Kentucky-Vanderbilt Postgame Quotes

Feb. 8, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement ...
"Vanderbilt is a very good team and they showed that today. I want to compliment them on a well-played game. We tried to create some turnovers and pressure them. To some extent, we had some success but they just shot the ball really well and made plays when they needed to. They answered every run we tried to muster up. They played well and my hat is off to them."

On Eleia Roddy getting in foul trouble ...
"It was just difficult for her to get into rhythm. In the second half, when she got a fourth foul on a screen and roll play I think she was really out of sorts as far as what she can accomplish in the game. Obviously, we need her to play a lot smarter defensively and not get in foul trouble."

On Vanderbilt's performance ...
"Vanderbilt has a nice combination of players that are well coached and highly skilled. They can get late into the shot clock and still make plays. Christina Wirth is one of the most tremendous players in this conference and has been for four years. She made big shot after big shot. We let Merideth Marsh get loose on the three-point line. We had some breakdowns in the first half and I thought the last four minutes was a killer for us. We were right there with them and we made mental errors that caused them to get a seven-point lead at the half."

On if Kentucky being tired at the end of the game was a huge factor ...
"I didn't get a sense that we had run out of gas. They've been playing awfully hard. We addressed that in practice. We try to practice really hard and we understand where we are with our rotations. We have kids that play a lot of minutes in the game, and that is the reality of it. I'm sure there are periods in the game where they get tired. I don't know if being tired was a huge factor because that would take away from what Vanderbilt did today."

On if Kentucky would have taken the lead, would it have turned the momentum of the game ...
"I think momentum for our team is important. Getting the lead could give us a little boost there. We tried awfully hard to make some plays to get back in it. We hung with them and kept answering and that's the thing that's so good about Vanderbilt is that they made big plays when they needed to. A lead would have given our team a lift."

On what he will take away from this game ...
"As you look at the positives, you have to look at the turnovers we were able to create and that's something that is important for us to continue to do. Forty-two percent doesn't look too good when your opponent shoots 64 percent. It seems to me that we miss a lot of easy shots. Victoria Dunlap was one for seven in the first half. We just have to find a way to get tougher mentally. We'll go back and look at the tape. We'll work hard and stay encouraged. We have a game on Thursday that we need to get ready for and go win."

Kentucky Players

Victoria Dunlap #34

On coming back in the second half...
"I think when we came back and tied the game there was a lot of team energy and everybody was very excited. We wanted to stop them when we came back on the floor, but when we didn't do that. I think it got in our heads. We thought about being tired instead of playing the game."

On playing more minutes in today's game...
"I was tired, but that's part of the game. Things happen and you might have to step up and play for one of your teammates. You have to be mentally prepared to play as many minutes as you can. You can't think about being tired or playing for 40 minutes."

Amani Franklin #25

On coming back in the second half...
"When we tied the game, everybody was pumped and we knew we were still in the game. We didn't want to let up but we got mentally unfocused for the last few minutes. We can't do that, especially with the players we have. We know we are going to be playing a lot of minutes so we can't let up on the game."

On what difference having the lead would have had...
"I think it would have made a difference. If we had taken the lead I think we would have been able to pull away. We wouldn't have thought about being tired. When we were down we were getting frustrated and became unfocused. We can't do that."

On Vanderbilt using the shot clock...
"It's very frustrating. It's tough to play defense for 25 seconds and then have them make a shot in the last five seconds. Another problem was we were fouling them too much. Some of our starters were in foul trouble in the first half. We can't have that because we have to play a lot of minutes. We have to come out ready to play on all cylinders."

Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb

On Eleia Roddy's foul trouble ...
"I think that we wanted to go at them in the post knowing that their two post players were their leading scorers and they lead the league in rebounding. We knew that they were a big part of their game but we also have two very good post players that are a big part of our game. We would have gone to them anyway so it was a big match up for us in that way. We didn't really do anything special, just focused on attacking them a little more. Hannah did a great job of pump faking and getting them into the air and not letting them rush her shot, after her first few shots."

On what was Vanderbilt's key down the stretch ...
"We have been working really hard at keeping our composure when things don't go our way and always keep fighting back. That is what we worked hard on in practice before coming here and after our loss. All we have been talking about is how do we recover and fight back when things don't go well and not to hang our heads when we make mistakes. That is hard to do when you really care and have good kids but they responded really well in practice, probably the best I have ever had a team respond after a loss. I think that they built confidence on that and they knew that they could handle what I threw them at practice and I threw a lot at them and they handled it well. When Kentucky threw something at them I think they felt confident that they could handle it."

On what they didn't do well on Thursday against Mississippi State but did do well tonight ...
"They kept their composure and didn't rush things. Mississippi State was very physical and athletic just like Kentucky especially inside. Against them (Mississippi State) we rushed things. Today I think that we took our time more and showed more discipline on offensive. We had 27 turnovers against Mississippi State and we had 23 tonight so we can call that an improvement I think. For us though that is not where we want to be but at the same time we did a lot better handling the pressure and executing so that is why we shot the ball better from the field because we took better shots."

Vanderbilt Players

#34, G/F, Sr., Christina Wirth

On what went on in the huddle after Kentucky tied the game late ...
"We had composure and kept things together. In timeouts we kept looking at each other and saying hey we have to refuse to lose. I think that at that point when the game is winding down people are tired and we decided that we were going to out work them and keep making plays. We decided that we were going to really buckle down on defense and make stops and it was important because I don't think that we played like that in our last game because when we said we were going to get a stop it was more 50-50 if we were going to or not."

#15, F, So., Hannah Tuomi

On playing in the SEC ...
"Playing in the SEC every team is going to play hard and not roll over and let the other team win. Every team that we play we always have to come out and be ready to win and play as hard as we can. I like playing in this league because it is very competitive."