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Kentucky-Miami Postgame Quotes




Nov. 28, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening statement …
"Good win for us today. Really proud of the effort, especially in the second half. We did a good job and we were obviously able to extend our lead there in the second half. Great win for us. Miami was a really tough team, they made us work hard today. We had to earn that victory with a lot of hustle and good effort. Proud of the team and really happy to get all of those Fayette County students in here today, and the students from surrounding areas. It really made for a special atmosphere today. I hope they enjoyed themselves and we were sure appreciative of their presence. A good day for the Wildcats."

On the energy of Bernisha Pinkett
"We may have gotten an energy drink into her Gatorade bottle about 10 minutes into the game and it started kicking in and really got going. I thought she started off sluggish as several of our players did this morning. I talked to her about her effort and she needed to turn it around and to her credit, she really turned it around. She did all of that in probably the last 30 minutes of the game. Just a really productive day. As you could see there in the first half, if you allow Miami enough time to run their offense, they will burn you and make you pay for mistakes. We really needed Bernisha to play well today and I am really proud of her effort."

On the UK 22-7 turnover margin …
"So pleased with that. Really pleased with that. We turned it over on the first possession of the game and only six more the rest of the day. That is something we talked about before the game that was going to be key. We are always looking for a plus-10 in the turnover margin and that was a big key to the game."

On the opportunity to play a game early in the day…
"The opportunity is great because of the crowd. Not only our fans that come regularly to the game but these young kids that come in and get exposure to our campus. They are going to be able to go and see campus today, for some of them it may be for the first time. For us to come and play so well, maybe it left a good impression on them and they leave campus feeling real good about Kentucky. That is the best thing about today and that is why we had this game."

On Bernisha Pinkett's outside shooting …
"This is a strategy that is going to be employed by several teams. Samarie and DeNesha are really tough to guard one-on-one, a lot of our post players (are hard to guard) one-on-one, so you saw two and three people pinching in on our post players. It was tough to score inside, thank goodness we shot the ball well. We are going to have to shoot the ball well to force teams to come out and guard us and do that. We recruited Bernisha as a shooter, she always had a talent for that. I am not surprised when she makes shots. I am disappointed when she doesn't. That is a part of her game, something she needs to do. Three-of-six from the line was great today but what I loved was her energy on the boards. We didn't have great energy on the boards in the first half, except for her. That was a tough game. We found out right before the game that Jen (O'Neill) was not going to be able to go. Not sure if that threw us off a little bit but we were really sluggish to start the game. Bernisha's energy helped us get going in the right direction."

On the play of DeNesha Stallworth and Janee Thompson
"Better minutes for both of those players today. DeNesha started the game with some energy and I was really happy to see that. We need to go to work with her, she needs to shoot a little better percentage from where she is getting her shots. She is rushing a little bit, but productive minutes for her. She continues to improve in the hustle areas and her ability to block shots is really important. Really pleased with the progress she has made over the last couple of games. And Janee got really good minutes today for her. As you can tell she can really shoot the basketball. Her defense was better today. Still has a ways to go, but it was a good game for her as well."

On the injury to point guard Jennifer O'Neill
"Right at the end of practice yesterday, we had a sort of a bang-bang play. She was kicked right in her arch and rolled a little bit. But it is her surgically repaired foot. She had something similar to this last summer and she bounced back right from it. We think maybe it is a bone bruise. No swelling in the ankle or anything like that. That was good news this morning. She really had some good practices and had been playing well. I am real happy with Jen and her progress. She is just going to get better."

On opening up 5-1 and facing Louisville on Sunday …
"It is great to be 5-1. We are happy about that. I am happy with the progress that we are making. We have gotten better since the Baylor game. The players have practiced hard since then. I am still very optimistic about what we can become. Our plan will be to just to prepare as well as we can for a really tough Louisville team. (It's) very tough on defense to score against Louisville. They are always really prepared and have some really good players. It will be a huge challenge to go on the road against Louisville and earn a victory, so we will just try and prepare and go over and give a great effort. It will be a great atmosphere and a great game. We are looking forward to it."

On a 36-35 rebounding edge over Miami and if that's just the way the game went today …
"You have to give Miami a lot of credit. They had some better size then what we had seen the last few games. They certainly have some very smart players and they will have a really good season. Rebounding is always a concern if you are not doing it well. You just have to get players committed to it. In the first half we were just not committed to going to the offensive glass and that is a big part of us finally developing into the team that we think we can become, is getting really good on the offensive backboard. We clearly gave up too many offensive boards to Miami today. It is a concern and something we will need to improve between now and Sunday. And quite frankly for the year, we need to become a good rebounding team."

