Women's Basketball
Kentucky-Florida Women's Basketball Postgame Quotes

Kentucky-Florida Women's Basketball Postgame Quotes

Kentucky-Florida Postgame Press Conference

Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center

Feb. 18, 2024


Head Coach Kyra Elzy

On the team’s response to Florida…

“I’m just so proud of the fight of this team. Yes, we went down we had to change up our defense, we got in the huddle, but they were locked in about one stop at a time, get a rebound, let’s run the other way. We went to a 2-3 zone for a couple of possessions because they were driving us downhill, was able to get the rebound, go attack and we played downhill. Our goal was to get to the free throw line 20 plus times, got there 33 but I was more proud of our defense–it held today when we had to have it.”


On how proud she is of the team’s shooting today…

“I’m super proud and we needed everyone of them, just so proud to see the ball go in the basket. You know I thought they brought the house to Petty when she started kicking out, us being able to hit open shots but also our ability to finish in the paint. We really went back to work on that yesterday, [I]thought we missed some layups in the last game so to see us finish– I’m so proud of us.”


On trying to keep the team in the game in the third quarter…

“We talked about remaining composed. We were going to get it back on the defensive end, we weren’t going to get it back all at one time so let’s just stay steady defensively. We had to hold, we had been in those situations before, and our defense had failed us some of the times so today we just talked about one stop at a time. We’re going to commit to one stop at a time and then we’re going to run but also our leadership on the floor. [I] thought Maddie (Scherr) really got in the huddle and she tried to talk along with Brooklynn Miles I really challenged her that we needed more from her so it’s good to hear the players talking in the huddle and us being locked in.”


Thoughts on the game being exhilarating, exhausting, and exciting…

“Well, that describes it perfectly. It was a great game, I want to give Big Blue Nation a shoutout, the energy in the building was amazing. I want to say thank you to all the alumni, they came, we had a lot of alumni in the building today so so good to honor them. They have paved the way for us to have this opportunity. Now for a lot of them when I looked around I wanted to suit them up. I’m like there’s a lot of talented former Kentucky players that could help us get a rebound or a three but so good to have them here celebrating. Rhyne Howard obviously on the other bench. When I went down for pregame, I said ‘Now Rhy, you still have a covid year if you at least like to use it I would allow that and you don’t even have to practice.’ I said ‘We’ll just take you on game day.’ But just to have all the former players to continue to show love to this program is big– that’s what it’s about.”


On how Kentucky has impacted her life…

I have been to a lot of schools in my 23 years of coaching, but Kentucky has always been special. There is something about this place. I learned so much from Coach Mitchell, and the staff here, who helped me be who I am today as a coach, gave me a lot of responsibility, and talked with me all the way. Now he is like a lifeline, I can call him in the middle of the night and be like where is this in the coach’s manual so the roles have reversed where now he is sending me scriptures and pep talks as well like I used to do to him when he was sitting in the chair and he was a great mentor. There have been so many coaches who have helped me like Coach Fanning, Coach Bernadette, and Mickie Demoss so it just goes down the line with coaches in the history of this program.


On Aja Petty’s presence in the clutch…

We needed it. We kept talking to her during the timeout and told her to go get a rebound and battle on the boards. They were physical with her, and I thought she remained composed even though she could barely get her shots off because they brought the house to her to frustrate her, but I thought she was composed today and got rebounds when we needed them.”


On Eniya Russell’s game today…

She had a great game and that is what we expect and need from her all the time, but I thought she was steady. She did not get too high or too low and her ability to finish in the paint on balance makes her a mismatch problem when she does that. Today she had five steals and five rebounds and that is a great day of work, so I told her to not tease us because we expect that all the time, but I thought she was great today. I want to give this team a shoutout though because of the seven charges today. We talked about before the game that if the players had any competitive soul in their body with all the former players in the house and all the fans this was the day to use it, so I am glad we showed up.


On how big this win is for the team…

They are super excited, and they need to be. They earned this win. It is hard to win in this league and we talk about wanting to win and doing the things it takes to win today we did the things that it takes to win like rebound, block, make defensive plays, and layups, and we did those things today. We were in desperate need of a win, so we are going to celebrate all day and enjoy it.”


On one word to use to describe this victory…

One word…prideful. We knew we had to come in and play with pride. Pride for the program, pride for the state, for yourself, and pride for the alumni so pride.”


Player Quotes

#2, Saniah Tyler, G, So.

On her mentality in the second half and playing downhill…

“Yeah, like, we work on layups every time in practice. I think in one game we were not good at layups so we really focus on finishing school as a drill we do in practice, like one-on-one we have to finish off two feet and I really took that into this game, just slowing down and just using the glass on layups.”


On the team’s mindset on defense for today’s game…

“I think our practice leading up to this game really helped us because, like, we try to get three stops in a row. So that’s what we tried to do in this game, and I think we did a good job. The first half was kind of shaky but we just had to, you know, start over and just play.”


#4, Eniya Russell, G, Sr.


On the team’s response in the 4th quarter…
“Well, when Maddie got fouled out we just had to come together, rally together. We learned
from the Auburn game, Auburn does a good job of speeding up their opponents, so did
Florida. So we just had to work on slowing down the offense and communicating and flying
around on defense, just scrambling. We know they were looking for three-point shooters so
just being there on the switches and just communicating and boxing out on rebounds.”

On how she turns it up down the stretch…
“Once the game comes to me, I just, I don’t know. I just be dialed in, locked in. I always could
do it, so y’all are just seeing it now. It’s just natural. I just got to let the game come to me
defensively and then the offense starts flowing. “

On her mentality while shooting late game free throws…
“Once I missed the first two, Ajae got the rebound, threw it up, and I grabbed it. I missed the
third one, and I made the second one [4th total free throw] and I just looked at Coach Elzy and
she was telling me ‘you make them all the time.’ In practice, before we get out of the gym
we’ve got to make 150 every day. Just going up to the line, just believing in myself, staying
confident, just letting the misses go and keep shooting.”

On getting to 50/50 balls in the game…
“Yeah, it was just about who wanted it more and I think we obviously wanted it more, and out
grit and physicality showed up today. It’s been showing up in practice. It gets our practice
dialed in, very hard to guard. So it’s hard to practice but it’s fun in the game, so we had a lot
of fun today. It’s fun watching this from the bench, it’s fun experiencing it first person and
firsthand. So just showing up and making sure we wanted it more than anyone, especially in
the third quarter. The 50/50 balls definitely helped us, it just went our way today.

On playing in the Alumni game and how it feels to play for Kentucky…
“It feels, I think, for the whole team, it feels good for us having the alumni show up. It’s very
special knowing that they’re still around showing us love an wanting us to win because we’ve
been on a hard drought and this game definitely helped us, so them being in the crowd added
more people to the bleachers in the stands. It helped us a lot, so I think wearing Kentucky
across our jerseys means a lot. We just got to keep fighting and keep going, we’ve been
having bumps in the road, but all together. We’re going to keep fighting for Kentucky as a
family. So, you know, in practice we’re going to go at it and go at each other, we’re going to
bump heads sometimes, but when we get in the game we play for them, the alumni and who
was ever played for Kentucky. I think it’s a good feeling and something that we all like to do.

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