Mizzou 80, No. 9 Tennessee 63

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Feb. 3, 2013

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Mizzou Women's Basketball
Mizzou 80, Tennessee 63
Feb. 3, 2013 - Mizzou Arena
Postgame Quotes

Missouri Head Coach Robin Pingeton

Opening Statement...
"I am really proud of our players. Big win for us, and I think it is a statement win. Certainly doesn't define us, like I always talk about; no win or loss defines this program. It is all about the process. I feel like tonight though and this past week, the growth we have seen beating a very good Florida team and Tennessee. We have so much respect for that program and their players are awfully talented. I am extremely proud of our girls and our staff, who continue to work hard, and the players continue to stay the course. Special night today, that is for sure."

On the statement made after tonight's win...
"I think the growth of our program and where we are at. Three years ago, and for us and in the SEC it is an awfully tough league. Regardless, if you have an experienced team or an inexperienced team, when you go into a new league the challenges that you face with the new personnel and the styles of play. I don't think it is any secret. This is a program that hasn't had a lot of success in the last couple of years, and because we respect Tennessee so much and Florida too. Those are programs that have been established. I think when you look at Tennessee; everyone is going to get everybody's best shot. Laying the foundation, brick by brick, this is another brick in regards to the foundation. I think our kids are going to be really proud of it and an eye opener for recruiting, and opens up some doors for that too."

On the different system of play Missouri uses in the SEC...
"You talk to a lot of coaches when we first knew we were coming to the SEC, and just everyone said stay true to your system, it will work in the SEC. I never thought about wavering, because I don't know any other system, and our staff has ran it for a long time. I continue to hear that from a lot of people. It is different. It is definitely different from the Big 12 Conference, they are a lot more offensive oriented, and in the SEC it is physically. I do think we are different, and I think those teams have to prepare for you a little bit different. Which I think is a really positive thing."

Mizzou Sophomore Morgan Eye

On the value of what is perhaps Mizzou's finest win since joining the SEC...
"I think this was a huge accomplishment. This is what we work for and we always believe in each other. That's the most important thing for us. This is a great experience for our team, and I'm excited about what we have ahead."

On the value of senior leadership....
"It's important to have these senior leaders on our team. When things don't go our way, they come to us younger players and say, `it's ok guys, let that one go. Focus on the next play.' That's invaluable - we have a lot of great leadership on our team."

On her, and her teams outside shooting prowess....
"It's a culmination of extra time in the gym. We talk a lot about how we're not an overly talented team, but we're skilled and always working on putting together our complimentary skills in a way that works."

Mizzou Senior Forward Liz Smith

On the difference between tonight's gritty performance, and last month's loss in Knoxville....
"We obviously learned from some of our mistakes, that's obvious, but a lot of the reasons for that loss were things that we can control. We've had a lot of growth as a team, and we've become really close - that's the biggest difference.

On whether the 45 point loss in Knoxville provided extra motivation for the Tigers....
"Yes, personally it did, and I think my teammates would say the same thing. This is our house, and we want to protect it."

On how Mizzou was able handle Tennessee's low post physicality....
"I love banging down there with the Conference's best and most physical players. Our guards really helped as well, being able to help off, but being smart and covering shooters. We just played smart."

Tennessee Head Coach Holly Warlick

Opening Statement...
"Well, congratulations to Missouri. They just played a great game, had a great game plan and they fought for 40 minutes. When you do that, you have great results, so credit to them and their coach. We were not very inspired today and I apologize for that. You cannot come to win with low energy and expect to win in the SEC and here at Missouri."

On injuries...
"We've been hit by injuries and it has affected us. I thought it affected us today with Isabelle Harrison out. It has just been difficult. With Kamiko (Williams) going out, I thought it hurt us because she was one of the few who was playing hard and kept us in the game and then Jasmine Jones as well. I don't know any of the status of them right now. Kamiko is ankle. Jasmine is knee."

On difference between this game and the one in Knoxville...
"No, I don't. Missouri was a better team than us today. I think you see the result of where basketball has gotten. It happened to us last year. We beat Arkansas by 40 and they beat us at home. Missouri played harder and better. They hit more shots, more threes and they played a better game. You just cannot be average. I don't care who you play, where you go. You cannot be average and actually we were below average today which was a result of what they did and how hard Missouri played."

On inability to stop Missouri's offense...
"We just didn't have a lot of discipline today in our defense and what we wanted to do. They had an opportunity to get a lot of looks. They had 24 3-point looks and I would bet that a lot of those were wide open 3s they just missed. It wouldn't have anything to do with our defense. I don't have an explanation. I know what we practice and know what we did today. We're not a disciplined team when we need to be disciplined. We're kind of all-or-nothing and today we were nothing."

On the little things...
"I think they packed it in inside and we weren't hitting outside shots. And then Bashaara (Graves) gets frustrated and doesn't get it and she goes to the free throw line and shoots 50 percent. We're 60 percent from the free throw line and you just can't win a game on the road if you can't hit layups and free throw. So I thought we missed big layups and we didn't finish our free throws. You've got to have those points because the game is just too difficult and you've got to take those shots that are supposedly easy."

Sophomore Guard Ariel Massengale

On offensive struggles in tonight's game...
"I think, give credit to Missouri, they played a great game, but as you said on the offensive end, we have to move the ball and our offense was really stagnant today. We didn't get into them like they were used too."

On the difference between the game in Knoxville and the game today...
"Home court advantage means a lot. We knew that they were going to shoot the ball great in their own gym. We didn't follow the game plan, and we thought we could outscore them and it didn't happen that way. We have to get back to basics, and get back to the way we know to do."

Senior Forward Taber Spani

On the difference between the game in Knoxville and the game today...
"We just didn't follow the game plan. We know that they shot great, especially in their home gym, give Missouri credit. They played great, and we didn't come in with that intensity. We just didn't follow our game plan."

On factors that influenced today's loss...
"I think it was mental and physical toughness. Like I said, I think they wanted it more. Also, it was our lack of education on defending the three."

On the emotions after losing Kamiko Williams early in the game...
"That's a big loss. Kamiko was playing really good. She is a spark plug on defense for us. We have to be tougher than that, it doesn't matter if we play six people, seven people, or five people, a lot of us are playing a lot of minutes right now, but that's just part of that. We have to overcome that. I think that our youth showed a little bit, and it's my job as a senior leader to make sure our maturity level is better than that. So, put that one on me."

On the peaks and valleys of the SEC...
"I think our coaches did a great job in postgame, and obviously everyone was extremely disappointed. We do have to realize that we are still tied, and we are where we want to be. We have the opportunity; we have seven games to be where we want to be in SEC and it's a balancing act. You have to balance. You can't be too high and you can't be too low. I think that's really what we are going to have to take into practice this next week. Our defense was completely unacceptable for us today and our rebounding, only eight offensive rebounds, and those are things Tennessee prides themselves on and we need to go back to the basics.

 

 

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