South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley
On rebounding late in the game versus early in the contest
We just started going to get them. I think it took Kelsey (Bone) a while to get her motor going. I don’t know if it was the jitters of her playing her first home game here, but she wasn’t moving as quickly as she was in the first two games. Charenee (Stephens) does what she does. She’s a rebounding machine. We just need to get more rebounds out of our other post players. We just need to get ourselves going earlier.
On the play of Charenee Stephens
Charenee, she’s a hard worker. She does what she does. I think she was the difference maker for us tonight. I hope that she can continue to be in the line up for us.
On the amount of close games this year
I think that’s the way we’re going to have to grind them out. We’re a young basketball team. I think sometimes (people) forget about that because everybody talks about the talent level that has been raised, but there are still freshmen and sophomores. And then you have Val (Nainima), she’s still a freshman to me because she hasn’t been playing in our system. We’re still trying to gel and trying to come together as a team. Slowly, but surely I think the newcomers are going to be a lot better as the year goes on.
On the first home game
I think the crowd helped us out. We didn’t play particularly well tonight. I think a lot of it was the jitters. I think we’ll do a lot better once we come off the road and get a couple more games under our belt here. For us, we’re still growing. They need to get used to playing in this arena, and they need to get used to playing in front of a house full of people too. I think there were a lot of people. We had 3,600 people here for the opening day. I know that if we are able to start winning, they’ll come.
Charenee Stephens – So. – Forward
On Penn State dominating the boards early in the game
Penn State gave us such a different look than what we’ve seen so far this season. We prepared for it mentally in the scouting report, but once we saw it on the court it was just a little bit different. So once we finally got used to all of the post bodies that came at us in the last six or seven minutes, we were able to secure the win.
Kelsey Bone – Fr. – Center
On this difference in her production this game versus the first two
I played pretty well my first two games, but Penn State was just a different look than any of the other teams. There were two 6-foot-4 (players) down there so it gave me a different look and it just took me a little bit more time to get used to it. I’m so grateful that I had Charenee (Stephens) to get big rebounds. When the double teams came I was able to find her. We seemed to work hand in hand.
On the second-half assists to Charenee Stephens
I really do feed off of those types of plays. For as many points as I’m able to score, once that started happening in high school I had to figure out something else because the double and triple teams did start coming. I worked on being able to pass the ball out of double teams so when I saw the clear lane, I knew that I needed to attack. I did, the bodies came, and I just saw Charenee jetting down, and I just kind of threw it over my shoulder. Those are the kinds of things that give me a lot of energy. It keeps the crowd in the game and engaged.
Penn State Head Coach Coquese Washington
On how South Carolina came back in the last five or six minutes?
We didn’t rebound the ball down the stretch and gave them way too many second-chance opportunities, in particular our missed free throws. And when you miss a free throw and they get a rebound those can be emotionally draining plays. I thought they did a great job that last half of the game.
What is the difference playing the team now compared to last year?
I think Kelsey Bone is the difference. I think she’s just a bigger presence and you have to look out for her. I shouldn’t say just Kelsey Bone but also Valerie Nainima, those two give them a much needed punch to open things up for everybody else. Charenee Stephens and Jewel May, they can come around and crash the backboards with Kelsey Bone in there. They played hard last year, but they played harder this year and added a little more confidence to what they were doing. I think when you add those two players to the team you had last year, it’s a tough team to play.