Pat Summitt, Tennesse Head Coach
When we got in foul trouble early, it really affected how we wanted to play the game and what we wanted on the floor. In spite of the foul situation, the poor shooting from [Sa'de] Wiley-Gatewood and [Alexis] Hornbuckle and the lack of rebounding, we found a way to win. This is a very tough place to play and a very fine Stanford team. We did a better job at getting the ball to two people who were making plays. I think Candace [Parker] and Shanna [Zolman] stepped up big. Candace was huge on the boards. We only had one person play well off the bench and that was [Tye'sha] Fluker. I was really proud of her, and she took a huge charge for us. She played big.
On shutting down Brooke Smith:
We talked about limiting touches, and they do a great job in their sets, getting her the ball. We didn't come in here, saying we were going to foul people and get out of the game early. We just tried to limit her touches, and if you can play in front, play in front. If not, play behind and make her beat you over the top. She's a very skilled smart player. She's got good moves, nice touch.
On changing the strategy after the early foul trouble:
I felt really handicapped because we hadn't been in that situation our previous six games. Our bench had played pretty well, and we go to our bench and [Dominique] Redding comes in, and it was like hot potato. She took five shots before I could get her out. Sometimes when you come off the bench, you have to learn how to play off the bench, and they had been doing a pretty good job of it. With the nature of how the game unfolded and the foul trouble, I think she played overanxious. Sid [Spencer] didn't play well of the bench. We couldn't seem to get our inside people going, Alex [Fuller] or Sybil [Dosty], as far as making shots. We were limited. I did not want to go back and risk getting any of our starters with three fouls heading into the locker room.
On Candace Parker's role with the team as the season progresses:
Here's my thought as far as our offense goes: I'd like to push the tempo; we'd like to share the basketball. But in tight games, the two people sitting up here with me [Parker and Zolman] are going to get as many touches as they can, and everyone on the floor needs to know that. I think they do. They look for them. I don't want to start off the game that way. We talked about the two-man game, which was too early on. What happens is too many people quit working hard, rebounding and playing defense because they aren't involved.
What Summitt liked about Stanford:
I think their inside game and the play of Candice Wiggins. Obviously, they anchored down with their post game and [Kristen] Newlin played really well. You got it right down the middle with two great inside players, a good point guard, shooters on the wing. I think they have done a great job of blending in their young players.
On why Tennessee won today's contest:
That's a good question. I was thinking about that as the game went on: How are we going to win this one? Obviously, we managed to get to the free throw line and make our free throws. One thing about this team is that they are aggressive enough to get there, and we've shot the ball well from the free-throw line. We came up with enough big plays and key board plays to keep possessions alive.
On the play of Alexis Hornbuckle:
She came up with some good plays at the end. I wanted to go back to her in the first half, to make sure she got back into the game, but I wasn't comfortable putting her or Nicky [Anosike] back in because I thought we would need them in the second half. I think she went in and tried to do too much. I just told her to just create for other people and get them involved. She wasn't playing with a lot of confidence at that time, and I just told her that we're going to feed off her leadership. I thought she stepped up and made some huge plays.
On the physical nature of the game:
I will tell you that in our league [Southeast Conference] you are allowed to play a more physical game. We are a physical league. We don't play a lot of Pac-10 schools. Obviously, we play Stanford. I thought the second half was what we normally see.
On Tennessee's tough schedule this year:
I'm really proud of this team. When I looked at the schedule, I thought to myself, "What have you done?" We do have some young players, but we understand that we're going to be better if we put them in situations where they have to play back-to-back games. We played five games in seven days, and then we brought them out here early. Then we go back home for one night and then we travel to Washington D.C. to play George Washington. We get a break, which we'll need – they do have exams! And then we're back on the road again.
On whether or not playing Stanford is a benefit, despite leading the
I think playing against a team like Stanford, I think you win, whether you win the game or not. One thing that I've tried to do is play teams from the East and West Coast because you see different styles of play. I didn't realize that we had won nine in a row because it seems like every time we play them, it's such a struggle and it goes down to the wire. I typically am just looking towards the next game we play.
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