Kentucky-Alabama Postgame Quotes

Jan. 29, 2012

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Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement …
“We are happy to win and go to 9-0. That is a great development for our team. We were able to score enough points to hold off a tough Alabama team today. I thought that they played really hard and really put a big run on us there in the second half. They never gave up. My compliments to Alabama.”

On Alabama’s run in the second half …
“I don’t know about the score, but I know that we had an uncharacteristic second half of defense. I didn’t think that we gave a Kentucky type effort in the second half and that is disappointing.”

On the team’s free throw shooting …
“I think that it was a day where we weren’t at our sharpest and weren’t really locked in and focused. Thank goodness their free throw shooting wasn’t good either because it would have been a very different game. I had high hopes for the day. I thought that it could be a really good day for us. I was excited to welcome our alumni back, but didn’t feel like we defended up to a Kentucky level today.”

On what happened defensively in the second half …
“We just never got the ball stopped and I thought that Alabama was extremely aggressive and they worked hard and saw that we weren’t going to stay in front of the ball or rotate over. It was hard to rotate because the drives were coming mainly in transition in the middle of the floor and you can’t make a lot happen when you just let people dribble by you in the middle of the floor and lay the ball up. I thought the main issue was controlling the dribble and that is something we talked about before the game but didn’t execute it very well. Thank goodness we scored enough points to win.”

On what it says about this team that they didn’t play well in the second half but got the win …
“Well, I think if they continue to do that they will get beat. That is really clear that if they don’t stick really close to the fundamentals of defense that they definitely poses and worked hard to earn. They have good defensive fundamentals and we are a good defensive team. For whatever reason, we didn’t choose to use that today. I don’t know how we will respond from this. A lot of things we can learn from.”

On how the first half went …
“I thought that the first half was sort of like the whole game. We had some good moments and got out to a big lead, but let them go 9-2 (run) to end the half and didn’t look really interested. It was almost as if we thought if we got a certain amount of points ahead that Alabama was going to go away. That certainly never happened today. We had some tremendous moments there in the first half when we tried to call a timeout and talk about our energy, but that is when this team is struggling when I have to call a timeout to talk about their effort. I don’t generally have to do that. Look, it is a long, long season and 16 games in this league is long. You aren’t going to paint a masterpiece every Sunday afternoon and every Thursday night. To be able to earn a victory is significant and we are glad to have it.”

Kentucky Players

#13, Bria Goss, Fr., G

On if there is a negative feeling after a game like this…
“It’s just a learning experience. As much as we don’t want to have these types of games, we are going to have them. Hopefully this will be the last one and hopefully we will learn from it, play harder, and get better.”

#4, Keyla Snowden, Sr., G

On the intensity during the second half…
“I just thought that we had a lack of intensity. We are going to come back and work harder and be ready for the next game against Ole Miss. We are going to try and put this game behind us and learn from it so we don’t have this type of game again.”

On the difficulty of playing a team that is winless in conference play after playing numerous ranked teams…
“I think that we come out with the mentality to play hard and sometimes things don’t go our way, but we all come out ready to play. We just have to learn from it so we don’t have a game like this again.”

On only scoring two points in the second half after scoring 12 in the first half…
“I think other people stepped up scoring in the second half.  A’dia (Mathies) and Bria (Goss) both finished with double digits. That just says a lot about our team. It doesn’t take one person to do all of the scoring, it’s spread throughout the whole team.”

#1, A’dia Mathies, Jr., G

On the biggest difference between the first half and the second …
“We just did a poor job on defense.  We let them go where they wanted to go, and weren’t denying like we are capable of or picking the ball up in transition. It’s really on us, we have got do a better job of that.”

On what it says about the team to play the second half like that and still get a double-digit win …
“I think it says a lot.  Even though we gave up a lot of baskets, we were able to score a lot of baskets.  I think we can turn it around in the next game against Ole Miss.  I’m just glad we got the win.”

On what it means to get 20 wins for a third straight season …
“It’s special to get 20 wins.  Especially like the two years before I came here, and just looking at the program, it’s a big turnaround, and I’m just glad we can keep the momentum going. We have a lot of talent and people that care.  Twenty wins is a great thing.”

Alabama Head Coach Wendell Hudson

Opening  statement…
“I thought that Kentucky played an awful good basketball game and I thought we played awful hard. We just didn’t play as well as we needed to play. They are the No. 6 team in the country and I think most of you all thought this was going to be a different game than it actually ended up being. I thought we competed and played well and had the opportunity to prove some things, not only to everybody else, but ourselves about the way we are capable of playing. We are finally getting the group back healthy enough, (rather) some of the important people healthy enough to come back and play. I really felt like you look at the free-throw situation, they missed some, we missed some and the game was competitive. I think it was a good basketball game from what someone told me out there.”

On coming back from a 34-2 run…
“I think that was just a case where we felt like we had done some things to ourselves. I don’t think Kentucky had a lot to do with it, especially early pressure. We had 16 turnovers in the first half and cut that down to nine. We got 44 points in the paint and got some points off of turnovers. I don’t remember what it was at halftime, but we got some points off of turnovers. So, the game became a full court going up and down the floor (kind of) game and we had some chances to go up to the basket. We had some people play awful well, especially in the paint for us.”

On comparing Kentucky and Tennessee…
“Tennessee is a big team. They are a big, strong basketball team and size is a huge difference. Kentucky is just a quick, athletic team. Two different brands of basketball. But as far as the competitive nature of both teams, it’s tough to get ready and go play both of them. From our standpoint, I thought we probably played our best two SEC games and had a group competing against the two best teams in the league. Hopefully, that’s going to prove something to us, especially if we can keep everyone away from the injuries that we’ve had, that we are going to be okay, get back and win some basketball games.”

On whether Kentucky’s defense slacked off in the second half…
“No, I just thought we took the ball to the basket stronger. I don’t think Kentucky ever backed away (with their) defensive pressure. We finally took the ball to the basket stronger. I thought we took the ball to the basket in the first half (but with) a little physical contact we (came up with) turnovers. In the second half we took the ball to the basket but if a bump happened, it happened, we didn’t worry about it. I thought that was the biggest difference in the second half, taking the ball to the basket.”

On the physicality of the game and whether they thought they could out-muscle Kentucky…
“It was just a physical game. The officials let us play, and we played as physical as Kentucky played. We talked about that. We knew Kentucky was a physical basketball team and liked to pressure and we needed to match that intensity level and I think we matched that intensity level.”

Alabama Player

#21, Kyra Crosby, F

On what changed between the first and second half…
“In the first half, Kentucky shot the ball very well. In the second half, we took that away from them and made them penetrate more and go to the basket. We fed off of that and played great defense and tried to convert from that.”

On playing against the pressure of Kentucky’s defense…
“It’s extremely hard to go through a game with a lot of pressure, then have to turn around and start over and get ready for that pressure or even more pressure. I think we did really well compared to other teams that we have played.”

On lessons she learned from this game…
“We learned today and also from the Tennessee game that if we play together and have a common goal, we can beat anybody. If we play hard for 40 minutes and not just 20 minutes, then we will have a good chance to win.”