Postgame Quotes from Alabama's 61-58 win over Georgia



March 9, 2013

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Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant
Opening statement:

“I guess you want drama involved in the 100th year reunion. So many people returning to the Capstone and I’m just happy we won the game. Obviously, we knew Georgia was going to continue to fight. I felt like in the second half they really picked their tempo up and really attacked us. The zone caused us some problems. We struggled to find consistency against the zone. We were able to finally get a few baskets off drives and attacking the rim, but we really struggled to get anything from a consistency standpoint. We had a lot of breakdowns in the end, but thankfully, on the last possession, we locked in and we got a stop. It was just a good heads-up play by (Trevor) Releford, to be aware of what he had. When we got the ball, I tried to look at the shot clock to see if we needed to call a time. I felt like, ‘Okay, we are going to go into overtime here.’ And then when he lets it go, you look at the trajectory and I said it’s got a chance, and luckily for us, it went in. It was a big time shot and a great ending.”

On The 13-3 lead:
“I thought in the first half our defense was outstanding. We were locked-in in terms of what we needed to do. We kept them out of transition for the most part. We did a good job guarding the half-court action. I thought our guys really keyed in. Georgia made a run there and we closed well. We got two or three possessions there at the end where we were able to get ourselves to the free-throw line and build a fourteen-point lead at the half. I thought our energy was really good.”

Alabama Junior Guard Trevor Releford

On the last five seconds of the game:
“I had a turnover and I was trying to get back like coach said.  I was able to get the tip but we had other guys step up. I think Nick (Jacobs) stepped up and (Rodney) Cooper was aware to get the ball. He gave it to me and I just tried to realize how much time was on the clock.  I got closer and just let it go.”

On sending Andrew Steele off as a senior:
“Andrew (Steele) has done a lot for this program and he’s done a lot for me – he’s like my big brother. I got to send him out with a win and that’s what everyone else wanted to do. We’re happy we got the job done for him.”

On getting the No. 4 seed in the tournament:
“It means a lot. That was one of our goals, to get one of the top four seeds so we could get that bye. We’re just one step closer to getting in the SEC championship game.”

On building the 17 point lead and letting it go:
“The difference was, playing with energy, and then not playing with energy and effort.”

On if he thought the shot was going in:
“I knew it was on target but I thought it was going to be a little short.”

On the celebration afterwards:
 “I was passionate, enjoying it and it felt really good.”

Alabama Senior Guard Andrew Steele

On his view of the shot:
“Looking from the bench I saw it was on target. Like Trevor (Releford) said, I thought it would be short, but when it went in I probably hurt my foot a little bit because of how excited I got.  (Trevor) Lacey started the season with a buzzer beater and he (Trevor Releford) ends it here with a buzzer beater.  I really couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ending.”

Georgia Head Coach Mark Fox

Opening Statement:
“(It was a) hard fought game, I don’t think our team started fighting until we had been punched in the teeth about five times. I was very disappointed with our start. Alabama was really the aggressor in the first half. I thought in the second half we played much better – we rebounded the ball better. In the last play, we went with the time (left on the clock) we wanted to go, where we didn’t think they could get a shot (off). They got a half-court shot, which was all they could get, but give the kid credit, he made the play.”

On the final possession of the game:
“We were out of timeouts because we had to burn some in the first half. We drove the ball to the basket – sure there was contact ¬– (but I'm) not sure how we ended up on the ground. Loose ball, kid took one or two dribbles and threw it in.”

On the difference between the first half play and the second half play for Georgia:
“I played 12 guys in the first four and a half minutes of this game. We played Thursday night, traveled to get here Friday. We didn’t handle that turnaround very well. I thought we were a step behind every play to begin the game. We finally got a group together to get some stops and then that group was able to find some rhythm offensively. We rebounded the ball better in the second half also.”

Georgia Sophmore Foward Nemanji Djurisic

On climbing back in the second haf:
“We just tried playing as hard as we can.  We were putting all our effort into cutting the lead there at the end. At first we weren’t reading them well but then we got our moment in the final two minutes to try to win it.  We didn’t unfortunately, as he hit that final shot.”

On struggling in the first half:
“Our effort wasn’t great and we weren’t really focused enough.  Alabama played harder than we did.  We were just trying to come out in the second half and cut the lead.  We had a chance to win the game, but they were playing great and made some great plays.”