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March 9, 2013

Meighan Simmons

Taber Spani

Holly Warlick


Texas A&M テや 66
Tennessee テや 62

THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Tennessee head coach Holly Warlick and student‑athletes Meighan Simmons and Taber Spani.
COACH WARLICK:テつ It boiled down to us getting stops, and we couldn't get any stops.テつ You know, Texas A&M were persistent and they hit big shots.テつ We didn't have an answer, so...
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ You couldn't miss for most of the game.テつ When Texas A&M made a substitution on you, put Tori Scott in there, did you do anything differently that prevented you from getting the ball easier, impeding your shot at all?
TABER SPANI:テつ I mean, not really.テつ They're all athletic.テつ First off, they just all play a great game.テつ It was a battle.
I think she was a little smaller than Williams.テつ They're kind of face guarding after about 15 minutes into the second half.テつ You know, similar, but I guess she's just a different player, too.

Q.テつ As tough as this is to realize, all the things you have done well, one of those has been bouncing back and realize you have the NCAA tournament.
TABER SPANI:テつ Absolutely.テつ This team is resilient.テつ This one hurts right now.テつ Probably going to hurt for a couple days.
We have about a week and a half or so and we got to get ready.テつ Honestly, we wanted to go 4‑4, Kamiko and I as a class.テつ NCAA championships is why you play.テつ Hopefully we'll have up to six games.テつ But we got to take it one at a time.
Honestly I think the biggest part of our season is still left to come, but this one just hurts right now.

Q.テつ Coach Blair stopped to talk to you.テつ What did he say to you after the game?
TABER SPANI:テつ I mean, I know and my family knows him pretty well.テつ He's just a very classy guy.
He just said, That was a senior effort.テつ I was trying to do everything I could to keep us in the game and hopefully with a W, but was just a little bit short.

Q.テつ Meighan, one of the things that Texas A&M said they wanted to do was cut down on transition points from you guys by not turning the ball over very much.テつ Did you feel the fact they only have nine turnovers was part of the difficulty of you guys not being able to get your offense going as well as you wanted to?
MEIGHAN SIMMONS:テつ Yeah.テつ From early on we turned the ball over too many times.テつ We couldn't take care of the ball.テつ We weren't getting into our offenses like we should have.
But I think after a while we got a couple transition points here and there.テつ I feel like we take care of the ball a little bit more, we'll be able to get in our flow of the game and how we normally play from the get‑go.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll continue with questions for coach.

Q.テつ When you have a 50 to 40 lead, had the momentum, Spani hadn't missed anything at that juncture, then after that she went a really long time.テつ Was Texas A&M doing something that caused you problems to get the ball to Spani?
COACH WARLICK:テつ Well, I think Scott came in for a reason.テつ I think she was denying Taber, not letting her have the basketball.テつ That was a great move on Gary's part.
Yeah, you're up 10, then we got comfortable.テつ We just got comfortable.テつ We've been preaching defense all year and rebounding.テつ We couldn't get a stop.テつ They went 9.テつ Last 11 possessions and they scored.
You can put yourself in a position to score, but it boils down to coming down and getting stops, and we didn't do it.

Q.テつ They have a lot of height inside and they have a lot of depth.テつ Does the combination of those two things make things tough?
COACH WARLICK:テつ Well, yeah, I think they were bringing people in and out.
You know what, we need five people on the floor.テつ We need five people on the floor to get it done.テつ We could not get a defensive stop.テつ I don't care if we're freshmen, what we are.テつ It boils down to getting stops.テつ You got to make a play.テつ We didn't make a play down at the end.
I thought Bashaara battles.テつ She scores the basket, it got called off for a walk.テつ I thought Kamiko got a good look at the end.テつ But somewhere you got to change their rhythm and you got to do it on the defensive end.テつ We just didn't get it done.テつ A credit to them.
They hit big shots.テつ That's what teams do.テつ In your run, you got to hit big shots.テつ They did.テつ We tried zone.テつ We tried man.テつ We tried switching.テつ We tried everything we had.テつ We just couldn't get it done.

