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March 6, 2014

Kendra Grant

Jerica James

Vic Schaefer


Florida – 71
Mississippi State – 67

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Mississippi State.  We'll take an opening comment from coach and the student‑athletes.
COACH SCHAEFER:  I'd like to have the first half back.  I think our kids would.  I'm really proud of how we came out of the locker room, came back, competed.  We took the lead.
I just loved our resilience, which this team has been all year.  Our second half was very, very good.  Again, very competitive.  We showed a lot of toughness, resilience, competitive spirit.  That's what this group's had most of the year.
We'd just like to have the first halfback.
Give Florida credit.  When we took the lead, they called timeout and answered with back‑to‑back baskets.  You have to take your hat off to those kids for making those plays.
Amanda called a couple really good plays for them to run.  They made shots.  One of them was Kendra had a good high hand on one of them, the other one was a three out there on the left wing.  We were fairly close.
But you got to take your hat off to them for that.  Again, we didn't go away.  We kept battling.
Again, it's two times in a row where their 6‑footer has taken my 6'4" away.  We have to find a better way to get Martha more than six touches and clean looks.  We got her some early.  But, boy, after that it really got tough.  A lot of that has to do with ball reversal by our guards.  It's not going to be a wide‑open, clean look in there.  You're going to have to throw it to half of her body, she's going to have to pin the other half.
Give Florida credit and their post players of doing a great job of taking her away.  Ultimately I think that's a big part of why we're standing here the losing team.  She gets 10 less than her average.
KENDRA GRANT:  Just going on with what coach said.  The first half was a bad half for us.  Even though we outscored them in the second half, we were in too deep.
We tried what we could to get it back, but we couldn't get over.
JERICA JAMES:  Yeah, the first half wasn't us.  I guess it just feels even worse when you're that close.  We got within one, within two, we should be able to finish the game.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions.

Q.  Coach, elaborate on your team's resolve.
COACH SCHAEFER:  These two young ladies have had a different coach as freshmen.  We come in as sophomores.  You got to take your hat off and give them a lot of credit.  They really bought into a system and learned to play probably a different way than they've ever played before.
As a coach, this is why you get into coaching.  To watch these young ladies mature and grow, develop their game, see them really mature as young women as well as becoming really, really solid basketball players, competitive, tough.  I mean, they're just beautiful kids off the court.
Just to see them, again, evolve as basketball players on the court with their competitive spirit, it's really unique as a head coach.  It's really rewarding as a head coach.

Q.  Kendra, can you talk about your ankle.  Talk about that determination you played with.
KENDRA GRANT:  It was actually my thigh.  I mean, just knowing the game that we were in, this is a game we know we lost in the beginning of SEC play, and we just wanted it back.  Using that first game as determination.  Every time I came out, I just couldn't stay out, I had to push through it.  Anybody would have done it.
I just wanted to push through it, so...
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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