Women's Basketball
InteractiveTwitterFacebook
Syracuse-Chattanooga Postgame Quotes




March 22, 2014

Box Score |  Notes

Quentin Hillsman, Syracuse, Head Coach:

Opening statement …

“Obviously, we’re very happy with the win. I think coming into the game, we knew exactly what we had to do to win the ballgame. We knew we really had to rebound the basketball. We knew we would have to make shots, rotate on defense and really box out. I thought we did a good job of doing that in this game. Overall, I thought that (Chattanooga) ran a really good offense and they put us in areas that would hurt the zone, in the short corner and in the high post. I thought in the first half we didn’t do a good job of getting in the low post. In the second half, we got to the high post and got some good traps in the short corner and we threw the ball back out. I thought that was the key to the second half. Overall, it was a nice win. We talk about shooting the ball in the 30 percents. High 20s, low 30s. Not every basketball game you’re going to shoot a great percentage, but those numbers are good. I thought that was the key to the game for us. I thought that when we wanted to go inside, Shakeya (Leary) followed the gameplan. We knew that they would play behind the post because there was good opportunity behind the post. We were also looking to get some opportunities at the rim and that’s what we did. We just executed our gameplan and you have to give our kids a lot of credit. They really fought, really played tough, and obviously with Brittney (Sykes) going down, that could have been a time for them to really nose dive, and they responded, played hard, fought and those kids finished the game for us.”

On the condition of Brittney Sykes …

“It’s a lower-body injury. We have no clue. It’s one of those things where you just go and hope the best for this kid. We hope she’s OK. Right now, she’s back there smiling and texting, so maybe she’s alright. So, that’s a good thing. We’ll find out later.”


 

 

On the evaluation procedure of Brittney Sykes …

“I have no idea. Honestly, we were back there and the game was over and when these things happen I stay away from the trainers and the doctors because you just let them do their job. I just walked back there in the training room and sat with her on the training table and just talked and drank a Coke Zero, just like any other postgame. I don’t know exactly what the procedure is from this point forward. We’re all hoping for the same thing. Hoping for the best.”

On what he told Brittany Sykes after she went down with the injury …

“I told her that we’re not here without you. I told her that you’re the reason why we’re here and no matter what the outcome of the situation is – we thank you for us being here. There have been games where she has been carrying us. That was really just to clam her down and let her know that everything is going to be OK and that we have the best care for her and just relax and lets get back there and find out what’s going on.”

Syracuse Student-Athletes

Brianna Butler, Syracuse, Guard:

On if she’s worried about fatigue after playing 37 minutes today in preparation for UK on Monday…

“During practice we go hard every day and I think that’s preparation for me playing in these games and playing that amount of minutes, so I don’t think it will be too much of a problem going into our next game against Kentucky.”

On the size advantage over Chattanooga…

“I just think that we were able to play hard and that was one of the main things that carried over for us. We had Shakeya (Leary) and Briana Day who had a really great game today and then you had Brittney (Sykes) who was attacking the goal and I think that was one of the main things for us today.”

On if the team got together after seeing Brittney Sykes go down with an injury…

“As soon as you see a great player like Brittney Sykes go down, we were definitely a little shook and we immediately brought (the team) together and said a prayer for her. We just came out with the mindset that we have to win this game for Brittney and everyone needs to step up the intensity and go hard because every possession mattered. We definitely had to step it up on defense for her.”

On winning despite shooting a low percentage…

“We just weren’t able to knock shots down at that point. We were getting good looks at the time, we just weren’t able to convert that into points, so I think that was an issue for us, but we were able to pick it up on the defensive end and get rebounds which took place of the missed shots.”

On what goes through their mind when shots aren’t falling…

“Coach Q (Hillsman) encourages us even if we’re having an off shooting night to keep putting them up because they’re going to fall. We just needed everyone to crash and get the rebounds and put it back up and keep playing hard and fight through our missed shots. Everyone is going to miss but it’s the people who continue to play hard that make a difference.”

On what the team will do tonight…

“I think this win was a great one for us and we need to go back to the hotel and relax our bodies but also focus on the next game because it’s definitely a business trip, so we need to have that mindset going into our next game and preparing for Kentucky.”

