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March 3, 2011

Markeshia Grant

Dawn Staley

Ieasia Walker


THE MODERATOR: We're ready to begin with South Carolina. We'll go with an opening statement from Coach Staley.
COACH STALEY: I thought we came out making a conscious effort to push the ball down the floor. I thought our offense was pretty good to put up 30 points in the first half. I just thought we lacked in what got us here, which was our defensive tenacity and rebounding.
But I thought we closed the gap in the second half. I thought our players gave us a gutsy performance.
THE MODERATOR: We'll have opening statements from each of the players. Markeshia, your thoughts on the game tonight.
MARKESHIA GRANT: I just think we came out ready to win. We came out aggressive. Our defense in the first half, we were a little slow, but in the second half we came out and we just started executing.
THE MODERATOR: Ieasia, your thoughts on the game tonight?
IEASIA WALKER: I think in the first half, we were more efficient on offense and in the second half we picked it up on the defensive end. They did a good job crashing the boards. Second half we closed the gap. It was a hard fought game and a good win for us.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Tight, hard-fought game. Do you like that going into the second day?
IEASIA WALKER: Yes and no. Yes, because you know what to expect. You know how to come out the next game. But no, because you're going to be a little tired, aches and pains. Have you to be mentally tough and just get through it.
MARKESHIA GRANT: This is my first time here, so... I'm just hyper. I'm just glad to be here. I want to bring the same intensity tomorrow, so...
THE MODERATOR: We'll dismiss the student-athletes and continue with Coach Staley.

Q. Struggling from three-point range, what were you doing to limit them?
COACH STALEY: One of the keys for us was not to allow them any three-pointers. I think we were just trying to just make them put the ball on the floor. We were giving a lot of help. We were trying to make sure we weren't giving up any threes, keep them out of the paint. I think our players for the most part executed that part of it.
We sent them to the line a lot, but that was due to how we were playing defensively. We just got ourselves out of position in rebounding, box out.

Q. There was a point in the second half where you were getting some good lay-ins, stretched the lead out to 10. Did you figure you needed that lead?
COACH STALEY: Absolutely. We've never blown any teams out. All the games are going to be close with us. If we can give ourselves a cushion, you know, probably a 10-plus cushion down the stretch, it's only going to benefit us. We do have to factor in that we're not shooting free throws extreme think well at this time. We need that cushion in order for us to ensure a victory.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, coach. Good luck tomorrow night.
COACH STALEY: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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