Jan. 24, 2013
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Todd Buchanan
"I'm extremely proud of the staff. They did a great job of having our due diligence as far as being prepared. I say that a lot, but it's the truth. From the staff to the team, we're really coming into our own. We've really grinded some things out. For us to have started 0-4 and to build where we are right now, I feel pretty dang proud of where we are and what we've been able to accomplish in a short period of time. Our freshmen's confidence is at an all-time high. Everybody is getting better each and every game.
The biggest thing we did to expand the lead was we stayed in attack mode. We stayed really aggressive and really efficient in the things that we were running. Our transition offense was as good as it's been. We even let it flow into our secondary offense, and that was really good.
At the half, we had 14 made baskets, but we had seven assists off those made baskets. I'll take that 50 percent ratio every single game.
We kind of got lost and probably showed our youth a little bit. We got a little satisfied and too ahead of ourselves; then we kind of gave up the lead. I give Southern Miss a lot of credit, especially [Tanecka] Carey. She was outstanding. Obviously, we knew her and [Jamierra] Faulkner were very athletic and able to do things They have a lot of God given talent, and they displayed that tonight. Certainly, Carey did by burying five threes. Four of her threes were when they really needed them and were going on a run.
I burned a couple of timeouts to get us settled and to get us in a calmer situation. That is another part of where we have really grown. Earlier in the year I'm not sure we would have come out of that. Now we are coming out of that, and we're able to put the game away and finish."
On freshman guard Jessieka Palmer
"Jessica really came into her own tonight. She only played 17 minutes tonight, but she was 5-7 from the free throw line, which was huge. We needed every single one of them. Another thing she did was help our transition game. She pushed the ball and made everybody else around her better. She was a great facilitator of the basketball tonight."
On his thoughts on junior forward Marissa Ashton
"Instant offense. The kid can shoot it with anybody. When she's got it going, she's a handful. Nobody is playing with more confidence right now than her. I think her size and skill set is really hard to guard, and her basketball IQ is pretty high. She knows what she's got and made some big shots in both segments. She helped us get the lead and extend the lead early. She certainly played a part in helping us not go crazy and sustain what we were doing to get us back on top."
On being able to win close games
"Any time you win any game it's incredibly important. We're really being tested with these close games. We're coming out with a different outcome than what we were earlier, and it's huge. It's everything for us right now. You look back at some of the games early, and we probably didn't get beat by more than 17 or 18 points combined. It's a whole lot more fun to be on this side of the fence than it was to be on the other. What's really good for me to see is how much we've grown. You have to be blind not to see how much better of a basketball team we've become from then to where we are now."
On junior forward Te'onna Campbell
"It's Porsche's [Landry] basketball team. There's no question. I'd put her up against anyone, anywhere and any time of day, but Te'onna is the other difference maker. Across the board in all phases, defensively and the intangible things you can't coach, most kids can't play the way she does. She goes down court and gets two steals and a couple deflections; she totally turns the game around. She makes it to where the other team never knows what's going to happen next. She is coming into her own. I don't know if words can really explain how big of a part to the team she is. She's a blue collar, work horse for us right now."
On what it means to be above .500 and what the game plan was tonight
"We're playing our best basketball right now. Right now, is the time where you want to catch fire and start playing your best basketball. You have non-conference, conference and post season, so we are in that middle phase. Right now, we're playing for everything. We're playing for a regular season conference championship. We're playing for seeding purposes in the Conference USA tournament.
We always game plan. We do scouting reports on everybody. We made a solid commitment on the defensive side when looking at stats and tape. We knew that if they had an achilles tendon, we were going after it. We just decided that we're going to have to cut off their dribble-drive action. Coach [Leah] Foster did an excellent job of putting the game plan together with her scouts. It all came full circle. When you put as much work into it as we do, it's a pretty sweet taste."
On Sunday's game against UTEP
"I have no idea what the other scores were from tonight. I'll be anxious to find out where everybody is right now and who won. UTEP is at Rice tonight, so they're here and they're very good. We'll have our work cut out for us. It's been a pretty heated rivalry between us for the last three years. The last couple of years it has been either them or us winning Conference USA. They swept us last season, but with them being in the state, it's definitely a rivalry.
We'll put our hearts back into it and prepare for them the next couple days, and hopefully we'll respond. We ought to be at an all-time high right now. The biggest job for me is that we don't start hitting our head on the ceiling and getting too into ourselves. We don't want them to become satisfied, so I'll probably be harder on them the next couple of days to keep us level. It will be a war like it always is, but we'll be ready for it."
JUNIOR FORWARD Marissa Ashton
On the importance of the bench
"It's important for the bench to come in and contribute to the game. We're a team, and everybody needs to do their part. I try to do the best I can do to help my team win."
On junior forward Te'onna Campbell
"Te'onna has definitely stepped up, and it's been at the right time. Her defense, aggressiveness and enthusiasm gives us a surge. She's just another threat."
REDSHIRT SENIOR GUARD Porsche Landry
On her performance
"In the second half, I didn't take care of the ball like I was supposed to. I tried to make my teammates better. We played like we were a team, and we just came together and showed our chemistry."
FRESHMAN FORWARD Marche' Amerson
"It was important for us to get rebounds. I just tried to help my team out and get my hands on the ball, even if I couldn't."
On the team's missed free throws
"We work on it everyday, so it's becoming a mental thing. As teammates, we have to lift each other up and keep encouraging each other."
On Southern Miss' 15-3 run in second half
"We started slacking and got confortable. We had to pick up the defense. Coach [Buchanan] said we had great intensity in the first half, but not the second. We had to pick up the intensity on the defensive end in the second half."