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Recap | Box Score

South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley
Rating the team’s performance for the first half of the season
Young. I would chalk it up to being young. I think that we take one step forward, and two steps back at times. The potential is there for us to be a very good basketball team, but we just aren’t there yet. Once we continue to go through experiences like this where our players are continuing to learn, it will kick in when we need it to kick in.

On the play of Samone Kennedy
Samone has pretty much been our rock. She has been pretty consistent. With the way that she has been playing, anytime we can get double-digit scoring from her it’s going to be pretty good for us. She was being more assertive, and looking for her shot [today], which she doesn’t always do for us. It really keeps other teams honest and keeps her [defender] in the game and not helping off on others. I call plays for her every game, but she doesn’t always take off as hard as she did today. I think that she was really tired, and she fought through being tired. So I think that it was a good thing for her to know that she can make good decisions even when she is tired.

On Kennedy, Ebony Wilson and Ashley Bruner picking up the scoring load
I think that is has been like that. I think that the San Diego State game for good for us in that regard. In a lot of ways it wasn’t very good for Kelsey (Bone) because she didn’t play as well as she could have, but we still won. In the first half against Oklahoma, Kelsey made a good play, but the team got her in good position for her to do so. I think that she understands that we do have pieces, and she doesn’t have to do it all. We don’t want her to have all the pressure to feel she has to do it all. Ebony gave us great minutes today. She was in there today because she had been playing so well for us.

Junior Guard Valerie Nainima
On players other than herself and Kelsey Bone contributing with the scoring load
A lot of other girls stepped up, which is great for us because it takes a lot of pressure away from (Kelsey and I). Samone (Kennedy) and Ebony (Wilson) gave us a lot of energy. Everybody is stepping up, and it’s great to see it early in the season.

On what she took away from the Paradise Jam last week
It was good to see different types of basketball played. It was great to have the different feel of basketball. What I took out most is that we can compete. We’re young, and we’re learning. To know in the back of our heads that we can compete is what I’ll take from that trip.

Junior Guard Samone Kennedy
On setting a career high with seven steals
I just felt like we definitely needed more offense from somewhere. We definitely weren’t getting it in the half court set, so I felt like I knew we had to get it in transition or get steals so we could push the tempo.

On creating opportunities vs. plays calling for her to score
I don’t mind not getting the play. I would much rather make the pass to get the play. The half court sets were pretty slow so I felt like I could get to the hole. If I could get inside and make the exchange, that’s what I would do.

On what she took away from the Paradise Jam last week
It was a humbling experience to see that new level of basketball being played. To see them go out and work so hard inspired us to want to be able to play at the same speed and same rate. That’s what really pushed us. When we got back from the trip, we went to practice, worked hard and did what we needed to do.