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March 1, 2012

Tina Roy

Dawn Staley

La'Keisha Sutton


South Carolina – 57
Alabama – 38

THE MODERATOR:   We're now joined by South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley and La'Keisha Sutton and Tina Roy.  We'll take questions, please.

Q.  La'Keisha, wondered if you could talk about the team's defense.  What was the defense doing well to force a lot of turnovers?
La'KEISHA SUTTON:  I think we did a good job of pressuring the ball.  Our post players did a good job.  Our post players were just getting in front, playing on the block.  We were just trying to sit on their right hands and put up the block.  They're a good driving team.

Q.  Coach, could you talk about La'Keisha's performance, especially in the first half.  Offensively she seemed to spark you guys.
COACH STALEY:  La'Keisha is playing like a senior, captain of our basketball team.  She's playing like she's been here before, and she has for the last four years.
She's certainly a calm amongst the storm.  We had a couple of turnovers early.  But once we felt comfortable putting the ball in her hands to do something positive, she did that in the first half.

Q.  Coach, what does it mean to be able to have rested your starters for 10 minutes in the second half?
COACH STALEY:  It's always a great thing, especially in this type of tournament format.  We put ourselves in a position where we have to win four in a row.  We're here for the long haul.  Fortunately for us we got out to a big lead where we could rest some of the players that played heavy minutes for us.

Q.  To get back into the game with free throws, how much of a surprise was that to you?  What were you doing when the team was making 11 straight from the line?
COACH STALEY:  We've been on the other side of the percentages, which isn't very good.  I think we kind of not jinxed ourselves and talked about it.  We kind of let the game flow as far as from the free‑throw line situation.  It's good that we had our best free throw shooter, which is La'Keisha, shooting the majority of them.  It's good to see Ashley get a couple to go down, raise her percentage.

Q.  Tina, this is your first SEC tournament game.  What was it like out there?  How did you calm yourself down?
TINA ROY:  It felt real good.  Coach always tells me to be ready when I go in the game to knock down the shots.  That's what I felt like I did, get my feet ready, being set.

Q.  Coach, tomorrow's game against Georgia, you had a real close game here in the second half of the season.  Odds are you're expecting another tight one tomorrow?
COACH STALEY:  I hope it's just like tonight.  But Georgia is a very good basketball team.  I think they have an advantage because they didn't have to play tonight.
But we know exactly the types of things they want to do.  Hopefully we can disrupt the flow of their offense, hopefully shoot a little better than we shot tonight.

Q.  La'Keisha, you scored 7 of the team's first 9.  Was it just their defense or were you trying to do a little too much after that?
La'KEISHA SUTTON:  I think they did a good job of putting people in the paint, trying to stop the job.  I was trying to get fouled to get to the free‑throw line.  I credit their defense, but we ran our plays.

Q.  How much of a confidence booster is it going into tomorrow where you can try to get to your first semifinal?
COACH STALEY:  At this stage of the game, the more wins, the more opportunities we have to get closer to winning an SEC championship, as well as just continuing to build our résumé as far as NCAA, being an NCAA hopeful.
Anytime you can get a win, looking at our history, it's always a great thing.

Q.  Are there some things you want the team to improve on in the game tomorrow?
COACH STALEY:  Compared to tonight or the first time we played Georgia?
There's a lot of things we can improve on.  Our shooting percentage is one.  We had some unforced turnovers.  We need to take care of the basket a little better.  Our defense has to be sharper than what it was.  Seemed like tonight we were off for a while, when this is our normal time to play.
We're looking forward to the challenge of playing Georgia, a team that is very good, very skilled.  We just have to make sure our defense comes to play.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, ladies.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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