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Kentucky-LSU Postgame Quotes




Jan. 27, 2013

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement …
"That was a great win for the Wildcats today. They showed a lot of determination and a lot of tenacity and grit to win that one. That was a difficult ballgame to win and I couldn't be happier for our players. They gave great effort today."

On Azia Bishop saying she hadn't been practicing well …
"That is very accurate. I don't even know if I can expound on that anymore. It has just been a disaster the last few days. Really happy that she played that way, that is how we need her to play. You could see today why I might be frustrated when she doesn't practice well and isn't engaged. She didn't play that way Thursday night and that really could have helped us Thursday night. We will celebrate this victory and her good performance today. It just puts her in a tough spot now because we all see what she can do and she just has to come back and try to become a dependable player for us. If she does, it will transform our basketball team."

On Azia Bishop's play before getting injured and if he worried she wouldn't come back from that …
"I think with Azia sometimes her mentality is a bit fragile. She gets caught up in things that aren't important and worried about different things instead of just trying to take it one practice at a time and one practice segment at a time. She just gets out of sorts and the injury with the splint I think she worried about, 'Can I catch?' instead of just catching the ball and playing. Those kinds of things she gets distracted. Today was unexpected from her. I did not expect that kind of performance, but I am happy that we got it and I just try to tell all the players that we needed to be really encouraged before the game started. We needed to have a great attitude. I thought that she played with the kind of grit and tenacity that we need all of our players to play with."

On Janee Thompson's play late in the game and her increased playing time Sunday …
"The thing with Janee, again, another player that has not been dependable because of practice. These are really high-level games and they are really important and possessions are important. She has had a really rough time as well since the Florida game. So, she has tried to work her way back. She has had a really tough few weeks and it's been no picnic for her at all. We have been really tough on her. But what she gives you and what we needed desperately in this game was someone that could make some decisions against the zone and someone that had the courage (to create opportunities.) You don't get a lot of opportunities against LSU and when you do you have to punch a gap, you have to shoot a shot and make a pass. She is a very talented basketball player in that regard. She can make plays. She is a playmaker and she made several today. So, again, you can see her talent level and we just need her to become dependable as well."

On playing Janee Thompson and Jennifer O'Neill at the same time …
"In this game it was one of our better combinations because both of them can make 3s and both of them can make good decisions and both of them can push the tempo. That ended up, again, being an unexpected combination. I had thought a little bit about that combination, playing Janee and Jen together just because they are both shooting the ball so well in practice and they both can handle the ball. And decision making is a real premium in this game against LSU, they have a terrific defense."

On bouncing back from Thursday's loss …
"For whatever reason, and I have some thoughts on it, when you don't lose a lot maybe sometimes losses are harder to process. I just didn't have a good feeling about how we were processing the loss. We seemed to let it linger into practice on Friday. We weren't particularly energetic or peppy yesterday so I was very worried about the loss lingering. I knew this would be a difficult game, but some of the players -- like A'dia was very good in practice – there were several players that just the overall mood of the team wasn't that great. That's what this team has been really good at. This team's been a great practice team, they've taken care of business, they've been very energetic and it was an unusual two days for this particular team. It's such a long season you just go through it, so the lesson that we learned was even if you're not at you peak performance or you're not feeling the best about yourself you can still get your attitude right and beat a good team. I'm thrilled with this victory because I was very concerned coming into the game."

On having a week off before the next game …
"Hopefully we can refresh a little bit this week. We don't have the game looming on Thursday. We can get a bit of mental break where we can just spend time focused on some things that we can sharpen up this week without that game preparation. The players just need to take a deep breath here. They've done a fantastic job halfway through the schedule. They just need to get a little bit of rest mentally, physically and try to come back with a little pep in their step as we get ready for Georgia."

On playing zone defense for much of the game …
"It was the combination of who we needed on the floor for offense, and who we had on the floor for defense. I just felt like we needed to score to win the game. We weren't going to be able to grind it out possession after possession and get stops and it be in the 50s. I thought we needed to get in the 70s, and if we could get there I thought we could win. Just their personnel dictated what we were doing. They do a really good job against our pressure. (Adrienne) Webb is a great player in isolation. (Theresa) Plaisance is a great player in isolation. They were just running isolation plays, and nobody else was really involved. The zone forced them to get more people involved I thought, and that was really the thinking there. It's the most we've probably ever played continuously in a game, but I just thought it was our best chance to win. The players really did a good job in it."

On Samarie Walker's technical foul late in the game …
"I wasn't down there. I'm disappointed any time we don't behave with class. I don't want to ever get technical (fouls), but I just thought it needed to be cleared up a little bit quicker than it did. It just kind of lingered on down there. These kids are fighting for a victory, and both teams want to win. They said that Samarie reacted inappropriately. She said some things she shouldn't have said. We have to keep our composure, but I thought she was just trying to get out of that scrum. It was a big scrum down there under the goal. Those are some things that we have to try to learn from. Samarie felt bad about it, and I think she will do better next time keeping her composure. That's one of the things that happen in a long SEC season sometimes. Thank goodness it didn't hurt us."

