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March 5, 2016

Dawn Staley

Tiffany Mitchell

A'ja Wilson

Jacksonville, Florida

South Carolina - 93

Kentucky - 63

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by South Carolina.

We'll go directly to questions.

Q. For all of you, was that the best game you played all season? What was the focus going into it?
A'JA WILSON: Yes, I do think that was the best game we played this season. I mean, it's just a rivalry game. You take a lot of heart in those games.

We go out and play all the time. Something about the rivalry gets underneath our skin and we really want to play our best. I think that rivalry helped, knowing it was Kentucky, it really helped us out.

TIFFANY MITCHELL: I agree. I think we did play our best on this game. I think everyone's on the same page. We were all synced up. It was good basketball.

COACH STALEY: Felt pretty good to have the balance that we had on both sides of the ball. The energy on the bench. When everyone's number was called, people came in and impacted the game. That's kind of what you wanted to see. I want to bottle it up and take it into tomorrow night's championship game.

Q. Tiffany, about seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, you nailed a three-pointer from the wing, then paused and gave a shimmy on the backside. I'm told you don't do that often. Was that because it was Kentucky? Describe that few seconds.
TIFFANY MITCHELL: I mean, it just felt good. It felt right at the moment. I was feeling good. Our team was up. We were all just hyped. The whole entire game was very emotional.

It's not really uncharacteristic of me, I just don't do it a lot. But this game we were just feeling great so I just let it go.

Q. Do you have a name for it?
TIFFANY MITCHELL: Nope (laughter).

Q. Ladies, 11 of 13 in the fourth quarter. The offense came from everywhere. What did it feel like when you got it rolling that much offensively in the second half?
TIFFANY MITCHELL: When you're playing well, things are going right for us. That's what happened this game. Things were falling into place for us. We could have tried to shoot with our eyes closed and it probably would have went in. I know she wouldn't have let us shoot with our eyes closed. But if we tried it, we probably would have made it this game.

Q. Coach talked about bottling it up and taking it into tomorrow. How do you do that?
TIFFANY MITCHELL: I mean, we got to bottle up this feeling. We know we came here to win a championship, not just to win two games. We came here to win three games. Although this was a great win for us and we're feeling good at the moment, we can't be overconfident going into tomorrow.

We're going to play one of two really talented teams. We got to bring the same intensity out.

A'JA WILSON: Really just turning the page, really celebrating, that's great. But we came here to win a championship. That's what we have to take care of.

Q. Dawn, you've now taken your team to four different cities for this SEC tournament. Could you at least contrast, compare how Jacksonville has done as a host?
COACH STALEY: Jacksonville has been great. Throughout the entire year, when you build up to this point, the way the hospitality they've shown us all year long, it's a place which we're welcomed. It's made every team feel like they were going to win an SEC tournament championship. That's what you want from a host city.

Q. Dawn, the defense, especially Khadijah, seemed like she was on everything. What was it about getting loose balls and scramble plays?
COACH STALEY: I think it was about being competitive. Khadijah quarterbacked our offense and our defense. She just played with a certain level of energy and determination that she didn't want our SEC season to end today.

They followed her lead. We got the type of lopsided victory that don't come that often. We certainly won't get too high with the highs. We didn't get too low with the lows yesterday, having played our worst offensive game statistically yesterday.

We came here to win an SEC tournament championship. We'll turn the page and we'll focus in on that.

Q. A'ja, that game turned in the second quarter, a couple blocks from you. What were you thinking going into that? Were you trying to make a big play?
A'JA WILSON: I was really trying not to foul, but at the same time not let them get a shot up. That's pretty much it. I was just kind of at the right place at the right time. I used my length. I guess the ball just came to my hands.

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

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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