March 2, 2008
Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb:
On the first half:
"I thought we came out the way we should come out. We talked about before the game gaining momentum as we go into the SEC Tournament and to treat this as a first round game because we knew we were going to have a bye. We tried to get our kids focused."
On being able to give the bench players a lot of minutes in the game:
"It's always good that we have a team that is able to put a team like that away early and then we're able to play everybody else a lot of minutes before you go into postseason where you're going to be in a lot of close games. It was really nice to be able to sub a lot and the starters earned that for the reserves. They executed just as well in the first half and not as well in the second."
On Ashlee Bridge:
"Today, she did what she's able to do. She's a good shooter from the perimeter. She was ready to shoot the ball and she was a threat all the time on offense. I thought in transition, she's also good going to the basket. I thought Jence (Rhoads) and Jess (Mooney) really got the ball up the floor to her. She had a lot of wide-open looks and knocked them down. She was ready to play today. She's been practicing well. Because she's practicing well, we rewarded her and subbed her early and gave her an opportunity to play with our starters. That's why she succeeded. She was out there with four other people who are executing well."
On her expectations entering SEC play:
"I had no idea. I just asked someone the other day where we were picked in the conference. I'm really proud of what our players have done and what my staff has done. This is a season that we said going in would be a free season with a really tough schedule. To come out as the third seed with a 22-7 record, I couldn't have asked for any more. My staff has developed a lot of our young players and has worked tirelessly in the gym with them teaching and spending extra time. We've spent more individual improvement time this year than ever and less practice time than ever because they're young and they can't focus for that long. They're a very competitive group. They get along very well off and on the court."
Alabama Head Coach Stephany Smith:
"I really didn't think we had a lot of good body language and fight in the first half. I know it had to do with 9-of-14 from three for Vanderbilt in the first half. That really cuts your legs out from under you because you're under so much adversity. When they were able to score in about three seconds and knock down threes, it really affected our offense. It wasn't so much their defense that affected our offense, it was our offense that affected our offense."
On getting ready for the SEC Tournament:
"We're going to be facing a team with a great tradition in the University of Georgia. It's the same sort of match up as far as tradition of success that we had against Vanderbilt tonight, we'll have in the first round of the SEC Tournament. All we can do is continue to try to get better and prepare ourselves and prepare our minds and get ready to play on Thursday."