Fifth-year senior center/forward Brooke Smith
You guys had the lead at the half. Were you feeling good about where you were at the half?
"No, I think Coach mentioned earlier that we weren't playing well. [breaks down crying] At halftime, we were lucky to be up. That's not the best we could have done, and we were just trying to improve on that in the second half. We didn't get it done."
Junior guard Candice Wiggins
Can you talk about the first few minutes, when they were hitting some shots and you guys were missing free throws and looking a little tight? Were there nerves there?
"I don't think there were that many nerves, really. When you're excited about a game, you might come out and not be as relaxed as you want to be. Their hitting shots - the other team is going to do that, so we just had to make sure to clamp down more on defense."
You hit that three-pointer to start the second half, and then you don't get a lot of shots off until about nine minutes to go. Was there a reason?
"It was our gameplan. Our gameplan was to go inside. I'm looking for my shot, always, but in the flow of the game."
Last year you played Florida State. How much different is this team than who you guys beat last year?
"They're very similar. I feel like it was a very similar game to last year. It was close last year. We were able to hit a few shots to get separation last year. This year, it was just the other way around. They were able to hit some shots, and they got some separation. They felt like the same team, though obviously with some different players."
You took a couple of leads, and then they were run off some points. Were there some things defensively that you weren't doing?
"I think they just hit big shots. Our defense was there. We also could have obviously done better, like Brooke said. It's just a big disappointment. We didn't get it done."
We've talked a number of times this year about the team's overall shooting. When the shots weren't falling for you, Cissy Pierce and the others in the first half, what do you think that does to the psyche of this team?
"For me personally - this has been my whole entire life, as a 50 percent three-point shooter - if you miss the first shots, the next shots are going in. I know I missed all of my shots in the first half, so I didn't have that mentality. I knew that if I shot again, they were going to go in. I don't think it really does anything. In terms of shooting badly, that's obviously not good, but I don't think mentally it did anything."
At the end, you were talking with Brooke. Would you mind sharing with us what you said to her?
"I was just thanking her for a wonderful three years. I've learned just so much and gotten to be a better person through knowing her. I was just so honored to have played with her and so grateful. I was telling her that her career is not anywhere over. She is an amazing person, an amazing leader and an amazing everything, and [crying] I'm going to miss her."
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