On who will fill in for Brittney Sykes if she can’t play…

“I definitely think that with Brittney going down, we only know as much as you guys do at this point, but we definitely have to stay strong as a team and pick it up intensity-wise and pick up the slack if she does or does not return. I just think we need to continue to play hard and keep doing what we do. It’s gotten us this far.”

Shakeya Leary, Syracuse, Center

On the size advantage over Chattanooga…

“We had good size inside and I think we played really well. Brianna (Butler) is a great, long, athletic player and also Phylesha (Bullard) is a great, athletic player, so I think we did a good job with that.”

On the first NCAA Tournament win in program history…

“This means a lot, not only for me, but it’s about the school and the program. I think Coach Q did a great job this season preparing us for that by putting us through tough situations in practice. It just carried over, so I think this is amazing and I’m just excited.”

On Kentucky…

“UK is a great team. They have a big inside presence, as well as outside. We’re just going to come out here and play hard and compete against them.”

Jim Foster, Chattanooga, Head Coach:

On things that went wrong in the game …

“This was a very winnable game and we didn’t do things that we needed to do to win. You have to make foul shots in games like this and you have to win X-number of races for loose balls. Some you’re going to lose because there’s a quickness factor involved, but if you don’t go for every one of them, you’re not going to win enough of them.”

On what the team could’ve done differently …

“You have to do little things. You have to make foul shots. You have to have five people on the floor who want to score. You got some players that are maybe afraid against the zone with their skillset, instead of attacking it and making it work. If you’re not a great shooter, you can get in the gaps. If you’re not a great shooter, you can be a great offensive rebounder. You can do little thins and that’s the kind of thing that’s necessary to take another step. When you have a player like Taylor, you can’t get used to a player making the big shots or making the big plays and assuming that it’s her responsibility. That’s a mentality that they will continue to be worked on. It’s a team game and if you help, someone’s got to help you. That’s the mentality we are striving for.”

On playing against a zone defense …

“If they’re extended in another area, a couple things, Alex can now go by them and get into the seam or gaps of the zone and make a play or because they’re hugging her, your opportunities are a lot greater where you are. There zone is a little distorted now because they’re in another direction. Ball fakes are a marvelous thing against a zone.”

On if Syracuse’s length affected them ...

“No, x numbers of rebounds maybe, but I don’t think that’s a large x.”

On if Sykes injury impacted the game …

“I never think that that’s a factor in a game because other players, somebody else comes in the game and makes a play. Butler decided to get more aggressive because Sykes wasn’t there. Things like that can have a long term effect, but in short term, people pick up.

Chattanooga Student-Athletes

Faith Dupree, Chattanooga, Forward

On their performance against Syracuse …

“Our effort on loose balls, our effort on rebounding did not compete with [Syracuse] in those aspects of the game. It didn’t help us. We didn’t put our effort in and therefore we didn’t get anything good out of it.”

On Syracuse outrebounding them …

“The effort, the loose rebounds that either team could’ve gotten, they seemed to have gotten all of those or most of those and just the will to get it. I think they wanted it more than we did. Me personally, that happened to me a few times and she outrebounded me when I could’ve gotten the loose ball. Things like that happened throughout the whole game and it showed on the scoreboard.”

Taylor Hall, Chattanooga, Forward

On what happened in the game …

“Well losing is never fun, but it’s even more frustrating whenever it’s things such as missed free throws, no getting rebounds, things that we should be able to control each day and that’s makes it a little bit harder to swallow, I guess. Our goal has been to put 40 minutes together the entire year and once again we didn’t do that this game and you can’t have five minutes of lackadaisical effort or something like that and expect to go on in this tournament.”

On Syracuse’s length and athleticism …

“I think that’s why it’s important to get those SEC games and all those games early in the season because you don’t see that in the So-Con (Southern Conference). You have a couple athletic people, but as a whole there’s no team that presents that type of challenge. That did affect us, just kind of not being used to it and rushing, like you said. They’re very athletic and that definitely, I guess, rushed us at times.”

Interactive UK Tube - Now Playing Here