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Postgame Quotes: Tennessee 75, Davidson 40



Dec. 28, 2012

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Head Coach Holly Warlick


(Opening statement)

"Well, I'm smiling. I didn't smile after the last couple of games ... The last two days, we've really been focusing on the defensive end. I talked to our players about the importance of playing defense and rebounding. When you look at the stats, we scored 26 points off turnovers and 22 second-chance points. That involves defense and rebounding, so the stats and facts don't lie. I was very proud of our effort and how aggressive we were. That's how we have to play all the time, regardless of who we play. I'm very proud of our team and how they bounced back."

(On how she feels after getting win after two consecutive losses)
"I was pretty tough on them the last two days. I'm just not going to settle for them being average. It's my job to get the best out of these young ladies. I wasn't very happy and haven't been, just because -- I've said this earlier -- of course I want to win but it's also about how hard you play, how hungry you are. Do you play with passion? Do you play with some emotion? And when you do those things, great things happen. It usually starts on the defensive end, so yeah, I'll be honest, it's not my personality but I'm not going to settle for us being average. If I have to make a statement, I'll make a statement."

(On changing the starting lineup)
"I said before our two practice when we got back from Christmas that the starting lineup does not exist, and I'm going to start five players who are the most consistent and play the hardest. So those five that I started, I thought did exactly what I asked them to do."

(On the team's reaction from the lineup change)
"(laughs) They didn't have a choice. I think they understood. I explained to them, we're starting this group because of what I said, and I cannot go back because when I say something, I've got to stick to it. I think they understood. You look at this, and you've got the people who normally start: (Ariel) Massengale, 2 for 5; Burdick, 5 for 11 and 10 rebounds; Isabel Harrison, 6 for 10 and 9 rebounds. You want to keep them challenged. I don't what them settling and be satisfied with 'I'm always going to start.' People were getting pushed. They understand that nothing is set in stone ... I'm going to make sure we value practice. We make sure it carries over in the game."

(On the 12-0 run in the first half)
"We started some kids that hadn't been starting and hadn't been playing a lot so I'm sure they were a little nervous and I think the people who came off the bench had something to prove to me and that's great. If we can get off to a good start - which I thought we did - and then we can come in and get the energy that we had off the bench that's awesome. We had 35 points off the bench. I just want us to represent what's across our chests and that is Tennessee and the Lady Vols. That's the style we're going to play and I think tonight we got it."

(On starting the same five against Rutgers)
"I'm not sure. We'll see how practice goes tomorrow. I'll be honest with you... the assistant coaches didn't know I was doing that either."

(On the assistant coaches' reaction to the starters)
"They weren't questioning me but asking if I was sure that's what I wanted to do. But I was absolutely sure."

(On the performance of Bashaara Graves)
"If you come to practice and watch her play, she's our most consistent player. She lets her work do the talking and I love it."

(On what she liked in the win)
"We were aggressive. We didn't back up. We wanted to dictate them. We wanted them to not be able to run their sets. I thought in the Stanford game they did what they wanted to do so I wanted us to be aggressive, be physical and just play hard. I thought we got a lot of deflections. We got a lot of steals. We created 24 turnovers. When you're aggressive with the ball that allows people on the help side to do things that normally they can't do.

"We've got to make sure we trust that if I'm guarding the ball, that I have four people helping me. Because really it's team defense and that's what we're trying to stress. I'm not the only one guarding the ball, its five people. When we get that and understand the importance of being aggressive and dictating, then we're going to be a great basketball team."

Sophomore Cierra Burdick


(On coming off the bench)
"I was happy for my teammates. I wasn't trying to get down, obviously. Izzy and B have been starting for the past few weeks, but we didn't compete the way we needed to in practice. I think Holly was making a statement for us to do better. I was proud of the way our young'uns came in and had our backs."

(Her mindset when she entered the game)
"I had the same mindset as if I had started. I was just out there trying to do the best thing I could for my team. That's all I could do."

