Thursday, February 23, 2017

Video/Transcript: UK Hoops Players Makayla Epps, Taylor Murray, Evelyn Akhator Post UK Hoops 78 vs Mississippi State 75 Senior Night Press Conference Interview

Video courtesy of kywildcatstv


#25, Makayla Epps, G

On any thoughts from her game winning shot against Mississippi State two years ago…

“Oh yeah, as soon as the shot came off. And you know, Vivians’, it came off of her fingertips. It’s so crazy, it’s the same exact, basically almost the same exact play, the same exact shot, and the same exact outcome. It’s just crazy how things happen. I only had two rebounds and that was one of them.”

On turnovers being the key to the game… 
“I didn’t even know they had 22. One of the things that was on our scouting report about Mississippi State is that they force their opponent into twenty-plus turnovers. You know, we’ve done a really good job this year taking care of the ball and that’s just, shout out to everybody on the team for doing their job. Coach told us, you know, ball security and taking care of the ball and executing our plays would be big in this game. Some of their key players had, you know, Morgan William had four, and that’s just very uncharacteristic of her. I’ve got a lot of respect for her. [Victoria] Vivians had four, uncharacteristic, and one of the kids had six. So that’s just us being at the right places at the right times, you know, moving, being at the right position, and just working hard to get steals and making them turn the ball over.”

On what this win means for seniors on Senior Night…
“Well, you know I am very pleased and very excited right now. They gave us the top two teams in the conference, two of the top teams in the country. That atmosphere out there was amazing. Memorial Coliseum felt like one of them Rupp Arena games. It was very loud in there. Shout out to the fans for coming out on a weekday. I know people have school and work tomorrow. Mine and Evelyn’s’ teammates wanted us to go out in style. It could possibly be our last time playing in Memorial. Just to get a big win like that really means a lot to us.”

On Epps’ confidence coming into these last two games …
“People count us down and out whenever we went through all of that turmoil last season after the season was over. Kids leaving left and right, people thought the six we had remaining that we couldn’t get the job done. I kind of took that on the chin and I told them that’s disrespectful in a sense. Like I said, I looked at the schedule before the season. Of course you have to respect Mississippi State and South Carolina for what they have done and the programs, I mean the way they’ve made their programs to be, but they’re two of the toughest teams in the country, two of the top teams in the conference and in the country and just to only play them once, well we play South Carolina twice but we only play Mississippi State once. Just to see how brutal they have been beating people in the SEC. Just coming out we knew we had to play today, and to get the win, like I said, it’s a crazy feeling. My phone’s buzzing, people are texting me left and right. Like I said though, we stunned them right there. 

On her making big plays against Mississippi State … 
“Oh yeah, you know I was telling them that too. You know, I haven’t lost to Mississippi State since I have been in college. I got a lot of love and respect for Coach Vic Schaefer, like I said, he has a lot of tremendous players, but two that got a lot of my respect, Victoria Vivians and Morgan William. I knew he was going to have something for me, Dominique Dillingham the defender, she was on me tough all night. They had the paint packed. I started off struggling, got frustrated with myself in the beginning, but my teammates rallied behind me, but you know, just to top them off, 4-0, it feels good.”

On how special it was to go through Senior Night with her father…
“Yeah, you know, I told everybody that asked me I wasn’t going to cry, and I almost cried. There was a whole lot of people out there and I feel like I couldn’t cry and then go play my best basketball. But just to share a moment with him, same scenario just 20 years later. I am going to collage those pictures and have them in my house wherever I live in the future. They will be on all social media sites, just really special to me. We will always have that; nobody can take that from us. 

#24, Taylor Murray, PG

On how important the fans were tonight…

“The fans were very important to us. Every time we scored they were just a booster for us to keep coming back and just getting stops on defense and just running at them.”

On how much it meant to them to get a win for the seniors…
“It’s just very important. Our goal is to just come out and play hard and we knew that this was probably our last game in Memorial so we wanted to just give it our all. We just played hard for each other and we played hard for them too, because they have done so much for us.”

#13, Evelyn Akhator, F

On how she attacked in the fourth quarter and overtime..
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“The beginning of the game, or before the game, Coach Mitchell told us that the guards or the post players can’t guard us. We did some plays, where I have to take them off the dribble. I think they went into foul trouble early, so that gave me a plus to like attack them off the dribble. Epps and the rest of the team believed in me, they just gave me the ball. I said yeah, I am going to attack them off the dribble and I did.”

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