Vanderbilt-Alabama postgame quotes

Jan. 25, 2016

Recap | Box Score

Melanie Balcomb
On how different the game was played from quarter to quarter:
“Yes, it was like playing three different games.It was the first game we were up by 14 and cruising along, and then we didn’t score for eight and a half minutes and got down by three. So, we lost the second game and in the third game I think we won the third quarter by a score of 28 to 5. It was one of the oddest games I think I’ve seen. The momentum changed and switched but then we got it back. That was what I was just telling our team. That’s a very hard thing to do. I don’t care if you’re home, away or where you are. To give them all that momentum and then be able to take it back over and open it back up again the way we did; I was really proud of the way they handled themselves.”

On how big Minta Spears three pointer was to close out this game in the 4th:
“It was huge and what’s neat is that we are really unselfish right now and it’s really a lot of fun to coach. Those two are probably the most unselfish players on the floor. They don’t care if they score at all and we need them both to score. You throw it into Marqu’es Webb and she’s happy to get doubled to kick to Spears and Spears doesn’t really want to shoot it but she knows she has to for us to win. So, you know I think they are figuring it out. They are really starting to figure out that even though I serve first when it’s time I need to shine and that’s what both of them did.”

On how well Morgan Batey played tonight recording a double double:
“She’s been consistent, steady and her effort is phenomenal. So, when Webb got that passion and that emotion going Batey got right on her back. Batey is the glue. She reminds me of Hillary Hagger, which is one of my all time faves, because she played point to post and there were games she had to play point, she had to play post and she had to play everything in between and Morgan Batey is doing that for us right now. Everybody should want to be that glue kid and I told her that. I mean, Spears is down with two fouls and Batey goes in and handles the point. We got down and I felt like we needed to go to small ball and we put Batey at the five. That’s what really turned the momentum around and that willingness that Batey is showing as a leader, as a senior is just really starting to carry over to everybody else on this team. They are all willing to do whatever we ask them to do and that puts you in a good place. It gives you the opportunity to win every night. At least you have a chance.”

On the rebounding advantage in the game:
“Plus 20, I asked Ashley Earley that and she doesn’t think that has ever happened with one of my teams, and she was probably one of the best rebounders I’ve ever coached. The same with efficiency. Webb’s efficiency six for ten in the paint. I haven’t seen that since Earley. So, you know plus 20 is huge but I also told her as we were joking about it that I never had a team that missed that many shots we were missing to give us so many offensive rebounds and we were not finishing in the paint in the first half. Until Webb and Batey started finishing inside. Batey made some great passes inside to Webb and that really opened up the game for us as well.”

On the play of Rachel Bell, Marqu’es Webb, and Morgan Batey as a trio:
“We give a game ball out after each game now, win or lose, who did their best for this team and today is the first time I gave three game balls out. We had two players with double doubles in Webb and Batey who we just talked about and I don’t know if we’ve ever had two players in the same game having double doubles and then having a guard like Rachel Bell just put on a show with her pull up game. To be honest with you, that is her game. That’s why I brought her here for. She’s expanded her game to get to the rim more, to shoot threes but she showed what kind of complete player she is tonight and she was playing both sides of the floor. Grabbing loose balls and rebounds and it was really good to see her play the way she can play. She’s been steady this whole time. She doesn’t get too high she doesn’t get too low and she’s just been working. As you do that you just keep growing and she is one of the most coachable players I’ve ever coached. So, I’m just happy that everybody was able to see what Bell can do and I’m sure this will build her confidence for the future.”

Marqu’es Webb
On a fourth quarter comeback after a slow third quarter:
“The third quarter has kind of been our Achilles heel the past two games. The third quarter was what hurt us against Tennessee and what hurt us this game. In the fourth quarter we just really banded together, came out of that timeout, and it just really started with defense. We just turned it up and got in transition. We just made the decision to go out there and just do it, that’s really what it was. Something switched, I don’t know what it was, but I was glad it happened.”

On outrebounding Alabama 44-24:
“That’s the biggest margin since I’ve been here. I know, personally, that has been one of my key focuses. Rachel [Bell] wrote it up on the board before the game, she said to make rebounding a priority, and she had six rebounds today so that is really huge, coming from Rachel. Rebounding as a team has been really, really big for us. It’s paying off.”

On how playing physically affects her:
“A little bit [banged up]. I have a few bruises here and there, that my teammates like to poke and make them worse–they really do I’m not even joking–but it’s all worth it. I love it. I’ll get in an ice bath and sleep to feel better.”

On protecting her teammates in the paint:
“That’s just me as a person. If I’m with you, I have your back no matter what. My teammates are like my sisters as family, I’ve got their back no matter what. I don’t care who it’s against. That’s just my nature, that’s how I was raised. I wouldn’t say that’s my role, rather it’s just who I am.”

Rachel Bell
On playing four very different quarters:
“Yeah we definitely talked about the difference in quarters in the locker room after the game, but it was fun. Good game.”

On what she was proudest of the team about today:
“I’m proud that we came together. We didn’t think that we were going to lose, during the fourth quarter we came out and made that run. It just tells you how together we are and how close we are. I’m just proud of the team and the rebounding margin. We were really excited about that after the game. I’m just proud of us.”

On how she got her jump shot so consistent:
“I’m just in the gym. Coach stays after practice and we work on our footwork and stuff, the high post and threes. Just extra work outside of practice.