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March 2, 2006

Recap |  Final Stats

CLEMSON TIGERS

COACH Cristy McKinney: You know, I thought for a half we battled really hard. I thought our defense, the first half, was very good other than fouling a little too much, putting them on the line too much. Both teams struggled to score, obviously, the first half. But I thought both teams worked real hard. NC State has a lot of balance, got a lot of quickness on the perimeter. I thought the second half their quickness hurt us on the perimeter, their quickness, hurt us on the perimeter, their post. A little stronger, a little more aggressive just at taking the ball to the hole. We struggled all year to play for 40 minutes. If you look at our last several games we’ll be in it at halftime, do a pretty good job and then we give up 45 to 50 points in the second half of every game. So somehow we got to find a way in the future to play for 40 minutes.

Julie Talley: Pretty much what Coach McKinney said. Our team, we really go hard, and we try to stick in there together. There is something about us. We just can’t hold off for 40 minutes. Hopefully, they can get it together next year. I think Coach McKinney is really going to build a team here. She really has gotten some success here. She is a hard-nosed coach, and everybody really respects her. So I think they’re going to have some good outcomes next year.

Q. Cristy, do you feel you may be in trouble if you held them to 24 percent in the first half, and you were only up by a point?

COACH Cristy McKinney: Well, I tried to tell my team we had them right where we wanted to at halftime. I thought our defense helped them shoot 24 percent. I thought we really challenged a lot of shots. We felt like we should have been up more. We felt like we lost some good opportunity to be up more. The other thing was the foul line, that made a huge difference in the first half. Again, they do a better job at taking it at people, feel the contact, continue to go through. We drive it, feel the contact, back away from the contact. We’ve got to learn to do some of the things they do. Whittington, especially does a good job of taking it up strong into the contact.

NC STATE WOLFPACK

COACH KAY YOW: Well, first of all, I think, Cristy is doing a great job with the team at Clemson. They’re, you know, really playing hard for her and playing a lot of a great basketball. They were really a tough team. I think the first half they really gave us a wake-up call because even though I felt that we were really playing hard on defense, offensively we just weren’t making it happen. The second half, we really turned that around. The players did a great job on both ends. Early in the half, we got in, started fouling, but they got that back under control, really played well and smart without fouling, and offensively they really executed so much better the second half and got to the spots on the floor that we needed to get to be at our best in scoring. They did a great job in the second half. I’ve always said that first game is one of the hardest in the ACC. I think it the hardest one. You come out, you just got that 40 minutes. So I think that we seemed a little tight, a little not quite ourselves that first half, and I thought we loosened up some and really got the ball moving on offense much better and still continued to play really good defense.

Q. Ashley, the difference between the first and second half?

ASHLEY KEY: I think the difference between the first and second half as a team, we picked up our intensity. Our defensive level rose, just like the coach wanted us to. We started executing and knocking down shots and not putting them on the free-throw line and fouling like we were.

Q. Marquetta, are you feeling better from your concussion? And did you have a special reason why maybe you seemed like you were attacking a little more today?

MARQUETTA DICKENS: Yes, ma’am, I’m definitely feeling better. Coach always wanted us to be aggressive on offense, as with any team, we always have to be aggressive and penetrate and attack Clemson just like they were attacking us the first half. I think it really benefited us in the second half, that’s why we scored a lot more than we did the first half.

Q. Marquetta, it seemed like in the first half you were like the only person making shots, I guess you had eight points in the first half. Nobody else. Did that make you look for your shot a little more because you were able to hit your shots?

MARQUETTA DICKENS: I tried to take the open shots. I’ve been working on my shot, and just the small things about it, the coaches, they see something wrong and they tell me, and I’ve just really been focusing on that. A lot of them fall in. If I was open, and I knew I had a hot hand, people would set me up, screens had a lot of good screens, especially off the dribble, so that really helped, too.

Q. Coach, can you talk about the alley oop that Billie (McDowell) sent to D’Lesha (Lloyd) late in the game and what kind of spark that provided?

COACH KAY YOW: I think any time that you are running something, and you execute it and it really works, particularly your first option, that it gives a lot of confidence to the team, and they get excited about it. That’s what happened on that play. So it was, you know, it gave us a lift immediately.

Q. Ashley, you guys probably were already in the NCAA tournament before this, do you feel even better about your chances now, assuming you don’t win the conference tournament?

ASHLEY KEY: I think we still have the mind frame game by game. We know that NCAA tournament is out there. But these games will help us prepare a little bit more for the NCAA tournament. I mean we would like to get the ACC tournament first before we get to the NCAA’s.

Q. Kay, what would you like to do better against Florida State than the first time around? What are the things that you need to change from that outcome?

COACH KAY YOW: Well, we know when we played at Florida State we didn’t play as aggressively, you know, defensively or offensively as we could. We had spurts in that game. But we really didn’t have a consistency on either end. Florida State has a really good team. I really think they are one of the best teams in the conference. They really work well together. They complement each other. I think it takes a great defensive team to really, you know, have a chance to beat them. We just didn’t have our best defensive game down there. Offensively, it was just in spurts. Nothing consistent for us. So I felt like we, you know, at this point in time in the season, we’re playing better. Florida State may be playing better as well. That, we don’t know. But, you know, we have a chance now to see what we can do.

Q. You picked up a lot of fouls on them in the first half, did you all feel that they kind of backed off of you all in the second half because of that?

MARQUETTA DICKENS: No, especially not at the end of the game. I think they were pushing it even harder. I think we just focussed even more, and played defense without fouling and moving our feet. I think we moved our feet better the second half and not put them on the line.

COACH KAY YOW: Yes, I don’t think they backed off. They played pretty aggressive all night long. I think our players felt it was a very physical aggressive game out there, like most ACC games are.

Q. Ashley, you guys shot 20 something percent in the first half, you only trailed by one point, did you feel thankful to be only that, or more upset that maybe you didn’t have the lead; what were you thinking at halftime?

ASHLEY KEY: I mean it’s probably overall a little bit of mixed emotions. I think, although we weren’t hitting shots, and we were making fouls, I think it was our defense that kept us in the game and allowed us to stay in it because we knew if we kept going at it our shots would fall. As long as we kept our defense there, that would help us get back in the game.

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