VANDERBILT HEAD COACH Melanie Balcomb (On Tiffany Clarke not playing in the second half) "Yeah, she got sick at halftime. She was throwing up in the locker room. I don't know what else could go wrong."
(On if she's ever had such an injury problem like this year's injuries) "No, this is different than it's been."
(On playing four freshmen on the floor) "Very pleased. I like what they did against Missouri: just came together and are starting to figure it out. I think the effort's there. If you see them get tired, it's because they haven't played so many minutes, but they're really starting to figure it out. I'm really impressed with Morgan Batey just what she's able to do defensively and then run at the basket and rebounding. I think Heather Bowe's always been giving us good minutes and just keeps getting smarter. I especially thought JJ (Jasmine Jenkins) was starting to handle the point guard well enough so that Jasmine (Lister) here can play both, can be the combo guard that she should've been and that she can score more which as you saw she's able to do."
(On scouting Tennessee after the UT/VU game in Nashville) "I think just moving the ball from side-to-side more, making them guard side-to-side. I think in the first half we went inside a little too much. I thought we could take advantage inside and get to the free-throw line, and we did not. We came up empty too much in the first half on the inside. So, then in the second half we tried to go more side-to-side and get more three-point shots and more penetration which is what Jas (Lister) gave us a lot of."
VANDERBILT JUNIOR GUARD Jasmine Lister (On her scoring) "As long as I went slow and read the defense, I could've got whatever I wanted because if they didn't close out soon enough, I could shoot. If they closed out, I could go to the basket, pump fake and get to the free-throw line which pretty much just took reading the defense."
(On cutting Tennessee's lead to 10 in the second half and then not getting any closer) "It was kind of deflating, but we couldn't let that stop us. We couldn't hang our head; we just had to keep fighting through. It was a little bit deflating for us, but we fought. Our freshmen came in to fight. It was fun to play with them."
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH HOLLY WARLICK (Opening statement) "In today's game, we fought hard. We had a couple of lapses, but we got the job done. We had bounce scoring and that's huge for us offensively. Defensively, I keep saying we have to get better and do better and be more consistent. We have to have that discipline and we're continuing to work on that."
(On the second half defense) "I thought we would have been more consistent and more disciplined, because we did work on that [this week] quite a bit. We were giving up penetrations to the basket and we ran into some screens. It's a good team for us to try to get better on defense with. They're so very well-coached offensive team and they're difficult to play. Any team that shoots a three to penetrate is difficult and I thought at times we got good stops and then we gave up easy drives to the basket. We have to keep getting better."
(On the offense) "We haven't really focused that much on the offense. We've been focusing a lot on defense. This is a very good offensive team and we're clicking and really getting the ball moving and we have player movement, where the ball gets to touch a lot of hands. But, at times, I think we get up and then we just stop playing. Today was an example of us being undisciplined on the defensive end. They stop, shot fake, we go up, we have to get discipline in our game."
(On reading the players) "I don't always know what they're thinking. I do think that they think they can out-score people, which is great when the ball is falling in. But there's going to come a time when the ball isn't falling in and then you have to go back on your defense and rebounds and it has to be solid. That's what we keep emphasizing and we keep pushing them towards that goal where we're a better defensive team and much more consistent."
(On Jasmine Jones) "She was huge today. I thought she played on the offensive end and was a great defender for us. She got some huge rebounds. Sometimes when she went in, I thought she was going to hit her head on the rim, she came out of nowhere. That's her athleticism and that's how she plays - she's an 'X' factor for us. I think when we need a stop or a rebound, she's always the one to get it. I thought today she was really quiet in shoot around and real quiet in pre game. I was a little concerned, but I guess she needs to be quiet more often because she played a heck of a game. I stopped trying to figure out these kids a long time ago - what they're thinking and how to get up. She was more composed today, she played more in the team. I think it was by far one of her best games."
(On defensive issues) "I don't think it's about effort, it's just discipline - getting on the help side and helping. It's not getting beat on a backboard because you're standing up when you should be in a basketball stance. It's standing on your feet when someone has a shot fake. I think ours is that they know what to do, it's just at the moment, they have a lapse and they are undisciplined and that's our job as coaches. I think this is one of our most consistent defensive teams, we just get a little impatient at times and get out of our stance. We just have to go back and go over things and stay with it."
(On consistent defense) "We're the most consistent as we have been the past couple of years. In practice, we commit to it. I think we get stops when we need to and this team understands the importance of the defensive end. For the most part, this team does not let their offensive affect their defense."
(On injury issues) "I said to Mel before the game, she's lost some key players for her and I understand it, because we have too. It's something that she's had to deal with. You have to look at who's on the floor and how they competed with us and I thought they played hard and she's dealing with injuries. Having Clarke out [in the second half] was huge for her. Having Foggie out is a huge loss for her, but I'll give them credit, they stepped up and came to play and they competed."
(On presenting her sister with the ball before the game) "It is difficult, because when you know what you're here for, which is raising awareness for breast cancer, it's difficult. My sister had to battle it and to see her there as a survivor, it's absolutely emotional. I gave her a ball and I told her that she's my greatest hero. As we're battling a game and we're concerned about that, she's battling for her life. If you talk about mental toughness, just toughness in understanding what you have to go through, I understand it and I keep it in perspective. I would put her battle first before anything basketball and that's courage to say that you're dealing with it and let's go. Maria Cornelius, a reporter for us, is battling it too, so she's in our thoughts and prayers as well. We're going to do all we can to find a cure for awareness, research, whatever we have to do. I understand there was a ton of survivors that stood up today and we have to stay on this and find a cure because everyone you know has been touched by it and that's my passion - to stay focused on it and continue to do what we're doing."
TENNESSEE JUNIOR GUARD MEIGHAN SIMMONS (On offense after the break) "I think the time off gave us time to recover so we could redeem ourselves after the past couple games on the offensive side. We got the easier baskets this game and we settled down after a while and let our defense dictate our offense. Everyone played hard. We just have to continue to work hard. Even with today's game, we just have to continue to work hard."
(On Vanderbilt seeming different from the last matchup) "It was a difference. They had so many injuries. It was a different team. Vanderbilt's always going to come into Knoxville to try to prove a point; we just had to go out there and play twice as hard and give it our all and leave it on the floor."
(On five players in double figures) "Honestly, it just shows we are a team, and that everybody does their part. Everybody's capable of scoring in double digits. When everybody gets their chance to go out to score, that's when the team shines. We have to continue to play from here on out and get better at the little things, take one game at a time and move forward to SECs. From then on, we're working twice as hard."
(On two big wins in a row) "It feels good. It's good for us to get a good break before we play a good team. Vanderbilt is a very good team. We had to take that long break and make sure everybody's minds were in the right place and everyone was recovering because we knew we had to battle today. I think we just came out very composed in the beginning, we started off strong, but we just have to keep the pedal to the metal and keep going up and down."
TENNESSEE FRESHMAN FORWARD BASHAARA GRAVES (On Vanderbilt's easy shots) "I think we had some times when we played awesome defense and some times where we missed a lot of opportunities. We didn't box out. We weren't playing Tennessee defense."
(On Tennessee's defense) "At one point, we were switching baskets. That's what was killing us; we just weren't getting the stops that we needed. They made a run on us and came back to a ten point difference. We knew we had to come back and make some plays."
(On Bashaara's two putbacks after a time out) "Just to keep playing. They were going to get the ball inside to me; I just had to keep battling on the inside."
TENNESSEE FRESHMAN FORWARD JASMINE JONES (On the difference between this and previous VU game) "I was just more composed than usual. I was more patient with my shots."