March 26, 2012
Box Score |
#1/1  BAYLOR 77, #9/7  TENNESSEE 58
WELLS FARGO ARENA DES MOINES, IOWA
MARCH 26, 2012 ATTENDANCE: 9,068
|| BAYLOR QUOTES
On Baylor's effort:
"I think we've been putting that kind of effort out all year. There's a reason why Kentucky is in the Final Four for the men. They led the country in field goal percentage defense. Connecticut and Baylor have led the country in field goal percentage defense all year. It's something we take great pride in."
"Defense wins ball games for you - at the end of the year when everybody's fatigued, when everybody knows everything about each other, when you know the plays. I guess I've learned from the best. I've learned from two of the best; I've learned from Pat [Summitt] and I've learned from Leon [Barmore], you've got to guard people. And these kids are going to guard you.
On the potential that she's the last coach to coach against Summit:
"I told you the other day, it's not fun for me to coach against Pat. It'd be like coaching against Leon [Barmore], and I don't take great pleasure in that. But I have a job to do. My relationship with Pat Summit will never interfere with what those kids in the locker room are trying to do - and that's win a national championship. From a personal standpoint I have thought about it; I thought about it when the brackets were announced. Pat Summit...y'all talk about me dressing up! Have you seen pictures of her back in her day? That woman could dress, too, now. Go back and look at her clothing, look at her hairstyle. You learn from the Pat Summitts of the world; you learn from people like that. If I didn't have a personal relationship with her I'd still learn from her because she's so successful. What do you say after the game? You say, `I love you,' and that's about it. Yeah, I've thought about it."
On Tennessee going out of zone: "They're not going to invent a new defense to guard Griner, so I figured we'd see them sagging in the paint, zone, challenge us to shoot the perimeter shot. Nae-Nae, Jordan, and Odyssey have done it time and time again. They can shoot it. Our offense flows and goes through Brittney Griner, but if you're going to leave us open we have to take that shot. I thought Nae-Nae and Odyssey nailed it. We go every practice against a defense we may see. They aren't going to invent a new one. Odyssey had a chance at this level last year and didn't get it done and she got it done today. Nae-Nae Hayden got it done. All of them got it done today. I was very, very proud of Pope - valuable minutes and she's still struggling with a calf strain. Valuable minutes out of Pope today.
On 40-0 and being in Final Four:
"It wasn't a goal of ours, but now it has to be because these kids want to win a championship. I don't know about the history of the game; you have to remember, we really don't talk about the old days. We are not the first team to win 40 basketball games on the women's side. I just look at it as another number. I don't know that the kids look at it any differently. They won't look at 40 wins but they sure will remember that national championship."
On her place in women's basketball history:
"I haven't done anything. I'm just a young pup and blessed to be around a lot of good coaches and great players. I got into coaching by being pushed into it."
On the postgame prayer:
"Every time we play Tennessee, we circle at the end and pray. We are just giving thanks to our Lord."
On her slow offensive start:
"You always want your shot to fall. I was glad to make up for it on the boards and blocking shots and being a force on the defensive end to help out my team."
On looking ahead:
"Definitely happy that we got past this game. It's not over. We got our next game, and it gets tougher as you go. We have to focus and get ready for our next game."
On making the All-Regional team:
"It's a blessing, but I'm happy that we made it to the Final Four. It's an honor, something that everybody on this team deserves to have. It's just something that you take along the way and keep moving."
On the satisfaction of winning:
"It's a great honor; it's a relief. We've been waiting for this game the whole year. Now we've made it here and we've won, made it to the Final Four. It's just a sign of relief; we're so happy, but you can't relax. We have two more games left and now we have to prepare and continue to play so we can finish it as champion."
On feeling pressure at the beginning of the game:
"Not at all. Tennessee is a great team, and great teams make great runs. We just had to keep our composure like we did all year. We saw this a lot this season like we did against Connecticut and Tennessee earlier. We just stayed calm and let the game come to us. We tried not to force shots and make turnovers. That's what helped us take the lead and eventually come out with the win."
On being `Denver bound':
"It's a great feeling. A lot of teams would like to be here. You thank God that we made it to Denver and that we still have two more games because we made it. We're not the champions yet, so we still have to work hard to become national champions. Going to Denver is a great thing, but we'd like to become national champions. That'd be awesome."
On Pat Summitt:
"She's a great coach, and everybody is going to miss her dearly. She's the winningest coach in basketball. All you can do is just pray for her and hope she continues to have a successful life that she continues to enjoy the rest of her life and pray for the Tennessee team. I'm sure Coach Summitt is going to leave another great coach that will continue her work and the Tennessee Vols will have a great program in many more years."
On Baylor guard play:
"Sims stepped up tremendously. That just shows how big our team really is, scoring-wise. Anybody on this team can score. They shut the post down for a little bit, and it opened up a lot of open space for the guards. They tried to go in to the guards and it opened up to BG [Brittney Griner]. It's hard to try and defend Baylor because we have so many weapons. If someone on our team gets in foul trouble we have players coming in knocking down shots or getting rebounds, doing what they need to do. It shows how talented this team really is and how really difficult this team can be even though you see a couple players all the time on TV."
On the game overall:
"I just tried to stay focused. We knew they were going to come out hard, and we tried to do our best and go out and play start to finish. As for me, I tried my best to lead the team. Scoring was never first on my mind. I just knew I had to take care of the ball, get the ball up the floor, and lead the team."
