Post-Alabama game quotes
Feb. 1, 2009
February 1, 2009 Memorial Gym
Melanie Balcomb, Vanderbilt Head Coach
On Team's Improvement:
"We had moments still, where we didn't do well. We lost the second half, 41-40. When we had our moments, we called timeouts and refocused. We had shut down Ericka Russell, who had a career high against us before, and we gave Raffington a career high. We have to have a better recognition about who is hurting us
On First Half:
"Coming up to halftime, we played just as well as we did against Tennessee. We were clean, we had good shot selection, and we had stops. I was really happy with the first half. I was concerned at halftime that we weren't going to come out in the second half the way we did in the first half."
On Outlook at Halftime:
"I changed my halftime speech today, based on our play against Arkansas on Thursday. We decided not even to bring up the last game against Alabama, because we knew what we needed to do based on our past few games."
On Christina Wirth and Merideth Marsh:
"Tina and Merideth played really well today and they got a lot of really good looks and it's because of the looks they got. Once you get to February, defense should be a given and if it's not, you won't be a winning team down the stretch. We set up some really good screens and they really opened up our shooting."
On Lauren Lueders:
"Lauren has just settled down. It's a really good time to settle down and settle in for her. She's coming off the bench and really doing what we need. She's always been good for us and she used to play in a speed mode that didn't flow sometimes, but she's gotten better every game. She's really taking a look and seeing what we need."
Christina Wirth, guard/forward
On Recent Performances:
"I think that shooters go through slumps, it's normal, and I knew I couldn't shoot that horrible for long. It's just starting to feel good again."
On Second Half:
"Slightly better than before, but we just need to focus more on defense. We need to know players' tendencies, take things away from them, and we didn't do that."
Merideth Marsh, guard
On Second Half:
"Definitely better than Arkansas, but we weren't extremely happy with our second half. We focused on transition defense and we didn't do that in the second half. That was our main thing we talked about, but otherwise we really stepped up and played well. We would answer when they started going on a run. We weren't happy with our defense against Varisia Raffington, but otherwise the game was good. We just have to work on our play in the second half."
On Current Shooting Streak:
"I don't know, I guess I'm in a rhythm. I get into the gym a lot and try to get some shots up. Coach always keys in on little things within our offense and that's what makes our offense work and tick and we need to set up solid screens. So I have to credit to Jess (Mooney), Jence (Rhoads), Hannah (Tuomi) and Tina (Wirth), because I couldn't knock down the shot if they weren't screening for me."
On Christina Wirth's Performance:
"Tina playing well helps everyone, because that opens up shots for everyone else because they are focusing on the two of us. It gives the chance for all of us to get a good shot."
Wendell Hudson, Alabama Head Coach
"I thought there was a stretch in the first half where we played well and then Vandy just took over. When you're 24 points down going into halftime, there's not much you can do except to try to chip away (at the lead)."
On Play in the Second Half:
"I thought we played better in the second half. I realized when Vandy didn't come back to shoot around until 60 seconds left of halftime, so I thought they figured they were done (laughter). We cut the lead a couple times, but they made the plays to keep us out and made such an effort to get a run."
On Vanderbilt's 3-point shooting:
"We knew they were a great 3-point shooting team and they made the looks and made the shots. Merideth (Marsh) made 3-pointers at crucial times where we started coming back. When you make 3-pointers, they can make the difference."
On Varisia Raffington:
"She played really well for us, 7-for-8 at the 3-point line. She's our most consistent player, especially in SEC play."
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