Kentucky Players

#1, A'dia Mathies, Sr., G

On committing seven total team turnovers…
"We just have put an emphasis on taking care of the ball every day in practice. We do drills to make sure we don't turn the ball over and he (Coach Mitchell) made a goal at the beginning of the game to have 15 turnovers or less. He really wanted way less than that and I think we got the number we wanted in seven."

On how nice it is when Bernisha (Pinkett) steps up and adds another weapon to the team…
"I think it was great knowing that they left her open. I guess they did not put much emphasis on her in the scouting report because they kept leaving her open, but now when people see that and see that she can score 21 points, have five assists, zero turnovers, and 10 rebounds that they are going to have to guard her like they guard me, Bria (Goss), Samarie (Walker) or anyone else so that will open up driving lanes and make us an even better offensive threat."

#10 Bernisha Pinkett, Jr., G

On what got into her today…
"Nothing, I just came out and played hard."

On when she noticed it was becoming a career day…
"A little bit at the end of the second half. I tried to stay focus and not lose focus on what I was doing and keep playing hard. I kept going to the boards and doing whatever I needed to do to get points and help my team get points."

On Miami (Ohio) continuing to leave her open from beyond the arc….
"The first time I shot the three, I thought they were just slipping a little but when they left me open again I thought, "that's fine", I will just keep shooting it until they come out and get me."

#13 Bria Goss, So., G

On how nice it is when Bernisha (Pinkett) steps up and adds another weapon to team…
"We are a deep team. What's so special about our team is that anyone can score 20-plus points any given night and that's what every coach wants is to have deep players and to be able to use your bench. I think Bernisha did a great job all the way down the line in her stats and I hope she can keep on doing it."

Miami of Ohio Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa

Opening Statement...
"I'm going to have nightmares seeing blue, no doubt. I was proud of our team today because I feel like we competed for 40 minutes against a legit top 10 team. I've had experience, I've coached at South Carolina (Gamecocks), so I knew coming in to an SEC arena that they were going to be deep, they were going to press for 40 minutes, and they were going to attack us in a lot of different ways. I think A'dia (Mathies) is very talented, the 'Wade Watch' is a no brainer to me for her. I think she had a lot of help today. When Bria (Goss) started firing from the 3-point line, I thought we had to make another adjustment. We know that coming into a game like this the steal-layups and the rebound-putbacks might have been their No. 1 weapon, but when you get to No. 2 through 10 weapons, you are out of answers. For how good I felt at halftime with our team, I know that when you play 11 talented players deep, he (Coach Matthew Mitchell) is resting the top five. This is going to be a special season for them."

On if Bernisha Pinkett was a surprise to them and about Kentucky's depth...
"When we went in from the three, because we had to play a lot of zone against them, we were obviously worried about A'dia. We knew that Pinkett was their second-best percentage (shooter), but at the same time we had no idea that her release was that quick and she was going to be that dangerous, and they look for her. We knew about Bria so we weren't surprised there, but up until this game she had been doing her damage inside the three. So yes, Pinkett was the biggest surprise today. But she did make our scouting report."

On how much did Kentucky's second-half run change adjustments and morale...
"What ends up happening at that point is that you realize that their first 11 are a much bigger number than our first four. We've had a lot of injuries so far in the preseason to all of my small guards and we are trying to get healthy and in shape right now. Even if we are healthy and in shape right now, our first five are going to last as long as they can but by the time you keep reloading, that run, it was going to be hard for us to slow it down. That is where I'm proud that we kept fighting. But you saw their shots, they kept getting more and more accurate and our legs were starting to get tired and we were short. As they reloaded, they were rested in the first half and they had shooting legs, that makes the difference."

Miami of Ohio Players

#10, G, Courtney Osborn

On how this well helps the team later in the season...
"Going up against a team like Kentucky, we lost by 40, but we battled for 40 minutes and we know that this is a phenomenal team and if we put that kind of effort and bring that kind of intensity into our MAC (Mid-American Conference) season we are going to win a lot of ball games against some good teams."

On cutting the lead to 10 early in the second half...
"We were feeling good. We knew that if we came in here and we played hard, we were going to compete for a little bit. Our game plan was to stay in the game every four minutes. We got off to a great start and we cut it to 10. Even when they made that run we still believed and still fought and that is something we are going to take out of this game."


 

 

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