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Dec. 20, 2012

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On the impact of South Carolina sophomore Aleighsa Welch, despite Stanford’s height advantage
Welch is a really aggressive and hard working player. We’ve played against her before, and we worked as hard as we could to keep her – and the rest of South Carolina’s players – off the glass. We really tried to keep them from getting offensive rebounds and for Welch to only have one offensive rebound, I think that speaks to how our team rebounded tonight. Rebounding was huge for us, Chiney (Ogwumike) with 15 rebounds and 21 points, everyone getting in there and rebounding. But I think Chiney was really a warrior out there for us tonight. And when I think about the height, I mean South Carolina has some big kids too. Welch might play a little under size but she is really powerful.

About your team’s ability to get a win not playing at its best
Well first of all Dawn (Staley) does a great job with her team. They were very well prepared and extremely physical. They were able to bump a lot of our players on their cuts. So really a lot of the way we played tonight was because they forced us to do some new things, but I’m really proud of our team. Toni (Kokenis) and Chiney (Ogwumike) were able to stay with things. We were in a very hostile environment, with a great crowd, and a great atmosphere. We know we have a target on our back and this is a very young team. I am really proud of how people battled and stayed with things. This was a very big win for our program and our team.

On team’s poise down the stretch
I thought that Toni (Kokenis) and Amber (Orrange) had great poise down the stretch. I mean we made some mistakes but I thought there was great poise down the stretch, especially in Toni’s free throws. Our free throws were a good thing for us tonight.

On Dawn Staley and her impact on South Carolina’s program
I saw Dawn as a high school player, she was a fabulous player and great competitor. She’s a student of the game with the passion to coach this sport. I think South Carolina is really fortunate to have her as their coach. She lost a lot of kids from last year’s team, but really prepares her team very well. You don’t have enough paper and pen for all the good things I could say about Coach Dawn Staley.