(On rebounding in this game)
"Holly broke it down after the game and told us we had 40-something points from defense. 17 points were scored in our half court set. She was trying to emphasize that we need to play defense to win championships and win games. That's what this program has been built on. That's what Pat has instilled into Holly, and Holly will continue to stress that to us."

(On necessity of win)
"We definitely needed it to build our momentum, and once we get this win over Rutgers, I think we'll be able to say we're back to where we need to be. We just need to keep working hard. Holly deserves better. We should have beat Stanford. The fact that we didn't was tough for us. We need to give her what she deserves, and the way we've been playing lately is not what she deserves. I'm just glad we could come out tonight and give her what she needs and what this team is capable of doing."

Sophomore Isabelle Harrison

(On Coach Warlick's happiness with the win)
"As soon as I saw the smile on her face, I felt like I could finally relax. She's given so much for us to get to this point, and we just have to go out there and play for her."

(On relief in the win)
"It makes us happy as a team, and everybody starts loving each other again. She's a head coach; she gets mad at us. She does that to see how we respond, and I think we responded well tonight."

(On Bashaara Graves)
"Bashaara is a great player. She's very strong. It helps us a lot in the post, being as limited as we are. We can go out there and play hard knowing we have a great rebounder out there."

(On 22 second-chance points and rebound points)
"The past two practices, they got into us about rebounding. That's something we didn't do very well against Stanford. Any chance you get, you show them that. Having the presence in the post, you've got to get rebound."

Freshman Bashaara Graves


(On Coach Warlick challenging everyone)
"It wasn't shocking. Her reaction was understandable. I think we reacted to it well this game."

Davidson Head Coach Michele Savage


(Opening remarks)
"I thought it we had some spurts there throughout the game. They're a tough team. They're very aggressive defensively. They scored a lot off our turnovers and in transition. It's very difficult to combat that when you have to work for everything in the half court. They're a very good team."

(On if she scouted Tennessee's last two teams, differences tonight)
"No, not really. I watched probably about six games on them. We knew they were going to be aggressive, denying the passing lanes and forcing us to do something different in our offense, maybe not being able to make that entry pass. I knew they were going to be all over the boards and try to get second-chance points. It wasn't a surprise to us the way they played tonight."

(On the benefit of playing Tennessee in Knoxville)
"We expect to be in post-season play at the end of the year, and I thought last year when we went into post-season play I don't know how much we were ready for that type of crowd and that level of intensity, so our whole idea of putting together our schedule, we were pre-season picked number one in our conference, is that we want to be able to play with a team like Tennessee at the end of the year when we go up to the NCAA Tournament."

(On lining up Davidson's tough out-of-conference schedule)
"I wasn't responsible for North Carolina. That was in the Pre-Season NIT, and that's where they matched us up, but most teams in our conference probably play on the average two to three BCS schools, so we were pretty much in line with what we normally do in terms of playing that level of tough competition."

(On turnovers standing out tonight)
"They were. It was nothing that we don't normally commit. We try to stay away from live turnovers, but I just think we didn't. They led to 26 points. That's something we just have to get better at."

Davidson Junior Laura Murray


(On the benefits of playing Tennessee in Knoxville)
"I think playing teams like Tennessee in the SEC only gets the team better all around. We can only get better by playing strong teams."

(On Tennessee's similarities to the other top teams Davidson has played)
"I definitely found that the pressure all over the court was a lot like teams we've played: Miami, Rutgers, UNC. There's just pressure all around, all in your face and making you make plays."

Davidson Senior Sophia Aleksandravicius


(On the benefits of playing Tennessee in Knoxville )
"I would say that the crowd definitely, like my Coach says, is a big factor. It helps us get used to things especially when it comes to post-season time, and just playing a quality, elite team is going to help us in our conference schedule."

(On the physicality of Tennessee's post players: Isabelle Harrison and Bashaara Graves)
"They're two very good post players, and I knew we had played Miami and Rutgers earlier. I knew it was going to be similar if not more physical."

 

 

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