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Vanderbilt vs. Saint Joseph - Postgame Quotes

March 23, 2013


Melanie Balcomb, Vanderbilt Head Coach:

Opening Statement:
"It was ugly, but I think the first round, first game usually is. I think everybody played hard, both teams worked extremely hard on both ends of the floor. I just think the shooting percentages were down because both teams played very good defense and were very prepared. In the end we made some clutch baskets, as well as stopping them from getting any kind of three from Shields. I think that was really important."

Can you single out a few plays by your team that you thought were key?
"As Jasmine was saying it was Heather Bowe when she made that drive, then Jasmine when she made that drive at the end. I also think Jasmine's two threes when we came inside then went back out were big. Jasmine has been very good under pressure, the last two year's especially, and has taken those big shots. When they stopped our offense and we were scrambling and I was in a position both times of thinking about calling a timeout and re-setting the shot clock. It just felt like that once we had it spread out, they really hugged up and we would be able to get something better off the attack. On the defensive end I thought we were solid all night, the important part was getting the ball back on rebounding and crashing the boards. I thought it was key getting those big boards down the stretch for us made a big difference."

Before the season started would you have guessed that freshmen would have played so much in this game?
"No. We thought it was going to be a totally different team with a lot of players back and improved. Playing defense and rebounding has been winning a lot of games for us and we have a very young team. I had some freshmen on the floor that weren't running any of the offenses right. In an NCAA game they were all of the sudden panicking and it was really nice to have them on the court for next year. Hopefully, next game, we will do better."



On the team's mentality:
"I thought it was really important. What they talked about after the game was how they stayed together. When they made their run down the stretch, our team stayed together. They never started pointing fingers or getting on each other and they are best when they stick together and support each other. They don't like to call each other out. We feel your body language has to start from our leadership as a staff. Our bench was really supportive. I thought we just came together and supported each other and didn't get negative."

Jamie Lister, Vanderbilt Guard:

What was going through your mind down the stretch of the game?
"I know at that point the game was going really fast and everybody was scrambling everywhere. So we needed to regroup together and we didn't push the ball as hard down the court. Heather Bowe made a big basket when the game was tied fifty to fifty. She gave us the lead and that was important."

What kind of confidence do you bring into the next round matchup on Monday?
"I'm looking forward to the game now, whoever we play, because we are now adjusted to the hoops, adjusted to the court. Whoever we play next round deserves to be in the next round. It is going to be a very intense game, so we are just looking forward to playing that game and do what we need to do. We still haven't played our best basketball yet. The first game is always the hardest because you have the nerves and the jitters. Now that we are more composed we are really looking forward to the next game."

On the poise of the team:
"We focused on getting stops down the stretch, and finding their shooters, then finishing the play off by boxing out so we didn't have to worry on offense...even when our shots weren't falling."

Tiffany Clarke, Vanderbilt Forward:

On having a ten-point lead:
"Of course we always like to have a lead going into a game. Being up ten, we expected to continue our run-in, like I said basketball is a game of run-ins. They made adjustments and they made a run, but we regrouped and we had constant confidence in ourselves. They made a run on us, but we were able to stop it and get it back."

On taking the game over in its conclusion:
"Our game plan is to always work the ball inside out. It wasn't like we had planned to go in and work the ball only inside, it was just to continue our offense inside, or kick it back out outside. I think that we made a focus on keeping the ball inside, just as we made a focus on executing our offense better."

Cindy Griffin, Saint Joseph's Head Coach:

Opening Statement:
"I thought our kids fought to the very end. I couldn't ask anything more from them today. I thought we battled on every possession. We were right there in the end, but the shots just didn't fall today. There are days like that. In these type of games, the ball needs to drop. I wouldn't do anything different. I think these kids came out today ready to play and ready to win. I couldn't be more proud."

How did Chatilla van Grinsven's foul trouble change your approach?
"It changed a lot of what we wanted to do. Certainly, she's our leading scorer and rebounder. We got destroyed on the boards in the first half. We got destroyed in the whole game, but we kind of closed the gap in the second half. Not only does she give us presence on the scoreboard, but also in rebounding. It hurt us."

Did you think you could come back after getting down early?
"Definitely. I think we're a pretty good team under four minutes. We've been in these situations before, but we just couldn't hit the shots. I thought our kids showed a lot of fight. In an NCAA game, you need to shoot the ball a little better."

What were your thoughts on the season?
"We were picked sixth in the Atlantic 10 and people didn't know what we had in the gym. We lost four seniors and had a couple of transfers sitting out. I think this team had a chip on their shoulder from the day we started. It was a great season. I think the win over Maryland gave this group a lot of confidence that they could play with the big dogs. Their goal was to get to the NCAA tournament. It wasn't always a clear path, as we had some ups and downs in the RPI. Winning the Atlantic 10 was the legacy for this senior class."

Chatilla van Grinsven, Saint Joseph's Forward:

What was it like getting two early fouls?
"Well, of course it's very hard to sit out and let the team do things by themselves. They were very strong and kept up very well. I knew the second half I just had to come out ready to make sure I didn't get in any foul trouble again. I tried to give it everything I had my senior year."

How would you evaluate your season?
"Well our season started in Ireland, and that was a great trip for us because we were exposed to some really great teams. We learned to play together. I feel like we really came together at that point. In preseason, we played some really tough teams. I think in-season we handled it really well."

Ashley Prim, Saint Joseph's Guard:

How would you evaluate your season?
"Whoever we faced, we went into the game knowing we had the ability to win regardless of how the team may take us. Even if we were the underdog, we went into the game with the mindset that we were going to win at all costs. I'm proud of the whole team. I think the Syracuse game is when we got it together. I think my team handled everything well to make it this far. I'm proud of my teammates."

Natash Cloud , Saint Joseph's Guard:

What was your mindset after getting down early in the game?
"We're a team that's been in this position many times, like our championship game when we were down 12. So we were confident that we could come back. We just had to chip away at it. We tied it up, but we just couldn't get over that hump."

Was your season ultimately a disappointment?
"I wouldn't say our season was a disappointment. This loss is definitely a hard pill to swallow. Overall, we came out and won the Atlantic Championship when no one thought we could. I'm proud of the way we played throughout the season. It's not the greatest feeling that we lost today, but Vanderbilt is a great team. We're one of the few mid-level teams who can say they made it to the NCAA Tournament. I'm proud of our seniors for leading this year."