Mizzou 66, Arkansas 69

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MUTIGERS.COM

MUTIGERS.COM

Jan. 5, 2014

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Robin Pingeton, Head Coach

Opening statement...
"Thanks for coming out. I know it's bad out there and I appreciate the coverage for our program. Obviously was a tough game for us. We shot the ball a lot better in the second half than the first half. I felt like early on we had a lot of good looks and maybe let a little deflation set it. But I felt like after halftime we really responded in a positive way. Overall, defensively we did a nice job. We had a couple key possessions on out-of-bounds plays that we didn't defend the way we needed to. We gave up a couple offensive boards late in the game that came back to bite us and that's the makeup of the SEC. Every night out, every possession is important. I don't question how much our players are invested or how much they care. It's a great group to coach and we just love going in the gym with them. We'll learn from this and continue to get better. But give Arkansas some credit. Tom Collen has done a nice job of building that program. They're off to a great start and they're very efficient with what they do."

On what was working in the second half...
"I just felt like we were playing with a lot more confidence. We talked about that at halftime in the locker room. We've worked really hard and we felt like we were kind of beating ourselves in the first half a little bit and just talked about the aggressive mentality that we had to play with. We had to have great confidence in our shots. We're good shooters and we put in a lot of work so we wanted to be aggressive going to the rim and getting some good looks in side with a dribble-drive or a post-feed. I just felt like we had some more energy and bounce going into that second half than we did going out of the gates."

On getting to the basket...
"We felt like Lianna coming off some ball-screens, they had a hard time guarding that and she's pretty good coming off of ball-screens and that's something we tried to take advantage of on. I'll be honest with you, I think we'd say the first half would look really good if we had made our shots. We had some layups that we were missing. We statted 21 missed shots in the paint. That's a tough stat and the offense always looks better when you're knocking down shots, but we had some great looks in the first half that we didn't finish. Every shot counts and every possession matters. You can call it pressure if you want, but that's a part of college athletics. You've got to take it up strong with a confident mindset that you're going to knock down shots and endure some of the contact."

On foul trouble...
"We've been struggling with that quite a bit lately with some players in foul trouble. I think we've got to continue to work on making that adjustment. I'll need to watch some film, but I feel like with our post players we're pretty straight up, but obviously we're not because we're consistently getting called on some things. I think it's a little bit here, a little bit there. You get those hand checks, you get that bump in the post and you try to play physical. I think it's a combination of a lot of things. Certainly when we get into foul trouble it changes some of our rotations because our backs are against the wall a little bit. It's another area we have to be mindful of and improve in."

On the zone defense....
"We played it a lot in the first half against Ole Miss and I really liked it. I thought we guarded really well. I felt like from a matchup standpoint with Arkansas, I just didn't like the matuchups with it. They have some really good three-point shooters. Not that they shoot a lot of them, but they're very efficient offensive shooting team. I didn't feel like that was our best chance to matchup with them defensively. Defensively, I thought we did a really nice job in the half court. We had a couple breakdowns with out of bounds plays and a couple breakdowns of offensive rebounds that came back to bite us. Other than that, our half-court defense got some shot-clock violations and we did a fairly decent job. Considering what Arkansas was shooting from the field, I think nationally they're in the Top 10 or 12. We held them to 35 percent and 25 percent from the three-point line. So going into the game if I knew that, I would have thought we had a pretty good chance."

Lianna Doty, Guard

On Arkansas' defense...
"They play hard and they're disciplined. I think honestly, give Arkansas a lot of credit, but we had a lot of open looks and we didn't knock them down or go up with confidence. There are a lot of things we need to do differently. Yes, they have a great defense, but we're focused on what we need to do. We're going to go back and watch film and see a lot of times that we had a lot of really good looks and they came up and took away the three. We have a lot of girls that can get to the basket and we can pound it inside, so we need to focus more on what we need to do offensively."

On winning lower scoring games...
"It's discipline. Every possession counts. We can't have miscommunication on defense. We can't have lapses. We have to fit the tough shots and control the tempo. It's all those little details that we keep stressing and stressing and that we will keep getting better at."

Bri Kulas, Forward

On the second half surge...
"I think everybody just took a deep breath from the first half and came out ready to go in the second half. I just think we need to focus on what Coach P said and just evaluate each possession, knowing that each possession matters."

On Arkansas' strengths in the post...
"I think they just worked hard posting up. They were tall, big and strong."

Arkansas Head Coach Tom Collen

Opening Statement...
"This was obviously a great win for us and had to be disappointing for Missouri. Last week, they went out and won a road game to open SEC play. We knew they (Missouri) wanted to beat us bad, because we beat them twice last year. Today was just two great teams playing and both much improved over last year. Both have designs to finish in the top half of the SEC and both want to make the NCAA tournament. It was great basketball tonight and it's like this night in and night out in the SEC. Missouri fought hard down the stretch and made it into a close game."

On how his team played defensively today against Missouri...
"We've got a lot of freshman playing and trying to learn on the job. Today we were down our senior captain and starting post player and that left a hole for us and forced us to play some more freshmen. I thought they did a terrific job today. I thought they particularly stepped up in the second half and did a great job overall."

On how his team responded in the second half after giving up the lead...
"We got off to a hot and somewhat easy start to begin the season. For them to get behind in the second half, regain the lead and grind it out the rest of the way was great to see. We put Melissa Wolff into the starting lineup today and she became a rebounding machine. She was probably the player of the game for us today."

On the SEC's level of defense so far this season...
"I think there's so much diversity in this league, both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Missouri's defense is really gap-oriented and makes you play from the outside. One week after another and what you have to prepare for in this league is tough. The teams that I think will ultimately rise to the top in this conference, will be the teams who can play well both offensively and defensively."

 

 

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