Feb. 26, 2012
Auburn Head Coach Nell Fortner
Opening statement... "It sure is nice to get the final win at home and the final win in the SEC season. I'm just really proud of how the team just kept fighting and kept believing `til the end because it was not a pretty day for us. I don't know if it was just a lid on the basket today. We just had to really fight hard for every field goal we made. The best part about it was they just believed `til the end and just hung in there and made some great defensive stops, hit some big free throws. I thought Hasina Muhammad was just outstanding today. Just great fight in this team."
On getting two offensive rebounds in one possession with less than one minute to play to keep the ball with the lead... "It was huge. That was probably the difference in the game because it gave us a whole total minute with the ball, maybe more than that. I thought that was huge. It was just great will. It was just a tremendous will and desire to win the ballgame and knowing that you had to have that rebound, so I'm really proud of them."
On the last three minutes of the game, battling back for the win and Tyrese Tanner scoring nine points at the end of the game... "(Tanner) has a way of doing that doesn't she? Ty, she can do things like that. I think it was like three minutes and seven seconds, something like that, we held them without scoring, but we talked about it in the timeout, that last timeout. We were making some defensive mistakes. Letting them out of traps or not getting the loose ball, and they would end up getting some easy shots, so it was really frustrating because we were playing hard. It just wasn't paying off. I thought we really clamped down at that point and worked hard not to make those defensive mistakes. We stopped trapping on ball screens. We weren't going to give up something easy. Just really thought we just really played some good defense there, but those two (offensive) boards were key."
On the tribute to her after the game... "It was just really nice. I look forward to going back and seeing it again. They said there was a whole lot more, and they couldn't get it all in that tape, so I look forward to seeing it. You never know what kind of impact you make on people. You don't ever know. You can maybe guess or speculate. This is a special place. I've loved every minute of being here, so it's nice to know that you've made a difference here."
On it being a hard game and wishing she'd had an easier one to close out on... "I'd rather have an easy game anytime. It was just really kind of weird because I knew we were ready to play. The kids were ready. We were coming off that Alabama win. Everything was set up for a good day for us and just for whatever reason, the ball just wasn't dropping for us, and it seemed to be dropping easily for them. But again, we had to fight hard, and that's not a bad thing, either, to have to overcome that kind of adversity and still win a game. So that's good."
On if she let herself think about the big picture at any point during the game... "I didn't. I never did. It was all about that game because we wanted that nine-spot (in the SEC Tournament) and not the 10 spot. If we'd have lost, we'd have been 10. We did what we needed to do."
On playing Florida on Thursday in the SEC Tournament... "We want to go there and win as many games as we can. In 1997, when Auburn won this thing, they were the nine seed in that tournament, which we are, and their last home game was Ole Miss. We'll kind of use that a little bit. I don't know what it'll do for us, but it sounds good. We'll just go there with everything we've got and try to win a ballgame and get ready for the next one."
Tyrese Tanner, So., F
On taking over late in the game... "I just had a bad first half, wasn't hitting anything, and making turnovers. Coach Fortner gave us a great talk at halftime telling us to keep our confidence up."
On getting the win for Coach Fortner... "It felt pretty good. This is our last home game with her, and it's really special for us to come out and get the win for her. Now we need to go on to the SEC Tournament and win for her."
Hasina Muhammad, Fr., G/F
On the difference between the Ole Miss and Alabama games... "Everything was going in for us during the Alabama game. Today we just had to get in there and get the little jump shots."
On the pressure of the game... "Everybody was looking at each other wondering what was going on, but then we told each other to keep our confidence up and believe in each other."
Ole Miss Head Coach Renee Ladner
Opening statement... "I thought both teams played extremely hard. I thought we were in control for the most part. We did not manage the game the last three minutes. We had a lot of young players on the floor and turnovers and missed box-outs, and I thought those were missed opportunities. To the very last minute it could have gone either way, and we made simple mistakes. You have to grow, and you have to get better. I thought in the last few minutes our eyes got big, and we played not to lose. I thought for the most part of the game we played to win, and then when things got tough, we played not to lose. They have been through a very trying season, and again, I had three freshmen, a sophomore and a senior on the floor. I think as they grow older and mature they will understand that they will get better and better. It has been a really hard season."
On any changes in the second half... "I thought the game plan was to perfection. I thought we did an outstanding job on Blanche Alverson and Camille Glymph, Hasina Muhammad stepped up. Go back in the last minute and a half, if we take care of the ball we are going to beat Auburn. We turned it over, and we turned it over, and then we missed three box-outs the last minute and a half of the game. They got an extra possession and we fouled. I don't think it was anything necessarily that they did. I think it is what we did to ourselves."
Valencia McFarland, So., PG.
Overall thoughts on the game... "I think we played great throughout the whole game. The intensity level was up, and our defensive plan was there, but in the end we let them keep box-outs and keep rebounds. That is what hurt us really."
On if anything changed in the second half...
"Nothing changed until the last two minutes where those box-outs and turnovers happened."