Postgame Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 02, 2009

Feb. 2, 2009

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale
• On the game:
“I thought it was a fantastic atmosphere for women’s basketball.  Wonderful stage for two great teams who played very well, shot the ball extraordinarily well.  We were fortunate enough to have Whitney Hand on our basketball team tonight and we did what we needed to do.  I thought our club showed great poise when they went on a run the first half.  We could have panicked, and many teams would have and a younger team would have, but we didn’t.  We played possession by possession and kind of pulled from the reservoir of comebacks that we have and got it back in track to where we could do something with it.  But when Courtney (Paris) comes back in the game, and of course when she comes back on the floor, the flavor of how they defended the game changes.  Just great balance and great team effort, unselfish play.  I’m really proud of our kids and fans and the state of Oklahoma for the way they supported women’s basketball.”

• On coming back from being down by 14 in the first half:
“Well we stopped throwing them the basketball.  We threw it to them about four or five consecutive possessions. And we decided to stop letting Shekinna Stricklen shoot any more 3s.”

• On the maturity of Whitney Hand and Danielle Robinson:
“Fabulous.  Wise beyond their years.  Poised.  Two of the strongest students of the game that I’ve had at Oklahoma.  They watch film every day; they want to work every day; they want to have a great day; they want to figure out what they can do better and want to find out what they did wrong the next day.”

Oklahoma Senior Center Courtney Paris
• On her double-double streak ending:
“I came here and I wanted to win a national championship.  In the midst of it I’ve gotten my streak, I’ve had scoring records, I’ve done all these other things.  And tonight I wish I would have played better, but I realized that we have all the tools that we need to do what I really wanted to do.  It’s overwhelming and I’m just happy that we beat Tennessee.

“I’m so grateful to have the support I’ve had.   You have no idea how it feels to have all those fans shouting my name and just to appreciate the last two years I’ve had here.  It just makes me want to finish off strong for them.”

Oklahoma Senior Forward Ashley Paris
• On her sister Courtney’s double-double streak:
“I think physically I’m the closest thing to Courtney because we share the same DNA.  I’ve been trying to get to four double-doubles.  I don’t know if you all know how much weight I’ve lost in the past year, but I’ve lost over 30 pounds to meet the goal of getting a double-double every game.  And I can’t do it.  I know how hard it is to do that.  I’m so proud.  And I’m proud to have that [Paris] as my last name.  It’s tough.  It’s hard.  It’s unbelievable what she’s done.”

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Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt
• On the game:
“First of all, I think that Oklahoma came out and played with a tremendous amount of confidence. They did a great job of getting the ball inside. I am pleased with how we started the game but we have yet, as a young basketball team, to realize how to play possession by possession and we are a long way to being a 40-minute team. As I said, in the first half we did a lot of good things. Our guard play and our turnovers were very, very costly and when you are not scoring you have got to defend. I thought that we did a below average job of taking away their post action and, obviously, there outside game as well. Whitney Hand is 8-for-9. Ok, it wasn’t like we didn’t watch her on tape. I just want you all to be aware that we did look at tape and we knew who she was and knew her number and we knew that she was a great 3-point shooter.

“We are a long way from being a forty minute team. We are a long way to know what ball security means. So with that said, lesson will be learned. It’s not like this hasn’t been a pattern for us, so that does concern me.”

• On Oklahoma’s depth:
“They have just got great support and that is where I thought that Whitney Hand did a great job of taking pressure off. Danielle Robinson is good and she is smart, she’s heady, she is tough. I thought that she really did a great job. They have got good balance and they obviously like to play inside-out but I think as a team, over all, that they have the balance and the depth overall in their starting five in particular. And that is a very positive thing for them in the Big 12.”

• On Courtney Paris double-double streak coming to an end:
“That is the only thing that we did well. What a streak she has had and she will continue that, I am sure. I do want to say that Courtney has done a good job with the double-double.”

• On Ashley Paris’ game:
“Ashley has really elevated her game and I think that Courtney inspired her and I am really impressed with her game and the way she is now versus a year ago. Obviously, she has invested a lot of time in working on her skills and her face up game is really strong, too.”

• On Oklahoma as a team:
“I think that they are playing with a lot of confidence. They have got good balance and I like their guard play. They got the post game and they are solid at every position.”

• On the atmosphere of Oklahoma City:
“It was a great crowd and I know that when we were here people came out and supported the tournament. That tells me that you have a lot of basketball fans here. Certainly tonight, we had a great environment and I love being a part of this type of commitment to women’s basketball. It is good for our game and obviously this game being on television tonight, we are always trying to promote this game.”

Tennessee Freshman Shekinna Stricklen
• On the game:
“I just think that we let down and we started turning the ball over. We were starting to rush things and we were not moving the way we started on offense. We were just standing a lot. That really messed us up the first half.”

Tennessee Freshman Alyssia Brewer
• On the game:
“We just haven’t figured out how to keep that going the entire game. We have been able to play longer minutes and better minutes than we did at the beginning of the season, but now we just have to put it together.”




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