Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Tennessee 75 - Purdue 54 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Pat Summitt

(remarks from the court following game) "Let me just say thanks to all of you fans. You are such a part of this. This has been a special year for this team. You (fans) have helped build a great tradition here and helped us recruit great players. To all of you (former) players who played here-I love and appreciate you. This team is on a mission. Stick with us. Our assistant coaches-I do listen to you occasionally. The administration has been awesome. Having the floor named "The Summitt" is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life."

(opening remarks in press conference) "First of all, I'm excited that this team is headed to Philadelphia. We played in spurts, but it was good enough for us to advance. I'm proud of this team, and I'm proud for this team. We'll enjoy tonight and start preparing for Texas Tech tomorrow. Tye Fluker got the award for focus for this game. I hope she'll keep those glasses (the award) for a while."

(on the court at Thompson-Boling Arena being named "The Summitt") "I had no idea. It really touches me. It is a tremendous honor. I never ever thought of anything like that ever. I don't think anyone knows how much I love this university. It was a vote of confidence. This recognition was very touching. I want to thank all of those who have been behind the program for years. It is an honor for me personally, and my family as well."

(on whether she was relieved on reaching the record) "I turned the volume on the TV down last night, and Tennessee wasn't playing. I appreciate the attention that women's basketball has received because of this. I want to keep my focus on this team. I didn't want our players to feel pressure from this. They handled it well. Like they said, it was in the back of their minds. It's special for them, to be a part of this. Now, it's strictly about this team. This team has a chance to do something special. We'll prepare for Texas Tech and move forward."

(on defensive improvement in the second half) "At halftime, I was not real happy. Purdue can make shots, and they play well together. We didn't disrupt them. The way our program was built was with defense and rebounding. That's the way we win in March. Obviously, Purdue's shooting in the second half was not what it was in the first half. Our defense was better (in the second half)."

(on who she was surprised to see in the crowd at the game) "My mother. I don't know how many former players were here. I had voice messages from many of them. Cindy Noble Hauserman was here. Lea Henry left a message that she was going to be here. I saw Daedra Charles. There were a number of them. (Former Tennessee associate head coach and current Kentucky head coach) Mickie DeMoss came down from Lexington. I was sad because I thought my mom and dad would not be here. It was great when my family walked in. When I saw my mother, she cried, and then I started crying. When your mother cries, you cry. The longer that I'm in this profession, I see a lot of my mother in me. That's a good thing because it means I've mellowed."

(closing remarks) "I just want to thank you (the media) for being here. I appreciate what the media has meant to the growth of the sport."

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