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#1, A'dia Mathies, G

On how it feels to win a physical game coming after a loss...
"It's very satisfying just to be able to get a win in the SEC, especially against a team that beat us twice last year. Winning a close game down the stretch, like you said it was back and forth, and hitting a big three and winning by the margin at the end, I think it shows how much we work and are willing to play 40 minutes."

On shooting better today compared to the game against South Carolina...
"I think my teammates did a good job of setting me up. It's just you can't do good every game, so I just tried to bounce back, be somewhat aggressive and go out there and produce. I think my key thing was going out there and knocking down free throws which we really needed. Anyway I can produce and whatever I can do, that's what I'm going to do."

On the plan moving forward after the loss at South Carolina...
"We just wanted to get the lesson from the South Carolina game. We wanted to go out today and play as tough as we could the whole 40 minutes and not let the other team be more aggressive than us, and I think we did that today. I think we are going to use this to keep the momentum moving forward."

#50, Azia Bishop, F

On her performance today…
"I've had a couple rough practices and coach had got on me a lot and told me to come out, play hard and produce off the bench, so that was where my confidence came from."

On if she feels she is back to form from the wrist injury…
"Yeah, I have been practicing a lot with this and I am getting comfortable with it."

On if making the 3-pointer was a confidence boost for her…
"I knew I had to get it back and I was open so I had to take it. It gave me some confidence and I hit my next bucket."

On how satisfying her performance was…
"I had a lot of fun. It was great to come and produce for our team knowing that I had a couple rough weeks."

LSU Head Coach Nikki Caldwell

Opening Statement….
"We knew coming into this game that it was going to be a game about the team that was going to establish their transition game; a team that was going to get on the offensive glass and give themselves second and third opportunities. We felt that if we could disrupt Kentucky's transition game and keep them off the boards, that we could have a chance to win, but obviously the outcome was in their favor. They executed their game plan. They did an excellent job at pushing tempo and getting on the offensive glass. But I will say this about our team, we can take and learn from this game and move forward from it. We can take their bench play and how if their starters were struggling other players stepped up for Kentucky. We had a similar situation happen and we need to correct those mistakes so that we can be better for each other as a team."

On the last two minutes of the game
"They outscored us. During those last two minutes you could see a level of intensity rise in their ability to push the ball 94 feet. You saw players making plays down the stretch. Defensively we had opportunities but then we broke down and they were able to pick us apart. And then offensively, we've got to make lay ups. I just felt, having been a former player and now as a coach, there are teams and players that you can sense want it more, and I truly feel like Kentucky wanted it more than us."

On whether she believes the SEC as a whole is getting stronger for women's basketball…
"Yes. There are some very talented players in the SEC and having coached in the ACC, and now it's called the PAC-12, the level of competitive play across the board in the SEC is very strong. You've got teams, and we joke about this that we kind of beat up on each other, but we're a conference that has great coaches, great tradition and exceptional players."

On what she spoke about with her team at halftime…
"We talked about moving players around, not necessarily having [Danielle] Ballard or [Bianca] Lutley at the point. We brought Jeanne Kenney at the point. I thought that gave us a calmness. I felt like we played a little bit more controlled because we went to some of our quick hits and we got some good looks for [Theresa] Plaisance and Adrienne Webb. When you're able to have a player like Jeanne Kenney play the game with a lot of patience for us, it makes our offense look a lot better."

On whether she was surprised to see Kentucky use a zone defense…
"No, actually. Watching the South Carolina game, I was not surprised. I think in our conference you've got to be able to change it up and that was very smart of Coach [Matthew] Mitchell to change it up and give different looks. But, they still played their zone aggressively with man-to-man principles and they will extend their defense and press up on you so they still carry those same man-to-man principles into their zone."

LSU Student-Athlete

#55, Theresa Plaisance, F

On how UK's depth played a role in the outcome of the game …
"Their depth played a huge role. When you have a player coming off the bench scoring high double figures, it is always a plus. With their size inside, they could sub out their inside game, as well as their outside game. Their bench was just as good as their starters. That is always a plus when your bench can come in and keep up the tempo of the starting five."

On what changed with two minutes to go in the game when LSU had cut the score to four but UK managed pull away …
"At that part of the game, a lot of things were falling apart for us. We didn't stay mentally tough and mentally strong to finish out the game as well as we could have. Not finishing off our defensive execution with a rebound, coming down and not capitalizing on offensive end, and letting them get transition buckets helped them pull away towards the end of the game. At the end of the game, we just have to buckle down and play our game and not let the high tempo of the other team speed us up."


 

 

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