Women's Basketball
InteractiveTwitterFacebook
Kentucky-South Carolina Postgame Quotes




Feb. 20, 2014

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening statement …
“Tough game for us tonight. We ran into a really, really tough opponent, extremely talented, plays real hard. They were tough defensively, tough offensively, really active on the boards and we got whipped tonight. Really tough result for us so we have to find a way to get our tenacity back between now and Sunday. We didn’t compete nearly as hard as South Carolina and that’s what makes tonight so disappointing.”

On Makayla Epps’ game tonight …
“She played well. She was able to use her size and strength to make some plays in transitions that were available to us. I thought she played with some good tempo offensively. She’s a talented player and she’ll keep getting better. She had a really good night.”

On what changed in the second half …
“We were in a zone defense that we don’t work on very much and they finally found some holes there. You had a kid like Khadijah Sessions, who’s a 27 percent 3-point shooter, we finally kind of got the lane clogged up, and then they started making 3’s. It was just a great performance by South Carolina and they did what they had to do to win the game. We just didn’t make nearly enough plays to win so you have to give them credit.”

On being outrebounded …
“That’s one thing, they’re just so big and aggressive. Aleighsa Welch has got to be the player (of the year) in our league. She’s just really, really talented. We didn’t compete hard enough. When you go up against a talented team like that, you’ve got to compete really hard. I thought when we started going through an offensive drought midway through the first half, I thought it really affected our energy level and out competitiveness and you just can’t let that happen. There’s no excuse for that and as coaches and players we’ve got to do a much better job than we did there.

On what he has to do to make sure the loss doesn’t affect Sunday’s game …
“Well, you just have to stay really disciplined and really focused, let go of this result and try and find out ways to address meaningful things that will actually impact the game so that the score of this game will not impact Sunday’s game unless we come in down tomorrow, and defeated and discouraged. That’s the easy thing to do here. It was a really, really tough night but this is where you have to show some leadership and you have to show some toughness and you have to bounce back and try and learn whatever lessons you can and buckle up and play real hard on Sunday. But, it’s all in how you approach it and it won’t be easy, but we’ll have to bounce back.”

On what they will work on in practice tomorrow …
“We’ll need to work on defensive fundamentals and toughness there. We need to really, really work hard and sharpen up our defense.” 

On Bria Goss’ game before she went out with a leg cramp…
“I thought Bria did some good things early in the half. She got to the rim, missed a couple layups, but I thought it was just more of a collective effort tonight. We weren’t very good, none of us. We just have to come back tomorrow and see if we can get better.”

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#0 Jennifer O’Neill, Junior, PG

On trying to find the lane…
“I was just trying to make plays. It did not matter whether it was a jump shot or through the lane. I was just trying to make plays.”

On not letting this game affect the rest of the season…
“Just getting back to practice and working on our rebounding. We got out rebounded by 25. We have to make sure this does not happen again.”

On lack of toughness…
“Toughness was definitely lacking. We didn’t have enough people going to the boards. I don’t think enough people wanted to grab rebounds. It is something that we have to learn from. We have practice tomorrow and a game Sunday, and we will be a better rebounding team than that.”

#25 Makayla Epps, Freshman, G

On if she felt like this was her breakout game…
“Totally a breakout game.  I looked up at the scoreboard once and I was like we are down 20, it can’t get any worse, so we just fight to the finish. Four minutes to go, the last media time out, he (Coach Mitchell) was like ‘just go finish the game, keep playing hard, keep playing hard.’ That is what I was trying to do just keep attacking and keep everyone in it, mentally and physically. Just fight to the finish.”

On how they plan to stay focused the rest of the season…
“I mean we’ve been here before, it’s not like this is our first loss. We have been in this position before. We know what we are capable of. All the players and all the coaches know what we are capable of. So we have to look forward to Sunday when we have Texas A&M. Nobody says we can’t go out there and beat them. We are looking for a bounce back.”

South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley

On the ease in getting the ball to the rim …
“I think we gave Kentucky a taste of its own medicine. They like to push the ball and get the ball into the paint. Sometimes when that is your strength, it is also your weakness. We wanted to make sure we were equally as aggressive getting the ball to the paint, whether that was through our post players or through penetration.”

On the rebounding differential …
“I’m just as surprised as you are. I think Kentucky shot a lot of shots. They shot a lot of jump shots. Fortunately, for us, we were in a position where we could get the rebound. I thought (it was) a great team effort in making sure (we only gave them) one shot. The rebound is one of our keys. We want to outrebound them. If we can do that, it puts us in a great position to win.”

On how this game ranks compared to others this season …
“Considering that we’ve never won here. You look at the scoring margin, you look at the rebounding margin—I thought we played a complete game on both sides of the basketball. That includes being able to take the couple of hits that Kentucky threw at us in the first half and the second half when they went on runs and (Jennifer) O’Neill got hot. I think we responded like a team that had been there before. We’ve got an important road win.”

On if she saw this season coming …
“I didn’t, honestly. What happened (was) all of our players sacrificed and committed to staying in the summer. We were able to work with them all summer long. Not only on the basketball court. The team chemistry was formed during that time. It had to be formed during that time because we lost three starters—three seniors that played significant minutes for us last year. We didn’t know how people’s roles would change and how they would acclimate to those roles. They’re a pretty strong team. They’re a pretty impressive team. Our coaching staff is thrilled every day to go into practice and be able to make adjustments and (know) they are able to handle those adjustments. It’s been a pretty special season. Hopefully we can continue it.”

South Carolina Student-Athletes

#24 Aleighsa Welch, F

On the big road win….
“We watched film on the previous game so we knew what defensive adjustments we had to make. I think we all did an excellent job of making the necessary adjustments to have such a complete game like this. Our guards and posts did a great job. I just think it was a great total team effort and those adjustments paid off.”

On out rebounding Kentucky…
“We emphasize boxing out. That is one thing that we really knew we had to do and also secure the rebounds. I think we did a great job of taking our defensive assignments, boxing out when the shot went up, we communicated, we were able to secure rebounds and were able to get out in transition. So I don’t think we really noticed in the heat of the game that was the rebounding margin. I think it just pays off to us working hard in practice.”

On adjustments made when UK cut the lead to 11…
“We tried to calm down, they were really pushing the tempo, trying to get up a lot of very quick shots. So we just wanted to slow the tempo of the game down. We knew that we were still ahead and that we could keep doing the same things we did to get that lead. Calm everybody down and at the timeout, we just talked about how we were still in control of this game. We did a great job and people just made plays. Khadijah (Sessions) hit shots, Tiffany (Mitchell) hit shots and Elem (Ibiam) got it down low, they just did a great job of stretching that lead out and we were able to maintain it.”

#33 Elem Ibiam, C

On winning the low post battles…
“Just to keep working, that was the main thing for us to just keep working even if we are not getting the ball. We know that our guards see us and our perimeter players see us so as long as we are working we know that it will come throughout the night.”

On how much depth USC has…
“It was just a full team effort. We have a lot of pieces on our team that can come in and contribute. At halftime, we are still into the game; we are not looking at the scoreboard at that time. Just to keep working and everyone come in and does their part.”


 

 

Interactive UK Tube - Now Playing Here