Post-Mississippi State game quotes
Feb. 6, 2009
February 5, 2009 Starkville, Miss.
Melanie Balcomb, Vanderbilt Head Coach
On Vanderbilt's season high twenty seven turnovers...
"We did not take care of the basketball and did not check out. We did not execute our game plan. Mississippi State came out really pressure denying and really forced us out of our timing, especially in the second half, we had turnovers in the post because we hesitated so much. They did a great job of taking us out of our timing. They were very aggressive and dictated on defense, which we did not do."
On Mississippi State's response to take the win...
"Mississippi State hit big shots. I think on offense they showed more patience than they probably did on film watching them. I think it all starts at the beginning of the game when you give Mississippi State confidence at home, and they are going to fight back and win after holding the lead for that long."
Sharon Fanning, Mississippi State Head Coach
"During the first part of the game, we wanted to try and pressure and change defenses. I thought our transition game was the best I have seen in a long time. When I see us ahead in rebounds and assist-to-turnover at halftime, I know we are on the right track. Vanderbilt is as tough as anybody in the country in making the extra pass, and they have so many people who can score. In the second half, we did not defend as well. I think we worried sometimes about calls. You cannot worry about that as a team. You have to play through that and rise above that. I feel like we played through all of it though and developed some toughness. We shot 82 percent from the free-throw line and that was huge. We played with great composure, and it was a great win over a very good basketball team."
On playing with toughness and composure down the stretch...
"A team has to embrace certain things. When we embrace those things and work at them, we execute better. We do have to get better in half-court situations. There are little things we need to improve on, but I am so proud of the team's focus and composure. Right now it is wide open in the league and we have to embrace the fact it is a battle every game."
On jumping out to an early lead in the game ...
"I think that in the first five minutes you establish the tone of the game. That gives you confidence, and it helps you score a little more. It comes down to fundamentals though. You have to rebound, defend and make great shots."
On freshman guard Diamber Johnson's clutch free-throw shooting ...
"If I did not feel like she could do it, I would not have her on the floor. She is learning the game right now. She is definitely a coach on the floor, and she is going to find a way to win. I just have a lot of confidence in her."
On the defensive effort her team gave tonight ...
"We wanted to try and pressure the ball tonight, and we wanted to get some hands on passes. We switched up defenses a lot tonight and that really helped."
Mississippi State Players
Alexis Rack, guard
On the win...
"It was real big, especially coming off the loss at Georgia. It was good to finish the game with a win."
On joining the 1,000-point club...
"I wanted to win. I really wasn't thinking about 1,000 points. It hasn't sunk in yet. I heard it when they announced it, but I was focused on the game."
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