Post-Game Quotes: Auburn 74, Alabama 55
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Jan. 30, 2014

Auburn Basketball 2013-14
Alabama at Auburn
Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014

Auburn head coach Tony Barbee
On the game...
"I'm proud of the guys and the way they fought. They've been fighting. I've told you, the chemistry is unbelievable. Like I told the guys this whole week, let's not think about wins or losses or record, let's think about process, have we been getting better and the answer to that is yes. Every single game, every single practice we have gotten better and if we will keep working that way the breakthrough will happen. They've stayed with it. The energy this week has been unbelievable, the effort has been great and I am proud of the guys and happy for them that they were able to finish one off and get the rewards of their hard work."

On the early man defense...
"I thought Tahj Shamsid-Deen was great out front on Trevor Releford. I thought him picking him up full court and letting him know he was here and he was going to be here for 40 minutes, and I thought Asuahn Dixon-Tatum was huge in the first half. It doesn't show necessarily in his numbers, but he was huge protecting the paint and protecting the rim."

On staying out of foul trouble...
"We've been working on it and talking about it. We can't keep fouling. I thought we did a good job of moving our feet tonight, and playing good team defense."

On the energy...
"I think we have had the same energy. You just don't see when we lose. It's been there."

On KT Harrell and Chris Denson...
"It's a good time to have a game when both of those guys are going. It wasn't just the 55 points between them, but it was the 18 rebounds. I have been challenging our guards to rebound the ball because we have to start winning the paint. That doesn't just mean our big guys."

On keeping the momentum going...
"We have just got to stay the course and not worry about record or about wins and losses. Just keep getting better and everything else will take care of itself."

On KT and Chris Denson playing together...
"We need it from them every night. They are the catalyst on this team, and that doesn't mean just scoring. That means making plays for this team. They have been like this all year long, but not at this level. For them to get at this level against your rival was big for both of them."

On the lack of scoring droughts...
"There were some scoring droughts in the first half. We got off to a great start, but when they switched to the zone it bogged us down. We got stagnant. We let them hang around and be close. We talked about it at halftime and when we came out against the zone I thought we were more effective against it."

On Allen Payne's shot before the half...
"It was a big momentum breaker for us for him to be able to knock that down at the buzzer."

On the attitude for this game...
"We wanted to win the first five minutes and take that eight-point lead and push that out and we did that, and we did on the backs of those two (KT Harrell and Chris Denson), but on the backs of our defense as well."

On the attitude of the team in the last minutes...
"The game isn't over until the zeros hit the scoreboard, so we weren't talking about this game was over with three minutes to go. The game wasn't over. Anything can happen, and you see that time and time again this year in college basketball. We never talked about the win until we got into that locker room."

Allen Payne
On the crowd...
"It was indescribable really. To get our first win in SEC play we had to start against Alabama. We were excited and had a lot of emotion when we ran over to the crowd. The crowd was great all night, they were here early and we appreciate them."

On breaking the SEC losing streak...
"It's the same as breaking the streak against Alabama, we can move on from it. Not that we were really lingering on it, but we still had it in the back of our minds. Now we feel we can get this game rolling and a lot of our games left are at home and we feel we can win at home. It will be good to move on."

Chris Denson
On his scoring...
"It's something Coach Tony Barbee reiterated again. It is a fact that we played hard in all the games we came up short and lost, but we had bursts and didn't play hard all 40 minutes. Today we played hard all 40 minutes on both the offense and the defense, especially the defense. We held a great player in Trevor Releford. He struggled tonight and to hold him to an offensive game like he had tonight, it's great."

On the second half...
"I had a shaky first half and I wasn't being aggressive. The coaches talked to me and K.T. Harrell grabbed me individually and told me `you need to come up this half' and that's what I did, attack, attack, attack. Get to the free throw line and that's one thing I've been working on is my free throws. So I took care of that and I knocked it down tonight.

On Harrell's scoring in the second half...
"I was so excited , it just meant we had everything rolling. We were just so turned up today because it was a different feeling. I don't know if it was because it was Alabama, but The Jungle was rocking tonight. That just got me so hyped today and if we come out like that every game, we're going to win a lot of games."

K.T. Harrrell
On the combination of his scoring and Denson's
"It's what you have to do. We have a lot of games where I'm playing well and Denson isn't or visa versa. Tonight, I think we did a good job making plays and that's what we have to do for this team. It felt really good."

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant
On tonight's game...
"I thought Auburn's energy right from the jump was the difference in the game. I thought they played with passion for 40 minutes. Give them credit. It was a great performance by their team."

On slow starts...
"If I had an answer to that, I would have solved that right now. I don't."

On if it was hard not having Trevor Releford and Retin Obasohan in at the same time...
"We don't have any excuses. I thought Auburn came out with energy start to finish. We made some runs in the first half, cutting it to a two-possession game. We just made some mental errors at the end to give them momentum to close the half. In the second half, we were able to come out and have some offensive success. Defensively, they scored on five of their first six possessions. They shot 60 percent in the second half. You look at the performance tonight of KT Harrell and Chris Denson. Those guys dominated the game on both ends of the floor. KT had 23 (points) and 11 (rebounds) and Chris had 32 (points) and seven (rebounds) in 34 and 36 minutes. Give those guys credit. They did what they needed to do to lead their team."

On Harrell getting 10 defensive rebounds...
"He wanted it. It meant something to him. He went out and played with passion like you expect a guy to play in a game like this."

On losing to Auburn twice at Auburn Arena...
"It is a rivalry game and they are a good team. When I watch them on film, it is a one-possession game against Missouri, a one or two-possession game down the stretch against the sixth-ranked team in the country in Florida. They have looked impressive when I watch them on film. Obviously, the results haven't been what they wanted. The guys are playing hard. Those two guys that lead them tonight have been leading them consistently all year. The other guys have bought in and accepted their roles. They are excelling at them."

On the quick turnaround...
"Obviously, this is a tough loss. We have to accept accountability in what we did tonight first and foremost. If we can't do that, then we are just fooling ourselves. We have to be able to move on. We can't get this night back. This is done. This is in the books. We have to accept it and understand what caused it. Then we have to move and get ready for our next one."

On what KT and Chris present to a defense...
"You look at how they space you offensively. They take advantage of driving opportunities. They have other pieces around them that complement what they do. Consistently, KT got up 18 shots today and Denson had 16. Those guys are going to take the bulk of the responsibility of scoring so you have to limit their opportunities and we weren't able to do that tonight."

Levi Randolph
On how it feels to lose against Auburn...
"It is our in-state rival, but we just got to wipe it off. We got a short turnaround. We got to get ready for the next game."

On the challenges of defending the Auburn guards...
"They were just able to get in the lane, penetrate and make buckets. They were really good at getting to the goal and finishing."

On what team effort it takes to bounce back...
"Right now we just need to watch film, see what we did wrong and try to get ready for the next game."

On taking accountability...
"We take ownership in everything we do. This was on us. Like I said before, we have got to watch film and try to get ready for next week."

On the road game being a factor in the loss...
"Coach Grant always says it's a basketball game. Wherever we play, we have to go out and play."