Kentucky-South Carolina Postgame Quotes

Feb. 5, 2009

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Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement …
“We are just so happy to win the game. It has been a tough couple of weeks to say the least losing four in a row. Tonight was a very important game for our team to come out and win and I was very happy that we were able to establish some defensive intensity early in the game. I thought that got us off to a big lead that we held on to most of the night. I thought that it was a very good night for us and it feels good to get a win here at home and it's good to get back on the winning track.”

On what his emotions after the game …
“It feels great. With our record at the halfway point, it is obviously important for us to win every game that we can. I feel good about it and still think we have some improvements we can make to play better. To be able to get back and win a good game against South Carolina, in front of our home crowd, my emotions are high right now. I feel really good about it.”

On if the hustle plays and rebounding was better tonight …
“They were important because they had some shots around the goal that didn't go in for them and for us to be able to finish that and take advantage of their poor shooting was important. If we let them stay in there long enough they might be able to put it back in. I just thought Eliea Roddy and Amani Franklin had some big physical rebounds that helped us. Hustle plays were big for us and something that was a huge focus going into the game.”

On senior Jenn'e Jackson's play tonight …
“That is what we need her to do - come in and play positive minutes. What we try to do is get Roddy and Dunlap to the bench right before the media timeout so we are asking Jenn'e to come in and be focused and ready to play. I would like for her to be able to play in two or three-minute spurts. When she can go in and get rebounds and put a basket back in and play solid defense it makes our team a lot better and helps us with our minutes.”

On if losing can become contagious like winning can …
“I think you definitely worry when you are on a losing streak because you wonder what is it going to take to turn it around. We had been so close in those games. It's not like we have been playing terrible and got run out of the gym. What really plays on your mind is asking ‘what is the one little thing or what adjustment can we make?' It starts getting mental. This was a big night for us tonight and that is why I am so happy that we came out with defensive intensity and made a statement that we are going to play really hard tonight and we are going to do what we have to do to win.”

Kentucky Players

#34 Victoria Dunlap

On the last shot of the game…
“I don't know if it was specifically for Amber, but we were trying to get off a three-pointer. Anybody had a chance to shoot the shot.”

On preparing for the next games after two tough losses…
“We have to keep our heads up. We need to watch film and see if we went wrong at the beginning or if we started off well and finished poorly. Once we get toward the end (of the game) we have to know we can keep going and do whatever it takes to get it done.”

On being in foul trouble…
“It was hard. I was cheering my heart out for the team since I couldn't be out there with them. I wanted to try to keep their heads up. It wasn't smart on my part, knowing I had three fouls to go out and get that fourth foul. I just had to keep cheering since I couldn't be out there to help.”

Head Coach Dawn Staley

On her overall assessment of the game…
“Honestly, we played poorly. We don't compete for 40 minutes. We don't have some people in our lineup so we need to make up in certain areas. We need to show effort, compete and play scrappy. We need to do the little, intangible things. We are who we are as far as skill but there is no excuse for not competing and giving effort for 40 minutes.”

On getting behind to start the game…
“I think it was all us. We have seen pressure before this year. It wasn't anything that should have bothered us to where we weren't hitting shots. We weren't defending or boxing out which allowed them to get offensive rebounds. That defeats you and takes your breath away on offense.”

On making a run late in the game…
“We pressured the ball. We made some threes that were contagious for us. It got us energized. That was our run for the game.”