South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley
On being a more painful loss than Thursday’s
We had control of the game, and we just played not to lose. Arkansas continued to play and fight and found themselves on the winning end of the stick. It was quite clear that they wanted it more than we did, and they played like it.
On the team’s inability to finish games
We don’t have a leader that understands that when it’s time to just bear down and play, to get the team together and play. It’s got to come from our point guards. If they’re not doing their jobs, then we can’t win a lot of basketball games this way or in close ones. I didn’t think we had the point guard play as far as leading, and that’s been our struggle all season long. But it has been a work in progress and until someone is able to step and be that leader, regardless if they’re playing well or not, then we are going to end up having games like this.
On the focus of this coming week
We have to take a few days off and do a few individual workouts. We have a couple of people that are banged up, so we have to use this time to still have active rest while getting our players that are banged up some rest at the same time.
Junior guard Samone Kennedy
On if she felt making the 3-pointer was the end of the game
I didn’t think it was over. When they came out after the half, they played really hard. I knew it wouldn’t end there. I knew we had to pick up intensity on our end. But I definitely didn’t think it was over.
On not expecting how Arkansas played
I don’t think they did anything that we didn’t go over in practice. Everything they did out there on the court, we practiced it. We just didn’t handle it as well as we could have. They used a lot more pressure in the second half, and we just didn’t handle it well.
Junior Guard Valerie Nainima
On losing the ball at the end of the game
I knew I went past my initial defender. I think it was number 22 who came up and stole the ball from me. It was a turnover on my part, which was crucial to the game.
On whether this loss was worse than last game
It does hurt worse because we were up really big and they kept playing and we just laid down. Coach [Dawn] Staley told us in the locker room that we laid down dead for them. They did a great job driving to the basket and executing.