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March 7, 2015

Jeff Mittie

Haley Texada


Baylor – 82
Kansas State - 70

COACH MITTIE:  Well, I thought we played pretty solid in the second half, made a really good push, really proud of our group for the push they made.  We just couldn't run it all the way back.  And Baylor's obviously a very, very talented team.  For us, the inability to keep them off the free throw line was problematic all day long.  Davis was -- she was a problem all day long.  We just could not rotate to her in the zone, we couldn't keep her off the free throw line.  She's just a very, very talented player and they do an excellent job of finding her and she does an excellent job of finding the gaps in the zone.  But I thought our group played real hard, I thought our group played at a championship level, I thought our group played at a post season level and that's what we've been striving for all year is to play at that level and real proud of our group for doing that.

Q.  Haley, down 20, what do you guys do to rally the troops and kind of get things going?
HALEY TEXADA:  Well, the main goal is just to keep playing hard.  I mean, when you're down by 20, I know for a lot of teams it's easy to just kind of fade out the game and get a little bit funked up in the head, but just got to keep playing hard and I think that's what we did and that's why we were able to come back in and close that gap a little bit, but just don't give up.

Q.  Haley, did you find maybe more openings for shots?  I know you started heating up from the three-point line.  Was it a little more open in the second half, did their defense kind of sag a little bit or did you find some ways to get better open looks?
HALEY TEXADA:  I would say just going hard.  I mean, in the first half we had it, we just kind of beat ourselves on some plays and made bad turnovers, including myself, but second half we slowed down and found the openings and we were able to get some good looks.

Q.  You guys had 19 turnovers, they had 15 steals.  Obviously Baylor has quick hands and they're very fast.  How do you approach that when you're playing -- what do you do to try to cut down those turnovers?
HALEY TEXADA:  Like I said, the beginning is where we kind of got a lot of our turnovers just in that first half of the game.  Like I said, when we slowed down and played our game, we reduced it by quite a few.  You know, with them you've just got to play smart and also fast, but play smart as well and make the right passes so they can't get run-outs.

Q.  Jeff, the first half, I kept looking up and watching the game and thinking Kansas State's not playing bad and then I look at the scoreboard and you're down 16, 17.  Did you feel the same way?
COACH MITTIE:  Well, I think, yeah, I didn't quite feel the same way.  No, I did not share in -- our problems were the turnovers.  The pace of play was problematic for us in our decision making and I thought we were stagnant with the ball at times, which was -- you talked about the 3s.  We took a lot of 3s in the first half that were one-on-one type 3s that were just bad 3s.  Second half we were able to move the ball better, we were able to make better decisions and consequently we got better looks at the basket.  I thought our group played well together in the second half.  I thought in the first half we were very individual and tried too much one-on-one.  We weren't shooting the ball -- we don't shoot the ball great, so when you take a look statistically at us, this isn't too bad for us.  The fun begins when it goes towards the rim.

Q.  Coach, you talked about your turnovers.  Was that them getting in the passing lanes or did you feel like some of that was just sloppy play?
COACH MITTIE:  Well, a little of both.  Let's give them credit, their length -- I'll give you an example.  Wesemann had some turnovers that were just, you've got to throw below them.  She's a 5-7 guard, she's trying to throw over Imani Wright.  That's not going to happen.  That's not a good play by us.  You're playing into their strengths.  We had two or three openings early where she just made the wrong decision.  We also felt like our guards were standing and watching the dribble a lot and that plays into their length as well.  So I do think they do a great job with how they play.  They try to keep that length all inside and you've got to hit shots against them.  But I get back to this, I would have liked to have had seven or eight more possessions in the first half and instead of being down 16, maybe we were down 8 or 9 and maybe that would have been more manageable.  But they do a good job, there's no doubt.  They're tough to score inside on so they force you to hit jumpers, and first half we didn't react to that very well.

Q.  Speaking of inside, I thought Jessica Sheble gave you quite a bit at first half when Breanna got in foul trouble.  Thought a little bit about her playing and she seemed to almost keep you in it at some point.
COACH MITTIE:  She's had a good stretch here the last two, three weeks of the season.  You're right, she's really given us a lift off the bench and today she gave us a lift with the 4 for 4 from the free throw line because she didn't just get easy stuff, she got fouled and had to convert from the line and we came away with solid possessions.  But you're right, she did keep us in it.  Both had foul trouble.  I thought Baylor really attacked our zone well most of the day and really put us in tough positions.  We had foul trouble all day at the center spot and that was because they kept getting the ball in there with both the pass and the dribble.
But back to Sheble, you're right, she gave us a big lift and we needed it.  We went into this game wanting to play a little small against them because we had seen on tape that Iowa State had some success with that with the shooters.  We don't necessarily possess the same pieces but we did want to try to go small.  It didn't play out that way for us, we just didn't have a very good rhythm today with it.

Q.  You talked about Nina Davis.  What makes her a tough matchup, and I think you had cut it to 6 and she makes that little floater in the lane.  How difficult is that to defend, I guess?
COACH MITTIE:  Yeah, boy, I appreciate her more every time I see her.  Initially when I saw Nina play, it was like what a great effort kid, undersized, great knack for the ball, all these things.  Then you go wow, she's expanded her game to really quick off the bounce, really understands where to be, so quick along the baseline for our bigs to get to, and then you add that floater in the middle of the lane.  Just a huge shot because we really just need one more.  If we get one more, now all of a sudden, you know, who knows, right?  Ball bounces off somebody, we knock a couple down, we walk out of here.  But she's a great player, I appreciate her more every time I see her.  I don't like her any more every time I see her, I just appreciate her game every time I see her.  But heck of a player, heck of a player.

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