Dec. 30, 2008
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Pat Summitt
"It's a great atmosphere for us and for women's basketball. It was a big test for us. We were very pleased we could bring Angie back here but very disappointed Jamie got injured because in our minds that was going to be quite a matchup for those two. This Gonzaga team is very tough and obviously very well coached. It took us quite a while to break the game open and that's a real credit to them Bowman is a great offensive player and I thought we did a better job with our individual effort one-on-one defensively and picked it up closing out the first half and more importantly the second half was big for us. We talked about the fact we weren't defending and rebounding the way we had to and I thought we were better in the second half. They are certainly a quality team and it was good for us to play in this environment on the road. Typically we go on the road and see something like this, but not for these young players. Probably in high school they haven't seen anything like this so as we move forward with our road trip hopefully they'll get better and better having been in an environment like this."
ON CLOSING OUT FIRST HALF AND CARRYOVER INTO SECOND HALF
"I think coming out at halftime and knowing when you go on the road and don't bring your defense and board play you're living on the edge. If you think you're going to go into a crowd like this and everybody is going to shoot the ball great it's not going to happen. It's happened very few times in my career. The things you can control, in my opinion, is your defense, your board play and your ball security. I thought that was very important for us. We talked about it at halftime and l thought we got a little bit better."
BREWER AND STRICKLEN STEALS
"I think we fed off of that. Anytime you can get steals and convert it inspires everyone else to get more active and take more chances on the defensive end. We had some, I guess you would say, calculated risks and for the most part we managed to score off of those. We're going to take chances. That's what we talk about in our overplay game defensively. I was overall pleased with our ability to get into the passing lanes and disrupt."
ANGIE'S DIVERSIFIED PLAY
"Angie's doing a great job. She's pretty much seen it all. She's been face guarded and people getting right into her grill and try to keep her from getting the ball and playing physical defense on her. We're trying to get her off a lot more screens and we have a lot more action we run to Angie. WE don't have to do it like we did last year. This year what is better is she is more athletic, she's lighter on her feet, she reads better and she had a lot of basketball savvy in her game."
DISTRACTIONS OF PLAYING IN A HOMETOWN PLUS COMBINED WITH THE SISTER CONNECTION
"Actually I think the distraction as far as with Angie hasn't been an issue this year. Last year might have been a little more because it was the first time they met. Both players went out and played well. Jamie wasn't going to let her break the record for 3-pointers so she was in her face the whole time and it was kind of comical at the end. I think both of them are great competitors. The only thing not what we expected here was Jamie was injured and I hate that. But both young women are very mature and they know how to handle it. Angie may not have handled it as well her freshmen year but she certainly knew how to handle it tonight."
"I thought our bench really contributed. Our bench didn't hurt us. I didn't go as deep obviously in the first half. Amber (Gray) went in and was solid and Alicia (Manning) was solid in her play and I told them if they keep doing that they'll get more minutes. That would help us. That would allow us to keep more fresh bodies and rotate people more."
SECOND HALF POST PLAY
"Just to establish our inside game. I told them a lot of people may think we don't have an inside game the way we've been playing. We're getting better. I challenged my post coaches and I think they've done a great job. Our philosophy since I've been there in 35 years is to play inside out."
GONZAGA'S TALENT LEVEL
I think their (Gonzaga's) talent level is very good. They have good rotation and good depth and obviously good talent and good skill. I'm impressed with his team.