South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley shared details during Wednesday's press conference about the team’s second half comeback win against the Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday.
Staley said she had “a few choice words” with the players after a self-described “lethargic” first half. She said that sometimes the players need to be jolted "into being all in” and that after halftime, the lady Gamecocks “came out with a more sense of urgency to win the basketball game.”
Junior guard Destanni Henderson led the team in scoring against Kentucky with 22 points, and she described her mindset going into the second half. “If the game is easy you just slow down,” Henderson said, adding that “if the game is close... I feel like I do have to take control in those moments. So that’s what I try to do and just use my strengths to my advantage.”
Staley said Henderson is "extremely athletic" and "quick." She added that Henderson is probably "quicker than the most quickest guard without the ball, than with her with the ball.”
Staley also shed some light on how she coaches her team through adversity, and when they are having an off night.
When players have uncharacteristic nights, Staley said “you don’t want to shy away from it, you want to tackle it.” She said she tackles it by “watching film with them and just kind of explaining to them body language.”
One game of sophomore guard Zia Cooke's that Staley held a film session on showed different body language in each of the half.
“It was a lot different,” Staley said, “I didn’t really have to know what half we were in to know the type of body language she had.”
The women's basketball team will travel to Nashville, Tennessee for their next game against Vanderbilt on Thursday night at 8 p.m. The game will air on the SEC Network.