Cincinnati-Louisville Postgame Quotes

March 1, 2014

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Louisville vs. Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
Postgame Quotes

UC head coach Jamelle Elliott

On why the first half performance was one of the best halves for them this season:
“Well I don’t know what the answer to that is, culmination of senior night and we had a week off to prepare for them and we knew we were going to see their pressure. I don’t think the full court pressures hurt us as much as when they start to trap us in the half court. We started to play a little more rushed and we turned the ball over a little bit. I told my players after the game I really like the attitude they started with, the grit they played with, the effort and the fact that they looked the No. 3 team in the eye right from the opening tip and really believed they could play with them.

I think we did play with them for long stretches at a time, but they are the No. 3 team in the country for a reason and we couldn’t sustain it. In the first half they shot unbelievably lights out from three point line and at halftime we made an adjustment that we weren’t going to help off as much. They only had two three’s in the second half but they had more two point field goals in second half which hurt us a little bit but I really liked how we were coachable today.

We made some adjustments and they tried to do what we asked them to do but at the end of the day every open shot they got, they made it. They were able to get the ball inside. One of things I was happy about was they do a really good job of getting out in transition and I think we really controlled the transition offense that they usually get out and score a lot of points on. But in the half court they were too much for us. They had some really good ball movement, making that extra pass and when guys were wide open they knocked down their open shots.”

On Louisville closing out the pass over the top to Jeanise Randolph:
“Their adjustment was they really sagged off the passer, they forced the passer to think twice about passing the ball. Instead the passer was supposed to look at the rim and being on the offensive attack. So we just need to look at the rim, make that on-ball defender guard her a little bit and then we would have had that opening. They were sagging our openings trying to lob it inside and we turned the ball over when we were forcing it inside to her.”

On what she think makes Louisville a good team:
“Their weapons, you have Shoni Schimmel and if you go under the screen she will knock down the three. I think Asia Taylor is definitely the key for them. She is that emotional leader and is at the tip of their press really causing havoc. She is a beast on the boards especially on the offensive end. Bria Smith is an unbelievable mid-range player, 17-feet and in she is really hard to stop. They moved the ball really well and I think Jeff (Walz) is an encyclopedia for offensive plays, he has a lot of stuff in is repertoire and he pulls it out when he needs to. He does a great job of putting his kids in the right place and he just has a lot of weapons on the floor and coming off the bench.”

On how proud she is of her team’s performance as the season is coming to a close:
“Well one of the things I talked about is I don’t want to be one of those teams that gets up for the No. 3 team in country because we wanted to play hard against them but we knew it was going to be a long shot to beat Louisville. Monday night is the more important game, this was important for our seniors, for us and wanting to play hard and not just back down and get blown out by 50 against the No. 3 team in the country. The best part about this game is we left out the game injury free, nobody got hurt. We have a quick turnaround and we are going to be on the floor for about 45 minutes to an hour tomorrow. Then we have to go down to Memphis and beat them on their home floor to be in control of being the number seven seed once we come into tournament play next Friday.”            

#33, Jeanise Randolph, F

On battling in the first half:
“It was emotion. Everybody was excited and everybody was happy to be there. We knew that we could play with them. They are a great team. We played our hearts out.”

On what makes Louisville a great team:
“Their pressure and they capitalize after live ball turnovers. That is what they feed off of. Once they get live ball turnovers that is what makes them a great team. They capitalized off a lot of mistakes that we made.”

On if Shoni’s struggles were because of Lovett’s defense:
“She did a great job on her tonight. We were very proud of her. She shut her down. I know Shoni is a great player. She drops 30+ in some games. We put her against the best player on every team because we know that she is one of the best defenders in the conference.”

On being a senior and the years here:
“A lot of seniors cry on their senior night, but I am still smiling for some reason. I guess it has not hit me yet. I am just happy to be here and play with my teammates. I know this is our last home game and this is my last time playing at this home court, but I am just happy to be here. My teammates helped me have a good year. It has been a good experience overall. My coaches have been pushing me to get better. I just want to thank them because if they wouldn’t have pushed me this hard, I wouldn’t be where I am at.”

On the most memorable moment at UC:
“There are a lot of things. I know the Ohio State and Xavier games are up there. People might not know, but when I came back from my back injury when we played USF at their place, I didn’t think I was going to be able to play like I could after the back injury, but I still had a really good game. I am happy that I was able to make it the whole year with no injuries.”

On Coach Elliot always being there for them:
“She is always in our corner. We may have our ups and downs, but coach is always there for us. She always supports us know matter what we decide to do. She is so passionate. She built character for us. She is an amazing person. She is very passionate.”

#10, Kayla Cook, G

On battling in the first half:
“I feel like even when they made a run in the second half, we took the punch but we didn’t back down. It didn’t even feel like it was a 24 point game. I feel like it should have been a lot closer than it really was. Louisville is a pressing team. They trapped all over the floor at the beginning of the game and we handled it.”

On what makes Louisville a great team:
“They have so many weapons. Shoni had a rough night tonight and didn’t shoot the ball very well, but her teammates had her back. They are just really athletic and deep.”

On her most memorable moment at UC:
“For me, it is the emotional little things on the court like when someone does something good or we get excited or we are jumping on someone’s back. This has been an awesome experience. I love each and every one of my teammates.”

On if the program is in good hands with Alyesha leading the team next year:
“Yes. It is her team. I honestly feel like it has been her team since Dayessha went out. She is not a point guard, but she has accepted that role.”

On Coach Elliot:
“I have learned a lot from her from her experiences and what she has been through. We have grown as young ladies and to help us carry it outside of basketball and into our lifes. It is not all just about basketball. She has taught us character and how to handle ourselves outside of basketball.”

#12, Alyesha Lovett, G

On if Shoni’s struggles were because of her defense:
“She is a player that can turn it on and off when she feels like it. It was a good feeling for me to know that I can hold her down to 10 points. I just motivate myself by playing the best players like her and to see where I can stand defensively. I am a defensive player. I love defense.”

On playing with both Jeanise and Kayla:
“Playing with these guys is amazing. It is a great experience to learn from both of them. I am going to miss them next year. I love them so much. It is the best experience to be on the court with them and be around them all the time. I love them.”