Postgame Quotes

Feb. 18, 2012

Recap | Final Stats |

Missouri 70, Kansas 65
February 18, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Kansas Head Coach Bonnie Henrickson
Opening Statement:
“We spoke in the locker room at halftime about how it had to be a tale of two halves – and it almost was. It was disappointing that we came out as flat as we did defensively and give up all the threes. We didn’t have an answer to them, but we dug back in and got some good possessions defensively. We needed to get stops, but we didn’t; we played from behind the whole afternoon.”

On Missouri’s shooting:
“They got a lot of uncontested threes – if you gave us those same shots, then our field goal percentage would be pretty similar. We made some tough twos, and they didn’t even have to take many tough twos.”

On Aishah Suthlerland’s second half performance:
“She went and got to the rim. I tell her all the time to feel good about herself, because then her shots will start to fall. It was similar to the K-State game, where she (didn’t play well in the first half), but then went and put it on the floor in the second half and started hitting jumpers. When she could not get to the rim, she was in pretty good rhythm and getting her confidence.”

On playing Tania Jackson:
“(We went with) Tania initially, and then we had to stay with her because of our foul trouble. Tania is an upperclassman and she understands the rivalry, and she knew what this game was going to feel like. Chelsea (Gardner) hasn’t been through this before, and she struggled, and Tania came out and she was aggressive.”

On what they need to be between now and the Big 12 Tournament:
“We have to get some wins; we have Texas Tech and Baylor this week. We have to put two halves on both ends of the floor together, we have some winnable games left. This game hurts, this one is a dagger; we still have a heartbeat, our heart is still ticking, we have to find a way to (get a win). By doing that, we have to understand that we need to play on both ends of the floor for both halves.”

On the temptation to keep Aishah Sutherland in the game when she picked up her second foul:
“I don’t think we played it wrong, because we got back in the game, I felt like we could stop them from getting all of those threes. She came out tentative in the second half because she didn’t want to pick up her third foul. I felt like at home we would be able to make a run; at home, with the crowd and the energy, we would be able to get back in the game, and we did. I didn’t want her to play seven minutes, and then pick up her third foul.”

Kansas senior forward Aishah Sutherland
On the Jayhawks’ slow start of the game:
“We weren’t good on the defensive end just like Coach Bonnie said. Our defense is what killed us this game and if we would have picked it up in the beginning and played hard they wouldn’t have had so much confidence.”

On the flow of the second half:
“We started to score in the second half and we made a run on them. Angel (Goodrich), me and Tania (Jackson) scored and then Natalie (Knight) hit a three and that got us hyped. Then they started fouling and getting frustrated. We made that run on them but we needed to keep it going and they came back.”

Kansas sophomore forward Tania Jackson
On the Jayhawks’ defensive performance:
“We played good defense all season, but it is just about communicating and staying together. When they hit a three it is not a time to get our heads down; it’s time for us to stay focused and stay together as a team. We are all we got right now so we need to communicate and have each other’s back no matter what the situation is, that’s the key.”

On playing rival Missouri for the last time in conference:
“I took it personal; I grew up in Lawrence and all I know is the KU-Missouri rivalry. It was a very emotional game for me and I just wanted the outcome to be better.”

Kansas junior guard Angel Goodrich
On playing from behind in the second half:
“I feel like if we had a couple more minutes than we could have come out stronger. The hole was just too big and when you go score you still have to get a stop, you can’t just go back and forth. You have to get stops and that is just focus, concentration and communication.”

On talking to junior forward Carolyn Davis:
“It’s very hard, even for us as a team. It is tough to see her on the sidelines. I know that when I see her doing rehab that I know what she is going through and I can feel the pain myself. I just try to keep her spirits up by telling her that it is going to get better and that she is going to be a stronger person both physically and mentally.”

On finishing the conference season:
“I feel like we can have a strong finish to the season. That is the key thing for us right now, just staying together as a team and continuing to get better every day.”

