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Steffi Sorensen, Marshae Dotson, Sha Brooks & Coach Butler

Sunday March 22, 2009Post-Game Press Conference Quotes from NCAA First Round Win vs. Temple

Storrs, CT

Steffi Sorensen, Marshae Dotson, Sha Brooks & Coach Butler

 

University of Florida head coach Amanda Butler, as well as seniors Sha Brooks and Marshae Dotson and junior Steffi Sorensen talked with the media following the Gators’ 70-57 NCAA First Round victory over Temple on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

POST-GAME QUOTES

 

FLORIDA HEAD COACH AMANDA BUTLER

“We knew today was not going to be easy for a lot of reasons. At the top of that list is what a fine team Temple is and how well coached they are. I think that one of the things that is special about this team is that there have been so many times this year when games got tough and things didn’t look so good, and they just weren’t going to be denied. They weren’t going to back off, they weren’t going to go away; they were going to find another way to win or another person was going to step up and make the plays that we needed at that moment to make sure that we did get the win. Obviously today that was Steffi [Sorensen] and a lot of our guards did a fantastic job on the boards. I think for our team whenever we feel like we’ve gotten a big win was because of a team effort and today was no different.”

 

On junior guard Steffi Sorensen’s career-high 13 rebounds …

“She puts in that type of performance really every ballgame. She gets her hands on so many balls but it just seemed like tonight, she was able to secure more of them. She really is the X factor for our team, because that’s what we were missing. We talked at halftime about how we were in those rebounding battles, but Temple was coming up with the possession every single time. Somebody had to make a difference – somebody had to change that trend. Obviously, Steffi took that to heart.”

 

On Temple

“I think one of the trademarks of Temple basketball is how physical they play. They really take a lot of pride, in particular, in the way that they play in the paint. I think you saw that today and that was why we had to have our halftime talk that we did, because we were getting pushed around in the first half. We weren’t playing as physical as we needed to and we weren’t securing possessions, but that credit has to go to Temple for putting us in that situation. They are a great team that had a fantastic season.”

 

On the importance of winning in the NCAA Tournament after a tough end to the regular season …

“I think it was huge. It was huge for a lot of reasons and, obviously, the biggest reason being that our season would be over if we didn’t. We know that we were falling short in our last three or four ballgames of playing the best basketball that we could. Like Sha said, I don’t think we played our best basketball today, but we certainly played well enough to win and played better in some of the areas that we had not been playing well in – defending the 3 was one of those. For them not to be able to hit a 3, was a big plus for us, but at the same it is no surprise. We’ve had this huge break to practice and this is a team that really takes advantage of those opportunities to get better. I think it was big, though, for our program to be back in the NCAA Tournament – not just happy with being back in, but being back in and expecting to advance.”

 

On facing No. 1 seed Connecticut on Tuesday …

“I haven’t had much of a chance – me in particular – to prepare for them yet, but obviously we’ll jump into that head-first as soon as we get back to the hotel. Obviously, they’re the best team in the country. They’ve proven that with their unblemished record and the way that they’ve won those ballgames too. They’ve really separated themselves from a lot of different people. In my mind and hopefully my team’s mind, that has no relevance on what happens on Tuesday. They’re very talented – probably the most talented team in the country – they’re obviously very well coached, but I think the thing that is most impressive thing about Connecticut in the times I’ve watched them play on TV is that they play with a tremendous amount of pride. I think that’s going to be important to match. We’ve got to play with pride in the way that we do things and take advantage of this opportunity.”

 

 

SENIOR GUARD SHA BROOKS

If coming into the game, she thought the team would be able to win with 21 turnovers …

“Yes I would because we know how to bounce back. Coach told us we had to take care of the ball. Temple had great defense tonight. They gave me and LT [Lonnika Thompson] a lot of trouble tonight and we just had to bounce back and make sure we took care of the ball on the next possession. I would say we would still win if we had 21 turnovers.”

 

On facing No. 1 seed Connecticut on Tuesday …

“I think we have to play better than we did today. Today I don’t think you saw our best ballgame. You saw spurts, but I think that we’ve really got to put two great halves together to be prepared for Tuesday, and just play our game – play Gator basketball.”

 

 

SENIOR FORWARD MARSHAE DOTSON

On facing No. 1 seed Connecticut on Tuesday …

“We’re happy to be in that situation. It’s just like any other game and we just have to go out there and play like we did today.”

 

 

JUNIOR GUARD STEFFI SORENSEN

On the difference in the game …

“I just think we came out and shot the ball well. We stayed composed. They [Temple] would go on their runs and then we would go on ours. I thought we executed on offense and on defense and then, in the second half, we started rebounding a little bit more. I think that was the biggest thing – we were doing all those things, but we just weren’t rebounding. We were getting hands on them, but we weren’t grabbing the loose balls. I think finally in the end, it all came together for us, so that was the biggest thing.”

 

On her first career double-double …

“I didn’t really pay attention to that. I didn’t think I had a double-double. Certainly, I’m always about hustling and going after rebounds, and it just kind of happened that balls were kind of bouncing to me. It’s a good feeling, but obviously the win is bigger and better and we’re excited about Tuesday.”

 

On facing No. 1 seed Connecticut on Tuesday …

“I think in the beginning of the year, we were kind of taking on the role of the underdog. Every game that we went into, we weren’t supposed to win and we kind of started to go on a roll there. Anyone that plays UConn is going to be the underdog, so this is kind of the role that we like. I think, hopefully, we’ll thrive in that role. We’ve got stuff to build on after this win. It’s going to be a huge opportunity for us to go out and show Florida basketball. We’re just go out and do our best.”

 

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