Q.テつ When you mention the defense, even though you guys were up 50 to 40, did you feel uncomfortable?テつ Were you still a little uncertain about your defense even with Spani having an unbelievable game?
COACH WARLICK:テつ Yeah, I mean, you can't go 11 possessions and give them 9 possessions.テつ I don't care what you're up.テつ Thank goodness we were up 10.テつ They just went to work and we got comfortable with the 10‑point lead.
We've done that in the past.テつ We've gotten up and we've just decided, Oh, we can exhale.テつ You got to keep the hammer down, and we didn't.
We'll go back and learn.テつ We're a young team.テつ We continue to learn.テつ I thought we missed Izzy today, we missed her height, her presence, her inside presence.テつ It's just what we've been dealing with all year.
We've played without her, we've played with her.テつ Just didn't get it done.テつ We didn't finish the deal.テつ We just didn't finish it.

Q.テつ You know what went wrong, but you still got the NCAA tournament left.テつ This group has been resilient.テつ What do you work on for the next two weeks before the NCAAs?
COACH WARLICK:テつ We go back to doing what we've been doing.テつ We got to get better on the defensive end.テつ That's the bottom line.テつ We've got to get better and become a better rebounding team.
We only had six offensive rebounds.テつ That's not a sign of a Tennessee team.テつ We gave up 18 rebounds, offensive rebounds, for Texas A&M.テつ We just really got to learn the importance of playing defense and rebounding.
We got the offensive punch.テつ We just got to play at the other end of the floor.
We're going to bounce back.テつ We're going to go back to work.テつ We've got two weeks to get better, to improve.テつ I'm confident that our staff will go to work and we'll get these young ladies prepared.
I hate it for Taber today.テつ I thought she played an outstanding game.テつ I hate it for all our players.テつ I thought we put ourselves in a position to win.テつ We just couldn't finish it out.テつ Hats off to Texas A&M.テつ They could have given up.テつ They didn't.テつ They kept battling.テつ A credit to them, as well.

Q.テつ I know that Taber has had so many different injuries.テつ Today looked to me she was the player she can be.
COACH WARLICK:テつ I think so.テつ I think she's battled injuries her whole career here.テつ She still has a little bit of a back problem.
Taber is a competitor.テつ Today she found a way to get her shot off.テつ She just played an all‑around game.テつ We got down by 7.テつ That was a huge turning point for us when Taber hit some big baskets.
Yeah, I don't know.テつ I wanted to get the ball in Taber's hands, but they were teeing in on her.テつ I thought we had an opportunity to step up on some other areas.
But Taber, I mean, she played a great game.テつ I don't know how much more she could have done for us.テつ She played 40 minutes for us.

Q.テつ Also in that second half at times she was guarding Kelsey Bone.テつ I don't remember her guarding a player of that size for a pretty long stretch.テつ What was your thinking on that?テつ Did she do okay in that regard?
COACH WARLICK:テつ I think so.テつ At times when Bashaara sits out in foul trouble, we're small.テつ We're just small and athletic.テつ Taber is going to have to play inside on the zone or guard somebody big.テつ She was one of the biggest players we had out there, so...
You know, I tried everybody.テつ I tried Nia Moore, who came in.テつ She played two minutes.テつ Came up with a rebound.テつ I don't know.テつ We're just low in numbers.テつ We got to get healthy.テつ I think the next two weeks will help us as far as getting healthy.

Q.テつ Do you have any projection for Izzy?
COACH WARLICK:テつ I thought we had a chance to get her back this weekend.テつ We had a practice on Thursday and somebody ran into her and tweaked her knee again.
I don't know.テつ We can't catch a break.テつ I thought she would be ready to go.テつ That kind of set her back.テつ I think we'll have her for the NCAA tournament.テつ I think the next two weeks will be huge for her to rest and for her to rehab and get her knee solid.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Coach, thank you.
COACH WARLICK:テつ Thank you.

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