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South Carolina Head Coach Dawn On the pace of the game
We’ve worked on getting the ball out a little quicker so they [Kentucky] weren’t able to set up there press as fluidly. I didn’t want our players to go at that pace because I didn’t know if we could sustain it for 40 minutes. So after the first 10 minutes of the game, I told them that we kind of had to slow it down on offense. Because the way they play, we spend a lot of energy defensively.

On Kentucky’s tendency to force turnovers but only get 14 against the Gamecocks
I think our players really made a concerted effort to take care of the ball. [Then], if we didn’t take care of the ball, to defend our turnovers. Through out the course of the game, I thought we did a tremendous job of taking care of the ball, and if we did turn it over, we defended and turned them over. If you look at the stat sheet, we scored more points off of their turnovers [than they scored off ours]. Sometimes when you give a team their strength back at them, sometimes they don’t handle that part of it well. I thought our players executed the game plan to a T. There were very little lapses in the game. They were up for the challenge, and when they put their minds to doing things, you can see where they can be very successful.

On the team’s defense of SEC leading scorer Victoria Dunlap
I told our post players, they couldn’t have played a better defense against her. We tried to make her into a jump shooter, and we tried to sit on her right hand and make her do something other than drive to the basket and put us back on our heels. We didn’t want her using our bodies to bounce off and get closer to the basket. It was remarkable; it was totally remarkable what they did in that particular match up.

Junior guard La’Keisha On how they were able to limit their turnovers against Kentucky’s pressure
Our preparation, prior to the game in practice we worked on beating the traps and getting out quickly, drag dribbling and just working together and communicating.

On Courtney Newton’s contribution to the team…
I think Courtney does a good job on defense, and offense because she stretches the defense out. On defense she gives it her all. She does that in practice. You always hear Courtney talking, whether she’s on the court or off the court. I think Courtney is a great leader, and I’m proud that she’s on the team.

Sophomore guard Ieasia On the offensive emphasis early
We wanted to attack the basket and use our speed. We felt that we were quicker than the guards who were guarding us. So that’s what we did, and we took advantage of the mismatch.

On how well the team is playing together
We just know where people are good at, where to put them to score, where to play defense. We know how to play with each other know. We know each other’s tendencies.

Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement…
What a great effort by South Carolina tonight and their players. It’s just unbelievable to watch a group of kids get so committed to winning and do everything they needed to do to win. They were very well prepared by their coaching staff, looked well coached tonight, and they just played their hearts out. I give complete credit to South Carolina tonight – a tremendous performance by them, and we were thoroughly whipped tonight.

On the pace of the game…
If you looked at the scoring averages, we’re averaging about 75 points per game. We were hoping to get the game into the 70s, so we would like to have a face paced game. Our group, when we don’t hustle, and we gave some effort tonight but not the kind of effort needed to overcome that effort by South Carolina, so we say we like a fast paced game but we didn’t like it too much tonight.

On struggles of Victoria Dunlap and A’Dia Mathies in first half…
[South Carolina] was playing real hard, playing tough defense, didn’t give us anything easy. I just thought they were much more physical than we were. I thought we sort of backed down and wilted a little bit. Victoria [Dunlap] started begging for some calls and just throwing the ball up at the basket, and I think that was a product of South Carolina being so physical and tough. They were just really tougher than us tonight – nothing fancy, just good old fashioned hard nose play – and I commend them for it. It was something to watch.