Jan. 31, 2009

 

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

 

 

Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale
• On the game:
“Another good win for our team.  I thought we did some really good things in the first half.  We were a little sluggish in the second, perhaps as if our mind was somewhere else it shouldn’t have been.  But any win you get in the Big 12 is a good one.  I thought we did some really good things in primary break and did a nice job of sharing the basketball and had assists on at least half of our field goals.  More assists than turnovers is always good.  Good win.”

• On the sharp passing game today:
“Pretty crisp.  There are a couple that I can’t wait to get to the film and look at to see what exactly happened they went so quick.  I thought we shared it really well and did some good stuff; a couple of great post feeds and a couple of nice extra passes in the transition.”

• On Amanda Thompson’s contributions:
“She was very decisive today, which I think has been her Achilles’ heel in the last couple of weeks; just ‘should I pass now, should I pass in a minute, should I dribble first and then pass.’  It just looked like she let the game come to her and trusted her instincts.  I’ve said this in practice before, and the thing about Amanda is, I can tell her who is going to be open and it doesn’t matter what they do.  She’ll find a way to get them the basketball.  There aren’t a lot of kids that can do that.  If I could tell her before every play where to go that would be great, but she did that today.  She saw the floor, recognized what the defense was doing.  She had one beautiful post feed to Courtney that I think was still spinning when Courtney caught it and shot it. She just did some really nice things, and I’ve always said that.  That’s A.T.’s gift.”

• On what a win over Tennessee would mean for the program:
“I think when you look at the national landscape of women’s college basketball, you see Connecticut and Tennessee depending on who you talk to.  But those guys have won so many titles that when you are able to notch a win against them, I think it’s something significant regardless of who your program is or what you’ve done.  We’ve won five Big 12 regular season titles, and no one else in the league has come even close to that.  That’s something that we’re very proud of, but we haven’t beaten Tennessee and we haven’t beaten Connecticut.  We got really close to Tennessee last year.  We were one possession away.  We got really close to defeating Connecticut in the national championship in 2002, but nobody keeps track of the closes.  That doesn’t really matter; you have to beat them.  So I think coupled with the fact that they are the defending national champions, it would be significant.  Regardless of what happens, we’re still going to compete to win a Big 12 Championship to play into a great seed in the NCAA tournament and go forward.  We’ll be better for this experience.”

Oklahoma Junior Forward/Guard Nyeshia Stevenson
• On her confidence:
“I’m as confident as I ever have been.  I think it mostly comes from my teammates and Coach.  I just feed off of them; just doing the easy thing instead of making everything hard.

• On why she loves coming off the bench:
“It’s all I know right now.  I don’t know anything different.  I love my job and the things that I have to do.”

• On handling the schedule this season mentally:
“We look at each game and take it one at a time.  We don’t try to jump ahead and we don’t try to go back.  It’s like, ‘Bam, we have this one, let’s look at this team and let’s play as hard as we can for 40 minutes and after that we’ll go to the next. It’s just a thing of confidence.  We want another, just knowing that we all are going to do our job the best way that we can individually and then bring it together as a whole.

Oklahoma Freshman Guard Whitney Hand
• On the strength of schedule at OU:
“You don’t get this opportunity at many places.  It’s ridiculous.  We’re playing an unranked team tonight and we still had thousands of fans here.  It’s obviously very attractive to play for a program that plays for the best and give you the best experience.”

• On her confidence level so far this season:
“Earlier in the season, we were still discovering the roles and how we were going to mesh as a team.  I know I was looking to see where exactly I was going to fit.  I feel like my teammates have shown a confidence in me in this part of my game, so that really gives me confidence in myself.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Missouri Head Coach Cindy Stein
• Opening statement:
“I was a little leery playing the No. 2 team in the country. Just because what I notice from Oklahoma is, in every game, they keep on getting better and better. So obviously we were a little short-handed tonight and it doesn’t help that you are playing on their home court anyway.

• On what the difference is in this Oklahoma team:
“On their part, I just think that the key factor for Oklahoma has been Ashley Paris has been there x-factor. She has done a tremendous job of getting better. We always thought that Courtney Paris was a handful, and that is a given, but Ashley is being as good as she is.  Whitney Hand being able to score on the perimeter, as she does, the way Danielle Robinson can get to the basket and Amanda Thompson is doing a terrific job of scoring. Last year, we were not worried about their perimeter scoring and we would just try and pack it in and now you can’t do that. They are all playing really well together. They are a terrific team and we knew it.”

• On how good Oklahoma is right now:
“From one aspect you don’t want to have Oklahoma in your conference because they are so good. But it is exciting in the fact that Oklahoma is possibly a Final Four. That is the best Oklahoma team that I have seen a long time. I think that they have more weapons than when Stacey Dales was here. I think that they are pretty good.” 

Missouri Senior Guard Alyssa Hollins
• On the game:
“I would say that we are feeling good, coming into the game, this afternoon. The team was amped even though we were not full strength and we were feeling good about our chances. Even though the first 10 minutes we were down, nobody lost faith that we could make a run.”

• On Whintey Hand:
“She is a handful. When you have the Paris twins in the bottom -- having a shooter like that is hard. Chasing her around like that -- no defender likes to do that. You have to just play her straight up and trail and hope to get a hand up. You can tell that she has gotten progressively better at ball faking and getting to the rim because that makes her harder to guard.”