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March 3, 2016

Melanie Balcomb

Christa Reed

Minta Spears

Jacksonville, Florida

Vanderbilt - 54

Georgia - 49


THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Vanderbilt.

We'll go straight to questions.

Q. Minta, can you take us through that last couple of seconds. When you saw the ball come your way, did you intend to take that shot or did you sense you were going to have some kind of contact?
MINTA SPEARS: Yeah, well, our first play, I kind of air balled the three. The credit really goes to Rachel Bell. She crashed the offensive boards huge and saved it from going out-of-bounds, kind of threw it to the corner.

I'm pretty sure No. 4 fouled me. She'd been blocking people's shots all night. I shot faked her, luckily got the foul.

Q. It looked like you were trying to scoop a three-pointer. Did you sense the contact?
MINTA SPEARS: Oh, yeah. I knew she was going to jump. I just wanted to go into her and make sure we got the foul.

Q. Coach, a little bit of a different team than a few weeks ago. What's working the last couple of nights?
COACH BALCOMB: I have to disagree. I don't think we've been a different team. I think we're finishing now.

I'm really proud of how they've been resilient through a really tough stretch and have grown and continued to get better and stay together and get more together.

The cohesion got better and better as we faced adversity. The tougher that stretch of losses got, we just kept practicing well and getting better until we finally finished a game on the road. That just propelled us to really get to this third season and to be able to start over and now be 2-0.

I'm just really proud of their heart, how much they've grown through tough times.

Q. Minta, back to the last play, the free throws in regulation, are those about the biggest free throws you can remember in your career?
MINTA SPEARS: Probably so. Those are probably the biggest ones. Just going to the line, we shoot free throws every day. I just went up there and shot them with confidence. Just trusted the work that I've put in.

Q. Coach, throughout the season, you've been talking about looking for the consistent scorers. It looks like you found them.
COACH BALCOMB: I found them before they found themselves back in recruiting (laughter).

I think they've worked over time to where they're comfortable being more aggressive on the offensive end and taking the big shots and being okay being the go-to, per se.

What makes us really good right now is we kind of have people playing the roles for this team. Morgan Batey is playing point guard so Minta can be more of a scorer. Christa Reed back in November, being willing to play the stretch four so that she could spread the floor so Marqu'es could get more shots in the paint. Now Marqu'es is attracting four and five people sometimes in the paint and she's going inside-out.

Then you see Rachel Bell tonight come up with I don't know how many loose balls, rebounds, blocked shots.

Everybody is taking on their role and accepting it for the team. That's what a team is. To come together, I told them it's never too late. It's not too late. We're still in control of our destiny. Nobody else is.

This was a very earned win from a lot of hard work.

Q. Coach, you've had some memorable SEC tournament games. Do you think this will go on the list?
COACH BALCOMB: Yes. I've been blessed to coach a lot of great players, grow a lot of good teams. But to win the way we did tonight, being down six with 1:27 to go, just never quitting against a team that is bigger, more physical, that's why I like it at Vanderbilt.

You're the undersized, under-athleticist [sic], whatever you want to call it, but yet you find the heart to win. That's what makes it really, really fun for me. Then to watch them be so happy.

Marqu'es Webb, I could sit there and listen to her all day right now, the passion she's shown for her teammates.

Q. Minta, did the timeout after you made two bother you at all?
MINTA SPEARS: I figured it was coming, so we just went over there and just talked about it. There was one second left. We just acted like I was going to make it the whole time.

So, yeah, whatever defense we were in after we made it, because we didn't want them to tie it up or win.

Q. Christa, when you go to overtime, is there a sense of relief? Do you think you guys came out in the overtime pretty loose and relaxed?
CHRISTA REED: I feel like we came out pretty loose because going into overtime, it gave us another opportunity. We knew at that point we still had a chance to fight back and to win. That's what we ended up doing.

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

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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