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Feb. 20, 2010

Recap | Final Stats

South Carolina Head Coach Darrin Horn
Opening Statement…
We came into this game knowing it would be tough with Tennessee`s talent. With all of the games we’ve played, we’ve wanted to put ourselves in position to be there in the last five minutes and to have a chance to make some plays and win the game. With a little over five minutes left, it’s a two-possession game and we were right there. We just had a stretch where we did not score at all. We had some turnovers that led to some baskets for them. Their two-possession lead went to nine in a hurry and it became too much to overcome. The difference really was that their bench gets 20 and we get three from ours. They’re just so athletic and deep and we didn’t get plays where we had to. I thought that in the first half we did good with doing what we had to do, which was to limit the inside as much as possible. We had great shots today but just had a bunch that just did not go in. And we didn’t make enough plays down the stretch.

I think their length is always an issue but it only bothered us to some degree because we quit doing what our game plan was which was to attack off movement.

On why the team had a lapse of energy in the second half …
It’s a combination of things. It’s a need for upperclassmen to play like upperclassmen. And understand that we have a lot of guys out there that haven’t been in these positions because we’re playing a lot of freshmen. The reality is that this isn’t a news flash, we’re not in a position where we can have those kinds of lapses against this kind of team.

On keeping the spirit up…
We’re going to keep playing. We need to move forward in a way that we understand that we are building a program regardless of how games turn out. And that’s going to be the case whether it’s five years from now or if we were undefeated right now, that’s going to continue to be the focus.

Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl
Opening Statement…
On every night you have to get it from certain players and on other nights you get it from others. There are some guys that I expect to come in and play, guys that have been there and done that. And then all we need is a couple of other guys so that it’s not going to be the same guy every night to come in and make a difference. The bench was really the difference of the game from the standpoint of scoring margin. We outscored them 23 at our place and 20 this time. I thought the rebounding was key because we didn’t let them get a lot of energy plays to get the crowd into it.

On approaching (Devan) Downey in a different way…
We approached him the same way but what South Carolina did was that they continued to try to take away the other defender. Whoever was guarding Downey was needing help and the next thing we know was the help disappeared. What we did was force them to stay and zone up on the backside. I thought it was effective. One of the keys was not letting Downey get to the foul line or in the lane. When he gets into the lane that’s when they dished and got (Brandis) Raley-Ross the two 3s that he had.

On closing in at the end of the game…
I just told our guys that the closer we get to the basket the better we look at both ends of the floor. But the further we get away from the basket, the worse we look at both ends of the floor. You have seen Tennessee basketball the past couple of years, we’ve had to extend ourselves and you take advantage of it. Even though we didn’t get as many offensive rebounds as they did but proportionately we did and a lot of those led to points. We didn’t score as many points in the paint as we had in the past. South Carolina did a really good job against us.