Post Game Comments
Comments by Coach Summit: I was just looking at the stats coming down the hall. It's amazing how these teams played, it was such an evenly played game. To look at what I'm talking about statistically, we both had 12 assists, 13 turnovers for them 12 for us, 7 steals for us, 6 for them. The difference in this basketball game because we both shot the ball very well, I think was two factors -- one would have to be the rebounding. We had 12 points off the boards, second chance points, versus four, and secondly our bench points. We had 27 versus 4. I thought ouf bench tonight really, you know you ask someone like Shalon obviously and Courtney, who have been spending a lot of time working in practice but haven't had the minutes and both played well off the bench. And I certainly thought Munoz and Brittany Jackson both stepped up and played well. Our inside players we asked them to do a better job, as well as our perimeter players, of trying to get to the free throw line. Tonight we got to the free throw line. While we didn't score that much more, 6 points, we still got to the free throw line and we still got on the boards. A great basketball game, and certainly Vanderbilt is a fine team, they're a very fine team, but I'm really proud of team because now we've had three 20-minutes halves that looked very very strong on both ends of the floor, that would be the second half at Mississippi State and both halves tonight.
The Press: Talk about Lawson and the way she's performed in the last two weeks.
Coach Summit: In the first half Vanderbilt spent a lot of time in the triangle and two defensively to limit her touches, but we worked extremely hard to get her involved even against the triangle and two. We've seen this look an awful lot. I think Kara's just playing better without the ball, and then when we get it back in our hands obviously she's a big play making person, either making it for someone or obviously for herself. She's done a terrific job with the exception of the Texas game. She was devastated after that game. And I think that was the game in which she forced, and tonight she really read the situations and really played a very smart game.
The Press: As she went, the team went in the second. It seemed like every time they cut into the lead, she made the basket.
Coach Summit: She either made the basket or she got someone a basket. And I think that's the type of guard that's so tough to defend. And Kara has obviously had a terrific year, but she's been the kind of player that wants to step up in big games and make plays, As you know, she went to the point position because we wanted the ball in her hands. Obviously when the ball's in her hands, she can generate an awful lot of offense for our basketball team.
The Press: Revenge a factor tonight, coach?
Coach Summit. I don't know, maybe I've been so focused on execution that I wasn't thinking about revenge. I just thought about execution. We're just trying to get better. We're trying to convince our team not to take possessions off at either end. We're trying to convince them that no matter what happens in a possession, you must move to the next possession -- focus or re-focus in some cases or re-commit. And they're learning that. I think that they're right now as a basketball team, going into our scouting today. They were so focused and they obviously had done the scouting report ahead of time, and I just let them talk about tonight, Vanderbilt's personnel, and how we wanted to defend all options, and they know them as well as coaches. I will say my assistants did a great job in preparing this team and also throughout the course of the game they made really great calls just in the ear of the head coach. They did a great job.
The Press: Could you talk about the offensive performance your team has shown the past two games. It seems like there's been a real change.
Coach Summit: Well, I think certainly having Brittany Jackson in the game and having Michelle Munoz on the court. Shyra Ely's playing with a lot more confidence now. She went through a period and just wasn't nearly as efficient and really not . . . and she's playing with a lot of poise. I thought Ashley Robinson stepped up big tonight. We went to her right off because we wanted her to know she's a go-to player on this team as well. Once again I just think a lot of it had to do with the perimeter personnel and the changes we made there.
The Press: Do you think the only way to stop Chantelle is by getting her on the bench?
Coach Summitt: Well, Chantelle's a great player. You've either got to stop her by first of all limiting her touches, they run a great four out, one in, and then you have to do it with help if the ball's going in to her. We broke down on our help side defense. They've got great spacing because they spread you out with all their 3-point shooters. But I give our team credit for going at her.
The Press: Talk about the plays that Courtney and Shalon made in the first half.
Coach Summit: I think you were out when I first addressed that. I talked about how the game was so close in all categories. The difference being bench play, rebounding, and getting to the free throw line. And I thought Courtney and Shalon both, they'd been sitting there waiting for their turn, and they had it tonight and they really stepped up big. No two players deserve it any more becuase of what they bring to our team in practice. They're just very emotional type of players that they're in it whether they're in the game or on the bench.
The Press: Is depth over-rated?
Coach Summit: I think that's a question you might every coach.. Personally, I don't think so, because in this league, if you don't have it, and you play in this conference and you play outside this conference, If you don't have it, you won't have legs come March. . . .
The Press: What was the difference in tonight and two weeks ago?
Coach Head Coach Jim Foster.: We didn't execute at the end -- and they did. And obviously not keeping them off the offensive glass.
The Press: What was the difference in Lawson tonight and at your place?
Coach Foster: Well, I think you have to give McElhiney credit at our place, and Lawson credit at this place.
The Press: You overcame a 10 point deficit, then TN turned it around. What happened?
Coach Foster: Like what I said before -- in the last two, three minutes we had some very very bad turnovers, and they went down and executed. It was a one-point game with 1:19 to go. We just turned the ball over in a bad way.
The Press: The turnovers, do you attribute to TN's defense?
Coach Foster: I think they played hard defense. I don't think those turnovers were defensive turnovers. I think they were mental. We didn't ball fake. We just stared right where we were trying to make the pass. We were very casual with the ball against a team you can't be casual against.
The Press: Chantelle, can you talk about how Tennessee approached you, and your game in general?
Chantelle Anderson: I think I had a pretty good game for the time that I was on the floor. I wasn't smart. The day that I learn to stay out of foul trouble is the day that we grow as a basketball team. I have to take responsibility for that. When I'm not on the floor, we're a different team and that's not to say anything against my teammates or anything because we are a different team and they do a good job of playing without me, but I don't think they did anything to guard me. I think I guarded myself by getting in foul trouble.
The Press: How important was it with Snow in foul trouble to have help off the bench?
Coach Foster: I think that Lawson was the key to their team tonight. I think she played with a lot of . . . and determination. I think she made the big baskets and the big plays. I think the other players came in and banged and were physical, but I think Lawson made the plays.
The Press: On and off, the question of depth has come up. Their bench outscored you.
Coach Foster: That's a big deal when you lose a game by the points we lost and with Chantelle sitting on the bench. We have to have some of our young players step up and get after it a little more.