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March 4, 2016

Gary Blair

Jordan Jones

Courtney Williams

Jacksonville, Florida

Tennessee - 70

Texas A&M - 60

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Texas A&M.

Coach, your opening thoughts on tonight's game against Tennessee.

COACH BLAIR: I'm sure most people are out there, but hopefully it will be taped.

Tennessee played very well. We did a lot of things well. I was proud of my team. We competed hard. We controlled the boards.

But when you shoot 28% in the first half, end up with 35% for the game, that hurts.

We missed a lot of shots that we normally hit. Particularly Walker. I thought we really had a chance in the second half when all of a sudden I called Williams' play. Two times in a row she nails the shot. I called two more. She missed two layups.

But that just comes with pressure, that comes from defense, and that comes from the length that they had. Sometimes it's hard to make those shots.

I thought Graves was the difference in the ballgame. She had her way inside. When we beat them at our place, she was coming off of injury and didn't play as much as she normally does.

I hope she realizes the heck with all those McDonald's All-Americans. She's the best doggone post player they've had in a while there. They need to just keep feeding her the ball.

I was proud of C-Will today. She did a good job. Hit some tough shots. That's what she can do every night. I have to get her consistent. She was the only player we had that shot 50%.

But give them all the credit in the world. My big three, 17 out of 46. We've got to do better. All 14 turnovers came from our big three and from me because I didn't have them in good sets.

The first half, their press bothered us. Not that we turned it over, but it took time off, and we were having 14 to 15 seconds to run an offense whether they switched back to man.

Second half, we turned it over against the press, and they got some wide-open layups.

But give Tennessee credit. Remember, there's nothing wrong with Tennessee. They've corrected it theirselves. They were a top-five or six team to start the year, just like Kentucky was a top-six-to-eight team to start the year. I think both of those teams are playing up to their level now.

Just think, our last two losses were to what I consider top-10 teams. I don't care who they have in the top 10 now, but I call Kentucky and Tennessee top-10 basketball teams. That's how strong this league is.

That other team over there, South Carolina, obviously as well.

I'll open it up to questions to my kids here.

Q. For either one of you. You get it to three points late in the third quarter, then how frustrating was it that you couldn't get over the hump?
COURTNEY WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, I think our team, we played hard. Just some shots we usually take wasn't really falling. I think we could have handled the pressure a little better, particularly the guards up front. We should have took care of the ball a little more.

We shouldn't have put Anriel in those positions. I shouldn't pass her the ball when she can't handle so much pressure in a big game like that. She's a freshman. It's not an excuse, because she's not a freshman anymore.

It just falls on us guards because the ball is almost always in our hands, either if Jordan is running the offense or we're breaking the press to get the ball to somebody.

I think if we would have just kept the turnovers down a little bit, we would have been in better shape.

JORDAN JONES: I agree with Courtney, with what she was saying. Like coach said, most of the turnovers came from all three senior guards, myself, Courtney Walker and Courtney Williams. To be a top-10 or top-five basketball team, in games like this we can't turn the ball over against a team such as Tennessee, the way they've been playing.

Tennessee had a great game plan. They came out, forced the ball out of our hands. A couple times we got into hodgepodge offense that we didn't want to, and that worked to their advantage.

Q. Coach, when you get 19 offensive boards, do you expect to do more with that?
COACH BLAIR: The thing with Howard, she's going to get the offensive boards, but she's only 5'11". We're telling her, Don't try to do something as you can't do. As she gets older, we'll work on her show shot. Right now I just need her effort.

She played the game without any turnovers, gave me eight boards. But eventually we have to have scoring on that position. It's too much pressure on my guards to each be on every night.

Hillsman did a few nice things in there, but she got tired early. We had to put Mitchell in. I just think we were overmatched at the five position down there.

But I think Hillsman in time is going to be a very good post player for us. We just have to keep developing her, get her some more touches, be able to score with the offensive boards that she has.

Other than that, get this, we're 0-3 for the four games in a row. I don't care if we shoot a lot of them or not. We had seven chances today, probably five of them were open, two were shot-clock situations. We haven't had a three in four games. We don't take as many. Us and LSU are the fewest. We still have to do a better job of hitting the threes that we attempt.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, ladies, thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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