Missouri head coach Robin Pingeton
Opening statement:
“Obviously, a great win for us. I’m proud of our players. It’s been a challenging year as we try to lay the foundation and build a program at Mizzou. I give these girls all the credit. Their resiliency–I’ve said this a lot–I’m so proud of their work ethic every day in practice. It would be so easy to throw in the towel or quit and these girls haven’t done that all year long. They continue to bring great focus, great energy and great effort to our practices on a daily basis. I’m just happy for them. This was a big win for a lot of reasons. I’m really proud of them.”

On Missouri’s ability to close out the game:
“We struggled for a few possessions there at the end. I think they just wanted to make me sweat. I absolutely do (think that Missouri’s recent close games helped them to close out the win). Part of it I think it’s being such a young, inexperienced team, even BreAnna Brock who is a senior, she’s young in regards to playing experience. Going through the league the first time, everyone talks about how this is the toughest the league has ever been and we’re the youngest, most inexperienced that we’ve been in a long time at Mizzou. That second time around, it helps for our young players to have been through it. Christine Flores has always been used to playing with a RaeShara Brown (former Missouri guard) or with another go-to player. For her to adjust to the position she is in now (is a great accomplishment). I think the experience that we have with our players and the resiliency, again I think it would be so easy to throw in the towel–although they wouldn’t have a Mizzou uniform on anymore because we wouldn’t tolerate that in our program–for them to continue to stay the course and work so hard in practice, it was bound to pay off for us. That’s the thing, now it’s basketball, but later on it’s life. There are a lot of life lessons for us right now. When you face adversity you don’t point fingers and you don’t feel sorry for yourself. You roll up your sleeves and you continue to go to work.”

On the possible ending to the Kansas-Missouri rivalry:
“It seems like we have been playing Kansas, even though I’ve only been at Mizzou for a year and a half, back to my days at Illinois State, (for a long time). This fan base is awesome. We’ve played in front of a lot of big crowds here. I think it’s an awesome rivalry. What is it, 100 years standing? There is a lot of history and emotion that goes into it. We certainly would love to continue the rivalry and hopefully in a few years we can bring it back.”

On stopping (Kansas’) Monica Engelman in the second half:
“(Aishah) Sutherland decided to go off a little bit more. She’s a heck of a player. Defensively, for the most part, we’re pretty solid. We missed our assignments a few times here and there. We talk a lot about every game just playing assignment correct for 40 minutes. We didn’t change much. We were still trapping ball screens. Sutherland is a tremendous player. We felt going into the second half, after she had to sit those last few minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, that she would try to take the game over and she did.”

On Missouri shooting at least 55 percent from the field for the first time since 2005:
“It’s so hard because I keep talking about this. I see our kids every day in practice and we have the ability to shoot the ball pretty well. In the non-conference (portion of the season) we shot it real well from the perimeter. (Missouri freshman) Kyley Simmons is up and down with how aggressive she is offensively. We see it every day so it doesn’t surprise me. I don’t think it’s a fluke. Getting used to playing against the aggressive defense and in the environments that we play in on the road and the mental toughness that you have to have night in and night out to stick shots, that’s kind of a work in progress for us. We talk a lot about `between the ears’ and how powerful that is. We continue to plant seeds. Give (the players) credit. They have to receive it and apply it. I think steadily we’ve done that throughout the course of this season.”

Missouri senior forward Christine Flores
On Missouri getting its first conference win of the season:
“It’s exciting. A win is a win. You get excited when you win, but the fact that it is our first this season in the Big 12 (it has); that sense of we finally did it and we finally knocked down that wall and all this work is for something. It’s a proud moment.”

On if she trusts her young teammates in late-game situations:
“If you’ve seen our last few games, they have been exactly the same way. Now I have faith in them 100 percent. Even though they are young, they have been playing all season. They had 39, 40 minutes. They have been playing these minutes all season. I have complete faith in them. They are great players and they are only going to get better.”

Missouri junior guard Sydney Crafton
On if Missouri’s inability to win a conference game was weighing on the team:
“It’s frustrating at times. We know how good we are. We just have to apply (what we’ve been practicing and learned from the season). With that mindset, we come to practice every day, we roll our sleeves up and get better day-by-day. Today, because we didn’t give up, we got that much better and we got the win. We have to go to practice tomorrow and get better again.”