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March 5, 2020

Terri Williams-Flournoy

Unique Thompson

Nashville, Tennessee

Arkansas 90, Auburn 68

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Auburn.

We'll open with a statement from Coach Flo, then have questions just for our student-athlete, then we'll continue with Coach Flo.

TERRI WILLIAMS-FLOURNOY: I just want to continue to thank my young ladies for continuing to play hard. We knew today would be a tough game if we didn't get out and defend the three-point line.

I thought we started with great energy. It was just hard to keep it going. Then playing such a tough game yesterday, I'm sure their legs got a little tired. But they continued to fight.

I'm just proud of the way they ended the season.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Unique Thompson.

Q. First quarter you started out with an 8-0 run. What happened after that?
UNIQUE THOMPSON: Well, we knew we had to come in and we had to make shots. Then that's what we did, we came in with high energy. But once our shots stopped falling, we couldn't really find our rhythm again. Because once our shots were falling it was easier for us to still get turnovers, convert off of them. But once our shots stopped falling, it was just harder to get back into it, back into our rhythm of how we wanted the game to continue to go. But we have to find a way.

Q. You got your 22nd double-double of the season this year. That leads the SEC. When you look back at this season, what you were able to do, what are you going to take from this?
UNIQUE THOMPSON: I'm just going to use it as more fuel. Going into my last year, I know I can't leave anything. I've made my mark at Auburn, but I can't just stop here. I have to keep going and I have to continue to build a legacy here for myself.

So I'm just going to use this as -- this off-season I really worked very hard and even during the season. Coach Flo stayed on me to keep working hard, keep working hard. This is what it got me this far. I can only imagine what happens if I continue to work hard.

Q. Auburn is in a unique situation where this year you had the one senior. Next year you'll be the senior leader. When you think about the off-season, developing your leadership skills, what does that look like for you?
UNIQUE THOMPSON: It's going to take more consistency from me. I know that this year it was a bit of a struggle coming into the leadership role because I wasn't that vocal. I like leading by example. It took me out of my comfort zone this year.

Just staying more consistent, even when things aren't going our way. I can't just get quiet. I have to try to find a way more to just lead the girls vocally because I know they look up to me.

Q. What kind of things did you see from a learning perspective for your younger players?
UNIQUE THOMPSON: They feed off of encouragement. They feed off energy. They feed off leading by example. Whenever they see you doing it, they're also going to try to do it. Whenever they see you doing something that isn't really right, they're going to follow.

The freshmen, they're a great class. It takes talking to them. It takes showing them. Just continue to do what I did this year, but just building on that.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Unique. We'll continue with questions for Coach Flo.

Q. The five losses to start the SEC season put you in a tough position. Talk about trying to get back. There were no back-to-back wins all season beyond the two that ended the non-conference schedule.
TERRI WILLIAMS-FLOURNOY: Yeah, it was definitely a tough season. Majority of it started with injuries. We started off the season with injuries, both the two that we wanted to be point guards, they both did not start preseason. One didn't even start back until the season started.

Robyn was injured. You never could get a consistency like we wanted. Once we got a consistent lineup, that started right after the Georgia game, we were then able to play much better and continue. Everyone understood their role, knew who was starting, who was coming off the bench.

I'm a coach that likes consistency. It was hard for me to constantly change up lineups. We had to change up the lineups coming into the Tennessee game when Lauren Hansen went down because we had that starting lineup for almost eight games I think.

I think just the injuries throughout the year, having young kids, really called for an up-and-down season.

Q. With Arkansas's ability to stretch the floor, how difficult is that for your defense?
TERRI WILLIAMS-FLOURNOY: It's very difficult. I mean, they're not just stretching the floor. They're making threes. They've got great three-point shooters with great percentages. It was really hard to gamble off of anyone.

Kudos to Arkansas. That's what Mike Neighbors has done. That's what he has recruited. They've got really good three-point shooters. It was very hard to defend. You just got to hope and pray that they don't knock shots down. But that's not going to last very long. We saw that at the beginning of the game.

Q. Looking ahead to next season, what is going to have to be the mindset of you and your team?
TERRI WILLIAMS-FLOURNOY: My mindset is to be a pressing team. Now the players, I really thought this year they took too long to buy into who we are and what we do. That means we either got to make some changes, we got to go out and recruit. We have to recruit the kids that fit our style.

We went out and got the so-called scorers. Had a top ranking class last year that hasn't panned out the way we need them to.

At the end of the day I just got to be who I am, coach who I am. That's a pressing team. We've always been a pressing team. Causes havoc. Nobody wants to play us. We score off of our turnovers. We have to go back to being the team that we are.



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