Vanderbilt head coach Melanie Balcomb On the defense in the second half… "We talked about the fact that they were shooting 6-for-10 from three and they were shooing 16% coming into this game, I think. I said if you even gave up a three you were coming out immediately. It was one of my points. You saw Jence (Rhoads) gave up the first one, she didn’t make it but she was out there challenging so I yanked her. We’re focused on defense, focused on rebounding. Our focus going into the game was to get better at three-point field-goal percentage defense and they were 6-for-10 so I was not pleased at halftime because of that. We didn’t really even talk about offense. So when we came out on a 30-8 run, the key was really the eight. We had to get our defense together."
On the close game with them last year… "I was very worried. I think their coach does a really nice job. I think they’re really well coached. I think they fought extremely hard last year, and they had their best players back, and they have good recruits in. They’ve been struggling on offense, Tricia said, but I wasn’t surprised they got hot early and were ready to play. After our game last year, they shouldn’t have had any respect for us, and they played like that the first couple of minutes. But we did that up there last year, we gave them the opportunity to think that they could come here and beat us."
On having an advantage of depth… "We had two post players out today so we weren’t as deep as I thought we were going to be, but I knew we could also go to our smaller lineup and that’s why Elan Brown played post today. We were smaller, but against zone defenses I like playing her. Against teams that are going to spread out and play smaller I like playing our smaller lineup. It’s nice to have a big lineup and a small lineup. Elan did a really nice job for us playing post."
Elan Brown On the offense... "I think really our focus was on defense this game and our offense came out of our defense. We weren’t really focused on getting our shots off or creating off the drive. We realized that once we were getting the steals and deflections that it would just come out of our offense."
On the transition points in the second half… "Coach really stressed that we needed to pressure the ball in the second half, so that’s what we did. We picked up the intensity and we were communicating with each other so it was a lot easier for us to get excited for each other and get steals and run in transition and score."
On thinking about last year’s game… "I think that was a big part of our motivation for this game. Coach said that we needed to remember it. It was all about pride this game, just coming out and showing them that we really know how to play and I think that’s what we did."
Jence Rhoads On recovering from her injury… I’m still working my way to get there. It’s feeling a lot better though; it’s just a long process with a hamstring injury. I’m on my way there and hopefully I will go forward and nothing will happen to it.