Jan. 18, 2009

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale
• On the game:
“Big win for our program.  Obviously anytime you can beat the No.6 ranked team in the country it’s a big win.  Obviously it helps us in our conference standing.  I thought we played really well out of the gate, first four minutes.  Really a lot of energy, great adherence to the defensive game plan.   I’m really proud of our kids, I thought our effort was great.”

• On defending Texas A&M:
“We felt like Danielle Gant and Takia Starks were the keys for them.  Those guys have to score, and we tried to limit their attempts as much as we could and tried to keep Gant off the board because I think her area of expertise as a player is offensive rebounding and we kept her from getting one.  She didn’t even have one all night.  That was one of our game goals that a number of people contributed.  Courtney (Paris) did a great job on her sending her left; that size bothered her a little bit.  Carlee Roethlisberger came in and did a good job on her for a while, and then we blocked her out by committing when we were in a zone.  I just thought our attention to those two guys and knowing the sense of urgency with them was key.  Sometimes that sense of urgency towards those scorers that you’re trying to keep in check can then carry on to your next pass as well.  We were just really smart about not running the guys who were out of position receiving the basketball.”

• On Danielle Robinson’s speed as a point guard:
“It helps a lot that she’s elite, we like that.  She just continues to amaze me because she’s just a sophomore.  I treat her like a senior and she treats herself, in terms of her expectations for herself, as a senior.  But I just thought she really managed the game for us tonight.  Unless you’ve been on the floor against that, you don’t understand how difficult that is to do.  Sometimes she made it look pretty easy; it’s never easy.  They did a fantastic job of hawking the ball, putting a lot of heat one pass away.  I thought she handled herself extremely well, went to the free-throw line and made them pay when she got opportunities there.  So another huge effort by her.”

Oklahoma Senior Center Courtney Paris
• On getting her double-double in the final minute:
“It was cool. Luckily that rebound bounced the right way and then Danielle (Robinson) found me in the open court. The fans were into, so it was good.”

Oklahoma Sophomore Guard Danielle Robinson
• On assisting Courtney Paris’ final points on a fast-break layup:
“I looked at the clock and saw she only had six points and said Courtney, ‘you need the ball, we need to keep this going.’ I gave it to her when she got her ninth point. Then when I got the rebound and I saw that (Damitria) Buchanan was behind her and I said I am going to throw it. I could see in Courtney’s eyes that she wanted it and she was going to catch it and essentially that’s it. So that is two times that she (Paris) has out-run me down the court.”

Oklahoma Freshman Guard Whitney Hand
• On her performance:
“I can’t really explain how I got open to make shots this game. It’s not very hard to get open when you have Courtney, Ashley and everybody drawing so many people. So my role is to shoot and they fell.”

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Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair
• On the game:
“I thought before we came in here that OU was playing better basketball than the rest of us in the Big 12 South.  I think that was proven. I think they were executing at a high level.  On offense we couldn’t score to get into our press and when we did score we were so elated we jumped back when we were supposed to be in a press.  Sometimes it just happens that way. They’re young people and we were struggling.  We did not get beat by Courtney Paris, we got beat by Oklahoma.  Oklahoma did a good job of balancing.  Give those kids credit -- that is what is going to make Oklahoma a better basketball team -- it’s about balance. “

• On the point guards:
“They were not doing their job as leaders and they were not doing their job on the defensive end.  I felt like we had to catch up.  The best way to catch up is to have Tanisha Smith and Tyra White in there and we had to find a way to do that.  Sydney Colson gave up a bunch early in her 11 minutes.  She has to get better.  She has to realize that Whitney Hand is a great shooter.”

• On the inside defense:
“We weren’t trying to stop a double-double, we were trying to play Oklahoma.  We got beat at the one and the two position quite a bit tonight.  I would have hoped we could beat Oklahoma and Courtney Paris could still get her double-double because I think it’s good for the game. Ashley Paris hurt us more on the fast break.  It’s good to see that kid step up her game and get to the next level.  Give her credit, is there a better 1-2 combination in the country than those two sisters right now? ”

• On the team’s defense:
“I thought Oklahoma was playing pretty good defense.  We had to chip away.  Their guards took advantage of what we weren’t doing and sometimes that hurts you.  When you’re not scoring on offense it effects your defense.  We made a lot of mistakes.  If we don’t get better as a team we can not play our style of defense unless we do it as a team.  It’s not one person, if somebody makes a mistake, there’s somebody there to cover up the mistake.  We didn’t do that.”

Texas A&M Senior Forward Danielle Gant
• On not establishing the press:
“It changes a lot because we are a defensive team.  It’s something that we’ve had to work on with our younger kids, most of them didn’t know where to go on sudden presses.  That’s just something we have to work on back at home.”

• On playing from behind:
“I could see it in some of our players faces.  I’ve been here before and we knew that we just had to fight back so it didn’t get to me a lot.  I could tell it was getting to some of our players though.”