"We did a lot of good things," UCLA Coach Kathy Olivier said Thursday in a Pac-10 coaches' teleconference with the media. "I thought we took Tennessee out of their comfort zone at one point, which was a huge plus for us, but we just have to learn how to play for 40 minutes and play with that kind of intensity and that kind of focus against whoever we play."
Warlick – who broke her ankle two weeks ago, developed a blood clot in her calf and now can't fly for medical reasons – listened to Mickey Dearstone's play by play on the Lady Vol Radio Network and watched a video stream online on the Internet.
"Mickey was ahead (of the online action) so it was kind of weird watching because I knew what was happening," Warlick said. "The first half was a little nerve-wracking, but it got better in the second half. If you win, it's OK."
Warlick said she settled down in the second half – and quit sending so many text messages with game observations to Debby Jennings, the associate athletics director for media relations, who was courtside.
Warlick joked that Pat Summitt couldn't point to her for the team's poor first-half performance.
"She couldn't blame it on me. She blamed it on Caldwell probably; she's next in line," Warlick said laughing.
"We were a little rusty first half. We just weren't ready to play. The second half, I'm sure Pat gave them a little pep talk, and they responded. Bottom line, they won, and as long as they learned from it … but they are not going to beat too many people playing the way they did in the first half. But the sign of a good team they figured out what to do, and they listened to the coaching staff. They figured it out."
Warlick acknowledged that it was maddening to watch the game as a fan would and not from her accustomed spot on the bench.
"It was hard sitting here," she said. "You're not there. Listening to Mickey was great, but you're not there. But I didn't yell at Coach Summitt. I was yelling at the players."
Warlick doesn't think the team was looking ahead to Saturday's matchup with Stanford, and she agreed that the team's sluggish stretches in the first half – Tennessee actually started off very well – could be overanalyzed.
"This team doesn't look ahead," Warlick said. "They obviously weren't very motivated to play in the first half. They did just enough to get by, went up by one. We were getting good looks; we were missing shots. We let our offense affect our defense, and it just started snowballing.
"Absolutely no way do I think they looked ahead. That's not their trait. I think they respected what UCLA did with Maryland. I think we just didn't have it together in the first half."
The Lady Vols can look ahead now. Warlick sent her scouting report to the assistant coaches, Nikki Caldwell and Dean Lockwood, on Thursday morning, and they will present it to the team at Friday's practice session. Summitt planned to rest the team Thursday, which also was used as a travel day to get from Los Angeles to the Bay Area.
"We need our legs," Warlick said. "It's going to be an up-and-down game. I think we're going to run a lot, too. Emotionally and physically just give them time off. That's a tough trip. Coast to coast is a pretty long trip. I'm sure it affected us a little bit, but it wasn't the reason we played the way we did in the first half. Let them rest and try to be full strength against Stanford."
"Candace Parker is obviously one of the best, if not the best players in the country," Olivier said Thursday. "She's a great athlete. She picks it up when she needs to. I think we did a great job against her in the first half. We held her to four points and in the second half she just found a way to get it done. (Lindsey) Pluimer did a very good job on her, but in the second half she attacked the basket a little more and got to the free throw line."
Vicki Baugh had a successful debut in her home state. The 6'4 freshman forward from Sacramento – which is much closer to Stanford than UCLA and will allow more members of her family to attend Saturday – had 11 points, five rebounds and two steals. She had to leave the game in the second half after taking an elbow to the nose, but a medical exam after the game determined that she did not break it, and Baugh is good to go.
"I was happy for her," Warlick said. "I hated that she got hurt because she had a really good game going. I was proud of her. She played hard. There's a great upside to Vicki Baugh, and that's why we're excited about her at Tennessee. She's got a great future, and we're glad she's a Lady Vol."
Parker and the upcoming Tennessee-Stanford game were topics of conversation on the Pac-10 teleconference, though Cardinal Coach Tara VanDerveer was not able to attend.
Arizona State Coach Charli Turner Thorne, who played for VanDerveer at Stanford, predicted a Cardinal win Saturday.
"I think with Stanford's style of defense – they do a great job of protecting the paint and whether they're in zone or man making you beat them from the outside – and they control the boards so well," Turner Thorne said. "I know Tennessee has come out on top a little bit more lately, but I'm predicting a big Cardinal win.
"I think they're just playing really well right now, and I think that they're going to match up very well. The big key will be transition and taking care of the ball, but they've got their guards back now, and they're looking really, really good."
Olivier didn't want to give the Tennessee team any bulletin board material and noted how competitive the Lady Vols are.
"As far as Stanford and Tennessee goes, I think Tara is one of the best coaches in the country, and I think Pat is one of the best, too, so I think it's going to be a great coaching battle," Olivier said. "They're good. Tennessee is very athletic. They have different defensive looks. They're big. They're very, very big."
She added, "They have some great athletes. They're very big. Those are some big girls. They crash the boards hard. We've been successful on the boards, but Tennessee controlled the rebounds (Wednesday) night, and that I think really helped them to a victory."
Both Olivier and Turner Thorne sang the praises of Stanford's Candice Wiggins, a player they have to try to contain in Pac-10 matchups.
"She is really special," Turner Thorne said. "She's up there with Candace Parker, no question. Maybe doesn't quite have that same size but potentially a bigger heart and just unbelievable ability to take over games and just will shots in and make big plays."
"I think Wiggins is one of the best players in the country," Olivier said. "I think she's going to step it up. I think she's a great leader for Stanford. I think Wiggins will do a great job. I'm really looking forward to seeing how that game ends up."
The two coaches also were asked about Parker's legacy in the game and how she fits among the all-time greats.
"In my estimation, for whatever my opinion is worth, I would say top five," Turner Thorne said. "I have seen that young lady play since she was in high school. She's just been unbelievable. She's obviously a Cheryl Miller-type and arguably may even surpass some of the things that Cheryl Miller did as a college player.
"Anybody that's 6'4 and can play point guard can pretty much do anything she wants to do offensively. She's improved her defense this year. She's certainly going to be one of the all-time best that's ever played the game in my opinion."
Olivier noted that she was an assistant at Southern Cal when Miller starred there.
"I thought Cheryl was the best of the best because Cheryl played hard all the time," Olivier said. "There's some good players that don't really understand about playing hard and Cheryl was on a mission no matter who she played, no matter who she was playing against.
"Candace, I think, is a very talented player, but Cheryl was just so competitive all the time. But Candace Parker is a great player, and she really stepped it up when she needed to last night. That's for sure."