Women's Hoops: Florida postgame comments

After Vanderbilt's hard fought 76-69 road win over Florida, head coach Melanie Balcomb talked to the media about the victory.

Coach Balcomb: I just think that tonight was definitely a team effort. I liked the way that our team responded to the full court pressure that they put on. I think they had a great game plan. They pressured us for forty minutes, and they put us in a tough situation down the stretch. They hit big shots. I think the biggest thing I was proud of is my players played as a team and got the ball to the right people at the important times, and different people stepped up all games.

The Press: Can you talk about Carla and Ashley . . . ?

Coach Balcomb: Well, Carla was a lot more aggressive tonight than the last time we played Florida, and she got real aggressive early from the high post. We knew that they would front Ashley and come around a lot in the low post, and they did early, and we couldn't get Ashley any looks on the block, so it was really important that Carla was aggressive from the high post; I don't think she scored a point inside, it was all from the high post. And then in second half as they tired, we were able to get the ball in at the low block, and they adjusted and did a better job with Carla at the high post, and it's kind of like their emphasis was to shut down Carla because she had a big half, and then we went inside to Ashley. So it was a really good combination to have, to be able to go to one or the other.

The Press: Coach, what did you talk about at halftime?

Coach Balcomb: : We talked a lot about ball pressure. What I thought we did a good job of defensively was ball pressuring them, and . . . every time they picked it up, we had good ball pressure,and we did a good job defensively until-- you take away those last two 3's, and-- last time we played them, they scored a points on us. It was just a shootout. So our goal was really to focus on our defensive intensity. And then I talked a lot about check out because they're so athletic, and I knew they would come crashing even harder in the second half.

The Press: And how about down the stretch when they were making their run and the crowd got loud? What were you talking about during the timeouts during the last several minutes of the game?

Coach Balcomb: I think it was really important down the stretch that we take smart shots and that we execute our offenses through and not take quick shots. We got a big lead and then took some quick shots and kind of lost our head for a few minutes, and they went down and scored. And we needed to be careful and come down an execute our offenses and either get fouled or score. Make sure that we have great shot selection at that point. And I wanted sure I knew that they were trapping Dee and that everybody was coming back and being available to her to get the ball and not running away from Dee.

The Press: What differences did you see in the Florida team from the last time you played them until this time?

Coach Balcomb: I didn't see that much of a difference other than that they pressed full court which they didn't last time, and I had seen that on film, and we were ready for them to press. They were much more aggressive in the full court than they were last time. They didn't press us until they were down at the end of the game, and they pretty much played us halfcourt man to man. That's the biggest difference is they played a full court game and ran and trapped all game and were very very aggressive defensively.

The Press: Do you think a team like Florida if they get up to .500 can go to the NCAA tounament this year from this conference?

Coach Balcomb: Yeah, I think that the conference is very strong this year. I don't know what people are saying on a national level, but I've only been in the league for three years, and I think this might even be the strongest year that I've been here as far as depth in our conference. I think our conference is very deep. I think Florida is a very good team, and a lot of it just has to do with your schedule, and who you've played so far. There are still more games to go and the SEC tournament. There's a lot of who've you played on the road and who've you played at home and who you play twice. I just think it's a really strong conference this year.

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