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Post Game Quotes

March 9, 2012

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Southern Miss Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis
Opening Statement...
"First of all, I'd like to say congratulations to the UTEP Miners. I said when we played them back in Hattiesburg, I thought they were at that point arguably the best team in the conference because they have so many weapons and you saw all of their weapons today. They have the strong inside game. They can score off the bounce, and they can shoot the three ball. They can do a little bit of everything."

"We felt like going into this game that it was going to be a challenge. But we felt like particularly this year we had faced adversity. We had faced challenges, so we believe that there was no team that would be great enough to intimidate us or to scare us or to fear us. We did not believe anyone would be able to do that. I felt like our team because of the things we had faced in adversity was able to face this challenge. I'm very proud of our team and our effort."

"I do think there were times we got out of whack and out of sync offensively, and then we made some defensive mistakes. And from that it looked like we were just lost. We did not make proper defensive rotations that we needed to make out of our three press. And we made them last night. That's the crazy thing. We made them last night to perfection. And then tonight we didn't make them. We didn't make the rotations over. And people were able to get some easy shots. I truly believe that in coming into the game that our team believed we could pull an upset, and we knew it would be an upset. We knew that in Conference USA a 9-1 upset had never happened. And it was our goal to come in to be able to do that. I think these ladies, again, played hard. I don't think we always played smart. I don't think we always executed the things we needed to execute as a whole. We had one or two that was on one page and three or four that was on another. I think when you take on a team that's as good as UTEP, it's got to all click at the same time. It's all got to click at the same time. I think that when you have someone inside like Gloria Brown on the inside it presents a real challenge for us. We tried to double down on her. We tried to dig it out of there. But again she is physically so strong. She just scores anytime she wants to score and gets the ball inside. But again, I think we lost today to a very good team. A team that we will all see play in the NCAA tournament. But I also want you to know that I'm very proud of this team because of the adversity that we have faced with our injuries. We will have five knees that will be operated on as soon as we get back to Hattiesburg. We have one player with two meniscus tears. There are not many people that will play with two meniscus tears. Separate knees, two meniscus tears. But these young ladies, when we face that adversity of losing arguably our best player, knee injuries going down, knee injuries happen. The thing I can tell you about this group of young ladies is that they were resilient. They were determined that no matter what they faced, they were going to give it all for the good of this team. And I think that made us very special. And I will tell you as a head coach, speaking for myself and our coaching staff, it makes us very proud to be sitting next to the young ladies that wear the black and gold."

UTEP Head Coach Keitha Adams
Opening Statement...
"First I'd like to say that Southern Miss is a team that's had a tremendous February. When we played them at their place it was a dog fight. They've got a very good team. The point guard (Jamierra) Faulkner is something else. Tanecka Carey, both those two guards are tremendous players. They played extremely hard. Joye Lee does a great job with them. For us to have a bye, and then our first game; I think that was a pretty tough opponent to play just starting out in a tournament. They're a very good team, and they've been playing extremely well. We watched them play last night. I thought they were flawless. They played 40 minutes and really played well. They ran a half court defense that I think has caused some people some fits. We really prepared this week in practice. Today's game is really a reflection of our players having great, great preparation. I've told them that in the locker room. They've had two really good days of practice, had a very good shoot around today. They executed the game plan, and basically that's why I think we played the way we did today. I'm really proud of my players and how they prepared this week. Now we've got to mentally prepare for tomorrow."

Coming in you had a couple of games that you struggled to score. That completely changed tonight. What was the key to that?...
"I think one of the things we did is we attacked their half court trap. We were setting a high on ball screen and we just had that mind set that we were attacking. Instead of just sitting around in the back court and passing it and passing it, we set a screen on the top of that half court trap and told our point guard to go play and go attack. I think that really set the tone from the jump. Our players just really played well and shot well today. They're probably going to tell me I need to give them three days off more because I gave them three days off last weekend. They've been pretty fresh since then."

The last couple of games you were shooting the ball poorly and especially free throws, and then again that just completely changed. Is that just having fresher legs?...
"I think fresher legs, but I also think these guys took that time off and they've come in for practice. They've had a bounce in their step. They've had a lot of pep in their step. They've had a lot of focus. They're very upbeat. They wanted to be in the gym this week. They just really had good practices. I think that their mind set and their focus were very good leading into this game. We're not very happy in the way we played in our last couple of games. Our last loss at home against Rice is still a stinger for us. We have a lot that we're looking to do."

How about the defense of Melisa (Mendes)?...
"I thought Melisa played extremely hard today. I thought there were times when our defense was pretty good. Both (Jamierra) Faulkner and (Tanecka) Carey hit some unbelievably tough shots. They did a good job of screening and doing some things to create spacing. They were pretty quick at getting their shot off. I thought that Mendes played extremely hard and made them earn what they got. It was a great game. I have a lot of respect for their team. We knew we had to play well, and I thought we came out and played well."

Southern Miss Players
Jamierra Faulkner
Jamierra, UTEP scored 92 points. What happened?...
"Just us turning the ball over and them getting fast break points. We started pressing, everybody didn't rotate. Just simple things we messed up on."

Sedreka Plummer, Southern Miss
What do you think about the future of the program?...
"With the freshmen we have coming in and all the people we have returning I think we will be a force to be reckoned with next year. And we take this loss as just not being a loss. It just made us better, and we are going to get better in the off season."

UTEP Players
Kelli Willingham
How fun was it to play an up and down game where you get 92 points? Was this kind of a fun one?...
"It was fun. We had fans come out and support us. That was exciting. It's always fun. Coach wanted us to play up and down, so it's always fun to play that way."

Those were some big threes that you hit...
"Yes I think they were pretty big. I think they got us motivated. It got us motivated and gave us a boost of energy."

Erika Warren
Did you kind of get into the flow of things going up and down the court like that?...
"I play better in a high tempo game. I like plays, but coach plays us hard."

How good was Southern Miss? Were you expecting that?...
"I was expecting it. They play hard every game. When we were at their house, it was close, so they vwanted this game. (Jamierra) Faulkner and (Tanecka) Carey they are cold. They were really coming out to play."

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