Jan. 18, 2014
Head Coach Lisa Stockton
On what kept Tulane in the game
"We really fought hard on defense. In the last five minutes, we had some good shots, we made some free throws and we hit some more shots, but it was really our rebounding. When you look at it, that really kept us in it. Even when we were behind, we were really big on the boards. Our biggest concern is just a lot of turnovers. We just don't make that many turnovers. I'm not sure where that came from. To be in this game, missing free throws and having those kinds of turnovers, I'm really happy to come out with a win."
On bench player performance today
"The one thing you really have to notice is that our bench probably has as many minutes as our starters. When you look at points off the bench for us, it's a little deceiving because we have a lot of quality coming off there. I do think with the foul trouble in the first half, we were getting people to come in and contribute which helped a lot. We felt like going into the locker room down one, even though we had 17 turnovers at half, we were hoping to improve on that but we felt like we were still in the game. We knew that if we were able to fix our turnovers in the second half, we would be able to come out and do some good things. We played really hard. Our effort was great tonight. We made some really good plays to get it to overtime, and I felt like we might have had the advantage in overtime just because we fought so much to put it there that we felt like we could get it done."
On that last play
"It's definitely not how we drew it up. We actually were setting it up for Danielle, definitely, but it was actually a fade. We really wanted Jamie to create. We wanted a fade on that with [Tiffany] Dale. They told me that the fade wasn't there, but she still got it anyway. The one thing I know is that Danielle can hit a shot to win a game, and it was nice for her to get that clean look. It was such a natural shot for her, too. I give a lot of credit to our team for being able to execute and just finding a way."
On the performance of freshman guard Leslie Vorpahl
"I think Leslie does so many things well off the dribble. She's a really great defensive player with [Jamierra] Faulkner on her, and you really just saw no fear. She was very aggressive. Faulkner got four fouls today, and I thought Leslie took advantage of being really aggressive, which is something that a lot of freshmen just won't do."
On the turning point in the game
"I think we got some stops, and we were able to go down and get some good looks at the basket. We started hitting some free throws, which really helped. I think defensively, getting a few stops and getting that confidence that we could get the ball back helped us a lot. Offensively, we felt that we had a good plan against them. It's just the matter of getting stops because they were driving in the lane and getting to the free throw line or getting easy lay ups. Defensively, we probably set the tone for our comeback."
Freshman Guard Leslie Vorpahl
On what was going well for her against Southern Miss
"I was getting some good shots when I rolled off the screens, which is my game. I love that. Jamie [Kaplan] did a great job of setting up plays and dishing it off to me as well. Being aggressive and getting to the free throw line was a big thing for me this season as well, and I think I really executed that well today."
Junior Guard Danielle Blagg
On what's going through her mind during the last play
"I was just ready for whatever was drawn up. I saw Jamie driving, and she's so great at passing, so I knew that if I was open she would see it and get it to me. I mean, just with luck it went in."
SOUTHERN MISS QUOTES
Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis
"First of all, I think it was a great ball game and hats off to Tulane. I'm a believer that big-time players make big-time plays, and that's Blagg did. We've not helped off of her all game, and we made a mental error and left the best shooter in the house open. I don't think anybody in the stands can compete with Blagg the way she shoots the ball. Why we left her, I'm not quite sure but the mental error obviously was the one that we will all remember. Overall, I think it was a heck of a ball game on both team's parts."
On what her team takes from a game like this
"I think it's something that we can learn from. I think we had many opportunities to seal the deal. We didn't make the critical decisions in the key situations to be able to finish it off and Tulane did. When you look at the stat sheet, you'll see we forced them into a lot of turnovers, but I think the bottom line is free throws. You have to knock down free throws. When you are 17-of-32 from the free throw line, you're not going to win many ball games. Whether you're at home or on the road, you have to knock down those free throws. The other thing is it's very critical that we keep people off of the offensive glass. They had 20 offensive rebounds, which gives you a second-chance. Rebounds and free throws are two aspects of the game that you can control. I thought that our kids really buckled down in segments of the game. I thought that it was one of our better defensive games, but again, the glare goes to the last play of the game that you remember. I was really proud of the way our team performed, and it was a great battle between two very good teams. Hats off to Tulane they hit the final buzzer."
On her team's key second-half run
"Our defense generated the run for us. Our defense got the boards, allowing us to get up the floor and get a couple easy baskets in transition. That provided us with the energy and the momentum that we needed. In addition, we also executed really well in half-court offense but we just had some mental errors defensively in the second half. Our defense affects our offense. It just does. That's the way we operate. After those errors, you could see our offense's confidence go down a little bit because we were making those defensive errors. Tulane did a great job defensively in that segment as well. We missed a lot of easy bunny shots, and they were able to close the deal. I just didn't ever think they would take that lead. Obviously they did there, but even at the end of the game we just kept our head above water. I think our team played well, but Tulane just was better tonight."