I definitely was very excited to come in here and play Tennessee. There is a lot of history and tradition. I was really ready and just played my hardest and played my game."
(On hitting the game-tying three-pointer):
"I kind of hoped it was (in). I felt set, and I felt my feet under me."