Kentucky-Mississippi State Postgame Quotes

Jan. 18, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell  

Opening statement …
“It's a terribly disappointing day for our team. We've played very poorly. I would like to congratulate Mississippi State on their good effort. They made the necessary adjustments in the game and we did not. They came back from a big deficit to really put it on us so it's a very disappointing day for us. I feel terrible about the game.”

On what Mississippi State did to get back in the game …
“They had been running man-on-man defense all season and it's funny how it works out. We were very prepared for that and did a good job of that. We had faced so much zone defense early on because we had not been shooting well. We have worked hours and hours on our zone offense and I felt really confident about it coming into the game. They just played a little more aggressively out on the wing and our players never adjusted. We were open on the inside but we were just indecisive and held on to the ball. When they were in man-to-man defense, we were ready to go. We just didn't adjust well to their zone defense. They were down by 12 and they needed a situation that worked and switching their defense worked. It was good coaching by Coach Fanning.”

On Kentucky trying adjust to Mississippi State switching up its defense …
“We continued to make adjustments throughout the game. It was just one of those games where we played more tentatively and made poor decisions on the perimeter. We were never in the flow where we were able to make a lot of good decisions. In the past few games, we were able to make decisive actions that led to points. We just never got into that today.”

On the pace of the game …
“I think Mississippi State did a good job trying to hurry us. In the first half, we had a lot of opportunities to get the ball to the baseline but we were just hurrying and tried to rush the ball or shoot it on the wing. We just got out of rhythm and lost confidence and never got it back. We just made terrible decisions like holding the ball too long out there that led to very bad result to us. We really needed this win.”

On losing the lead in the second half …
“It's just so disappointing to come out like that a get control of the game and then let it slip away. We missed layups to start the second half and wide open shots. We missed free throws and threes, we missed pretty much everything. We got out hustled and out rebounded.”

On preparing for road victories …
“Home court is so important. Every time you can win on the road it's important so we'll have some opportunities to do that. We are four games in and have 10 left, five of which are on the road. We have a week now to prepare and try to bounce back from this one. We know what we have to do to play well and we didn't do that today. We're not the kind of team that just goes through the motions. We have many players that were unable to live up to their capabilities today. We'll regroup and get ready for next Sunday and that will be an important.”

Kentucky Players

#34 – So. – F - Victoria Dunlap

On what happened after taking a 12-0 lead …
“I don't really know. We tried to keep the energy up but we got too relaxed and they started to come after us and attack us.”

On if MSU's zone defense caused them problems …
“I think that we weren't as strong against the zone as we were against their other defense. We got a little hesitant in what we wanted to do and how we wanted to score because they had it spread out and put pressure on us on the wings.”

On how physical the game was …
“You try not to think about how physical they are or how tired everyone is in a game. They definitely weren't weak and brought it to us. They were strong down low getting offensive rebounds and pushing us around the basket and we didn't do a good job of pushing them out down there.”

Mississippi State Head Coach Sharon Fanning

Opening Statement …
“I bet for the first four minutes of the basketball game you guys wondered if we were ever going to come onto the court and play. I didn't feel we started with a lot of energy and we missed some layups and didn't handle screens well at the beginning of the game. Kentucky basically kicked us initially. We tried to match up differently defensively and I felt that we contained up top better. I feel like we did a better job once we hit some shots to regain our composure a little bit. I was really proud of how we fought. We just lost a game at Tennessee and the offensive boards were key in that game. Kentucky plays awfully hard and has a lot of people that can score. They play really hard for 40-minutes and average 16 or 17 offensive boards a game and that was something that we knew that we had to eliminate. We had to get on the boards and block out. I didn't think that we did a great job but we were able to outrebound them and get to the free-throw line. We did not take care of the basketball today, but after the first half we did a better job of taking care of the basketball. The players really stepped up today and had a few defensive stands. Donnisha Tate isn't a primary scorer for us and she needs to get better scoring in transition but her rebounding was valuable. There was one rotation with the game on the line in the second half and her first trip down the floor she had a steal and got some key boards for us. I was proud the way we regrouped and got a tough win because it is always difficult to win on the road in this league.”

On the play of their defense today …
“We tried to matchup a little bit differently and give them a little different look than what we had planned initially. They have good shooters and when they run their shooters through the baseline and get a shooter in either corner we didn't guard that a couple of times and when Roddy or Dunlap got the ball on the rim they took it at us. We slowed them down and made them think more and made them take contested shots. We got some big rebounds out of that set and I thought the change was good. Changing defensives is important for any basketball team and we did it well today.”

On if she still likes to coach in this building being a former head coach at Kentucky …
“This is a special place with special friends but right now you focus on basketball and whoever the opponent is. It is good to see everyone though and see my friends. I have some very fond memories here.”

Mississippi State Players

#10 - Chanel Mokango

On if she was concerned when Kentucky started the game up 12-0 …
“Not really. I think that when we started the game we were just cold from the field and didn't have a very good intensity level. When we step out on the floor we have to always play hard. I told everyone that we had to pick it up and start playing better.”

On if she thought it was a rough game and if she minded it being a physical game …
“Yes it was a rough game but it doesn't bother me. If you push me around and try to get physical with me I really don't pay attention and just play my game. Whenever someone tries to be physical with me I just get physical right back.”