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March 6, 2013

Darriel Gaynor

Kendra Grant

Vic Schaefer


Alabama – 63
Mississippi State – 36

THE MODERATOR:  Joined by Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaeffer and student‑athletes Darriel Gaynor and Kendra Grant.  We'll take an opening comment from CoachSchaefer on the game and a comment from each of the student‑athletes about tonight's game then open it up for questions.
COACH SCHAEFER:  Well, certainly got to take your hat off to Alabama.  They played awfully well tonight.  They 1‑3‑1 zoned us.  Confidence is a fragile thing.  I think for us, we got a little shaken with our confidence shooting the ball, got a little hesitant.  They obviously took away our inside game, which has been our bread and butter most of the year.
Once they did that, took away Carnecia, she was hobbled tonight, been hobbled all year, kid has been playing on nothing but guts and one wheel, and once she kind of was infective, and Martha was very infective tonight, maybe one of her least effective games of the year, probably in her top three for sure in the league, it really affected us.
Kendra played awfully hard.  She had 11 rebounds.  Just couldn't make any shots.  She was 2‑14.  Every one of them was a pretty good look.
Again, you play the percentages with us.  I would zone us, too.  You play the percentages.  You get to come in this building and shoot 45 minutes, and that's it.
So for us, it was just a horrible shooting night, and we didn't play very good defensively either.  We didn't play the way we've been playing most of the year.  I think the girls would agree.
We had a little hangover the first half at Auburn.  Bounced back the second half, played better.  But tonight you saw both halves of what we dealt with the first half at Auburn.
This team has achieved a great deal this year.  I know you look at our record and think 13‑17.  But we had a lot of inexperience, a lot of youth, a lot of immaturity.  One senior in Darriel, and nine out of 11 kids that really have never played college basketball.  Every time we tipped it up this year, we started three starters that haven't played a lot in Division I.
I'm probably as proud as any coach in the country in this team and what they've accomplished.  The victories we had in the Southeastern Conference, how we did it.  Held Arkansas to 12 points in a first half, 44 in a game.  You go to Missouri after they win by 17 over Tennessee, you beat them a week after that happens.  To play as well as we played against Georgia, hold them to five baskets in each half.
While I'm heartbroken and disappointed about tonight's play, I'm equally as proud about this group and what they were able to accomplish this year.  I'm certainly excited about the future of Mississippi State women's basketball.
THE MODERATOR:  Kendra, your comments?
KENDRA GRANT:  I guess really just to harp on what Coach Schaefer said, it was just a bad shooting night for us.  We got a lot of good looks.  Speaking on behalf of myself, I couldn't knock 'em down.  A lot of us couldn't knock 'em down.  Didn't look like the better defensive Mississippi State team tonight either.  Just weren't hooked up like we should have been.
It shows in the score, so...
DARRIEL GAYNOR:  Just the same as what they said.  Tough shooting night.  Couldn't get anything to fall.  Didn't guard or rebound very well, outside of Kendra.  When you're missing shots, couldn't get any transitions.  We couldn't really do a good job, transition defense.  Just a tough one.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions.

Q.  Vic, obviously you've been on both sides of the coin.  What do you see are the one or two things you need to do to move this thing forward next year?
COACH SCHAEFER:  Well, I think obviously one of the things, we've got to continue to develop these young ladies, but we've got to bring in some help for them, too.  Our skill set has been limited all year.  We've been a very limited offensive team, if you followed us at all.  We've had to win games 47‑44 over Arkansas, over Georgia.  Very limited offensively.  That's been an Achilles for us all year, is if we don't defend and keep the score in the 40s and 50s, we really don't have any chance.
We've got to enhance our skill set a little bit.  I'm excited about the young ladies we have coming in.  Then with the young ladies that we have returning that have really played and impacted our program like Kendra, man, they're so much better today than they were four months ago, and they're going to be so much better six or seven months down the line.
The big thing for us right now in this program, we've been trying to teach them competitiveness, toughness, and I think we've instilled that in the program.  So the next step now is to add to the skill set that we don't have and to try to change that a little bit in the program.

Q.  Did they zone you the night you beat them by 25 or saved it for tonight?
COACH SCHAEFER:  Yeah, you know, they manned us that night.  Our inside players were very dominant that night.
Tonight, we have one rebound with each of our starters at 4‑5 offensively.  We're shooting the ball 22%.  I think that speaks volumes for what took place tonight.
I think we talked about it at halftime.  We got 25% of our missed shots, offensive rebounds, at halftime.  It got worse the second half.
Again, I'm not sure how much we got left in the tank.  These kids have done a lot.  I played a few kids a lot of minutes this year.  I'm just not sure what they got left in the tank.  They've given me everything they've had all year long.
Again, I'm not happy right now.  I'm disappointed.  These two know it.  There's nobody more disappointed right now than I am.  But they have absolutely done just about all they can do this year and I'm awfully proud of their accomplishments, especially here lately in the league, and how we did it.  We didn't do it standing around on 2‑3 zone.  These kids have gone out and earned I think their respect.
I think Alabama coming in respected us just like Auburn was ready to play us on Sunday.  I don't think it was, Okay, Mississippi State is rolling in here, it's no problem.  I think it was, Okay, y'all, Mississippi State is playing well, they play hard, they'll guard you, we got to be ready.
I think these kids have earned that respect throughout the course of the season.  Again, I'm awfully proud of them and I'm really proud of what we've accomplished this year with this team.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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