On first SEC road win... "I felt like we were ready. There was a good crowd tonight. They came out with a lot of energy and were playing very well when KeKe Carrier went down. I felt like we didn't get too far down like we did against Tennessee. Merideth Marsh, Jence Rhoads, and Lauren Lueders came up big tonight. I felt really good at shoot around. I felt like we gained confidence after the loss at Tennessee. It really helped us, along with the Georgia win, to have the confidence to win on the road tonight."
On game plan after Carrier's injury... "It didn't really change our game plan at all. I thought they played better with her. It is hard to go small, but you get better offensively. Defensively is where you struggle. It is tough to guard five guards, like they played with tonight. They were taking us off of the dribble and it was hard to adjust. I think we got used to it in the second half, but it really hurt us in the first half."
On winning despite being out-rebounded... "I hate to say it, but that is pretty typical of most of my teams. When we shoot the ball well, we don't usually rebound very well. We've been working on that, but it has never been one of our strengths. We win a lot of games despite it."
On defensive focus during last possession... "We just needed that one stop. We knew that we needed to double team KeKe Carrier if the ball went inside to her. Also, we had to find Alli Smalley and switch off to her. Our kids executed exactly like we asked them to do."
On tonight's game... "In the first half, they got too many offensive rebounds, and that was one of our focuses coming into halftime. We need to box out on offensive rebounds. They can't keep getting second-chance points. That was one of our keys on the defensive end. Another thing was we switched up our defenses a little bit to make it simpler. We were switching up too much so I think that helped us a lot."
On trailing most of the first half... "In the first half for us, it was more like our defense was not where it was supposed to be. We weren't getting stops on defense and that was transitioning into offense and we were just kind of rushing our shots, taking one-and-dones. I think Coach (Melanie Balcomb) said we had two offensive rebounds going into halftime, and that's just not enough. I think that it all starts on the defensive end and they were hitting their shots and we just weren't getting stops and that's where it all starts is being able to get stops. Coach always talks about if we get stops on defense then we're not so tight on offense to score. So if we get stops on defense then we can go down on the offensive end and not really rest, but be a little bit more settled and comfortable."
On Vanderbilt's focus going into Auburn's last possession... "Don't get beat backdoor. It was happening all night and the big play at the end was set up to go backdoor and we didn't get beat. Put the ball in somebody else's hands and we got a stop. It was defense. We were relaxed on offense by that point, so we just needed to continue to box out."
On tonight's game... "We finally got a road win in the SEC and it's good to know and have confidence that we are able to do that now. It was a close game, a big crowd and we pulled through."
On trailing most of the first half... "We weren't getting stops and we were starting to panic on offense and taking quick shots and contested shots and stuff like that. Once we were able to slow them down and get some stops, we were better on offense."
On what you will take away from this win... "I think it's a good confidence booster. We're starting to play more together. People are falling into their rolls and I think we just need to keep moving forward with all of that."
Auburn Head Coach Nell Fortner
Opening statement... "It is a really disappointing loss. I feel bad for the kids. I thought they played their hearts out. It is an awful way to lose a game, I can tell you that. It leaves such a bad feeling in me that we could not get a shot. I will not sleep for a long time over that one. We just have to bounce back and come to play on Sunday."
On the importance of playing Vanderbilt... "It would not have mattered who it was. I do not like to think in those terms. You are just trying to win a game."
On what Auburn tried to do on the final play... "There were only 16 seconds left in the game. KeKe was playing real well at the beginning of the game, she was 2-of-2. She was still wanting to play, her trouble was getting down the floor to play defense. Just to have her on the floor in the last 16 seconds, I thought we could use her. She did not get in there and get good enough position when she got the ball and so she did not feel good about shooting it. It did not work out."
If KeKe was too far out on the last play... "She was off the block. She needed to be in the paint. We had Blanche coming off the screen and usually they come back out and help a little bit, which gives her a little air to step in. It just did not happen that way."
On reworking the game plan when KeKe went out... "That was the tough part. You have to change midstream with what you are doing and what you want to do. I give the kids a lot of credit for playing hard and making things work. I thought Parrisha Simmons did a nice job tonight. The thing I thought that hurt us was we gave up threes. In the second half, all we were talking about was do not give up the threes and then they would have a wide open three. That hurt. We can not have those defensive breakdowns against teams that can shoot that well like Vanderbilt."
On how Vanderbilt got wide open threes... "We were switching screens. Sometimes we got caught up playing help side and a skip pass would come and there is a wide open three."
On Vanderbilt's offense... "They are an excellent three point shooting team. They really do a great job of exploiting on any mistake you make defensively. They are good that way."
On starting Blanche Alverson... "We started Blanche because we found that KeKe was getting collapsed on. If you do not have shooters surrounding her, you have to have something to extend the defense. That was not happening for us. So blanche definitely helps extend the defense."
On deflecting a lot passes... "I thought we did some good stuff. They played so hard. They moved their hands and got a lot of deflections. Some really good things were happening there. When we do not have that inside presence with KeKe in there right now we just struggle scoring inside. I thought we did some pretty active defense."
On if this loss stings... "I am sick to my stomach to be honest with you. It is a tough one."
Auburn Guard Alli Smalley
On pre-game expectations... "That's the way it always is when we play Vanderbilt. We did a good job of staying on top for the majority of the game. In the end we had some defensive breakdowns and they knocked down some big threes. I expected it to be back and forth like that."
On the final play... "Well KeKe (Carrier) was going to come in the game because if she is posting up she can either score or draw a lot of people and that's going to leave someone else open. She got caught in a bad spot on the block, she didn't have good position. She was more outside of the lane and they had a good defensive play. We did not execute offensively."
On things coming together as a team... "I think we showed a lot of heart tonight. We fought back very hard. In the final minutes we were down by eight at the most but we still made some big stops and we were able to score and I commend everyone for that. We played really hard and wanted the win."
On KeKe Carrier going out of the game early... "She is one of our key factors but I think everyone stepped up tonight. When she went out, everyone knew that we had to step up from the one to the five and I think everyone did a great job of doing that. Of course, it hurts us when she is not in the game."
On Vanderbilt's quickness... "They are a lot smaller than us and that gave us an opportunity to run and do some of our speed motion, which we do not really do with KeKe in the game and it gave us an opportunity to do that."
Auburn Forward Jordan Greenleaf
On focusing on interior defense... "We did not want to focus too much on interior or exterior, we wanted to pay attention to both because they were able to hurt us in both areas. We were bigger than they were inside so it was easier to block shots and get hands on balls because we were a lot longer than them. They hurt us on the 3-point shot. They got a lot of key 3-pointers."
On KeKe Carrier going out early in the game… "It means we have to cover more area. KeKe is big and she is able to hold down the paint. When she is not there, there are gaps that they can get into. I think we held down the fort pretty well and we moved well. We had quick feet and I think we held it down. "