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March 4, 2011

Sharon Fanning-Otis

Mary Kathryn Govero

Diamber Johnson


Vanderbilt – 69
Mississippi State - 55

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with Coach Fanning-Otis.
COACH FANNING-OTIS: I'm pleased with how our basketball team has continued to progress and they fought. It's been a learning process for us.
Tonight I'm disappointed that it wasn't on the line. I felt like that we were getting to a point. But Vanderbilt is a very good basketball team, they're very balanced. They have some scorers off the bench that can give them a lift. Clarke had zero points at the half, in the starting lineup, ends up with 23.
The free-throw line has been an area this whole season. When a season is over, you made 10 more attempts a game than your opponent, if you've out-rebounded your opponent, positive assist-to-turnover ratio, you have a positive ballgame.
Those are statistics we haven't been good at. I think we've been improving as a team. We have one senior. I hate that a season comes to an end, but I'm proud we have continued to fight and improve. Hopefully this will be really an end to the season, but I hope it's a starting point to a lot of players who are returning, as players are made in the off-season. It's what they do when you're not looking that's going to determine their development.
These two young ladies have been a big part of our progress this season. Their leadership has been very important to the success that we've had and the way that we've continued to improve.
THE MODERATOR: Diamber, your opening thoughts on the game tonight?
DIAMBER JOHNSON: I mean, we fought. Couple things didn't go our way. One thing, we kept our head in it the whole game, tried to stay focused. A lot of stuff happened, but we stayed together and we grew together tonight.
THE MODERATOR: Mary Kathryn, your general thoughts on tonight's game?
MARY KATHRYN GOVERO: Like Diamber said, we fought. Earlier in the season, there would have been a point where we wouldn't have fought. I think it shows the progress we made in this season, just that we were able to keep on fighting even when shots weren't falling or things didn't go our way. That's all you can ask, is to come together and for everybody to fight till the last second.

Q. Coming off an emotional victory last night, late last night, how much of an effect do you think fatigue might have had on you tonight?
DIAMBER JOHNSON: Not used to making it back to the hotel almost 12:00 at night.
Personally, I didn't feel too much fatigue like I normally do after a game. Just knowing and preparing for this whole weekend, the adrenaline probably came in. I don't think it affected us too much. But, yeah, it was pretty late.
THE MODERATOR: Mary Kathryn?
MARY KATHRYN GOVERO: It's part of the fun of the SEC tournament. I mean, you come in, the fact we got to play again today, that's the reward. We could have gone home last night.
I don't think fatigue was necessarily a factor. I mean, yeah, we played a game, and Vanderbilt hadn't. But, you know, that's part of it. I wouldn't say that had anything to do with tonight's loss.
THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you. We'll continue with questions for Coach Fanning-Otis.

Q. Your team did a great job on the offensive glass tonight, but wasn't able to translate to quite as many points as you would have liked off 22 offensive rebounds. Talk about how you were able to get so many offensive rebounds and where you came up short with them.
COACH FANNING-OTIS: We were able to get them because we surely missed a lot of shots. We took a lot more than our opponent. Vanderbilt contested a lot of shots. Some of the things I felt we probably didn't have the confidence or the balance that we needed in a couple of positions.
But this is something we're trying to improve. The positive side of that is that we got them. That's important. That's the first step. Now, as we continue to work in the off-season, we'll work on making them. The field goal percentage is a big key. We've been holding a lot of teams to under 40% from the field. A player early like [] way low, her threes initially in the first half, three for four, a player like that, you have to get under, can't let them get a shot off.
Isolation in the post, with that you're going to have to get some great help. We have to play better team defense to keep them shooting the percentage they have, then we have to step up to get our field goal close to 40, 45% or better.
Anyway, I guess the positive side is trying to get the offensive boards and that effort that is there. If you can continue to have effort, you'll find a way to win some ballgames in the future.

Q. Looking back on this game and season, what do you think you need to improve on?
COACH FANNING-OTIS: A lot of individual skill work relative to the confidence of shots. Players, they have to really put in the time themselves. This has to be an individual decision, so when we come back in the fall we're a tougher team. They've had the experience of playing some non-conference teams that were very successful, learning from that, then going into the conference, learning how to grow, finding ways to winning ballgames, coming back from not being in a game in the first half.
We get in foul trouble. We saw that a little bit tonight with Bett and Brown. We have to be a better basketball team.
Hopefully the experience itself. I think that you grow from wins and losses. We expressed this to our team after the game. Every game this season is going to help you win a game next year, either the success you had because you want to repeat that and do that a little bit better, or a loss, what do we have to do different.
So this experience is going to help us win a lot of basketball games next season. Right now it sort of goes in their lap relative to the off-season preparation because we can only be with them a very minimal time. Hopefully there's motivation and enough experience returning where they can be good teachers for the new players coming in as well as carry over what they've learned.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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