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March 5, 2016

Holly Warlick

Jaime Nared

Diamond DeShields

Jacksonville, Florida

Mississippi State - 58

Tennessee - 48

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Tennessee.

Coach, if you'd like to offer your opening thoughts on tonight's game against Mississippi State.

COACH WARLICK: Well, great effort by Mississippi State. They played hard. Vivians was outstanding. We didn't have an answer for her. They were just solid. Vic has done a heck of a job with his team. I can't say enough about what he's done there.

I think our effort was there. We played hard. We missed a lot of shots around the basket. We missed some free throws we needed to make.

You know, it wasn't our night tonight. But I think Mississippi State had a lot to do with that.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions.

Q. Holly, can you recall a game where that many layups rolled around, bounced around? It was almost comical at some point. You put the ball up there all night. Do you sum it up and say, That's the way things happen sometimes?
COACH WARLICK: Yeah, I mean, it's physical. We just missed shots. I thought we got good looks. You know, I would be real frustrated if we didn't get good looks, but I thought we got good looks.

The ball just wouldn't fall.

Q. What did you try to do with Victoria, changing it up for her? She hasn't played like this in a while.
COACH WARLICK: Yeah. Well, we face guarded her. I thought Jaime, when she was on her, did a great job on her. She's in a zone. The clock's running down, two seconds, she shoots a three, it goes in. I mean, we did everything we could to keep her in check, and we couldn't.

We gave her five threes. You just can't do that. Maybe we could have trapped her a little earlier, but we were switching off on her and trying to keep her out of rhythm.

She was pretty zoned in today. I think, except the beginning of the game, I'll have to go back and watch the tape. But I think she had to work hard for her looks. She was outstanding today. She was outstanding.

Q. Diamond, how is your knee?
DIAMOND DeSHIELDS: It's fine. I'm fine.

Q. How frustrating is it to get that many good looks and not have it fall in? Has that kind of been the story of the team this season?
DIAMOND DeSHIELDS: No, that hasn't been the story of this team this season. We played a heck of a game, in my opinion. The story of this team so far has been a lack of effort, which we had tonight.

Really proud of the way we played. Like coach said, Mississippi State is a great team. They've got great players. They've got Victoria Vivians, who is capable of putting out a crazy amount of points any given night.

So, no, I wouldn't say that's the story of this team because tonight we gave it all we had. We know that. We're just going to stay together and keep moving forward.

Q. Holly, big picture, SEC, nine teams in the NCAA tournament. Is that what you expect?
COACH WARLICK: I would think so. I think Auburn ended with a bang. I think we ended with a bang.

It's been a difficult league. I mean, you just see Florida, who I thought had a great season, Georgia had a great season, they didn't advance. It's a difficult league.

I think sometimes it wears you down. I think maybe the three games for us in a row, it kind of wore us out a little bit.

But, yeah, I wouldn't expect anything less really 'cause I think teams have played a harder schedule. I mean, ours, the RPI was number one. That has a lot to do with our conference.

So, yeah, I would hope. I would think the committee would put in nine.

Q. Jaime, starting with the Georgia game, continuing through these three games, what positives do you feel like you can take from the last week that will help you in the NCAAs?
JAIME NARED: I think our all-around effort, like Diamond said. You could see the change in our team, from the way we approach games from one to 12, it's a whole different dynamic. I think everyone's coming into games knowing their role and doing it to the best of their abilities.

We couldn't hit a shot tonight. We missed a lot of easy layups. We gave someone 30 points.

It's something we can fix. It's hard to win basketball games when you can't hit a shot or give someone that many points.

Q. Holly, as an unbiased observer, can you handicap the final for us?
COACH WARLICK: I don't know.

Q. South Carolina versus Mississippi State.
COACH WARLICK: Yeah, gosh, I think South Carolina is really playing solid right now. Mississippi State, Vivians, if she had a night like she did tonight, they'll stay in the game.

I think South Carolina today did what they needed to do. They went inside. Their post players produced. They were solid defensively.

Sessions hit big shots. I think she's used to people not guarding her and she doesn't care. She's shooting and scoring and loving every minute of it.

I know Vic, and I know he's going to have a great game plan. I would anticipate it's going to be a competitive game. Obviously you would have to give South Carolina the edge just because of what they did this season. But I don't think it's going to be an easy task. I think it's going to be a battle. I think it will be a really fun game to watch.

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

COACH WARLICK: Thank you all.

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