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Feb. 25, 2007

Recap | Box Score | Notes

USC Coach Susan Walvius “We knew this Mississippi State team was a good team because they’re very scrappy. They go inside, they force a lot of turnovers with their defense, they penetrate, they attack our weaknesses as well as anybody. We knew it would be a tough match up, but I thought our team played aggressively and was able to get a good win against a very good basketball team.”

“The underclassmen decorated the locker room, and I’ve never seen anything like it. The seniors got the red carpet treatment. It just says a lot about our team and how diverse they are and how far they’ve come as a group. It’s always a sad day and an emotional day. The season is long. You go through your highs, and you go through your lows. Our seniors have done a very good job providing stability.”

“We’ve spent a lot of time the last couple days crunching numbers. You’ve got a lot of bubble teams. Mississippi State is one, Auburn is one and Kentucky’s one. We’ve beaten all of those teams and beaten them late. Our RPI is higher right now than it was last year at this time. Our strength of schedule is tougher. This is the number one RPI league this year. Are they only going to take five from the SEC? I find that really hard to believe, especially with where the ACC is. We’re going to have to make a case, but we have beaten all of the other bubble teams late in the season, so if they look at head-to-head competition, if they reward us for playing a tough schedule, hopefully they’ll let us all in. I think the league deserves it.”

USC Guard Stacy Booker “That was great — going into overtime and Lakesha hitting those free throws, winning in overtime, that was great.”

“We weren’t hitting shots in the first half, then we came back in the second and started hitting shots. I just had to be a leader out there and tell my teammates we had to stop them and play good defense. I had no problem putting the team on my back.”

“Coach told me my freshman year that it goes by quick, and I didn’t believe her, but now I do, now that it’s here.”

USC Guard Lauren Simms “It was a good game. The team pulled together in the end, and we knew we needed to make some stops, and we were able to do that, so it was a good win for everybody.”

“I think our defense picked up in the second half, and that’s what created a lot of offensive scores, so once we did that, we got in a rhythm offensively and pulled out the win.”

Mississippi State Coach Sharon Fanning “I feel like we put ourselves in a position to win a game, but we can’t make mistakes on the road, and we have to keep playing hard. I have to give a lot of credit to South Carolina. They rotate a lot of folks, and they made some big buckets. They hurt us on the offensive boards. They just kept taking the ball at us.”

“Each defensive possession is very important. We made a mistake, and we fouled two three-point shooters. That’s six points you can’t give up that way. Our mistakes led to their advantage and momentum. In overtime, and even down the stretch, I don’t think we had the look in the toughness you need to have.”