Kentucky-Georgia Postgame Quotes

Feb. 11, 2010

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement ...

"That was a hard fought victory that our team earned tonight. We played outstanding defense and worked extremely hard defensively. We were able to overcome a very poor offensive showing in the first half to grind out a crucial victory for us. I am proud of the players who, on nights that you are not playing their best, can still come out with a win. It gets you excited as a coach. I am happy that we grinded it out and that was a really tough SEC basketball game there."

On having a good defense being a good offense ...

"Fortunately, we were able to generate a lot of turnovers and score off of those. We go into a game with a goal to force 25 turnovers and score 25 points off turnovers. We would like to score one point for every turnover and we fell a little short tonight, according to the stat sheet. But, the 22 points that we did create off turnovers was crucial in a game where buckets were hard to come by."

On what this win for Kentucky does for them in the SEC standings ...

"Where we are right now, there is not a lot of margin for error. We need to continue to win and in the first half I was a little worked up because I thought that defensively we could get the job done. But if you let Georgia hang around, they are talented enough and tough enough and been through the battles for so long that it concerns you. To be able to come out on top is huge because we did not play our best tonight."

On Victoria's performance tonight, especially her struggles on the offensive end ...

"I don't think that she lacked effort. It was just one of those tough nights. Early on I thought that she was rushing, but then she just started to miss some shots that would not go in. I am not going to get really worried about it. She battled hard and came up with some crucial boards. This was not a game where it looked like anybody was going to score a bunch of points. Thirteen points in this game was pretty good."

On if Georgia's length bothered UK any ...

"The first game it did and with (Angel) Robinson being out, I thought that she would be a little bit more comfortable, but she seemed uncomfortable again. Sometimes you get in games where the matchups are not great and for whatever reason she was not able to have a big night offensively. The thing about Victoria (Dunlap) is that she impacts the game in so many ways that you are still fortunate to have her. She played excellent defense again and put a lot of pressure on the other team to score points. All in all, it was a pretty good night. Most nights she is going to make those buckets that she missed."

On the crowd ...

"They were great and very energetic. They gave us great energy when we needed it. This was a tough game to stay energetic in because it was sloppy at times and physical at times. Boy, they came on in the second half there and really gave us a lift. I cannot say enough about how much I appreciate having a chance to be a coach here with such passionate fans. I know that our players appreciate it too. They were amazing tonight."

On what it says that the team didn't play their best and still came away with a win ...

"I think that it speaks to our solid play on the defensive end. I thought Georgia had a hard time getting into offenses and getting easy buckets. They had to really earn them. It is comforting on one level that you can kind of grind out a game with your defense, but this was a huge win just because of where we are right now. The players have continued to take advantage of an opportunity and we are in the thick of this race. We need to stay humble and hungry and keep working."

On Amani Franklin's play tonight ...

"I thought that she made a key bucket when we were really struggling. She went and got an offensive rebound and put in an easy shot and sometimes she doesn't finish those easy ones. We were really struggling at that time and there are small plays in the game that give you a spark and that was one. Then just her play tonight on the boards and toughness on defense (was great). Several games here you look at the stat sheet and she has around nine rebounds and that is what we need from her. I am really happy for Amani Franklin and she was happy after the game."

On A'dia Mathies ...

"It was just another terrific performance for her in a game where points were hard to come by. She had 15 points tonight and played tough defense with deflections and steals. We are just always excited to get a win and A'dia is helping us do that."

Kentucky Players

#34 Victoria Dunlap

On how teamwork has helped this season...

"When I have an off night and am not doing my best, my teammates can lift me and the rest of the team up, that shows our teamwork. If I'm not making shots and I'm getting frustrated, other people step up and help. A'dia (Matheis) and Amani (Franklin) come in and get rebounds and make shots that really help me and the team. They made it happen and helped us get the win tonight."

On getting frustrated when shots were not falling...

"I tried not to let it get to me. In the first half I might have been rushing my shots and getting off balance. In the second half my shots were rolling in and rolling out. I wanted to get down on myself, but the coaches kept telling me to stay up and get back on defense. That is what I tried to do."

On playing a physical game tonight against Georgia...

"It was pretty physical with a lot of elbows, especially in the post. The post players that they have were getting on the boards. That is something we knew and we just had to play through it. It was exactly the same as the last time we played this team, earlier in the season. We expect it to get worse as we get deeper and deeper in SEC play."

On the excitement of this season...

"It has been great. We get on this run, we win games, we are ranked and we want to settle down and not have to worry about playing all the time. Coach (Mitchell) does not let us think that way. He reminds us that we have to go hard every day in practice and play with enthusiasm. We cannot think we are going to just win games because we are a ranked Kentucky team. We have to play each game just as hard."

On battling to win a low scoring game...

"I think it was good for us. As a team, we were able to attack and not settle for certain shots. We got used to other teams hitting us and taking contact. Our mentality allows us to stay focused on the game."

#1 A'dia Mathies

On preparing and playing defense against Georgia...

"I worked on my defensive fundamentals. Coach (Mitchell) does not let a day of practice go by where we do not work on defense. It sticks in our heads. I tried to make everything as difficult as I could for them because I knew they were all great players. I went out there and tried to play hard."

On feeling more confident...

"Coach (Mitchell) has stressed to me to be more aggressive. He is not really satisfied with me being passive anymore. He wants me to attack. I think when I do it helps my teammates, if it is a shot I make or getting a steal. Anything to help our team win is what I am going to do."

#25 Amani Franklin

On the excitement of this season...

"It feels awesome. Lydia (Watkins) and I are the only seniors on the team and we have been through it all. We have been to three straight NIT tournaments and we have been waiting for this kind of season. It is great that we are on a roll this season."

On focusing on rebounding...

"Georgia killed us last time on the boards. All week our emphasis was on rebounding and getting our bodies on people. We tried to go out there and do that tonight. We tried to make some plays and get some steals. Our game starts with our defense. We might not have a good shooting night. With defense comes some offense."

On her last chance at beating Georgia, her home state school...

"It made it a little bit sweeter. It was hard to lose to them by one point, it was heartbreaking. We really thought we should have won that game. We practiced and worked on rebounding because that is where they beat us last time. We were able to come back tonight and get the win. I am so glad."

Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers

On Kentucky 's play ...

"When they're playing the way they want (to), they're very good and they have been able to do that -- which is credit to them and their coaches -- for most of the year."

On how Kentucky's defense took them out of the game ...

"Well, I think it's more of a question of what we do that takes us out of our game. What we do is force too much with plays and we do too much beneath the table in terms of layups. Unfortunately, that's something we've been consistent with."

On Georgia 's defense ...

"Defensively, we played great. I would have liked for us to have rebounded a little better. I think you're talking about two (Top 25) teams to some extent again. I recognize what happened in the last five minutes of the game and understand that that is an important five minutes, but I think for the most part both teams kind of forced their will a little bit defensively. In that regard we probably played like two ranked teams. I feel like we accomplished a lot of what we wanted to do. They scored 21 field goals; we scored 19, there's not a great separation there. Where it separates is at the three and the free throw line, but defensively I thought both teams played like top 20 teams."