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Auburn vs. Vanderbilt Quotes

Feb. 5, 2006

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Head coach Nell Fortner
Opening Statement...
"The positive thing coming out of this game is seeing KeKe Carrier play 34 minutes. That's big for our team. As she continues to play big minutes, she will keep getting better. She handled her minutes well in this game. We aren't going to win many games turning the ball over 23 times. We turned it over 22 times at Florida and it got worse this afternoon."

On DeWanna Bonner getting into foul trouble...
"DeWanna (Bonner) only played 24 minutes. She needs to be on the floor longer than that to give us a good chance to win. When we have KeKe (Carrier) and Marita (Payne) on the floor, we have to have DeWanna out there too. Those three give us a good core of players. As a team, we need to get Bonner the ball sooner. She was having to work too hard, and got herself into foul trouble early."

Freshman Center KeKe Carrier
On the SEC being a physical league...
"I am pretty used to it by now. I have had to deal with it since high school. I don't really like it but I have to deal with it."

Senior Guard Nitasha Brown
On starting strong...
"We couldn't get the rhythm we had in the first half to carry over to the second. We tried a few different things offensively, but we couldn't find a flow toward the end."

Freshman Guard Whitney Boddie
On Vanderbilt's defensive pressure...
"In the first half they did a good job getting pressure on us. I thought we adjusted well to what they were trying to do. They played a physical game, and got good pressure on the ball. We can't have so many turnovers if we expect to win."



Vanderbilt head coach Melanie Balcomb
On keys to the comeback in both halves...
"It was a little different each time. We started getting more aggressive on defense, and picked up our pressure on the three-quarter court."

"We had a lot of trouble scoring on them at halfcourt. We were looking to push the ball in the transition. Caroline (Williams) got a lot of looks in the transition, and Nicole did a good job posting up."

On Vanderbilt's Cherish Stringfield...
"One of our comeback efforts came when we put Cherish in at the point. She's gained confidence when Dee (Davis) wasn't playing at the point.

On how difficult it is to score against Auburn's size...
"It was difficult because we're not used to it. In the first half, we were struggling because we were intimidated and hesitant. We wanted to drive the outside shot and we missed a lot of those so that hurt us. We were definitely intimidated on offense on the inside."

On strategy when up by three with seven seconds left...
"We showed film on it and worked on special situations. We brought our defense up to slow it down. We didn't want to let them go as quickly down the floor as they had been."

On close margin of victory against Auburn in the past several years...
"We know that every game with Auburn is going to be tremendous. Every game in my four years here, the game with Auburn has come down to the last possession. Early on, I was worried that this game wasn't going to be like that. It's something that has always happened, we've just been fortunate to be on the positive end each time."

On Auburn's freshmen...
"Bonner got into a little bit of foul trouble. She's very active and that hurt them down the stretch. Boddie is a solid point guard. Everyone was trying to do stuff to her because she can do everything. Those kids are definitely helping out immediately. With them playing so many minutes, they are gaining positive experience for the future."

On Auburn's defense...
"At halfcourt, we struggled all night with the intimidation inside. They were switching defenses and limiting our drives. Auburn is good on defense at halfcourt. They are tough to score on. They keep you off balance, and as you can see, we were off balance a lot of the night."

Vanderbilt guard Caroline Williams
On hitting a three-pointer to take the lead in the second half...
"We got on a little stretch. We just kept attacking. Dee (Davis) did an awesome job finding open shooters. She kept creating shots for us, and we hit some big ones to get ahead."

"We knew Auburn's whole game plan was to lob into the tall girls. We took some charges and made some big-time plays. It really changes the momentum when it looks like they are going in for an easy layup and someone comes up with a big play."

On winning streak against Auburn at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum...
"This is a tough place to play. Coach Balcomb said in the locker room that the last four games here have gone down to the wire. It's confidence. When we keep winning, it just builds more confidence for us. They play hard and we play hard. You always wonder who is going to get it, and it's been us the last four years."

Vanderbilt forward Carla Thomas
"We got confidence off our defense. We knew it would come down to getting some defensive stops, and we did that. That has really been our focus in practice."

On getting defensive stops, then no plays on offense...
"It takes the pressure off your offense when you get the stops. It gets frustrating after a while, but we know if we keep making the stops that eventually our shots will fall."

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