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March 1, 2007

Sharon Fanning-Otis

Imesia Jackson

Marneshia Richard


THE MODERATOR: Joining us from Mississippi State, head coach Sharon Fanning, Imesia Jackson and Marneshia Richard.
Coach, make an opening comment, we'll open it up for questions.
COACH FANNING: Felt like in the second half we ended up getting a lead and got ourselves in a position to win a ballgame. I think you have to give credit to Florida because they kept taking it at us.
Big thing we said at halftime was rebounding. For the game, they had 13 offensive boards and they just kicked us there. Felt like it to me. We turned the ball over, made mistakes mentally, did some things independently with each other, trying to work hard at times, but just didn't see each other at the time that we needed to.
Very, very, very disappointed in terms of our effort. Very disappointed in terms of our focus. You know, Florida took it at us at their place. We had to work hard down the stretch to win a ballgame.
They're a very athletic team. Right now they're playing very hard. We knew of their success, you know, two of the last three ballgames. You know, you have to play focused. We didn't play to the level that you have to play in an SEC tournament to win a ballgame.
Florida deserved to beat with us their work ethic. You can't make the mistakes that we made and not rebound the basketball, let them isolate you. We have to play better team defense.
Just didn't step up. Have to give credit to Florida for keeping the pressure on us.

Q. Was it your game plan to have Marneshia score the last 11 points of the game or just the opportunity arose?
COACH FANNING: We want to try for an entire ballgame to look at opportunity. When someone has an open shot, you know, if it's a good shot, then you want to take it. When we're down a little bit, then she had to come down. We want the first open look. Depends on whether it's a two-possession game or one-possession game.
Just so happens she's coming down the floor with a basketball, she's going to make a lot of decisions with it. A majority of the time, they've been very good ones.

Q. Marneshia and Imesia, can you talk about the defense of Florida, especially when they went on that run in the second half.
MARNESHIA RICHARD: Talking about our defense or theirs?

Q. What Florida did defensively.
MARNESHIA RICHARD: Well, they were changing up defenses, sometimes man, sometimes zone. Just have to recognize and try to run an offense that worked.
So I guess switching up defenses kind of got us a little confused, so we had to regroup and try to find a way to score.
IMESIA JACKSON: Yeah, well, I think the defense -- the defense they played was their type of defense. With us being a team, we were supposed to come together and figure it out, I mean, just play out of whatever defense they threw at us. Basically all I know is we didn't come out and perform.

Q. Coach, can you just talk about did you see this as a must-win game? How do you feel about NCAA tournament chances?
COACH FANNING: I think a lot of things with the NCAA tournament comes down to upsets in conferences, you know, when one team's going to go and then if there's upsets. I hope there's still a lot of the SEC teams, probably five of us going into this that were on a bubble.
I hope that we still have a shot at it. I think we'll just have to leave that up to them. You know, playing into the league, being 7-7, Florida is playing with a lot of emotion right now.
We'll just have to see. I hope that there's an opportunity, but it's not going to be in my hands.

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