"I was very pleased with the way we played tonight. The fans were a part of that. I didn't think the 9-0 lead would hold up. It was a hard-fought first half. I thought a key was at the end of the half, when we were up 31-27 and then we took it up to eight points at the half. We knew they would come back. I didn't think we played particularly well down the stretch. We normally hit our free throws at the end, but tonight, we would hit one and miss one. I think we handled the ball smart. We only had nine turnovers tonight. That was significant. Ro (Howell) did the bulk of the work against Ron Slay. He really is a great player (Slay). He's a lightening rod of sorts. Three wins in a row (heading into tonight's game) won't get you on SportsCenter or get Sports Illustrated calling you. We are playing better now. I expect us to play better this Saturday and we will have to. We're doing what we are supposed to be doing, but we're really not doing anything exceptional. We beat a good team tonight."
Tennessee Head Coach Buzz Peterson
On the game: "South Carolina was much more aggressive than we were tonight. I think a big key was that they were able to score on the their last seven possessions of the first half. Our play on defense was uncharacteristic for us. We looked out of sync. Maybe this game was a wakeup call for us and we can get back on track vs. Alabama on Saturday. My biggest concern was our defense and how we missed so many box outs."
On Tony Kitchings: "Kitchings was tough inside all night. We tried to double him but he was able to make passes. South Carolina's inside players did a good job attacking us. We were not very aggressive in the low post. They scored something like 50 of their points inside which tells you how big their inside game was for them tonight."
On Ron Slay: "Their defense was very physical with Ron. He missed a lot of shots early but I was glad to see him regain his composure midway through the second half and knock down some shots."
On his team's performance: "South Carolina is a good basketball team and they gave us some match-up problems. After we beat Florida (last Saturday) our team did not come out and follow that win up with a good practice on Monday. We did not have any fire. We need to get that back and hopefully this is a good wakeup call for our team. I can accept losing, but not being outworked. We need to learn from this loss."