South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley
On digging a hole at the beginning of games
I don’t know why but we always have to play from behind, we don’t get off to quick starts. Maybe we just need to open the floor up a little bit better and press a little bit sooner. Sometimes when you play against fast teams, you find yourself playing from behind playing that way as well. We’ll figure it out. We’re in a constant battle to figure out what works and what doesn’t work with a young basketball team.
On the team’s dependence on Valerie Nainima and Kelsey Bone for the scoring
Those are the two players that are scoring. I would welcome players to set up and start scoring. We have plays that get those players and other players shots. We have to be smart. We can’t afford to give up 19 turnovers, although they are down from what we normally give up. We’re bad a shooting free throws, as well but as long as we continue to getting better than I am encouraged
On seeing growth in the team during the season
I don’t know if we are close to a team like LSU but we’re getting better for us. We just have to find a way to even the playing field when we go up against a team that is that talented and improved from last year. We have to work hard. We don’t work hard every possession, and that’s what kills us. We have to scrap for 40 minutes. We tell our team all the time that they can’t have mental lapses. We have to out-work people and we’re not doing that.
Freshman Center Kelsey Bone
On the team’s slow starts
I think that you prepare so tough and hard against each other in practice and in our minds it’s there. But it’s a totally different ball game when you play against these ranked teams and when you have these All-American players on the floor. It’s not the same as practice so it takes us a minute to understand what we are really up against and then the game plan starts to kick in for us.
On the effect foul trouble had on her game
It was hard and I had to adjust my mind set because I had never been in that situation before. I just tried to stay in the game and when I was on the bench I tried to encourage the team.
LSU Head Coach Van Chancellor
I feel like I have played a whole game of boxing tonight with the heavy weight champion of the world. One of the hardest things for me in coaching is to coach with a big lead. I give South Carolina credit because they did an incredible job of coming back and they began to play good, but I also thought our team played real well. The first 16 minutes of the game was the best basketball we’ve played all year. I’m really proud for us hanging in there because I really do think South Carolina has a good team. I’ve said it before that I think South Carolina is one of our most improved teams in our league.
On South Carolina guard Valerie Nainima
She’s really good because she can just score. You just don’t find many women that can just be sitting there looking around and then all of a sudden nail a 3-pointer. That doesn’t happen every day. She’s really good. And La’Keisha Sutton, I’d like to say to you that you don’t play against anybody but me. Last year she came up here and beat me up, and this year she came up here and lit me up again. She plays great.
On what he liked about what his team did
We were outstanding defensively and we created a lot of offense. We had a good defensive plan and we were able to run and execute our offense. South Carolina was able to pick up on our defensive pressure very well. Every player that South Carolina plays is a real athlete that can take it to the rack and can dribble drive.
On opening SEC play with a victory
I realized how big a win this was especially when you can win on the road in the SEC. When you start out 1-0 on the road in the SEC you feel real good. South Carolina is a great team and Dawn’s got this program on the absolute right track and the fast track. This is a great group of young players.
>LSU Senior Guard Allison Hightower
On the defense
It was the defense. We just wanted to be aggressive, double down on (Kelsey) Bone and try to make it hard on her because she is a very skilled post. We stayed aggressive all night on our defense and we didn’t want to let up and we it started turning into offense as well.
On starting with a win in SEC play
It was very important. It just builds up our confidence especially coming on the road against this South Carolina team. It’s going to be a long season