Kentucky-Florida Postgame Quotes

Jan. 22, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement ...
"Every win in conference is a great win. We are happy to win. I thought that Florida really outplayed us today and I thought they outhustled us. I thought that they were much more physical and so I guess you will have to say we played good enough defense to win. It was a tough, tough game and I thought that Florida really, really played unbelievably hard today and we had a difficult time."

On starting the second half on a 7-0 run and the key during that stretch ...
"I just thought that for a couple of minutes we resembled what our team can look like. That was the only time today that that happened. I think we allowed Florida and their aggressiveness and their physical play and changing defenses (to affect us). So when we didn't have success early we just had some people that decided they weren't going to try to figure it out. You know, we aren't just going to win these games because we walk out on the court. You have to figure things out. Florida is a very good team and very well coached so it was a tough game today. They were switching defenses and we just didn't put in the effort to figure that out. Give credit to Florida for having enough desire to really compete in the game. That was the only time we looked very good today offensively."

On if there are any positives he will take from the game ...
"Yes, we won. That is a huge positive. That is a huge, huge positive. There have been a lot of times that we haven't been up to the challenge that the other team issued and we would have lost the game. We did enough. I thought that Brittany Henderson hustled today. I thought that Kastine Evans hustled today. I thought that Samarie Walker really fought defensively today. So we had enough people that stepped up and really, really played hard and did a good job. It sounds obvious but the positive is the win and there are many days that we would have lost a game like that. That was great for us."

On A'dia Mathies' game and her big defensive play late and a big offensive rebound late ...
"Yeah, I think A'dia just went back to a place that we have seen her go back to many times. Florida made it really difficult on her and I don't know if she felt like she didn't get some calls around the bucket and go to the line, but she just didn't give a great effort today offensively. We will have to address that Tuesday in practice."

On Samarie Walker's progression defensively ...
"You are starting to see her become a Kentucky level defender when you see her deny passes, get in the passing line, deflecting passes. She deflected one ahead for a steal today. That is what was missing. I am totally encouraged with her progression on the defensive end and then at the end of the game we had her at the post but we didn't throw it in there to her. I think that we got tight and were playing not to lose. She had a whale of a game."

On if it was something Florida did to slow down A'dia Mathies offensively ...
"Yeah, Florida made it really difficult on A'dia. It wasn't going to be easy because they tracked her a lot and they were very physical with her at the bucket. I just didn't think that she showed very much patience today. She just didn't have a good game."

On taking the ugly win and moving forward ...
"Really to win that game today it is an outstanding thing for our team. Anytime you can win and still have plenty to work on in practice (is nice). I think the players understand we are fortunate to win and that Florida really outplayed us today ... For us to be in this situation for the first time I am learning as we go. We have never been this deep in the SEC season without a loss to go back and point to. I am searching for the right way to handle everything. To the kids credit, they won the game. Today is the first day in the season where I felt we were really fortunate to win because we didn't do the things necessary to take the game and win it. What a great performance by Florida in front of a packed house. I just thought that they competed hard all day."

Kentucky Players

#32, Kastine Evans, G

On starting the second half on a 7-0 run and the key during that stretch ...
"Just staying aggressive. Definitely in the first half that was something that coach (Matthew Mitchell) pointed out we weren't doing and I think taking the mindset for everyone to just keep pushing and just keep going. Shots weren't falling for us, but we just had to keep playing and I think having an aggressive mentality helped us out in that run."

On the impact of having a sellout crowd and fan impact overall ...
"Other than what we already do by trying to bring energy on the court, it just brings a lot more energy. Just to know that there's a sellout crowd, like today, it gives us a lot more to play for. We don't only have to play for our team and our coaches, we have a lot of people that we are playing in front of that show us so much support. I think the fan base helps us a lot, especially when plays get us up then it goes against the other team and it just helps us a lot."

#23, Samarie Walker, F

On pulling out the win after a tough game ...
"We are definitely fortunate to win that game. We are happy with the win. It was tough and ugly, but we came out with the win."

On her defensive performance ...
"I am working hard in practice. My teammates stay on me. My coaches stay on me. I have been working really hard on my defense. I have been focusing on it more than anything."

On the difference between the first and second half ...
"Energy and intensity. We came out very aggressive. Our defense was still really good. We were knocking down shots finally and our offense was flowing."

#1, A'dia Mathies, G

On her performance and if she was frustrated with how Florida limited her offensively ...
"Yeah, I believe any player is going to be frustrated (if they) don't make shots. When a shot goes down it boosts your confidence. We still got the win, that's all I care about. (We are) 7-0 in conference. That is very good."

On what it says about the team for her to have a bad night and them still pull out the win ...
"I think we have a very balanced team. I don't need to put up big numbers every night for us to win. We can win in a variety of ways. Samarie (Walker), Kastine (Evans), Keyla (Snowden) (all had) good nights. Having that depth speaks to how well we work and how we are as a team."

On the importance of having tough wins like today ...
"It's important, every game is important. Every game is a game that you need to win. It's a tough league. Any win you can get, no matter if it's by one point or 20 points or 40 points, a win is a win. We are glad we got it today. We are just going to have to keep it rolling."

Florida Head Coach Amanda Butler

Opening Statement...
"Well you have to give Kentucky credit for what they were able to do to us and the way they were able to create intensity when they came out of the locker room for the second half. I'm really proud of our team's fight and their willingness to gut it out. I think it would have been very easy to accept less but we wouldn't and we put ourselves in position to nearly win the ball game against a very good and very well-coached team that's full of great players."

On the game plan for A'dia Mathies...
"A'dia is a great player. I told our team during preparation that she is the best player in the SEC but at the same time we can't get too carried away with A'dia Mathies or Bria Goss will have however many or Samarie Walker or whatever. We just wanted to play tough team defense and be super aggressive on the defensive end. Certainly we wanted to limit her touches as much as we could but that's a difficult thing to do. I am very proud of the defensive effort, they are very potent offensively and to keep them in the 50s I think is a great accomplishment."

On UK's changes opening the second half...
"I really thought they just had better energy than us coming out of the locker room and really played with a lot more certainty and fire than we did. That was especially disappointing for us because that has sort of been our M.O., we've played wishy-washy first halves but second half we've come ready to fight and go toe-to-toe. Again, you have to give Kentucky credit for that start. We have got to do better; you can't beat a good ball club just by playing segments of the game."

On concern of winning most 50-50 balls in first half and still being tied...
"I was concerned because we were 1-6 from the free-throw line and had 14 turnovers. Holding Kentucky to 21 points felt pretty good, though. We felt like we had played a very hard but average first half and to be tied we felt like was not too bad of a spot to be sitting in."