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March 3, 2016

Robin Pingeton

Sophie Cunningham

Morgan Stock

Jacksonville, Florida

Auburn - 47

Missouri - 45

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Missouri.

Coach, opening thoughts on today's game.

COACH PINGETON: Give Auburn credit. It's a real good team. I was concerned about just the quick turnaround and playing them from a couple weeks ago, making sure our players' mentality was right. I really thought it was going into the game.

I thought defensively we did a good job. We did what we needed to do. They hit some tough shots coming out of the gate. Overall, you feel you hold a team to 47 points, you should have a great shot at being successful.

We didn't get the ball inside nearly enough. I felt like we hit some shots early on the perimeter and started to become a little bit of a doughnut and didn't punch it inside the way we needed to. It's a combination.

We've got to look for our bigs a little bit more and our bigs have to demand the ball. It's on both. But offensively we struggled.

There's 20 possessions out there that are empty possessions. You're not going to win ballgames that way. It's been our Achilles' heel that way. We left 20 possessions out there and lose by two points.

We got some work to do going into post-season and next season. That seems to be our Achilles' heel all year long, not taking care of the ball.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions.

Q. Morgan, last few minutes, super close. What was going through your mind? Does it sting a little more to know it was that close?
MORGAN STOCK: Oh, yeah, for sure. It was exciting. I like playing those types of games where it's close at the end. They're fun.

But, yeah, I wanted to get that win. That one stung a little.

Q. Coach, what is it going to be like for you over the next 10, 11 days waiting for Selection Monday?
COACH PINGETON: Miserable. You know, we're going to have to exhale a little bit and regroup. We hit some speed bumps here at the end of the season coming off three losses. Played real well at Kentucky, then a tough loss on Senior Day.

To come down here and take another loss, doesn't leave you in a very good place. I mean, they all want to win. They're competitors. We've all worked really hard.

So we're going to need to take a couple days to regroup. Hopefully we'll be in a good situation on Selection Show Monday, but time will tell.

Q. Coach, I think you're pretty safely in based on what your track record is this year. What do you do over the next two weeks? You mentioned these last two games have been frustrating?
COACH PINGETON: Well, we do spend a lot of time breaking down the kind of turnovers we have. It is frustrating. I thought we did a good job handling their full-court pressure. That's not where our turnovers came from. It's just having poise. It's not putting your head in the ground, driving it to the rim.

It's a little bit of a lot of different things. I think that's been the toughest thing to wrap your arms around. There were a lot of travel calls, offensive charges. There are a lot of different things. Tonight we had some kids that were uncharacteristic with their turnovers. They've been pretty solid for us.

We'll give them a couple days. We all need a couple days to exhale, then we'll get our scout team back after it and go back to work.

Q. Sophie, can you talk a little bit about what you've learned? Today is a frustrating game only getting five shots. You're two games away from a fantastic game at Kentucky. What have you learned that you can take into the NCAA tournament?
SOPHIE CUNNINGHAM: Yeah, I just need to stay poised. If I have a turnover, I have to get rid of it right away and not linger on.

Props to Morgan on a great night tonight. Lindsey stepped up tonight. I think our upperclassmen stepped up tonight.

This one stings. I'll put this one on me. What I've learned, I just have to move on. We will from that.

Q. Sophie, they were guarding especially you pretty hard. You managed to dish it out to get outside shots. What changed in the second half?
SOPHIE CUNNINGHAM: Hmm, I don't know. I just think it's poise. I think we need to get the ball inside more? Shoe was doing great knocking down shots. For me, I just need to get the ball more inside, look at our posts more so they can go down there and get more and-ones.

Q. Morgan, I know as coach said, it's going to be a little nerve-wracking. What does that mean to you if you guys will be going into the NCAA tournament, to be able to get the program back to that?
MORGAN STOCK: Yeah, it would be a big deal for me. But, again, to say we're for sure in...

It's kind of like, yeah, it would be cool, but it's not a for-sure thing yet. I'm not going to get my hopes or anything up yet. Prepare like it's going to happen, but prepare like it's not. It would be cool.

Q. Coach, do you think there was any silver lining to this game at all? You had 14 assists on 15 made baskets. Do you see that as any kind of silver lining or doesn't it matter?
COACH PINGETON: It's just a tough game no matter which way you spin it. Like I said, you have 20 turnovers, 20 empty possessions. That's frustrating.

But there is a silver lining in the season. It's been a really good year for us. It's been another year of great growth. We're not where we used to be, but we're again making strides.

Not where we want to be yet. When you look at starting two freshmen all season long, some of the accolades some of the girls received this year, playing in a tough, tough league, I think there's a lot of opportunities for growth.

Our seniors have done a phenomenal job for us. They've done some great things in their four years. But I think our returning players have really been forced to grow up in a lot of ways this year. That's good, exciting, how it's supposed to be.

Definitely a silver lining in the season. When we get a chance to exhale and really look at the résumé, but this is a hard one, no doubt about it. It's going to take a little time to shake this one off.

Q. Coach, Terri said they trap a lot. At times they were trapping, Sophie had the ball in her hands, it didn't allow her to get in the flow of the offense. Can you put in perspective what teams have done to slow her down and how you can maybe address that.
COACH PINGETON: I think against a team that's trapping as much as they are, it's really hard to get into a smooth flow offensively. You got to get to your spots, passes quicker than a dribble. We really talked a lot in all of our huddles about getting the ball inside.

You can't run a continuity offense against a team that's just randomly trapping the way that they do. You got to make plays.

But I think, you know, you look at our offense, and Sophie has a lot of shots throughout the course of the season. I think her and Jordan have had the most on our team. A lot of opportunities. Our offense is the same offense we ran when Sophie had 42 points.

But teams are guarding her hard. Sophie, she's so competitive. She's passionate about the game. I know she's already looking forward to the off-season of really working on ways to create her shot off some ball screening action, just be more well-rounded in her offensive skill set.

She shoots the three ball well, gets to the rim. How do I get open when teams are trying to face guard me? What do I do coming off ball screens? She's already started to study the game. I know she really wants to work on that in the off-season. I think you'll see a lot of growth in that area from her.

It's hard being a freshman in this league. You're going to get everybody's best defensive effort night in and night out. When you look at what Sophie has done throughout the course of the season, absolutely a lot to be proud of. She's a competitor. She wants more. But a lot of positives that we're going to continue to build off of.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, ladies, thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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