Postgame Quotes: Tennessee 75, Auburn 66

Jan. 18, 2013


HEAD COACH Holly Warlick

(Opening statement)
"I think tonight we found a way to win, and it wasn't pretty for us. I think Auburn just played a heck of a game. Halftime, we went in and made a couple of adjustments. We just challenged our players. I thought we were flat, and I think Auburn had a lot to do with how we were playing. They were aggressive, we weren't, and we just can't do that. We got ourselves in a hole and somehow we pulled out when Meighan Simmons hit a couple of 3s and we had some big stops. My question to our team is why do we have to wait? We get down, we have to wait, our back's against the wall and we decide to make defense our priority and rebounding. That's just something that's a challenge for this team, and we'll continue to work on it daily in practice."

(On playing Jasmine Jones at point guard)
"I think Jasmine is one of our better defenders. She's tall, athletic and I thought we needed a change up on the point guard. I thought she was too comfortable, and I though Jasmine could make a difference on the ball. Just changing it up a little, and I thought it affected her."

(On Meighan Simmons' steal turning the team around)
"We needed something with high energy to get us going tonight for whatever reason, and I thought Meighan's steal did kind of ignite us and hit the layup. Then that got everybody else energized. It was a huge play for us. It was a huge turnaround, and it helped start our run."

(On struggling inside)
"Not too often do our inside players not score in the first half. We're an inside team. Everybody knows we like to go inside, and I just think Auburn had a great game plan and we didn't adjust. You get bumped, and you want the foul. It's a physical game, so I thought everything that our inside players did offensively, we got affected by everything. We let everything affect us instead of just hunkering down and playing and we weren't rebounding and we weren't scoring. When we needed to, we needed buckets, we finally got it inside."



(On Isabelle Harrison missing shots)
"I think we missed three or four, we just missed. I don't know if she was rushing. I guess it wasn't her night. Like I said, I go back to saying, I think Auburn had a lot to do with her rushing shots, her missing shots. They had a game plan and they played it well."

(On players jogging in the first half)
"That wasn't our game plan, I promise you that."

(On the quick timeout called in the first half)
"If we're not rebounding and you're not getting back, where are you? Because you're not doing anything. That was an emphasis we've been working on--getting back, stopping the ball early, not giving up layups, not giving up 3s. I think when the ball went up, we weren't ready to play. That simple."

(On Meighan Simmons going back in as a different player)
"I think Meighan's really tough on herself, and you just have to calm her down. You're going to be OK. She needs to focus on her defense, and her offense will come. When she got a steal, she went and made a 3, and that got her going. You've just got to calm her down."

(On impressions of Auburn)
"We have to take care of the basketball. We turned the ball over entirely too much for us, and we looked like we had never been pressed. That's their game plan. They're going to press you for 40 minutes and make you turn the ball over, and we did that. I think Terri (Williams-Flournoy) does a great job with her team. She has a style and her philosophy, and it works. I don't think that anybody coming in here, wherever they go, Auburn is not an easy win. They're going to make you battle and battle, and I think she does a great coaching job."

(On her plans overnight at Auburn)
"I don't know the last time I watched a movie. I'm sure that (the film) is probably up on my computer as we speak. We'll go back and we'll learn from it. We're young as well, and we have to learn from every game we play. Every game. It just doesn't come easy for us, and we have to solve some things. We're missing two people injured, but everybody deals with injuries. We have to understand that this is our team. We have to get better. I always go back to saying we have to get better, and it starts with practice."

(On missing Cierra Burdick)
"I think we're missing her on the boards, but Taber (Spani) has been doing a really good job. She only had one offensive rebound today, but she's been doing a really nice job for us. I think when you look at it, we miss Cierra--a little bit of a calming for us on the floor and also her rebounding ability."

(On being undefeated in the SEC)
"You're 5-0, and it's a tough league. Any win on the road, at home, it's huge. It's a huge win for us. It may not have gone the way we planned or liked it, but the bottom line is you get it done, then you go home and you get better and correct things that you didn't do right tonight."



(On the outcome of the game)
"Basketball is a game of runs and we knew that Tennessee was going to make their run. They're too good of a team not to make there run. There was a point there where they were making their run and we did not combat it and that run got too far away."

(On their confidence)
"I thought our young ladies came out and played extremely hard, played with a lot of confidence. In the SEC, somehow you have a lot more confidence when you're at home in your on arena, and I thought our girls felt really confident and they played very, very hard, especially a lot of our starters who were playing a lot of minutes. We as coaches have to do a better job of managing their minutes. Our style of play doesn't compare to them playing that many minutes. That's too many minutes for them to play. Hasina Muhammad missed a wide open layup. Hasina does not miss layups, so they were just tired at the end. We just have to do a better job of getting them the rest that they need, and we also need a better bench. Our bench has got to be better for us and give us minutes to let our starters get some rest"

(On what the team needs)
"More recruits is what we need right now. More players is what we need right now. That's just what we have to do. Honestly, if you look at my rosters at Georgetown, we always had 15. We keep 15 and we will keep 15 for as long as I'm at Auburn. We'll have 15 on our roster."

(On Najat Ouardad)
"I think Najat just got tired. Just as much pressure as we were putting on Ariel Massengale, the same amount of pressure was put on Najat as point guard who is trying to run a team in a very intense and high speed game. I think she got a little tired and if you noticed she started cramping a little bit and that didn't help the situation at all."

(On their effort)
"I thought our kids played as hard as they could against a very tough team."

(Feelings on the outcome of the game)
"It's always a disappointment if you lose. The thing about Tennessee is that they score in bunches. When you make a turnover, nine times out of 10 they're going to score off of your turnover, off of your mistake. If you come down with empty possessions and don't score, then they score and the next thing you know your lead of five now turns into a tied ballgame or a lead for them. It's just a game where you have to take care of the ball and every possession had to count."

(On the team's mentality)
"This team will never quit. That's not who we are and that's not who we will ever be as long as I'm the coach here. We will never quit."

(On Meighan Simmons)
"You're not going to keep Meighan Simmons under wraps. We aren't and no other team in the SEC is. She's just too good of a player."

(On thoughts at halftime)
"I told them that they played halfway hard, but in order to win this game we had to play even harder than that. We couldn't be just happy and satisfied with our situation being ahead. There were things that we had to fix and things that we had to do a little harder. I thought in the first half that we didn't get some of the 50/50 plays. They got some of the loose balls and those are things that you just have to do in order to win games like this. You have to get the loose balls. You have to get the offensive rebounds. You have to get the defensive rebounds. There's just so many thing that you have to do to win these type of game."


(On if the team got tired at the end of the game)
"Mentally, we were all OK to manage the game. Cramping is part of the game. I had to manage that while trying to control the ball, which was hard."


(On the last 10 minutes of the game)
"It was definitely frustrating. I felt at one point we couldn't do anything right and we were trying so hard to turn it back around. The coaches in one of the timeouts said we have to play to win, not play to not lose. That is what thing we tried to adjust at the end. We tried to attack them back. They had picked up their defensive intensity and we had to try and match that. They went on a run at the end of the second half and we couldn't fight back."

(On how frustrating it was to fall short)
"It is so frustrating. Especially for the seniors, because this is the last time we will play Tennessee at home. This is the one we wanted to get. We were upset. We fought hard, but not hard enough."

(On how this game will affect their confidence moving forward)
"I think moving forward we know can keep up with the top teams in the country. We have to keep fighting and keep believing in ourselves. We have to learn from our mistakes that we made at the end of the second half and go into Sunday's game against Kentucky and take what we have accomplished here and take that into that game."



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