She may have been joking, but Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said she may take away her players’ cellphones in an attempt to get them to relax.
“You get past this game, you survive and advance,” she said after her game and before the next quarterfinal match. “So now we’re advancing. Now our focus is on one of these two teams (Texas A&M or South Carolina). Rest is going to be huge for us because of our lack of depth.”
The Lady Vols used only seven players in defeating Florida 82-73 in Friday’s first quarterfinal of the SEC women’s basketball tournament at Gwinnett Arena.
Football analogy: Texas A&M’s 61-52 victory over South Carolina on Friday may have been the Aggies’ first game in the SEC women’s basketball tournament, but coach Gary Blair drew a comparison that many fans of the conference are familiar with:
“That was almost as physical as the football games are in the SEC,” he said.
He called South Carolina the best offensive rebounding team his team has faced after the Gamecocks grabbed 14 offensive rebounds. He quickly qualified that by adding — “until tomorrow.” That’s when the Aggies will take on top-seeded Tennessee. The Lady Vols were the sixth-best offensive rebounding team in the SEC this season, pulling down 15.3 per game. The Volunteers defeated Texas A&M 82-72 in their only previous meeting this season.
Staley rues misses: South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said her team missed too many layups and free throws Friday to win the game.
The Gamecocks missed 10 of their 20 free-throw attempts and had a field-goal percentage of 35.1 percent. She said she lost track of the number of inside shots her team missed. The Gamecocks (24-7) were one of the worst shooting teams in the SEC this season, making only 38.9 percent of their attempts.
“If we can just make layups, I think the game would probably be a little bit better,” she said. “I don’t know if we’ll win the basketball game, but certainly it would put them back on their heels and make it more interesting.”