On the ejections at the end of the game:
"We got caught in the heat of the moment. We both just got a little rattled. That's it."
On her fast start:
"I needed to give them a spark. In practice, I shoot like that; I knew the time was going to come. Today, they left me wide open and I just hit the open jumpers."
On the subdued Baylor celebration:
"We were happy to win this game. We are happy to go to the Final Four but, like Brittney said, it's not over. We can't celebrate too hard on this one because we have two more games. We are just happy about this, and we are just going to move on."
On achieving greater heights than last season:
"We played terribly last year at this point. We feel really good going to the Final Four, but we have to win our last game."
On teammates Hayden and Sims' great games:
"I thought they played really well. Odyssey is able to shoot the ball like that a lot, and Nae-Nae [Hayden] can do. They're both outstanding players. They did really well; even on defense I think we did really well. I think the guards did a nice job of passing the ball to Odyssey when she was open."
|| TENNESSEE QUOTES
| Associate Head Coach Holly Warlick
"Hats off to Baylor. They played a great game. Odyssey Sims was fantastic. We had five seniors who battled and fought; I'm extremely proud of them and the way they represented the University of Tennessee."
"I said it before the game: It goes further than Brittney Griner. They all play well together, and they were exceptional tonight. We look at what they did offensively, but they're outstanding on the defensive end. They force you to take quick shots. They're just a great basketball team."
On Baylor's shooting performance:
"You can't give that team eight [3-pointers]. I think Sims got loose a couple of times, so when we made our run and she hit a three it was like a dagger. I thought we did a good job on Griner early; I thought, really, we did a good job on her the entire game. But on a great team, other people step up and make plays."
On the emotion of this season:
"This team is about Pat Summitt, and this team has battled all year. I'm proud of them. I thought our team and coaching staff obviously was in a difficult situation, but this team has battled. I think, like Pat, this team never gave up. And they never used it as a crutch. You know, as Pat represents this program, I think these five seniors represented it as well. And I think this coaching staff tried to continue on the tradition that Coach Summitt has built. We've got a great foundation, and this program's gonna continue to do what Tennessee has always done."
On head coach Pat Summitt's fiery demeanor on the sideline tonight:
"That's Pat. Her love of the game, she's not lost that. She may forget where her phone is, but she's not gonna forget to yell at the officials. She's still competitive. I don't care what disease she has; she's gonna go down swinging."
On Odyssey Sims:
"It's difficult to guard someone with as great of speed as Odyssey. She's just done it all. I can't think right now of a better point guard than Odyssey Sims."
On the senior class being the first not to make a Final Four:
"We hadn't talked about that, because these seniors have done a hell of a job. Competition is getting better, and these young ladies are not only expected to uphold the Tennessee tradition; they're expected to win a national championship every year, and it gets more and more difficult. I know they're disappointed they didn't do it, but we look back on these seniors and understand what each one of them has contributed."
| Senior Forward Glory Johnson
On coming back from a first-half injury:
"I can't leave my teammates out to dry, no matter what the pain is. A game like this, you can't sit out." On the future of the Tennessee program: "This was a strong game that we played, and we only got better as the year went on. This program is only gonna get a lot stronger, and we're building off of this. We're just gonna keep on making our mark and keep on getting stronger. We're [the seniors] gonna be gone; we left our legacy. We'll just look to the underclassmen to keep playing hard for these great coaches."
"Baylor's a strong team. They have an inside presence and an outside presence. We played them as strong as we could, and I think everyone on our team gave all the effort they could have."
On leaving it all on the floor:
"As a senior...it's your last opportunity to show people the type of player you are. I definitely left it all out there. Shekinna left it all out there. Vicki left it all out there. All of our seniors just played as hard as they could."
| Senior Forward Shekinna Stricklen
On Baylor coming back after a strong Tennessee start:
"The shots just weren't falling. I give credit to Baylor; they were really pressuring me, face guarding me. We were rushing a little bit, but, you know, the shots just weren't falling."
On her altercation with Baylor's Odyssey Sims at the end of the game:
"I'm not that type of person. I don't fight on the court. I did trip, and it looked like I was trying to push her and she just took in the wrong way and we had a little talking back and forth. I'm actually cool with Odyssey."
| Senior Forward Alicia Manning
On how physical the game was:
"We battled the whole way. I'm not going to say they were tougher than us; they hit some big shots, and we couldn't hit our shots. It's just how the basketball gods wanted it to be tonight."
On clutch shots by Odyssey Sims and Kimetria Hayden:
"When we would go on runs, we just couldn't sustain it. [Sims and Hayden] made plays. Some of those shots can be back breakers. We tried so hard, but it just wasn't going our way."
On what she and the four seniors have accomplished:
"We are such hard workers. People will say we didn't make it to a Final Four, but we accomplished more within ourselves and more than will ever be on a piece of paper. I think we have left our legacy. Sometimes it's not all about winning. I feel like we worked so hard the last four years and we accomplished good things. We won the SEC tournament and we made it deep in the [NCAA] tournament. You can't take that for granted. A lot of teams can't say they have done that."
On the physical aspect of the game:
"The tougher team wins. But we went out there and played hard. It just wasn't our night tonight."
On the guard play of Baylor:
"The plan was to stop Brittney (Griner). We didn't contain the guards, so the (Tennessee) guards take responsibility for that. We didn't do our job as well as we could have."