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“I can’t say that my passion for the game was gone, but I just think that we didn’t have fun playing basketball, and that was just a complete 180 compared to the last year, when everything was so much fun for us,” she said. “Sometimes we took things too seriously throughout the season, and that wasn’t fun. That’s where the game wasn’t as fun, because as a team, we weren’t having fun out there playing and practicing every day. When it’s not fun, that’s not a good thing at all.”

Lasting legacy

Toliver said she “found that funness again” with a trip to the Point Guard College basketball camp at James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va., before her junior season - much to the dismay of the rest of the ACC. She emerged from the tumult of her sophomore year with a first-team All-ACC campaign last year and grabbed conference player of the year honors this season.

The points, assists and wins have racked up at a steady pace, and with every step-back jumper or no-look pass, the “oohs” and “ahhs” echo throughout Comcast Center. But there is one final chapter Toliver wants to add to her storied career - cutting down the nets at the Final Four in St. Louis.

“I just enjoy playing for this team, for this program and for our fans,” she said. “And hopefully I was entertaining enough for all of them.”