Kentucky-LSU Postgame Quotes

Feb. 13, 2011

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell Quotes

Opening Statement...
“This was a very hard-fought win. Great performance there the last couple of possessions and a great stop by our kids on a day where we didn’t do a whole lot of things right at times. We hung in there and it was a grind-it-out type of game. We had a great defensive stop and a lot of poise there at the end of the game to score the winning basket. (I’m) very, very happy to earn a tough win over a tough opponent.”

On the physicality of the game from start to finish...
“It was very physical. If you look at a lot of LSU’s games, they are tough and make it so difficult to score if you are not making perimeter shots. Obviously we did not make perimeter shots today very well, so if you open them up they just get tougher and tougher in the paint. There was not a lot of easy looks today, so when you have a day like this you just have to try to find a way to win. This certainly is not our best offensive performance, but LSU had a lot to do with that. It was a tough game. We fouled a lot, we had a little bit of momentum and fouled way too much there on the line. That was our fault. We just didn’t have a good stance and weren’t using our fundamentals, but it was a good win for us.”

On A’dia’s (Mathies) shooting performance in the second half and her assist on the last play...
“In the second half she stepped up and did some great things. She made some shots, made some plays defensively and I just thought she had a very good day. The last play we had not shown that to them yet. She is who you want to have the ball in her hands and see if she can break free, set a couple of ball screens. The kids did a good job. A’dia (Mathies) really kept her poise. We wanted to take the last shot and might possibly have time for a rebound.”

On the team winning this game even though they are not playing in their “style” of play...
“Well, we needed to today because LSU did a great job in transition defense. You would see three or four purple jerseys hustling back. We just couldn’t get anything in the transition, so we just had to grind it out at half court. It was very ugly at times but this was a big win, counts like just the rest of them, and we will be very happy at the end of the year to see that we won this game, 49-47.”

On how important this win is with the next two games being in the road...
“I just thought today was terribly important. We played so bad Thursday night that I just didn’t talk to the players about it because they had to try to get their efforts and their attitude right, but going into the game it was very, very important and we needed this win badly.”

On the importance of the crowd in this game...
“I don’t know how much they enjoyed the game because of how tough it was, but I am really appreciative towards them. They were huge, especially there in the second half. It was so easy to get discouraged today because the offense was so poor, but when we made a few plays and the crowd really got up. LSU had to call a few timeouts and all those little things factored in to help us win. It was a wonderful crowd today. We walked out there and the place was packed, so we really appreciate everyone coming out today.”

On if he called a new play that LSU had not seen yet at the end of the game...
“Yes, we called that after LSU’s timeout at 12 seconds. We came out of the timeout and Victoria (Dunlap) got a great look, and it went about a foot further so we had to go out and guard. At 12 seconds, we could switch our defense and get a good defensive play in there and then we made our offensive call. That was some great execution by the kids. We kept our poise down the stretch which also helped.”

On the significance of beating a great coach like Van Chancellor...
“He is a great coach. He has been a great influence on me and my career I think a lot of him. I just think that their players competed extremely hard on a day where neither team could get into a rhythm offensively, but I think that is a credit to both defenses. It is a significant win for us and Coach Chancellor is one of the all-time greats.”

On the importance of Brittany Henderson’s game-winning shot and it helping with her confidence...
“I believe that kid is sky-high right now. She made a great shot. Anybody that watched the game probably wasn’t sure the ball was going to go in the way we were shooting today, but I am sure everyone in Memorial was holding their breath, hoping it would go in. She showed a lot of poise there to catch it and bring it down which is something we work on all the time and it served her well. She did a fantastic job and that was a great pass by A’dia (Mathies).”

Kentucky Players

#40 Brittany Henderson, F

On if she was expecting the ball at the end of the play...
“Yeah, at the end, I saw where (LSU) hedged hard, and I knew that I was going to be open.”

On what she said to herself before shooting the final basket...
“Just put it in the basket and don’t miss it. That was it.”

On her thoughts after the ball went through the basket to win the game...
“Yeah, it kind of crawled around a little bit there. It didn’t go in immediately. Then it went in and I was excited and jumping around. We got the win.”

#1 A’dia Mathies, G

On the final play...
“Well, (Coach Mitchell) called a play and we ran it. I saw two of the LSU players come to me, and I went up for a shot, and then I saw (Brittany Henderson) flash my vision with the bright pink and I just threw it and she made the lay-up.”

On if the final play was designed for her to score...
“Yes. Well, it was for me to create and that’s just what I did.”

On the style of play being different than her usual type...
“It is sometimes. They (LSU) did a good job though on playing our motion. We eventually got more movement and we got some shots that we wanted to get. The shots weren’t falling at first, but we ended up bouncing back.”

#34 Victoria Dunlap, F

On her view of the final play...
“Like (Brittany Henderson) said, it was bouncing a little bit. I was on the other side waiting for the tip, but I saw it bounce in. I was like ‘yes!’ but at the same time, don’t let them throw long and get a lay-up or something like that.”

On the importance of the win...
“We needed it for ourselves just to know we can come out and play hard. The last game we played, we definitely didn’t show our full potential. Today we did better at it and just for us to know we can win in rough times and get it together (is important).”

LSU Head Coach Van Chancellor

Opening statement...
“For two days we had lined up in a certain formation - actually it’s called Kentucky. I got it from Joe B. Hall, I’ve been running it ever since - to beat a man-press. We’ve been running it for years. Got us in it and we ran it most of the night, and really ran it good, but for some reason with about four minutes to go we took it upon ourselves to go do something else. And two little plays right in there hurt us, and then we couldn’t make a layup. Forget the turnovers. They did a great job. They did a great job of pressuring us, but if you’re going to hold Kentucky to 49 points you think you ought to win the game. But we couldn’t make a layup, we missed five layups with nobody around us. That was a great play they ran at the end but that wasn’t the play that beat us. We lost the game within the game. Our last three possessions we had two turnovers and a missed layup. That’s hard to win doing that.”

On how much this game hurts as they move forward...
“It hurts as much as anything because our team needs it. We’ve dug ourselves in a hole and I thought this would be a great opportunity to get out of the hole. This is tough right here, really tough. When I thought, sure we would catch Kentucky after losing to South Carolina, I thought they would just be unbelievable tonight and we had about 10 chances to win the game, but give them credit they sunk in. Matthew (Mitchell) went to the little screen-and-roll play and just for about four minutes we didn’t defend it very well between (Victoria) Dunlap and (A’dia) Mathies and that really hurt us.”

On his relationship with UK head coach Matthew Mitchell...
“I like Matthew (Mitchell). He does a great job here. He’s done a wonderful job running this program, great guy. He’s a really good guy, too. A lot of people in coaching aren’t necessarily good people, he is. I don’t mean that bad, but that’s the way it is.”

LSU Players

#55 LaSondra Barrett, F

On the 3-pointer she made in the corner to cap off LSU’s comeback and her feelings at that point...
“It was a momentum swing. It was a big-time shot and what we needed. We were getting a lot of free throws but we weren’t getting field goals. It gave our bench a lift. It’s hard with this Kentucky crowd to get some kind of momentum going, but that sparked our team and made us stay in the game and gave us a little hope.”

On where she was and what she saw on Kentucky’s game-winning shot with 1.1 seconds remaining...
“I was thinking (A’dia) Mathies. She had been killing us the last couple plays on the ball screens. She just made a great pass. We just tried to hedge on that ball screen, our rotation was late, but that’s not what lost the game for us. If you look at our turnovers, our breakdowns and execution, we’ve been working on the press this entire week and a lack of execution, especially at the end, is what lost the game, not the last play.”