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March 12, 2013

Dymond James

Andrea Williams


Nevada – 80
Air Force – 66

THE MODERATOR:  Ready to begin with the Air Force Academy.  Coach, if we could start with some general comments on tonight's game.
COACH WILLIAMS:  It was kind of heartbreaking for us.  We do what we needed to do in that first half, had a good game plan.  The two injuries really didn't throw us for a loop but didn't put us in a great position, so we stumbled a little bit and needed to refocus and get back in it we did.  We got the lead.  Needed to come up with some big buckets and didn't.  I credit them.  They had a great game plan for us.  They kept believing.
Like I said, we came up short with some injuries that we had to deal with throughout the game.  That definitely hurt us in what we were trying to do.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll open it up for questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Eight of nine teams are going to leave disappointed, but to have a 10‑point lead early, does that make this tougher to take?
DYMOND JAMES:  Definitely.  I mean, the other two times we played them, kind of the same situation.  But this time we couldn't close it out.  This is very disappointing, especially this being the last game.

Q.  To lose Byrd early, they put on a run after that, then you came back from it, then to lose Cherae, you were down and that was the knock‑out blow?
DYMOND JAMES:  It was‑‑ I don't know.  We've never been hit like that before with multiple injuries back to back like that.
The only thing we could do, as Coach A would say in the huddle, is stick together and keep pushing forward.  Kind of go with what we got.
Definitely losing Byrd on the inside and losing Cherae and her focus capabilities with the team, it definitely, definitely hindered our chances.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll continue with questions for Coach Williams.

Q.  What was the difference first half, second half, especially the turnovers?
COACH WILLIAMS:  Not having your true point guard out there.  When I play Jimi and Camille together, it's two of them that aren't as comfortable in the college point guard position, so that hurts us.  At one point I had Alicia bringing it up against the zone to run our offense.
Just that comfort factor.  Cherae is a floor general.  She does a lot more defensively talking.  They feel very comfortable hearing that voice.  They've played together three years, especially the seniors.
Missing easy chippies, getting the ball inside, what we needed to do.  Again, we were having trouble getting back to the free‑throw line, like what we did in the first half.
We like scoring with the clock stopped.  But not having Byrd as a solid rebounder attacking post, Madeleine Philpot hyperextended her knee, so she was coming back against a hyperextended knee against SanDiego on Senior Night.  Those two going out, trying to get Madeleine coming back in.
But, yeah, 10 points, doing what they needed to do, they battled back.
One of the main things is I wish our league had a most improved player.  That would go to Mimi.  It's scary when someone 6'6" can do those things.  That's where we would miss Madeleine and some of our kids.  She just kind of throws us around like a rag doll in there.
When she gets 18 points, she's doing something well.  We need to shut down Sharp, their shooter.  She had 25.  They were playing better.  Their team chemistry is much better than it had been, so hats off to them.

Q.  Hilbig only played 8 minutes in the first half with foul trouble.  You couldn't get your lineup out there.  Disappointing for you?
COACH WILLIAMS:  Foul trouble, she's a little sore from her ride back from New Mexico.  Our seniors are old.  Talking over a hundred games, astonishing on Senior Night, how many games they played.  I only picked them up from sophomores on.
We talked about beating teams we have never beaten them before, being a No.8 seed, we took a lot of pride in that.  We have short‑term littler goals that most teams wouldn't even think would be a goal.  They've changed the program, they're the faces of the program, and are leaving it in a better spot than it was.
Tonight was disappointing that we didn't finish it out.  But it's hard when you don't have your go‑to point guard, especially in the women's game.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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