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March 7, 2015

Nina Davis

Niya Johnson

Kim Mulkey


Baylor – 82
Kansas State - 70

Q.  Niya, kind of a little bit like the Tech game, y'all had a nice lead, they got back.  What did they do to kind of get back in it like that?
NIYA JOHNSON:  Mainly just attacking us, getting us on our heels and, yeah, like I said, attacking us and getting us to the foul line, more than us, or try to at least.

Q.  Nina, you got off to a good start.  What did you feel like you guys did to get off to the good start that you had?
NINA DAVIS:  We just came out focused. We just had the mindset and we know that every game is important.  You know at this time of the season everybody is going to give you their best shot and no team is going to go away, as you can see, at the end so we just have to learn how to play two halves, and we can't just play one half and not the other.

Q.  Niya, is that a concern at all that you have had big leads and kind of allowed teams to get back in the game a little bit?  Or at this point in the year is it all about getting the win?
NIYA JOHNSON:  Oh, most certainly.  We just can't get content at the end and back off and not playing any defense and stop attacking because they're going to keep attacking us, we'll just have to keep attacking until the clock says zero, zero.

Q.  Nina, y'all had 15 steals as a team, you and Niya each had 6.  Talk about that, was that a point of emphasis or was that just something that happened?
NINA DAVIS:  You can say it was a point of emphasis, we just want to kind of get in the passing lane, we want to disrupt their offense.  We didn't want to just let them catch passes and be able to see over to us and throw off to Lewis down in the post, so we were just kind of denying the wings, and it worked for us.

Q.  Kim, it is survive and advance but what was your message, because, like I said, seemed like y'all had some games like this when teams have kind of comeback on you?
COACH MULKEY:  Isn't it fun to talk about wins, and we're worried about teams coming back on us?  Okay.  Let me see if I can help y'all.  Freshman, sophomore, sophomore, sophomore, sophomore, junior, senior.  That's the problem.  They've never -- other than those that got to play last year -- been on the court when people are in a desperate situation.  K-State understood this could be their last game.  Baylor, whether we liked it, admit it or not, that mind's still a freshman and a sophomore, and they get comfortable out there, and where it all breaks down is on the defensive end of the floor.  It's not anything offensively; it's defensive end of the floor.  You'll have three of them doing it right and, boom, the one that's not doing it right gets scored on.  You'll have two of them talking and three of them not talking.  It's just going to take a while to get this bunch all doing it at the same time in games when people make runs at you.  It's good that they respond, they don't panic, they've won in all these situations, but let's write about what they're doing good.  They are 27, 28-3 and played a desperate team, and moving on, survive and advance.

Q.  Kim, you had 15 steals out there, 19 turnovers, how big much a deal was that for you guys to get out on the open floor and get some transition baskets?
COACH MULKEY:  Well, we're going to run.  I mean, if you scout us, it's not a secret.  You had better get back in transition defense and I thought we did that early.  Either they adjusted and didn't let us do it as much but we're still going to push it.  I just thought that rebounding, I thought we didn't attack rebounding on the offensive boards.  Sometimes when you're shooting pretty good, you don't worry about that, but I just thought there's more to get on the offensive end of the floor.  But Nina, Niya, they're our leaders and they both had 6 today and played a lot of minutes.

Q.  Kim, I think the first lineup we had, had Kristy in the starting lineup, then she came off the bench.  Talk about what she gave you and did you make a last minute change there?
COACH MULKEY:  Yes, I did, and what did she give us?  Gave us about, what, 13, 15 points.  I haven't even seen it.  5 for 9.  But again where she -- I don't want to say hurt us, because they all did, but where the lead was going away is she would get manhandled, outthrown, even on the inbounds play, that's just being tough.  Just felt like make sure you have her and Prince and Imani in and out of the game, and different people guarding them.  One of those three at some point, Jerry, has got to become our defensive stopper, and right now our defensive stopper is Niya.  And you can't -- you just can't get a championship at the elite, elite level when you're point guard who has to do everything else also has to be your defensive stopper.  A freshman and two sophomores, you've just got to keep playing them and just hang with them when they make their mistakes.

Q.  Coach, you talk about this being a young team.  With such a short turnaround to tomorrow's game, is there anything you can really work on or fix or is it just something, like you said, they just needed to experience to kind of get this atmosphere and this kind of stage?
COACH MULKEY:  They're going to experience it more.  You're never satisfied to have to turn around and play quickly, but everybody does in conference tournaments.  You worry about kids like Sune having to play as many minutes as she did today.  I would have liked to have seen KK be able to give her more rest but I thought the matchup with the big girl from K-State, Lewis, we were better with Sune in the lineup.  Had she fouled out, I would have put KK back in there and given her more minutes.

Q.  Kim, you've got 32 free throw attempts today.  Did you like the aggressiveness of going to the basket?
COACH MULKEY:  Absolutely did, and that was part of our game plan or what we talked about is when you play a zone, a lot of times you tend to want to stand.  I thought we were very active, I thought we got the ball to the short corner or the T and that's just the way we attack a zone.  They play their 2-3 very high and we wanted to get the ball down in the baseline.  We had good ball reversal.  I thought we attacked their zone fine.  The offense is not the problem.  Scored 82 points or whatever it was today.  It's your defense.  And it's your defense in spurts, when they're excited and they're making a run, we need to make a defensive stop.  And we did for the most part.  I mean, we won by 12, but it's, like, let's do it when we have that 25 point lead, let's don't do it when they cut it to 8 or 10.  Again, I just think it's kids become complacent out there.  And it's not all of them at the same time, they take turns.

Q.  Coach, Oklahoma State knocked off Iowa State earlier this morning.  You swept them this season, I think by an average score of 16 points.  Always look to beat the team a third time.  It's like you said, survive and advance, you're going to have your hands full tomorrow.
COACH MULKEY MULKEY:  Yeah, I haven't even had time to look at the -- think about that game, man.  Very good team.  I think it's been a while since we've played a team in our league that doesn't bring post players away from the basket.  So maybe it's more of the traditional look for us than chasing people all night, and that's what we've done the last four or five ball games because that's the type of offenses we have faced.  Oklahoma State brings some bigs in there.  In fact, they've played double bigs in there when we've played them.  So I'm kind of looking forward to a traditional matchup where we don't have to chase people off screens and run and find post players that shoot the 3 ball.

Q.  Kim, you talked to us about remembering KS' size.  You guys did win the game, but from your standpoint, you have to remind yourself of that?
COACH MULKEY MULKEY:  Oh, absolutely.  And I have to go in there and coach them and teach them and be tough with them but I also have to be a realist.  Who's my defensive stopper out there?  Who's my big rebounder out there?  This team is going to be really, really great one day.  I am absolutely shocked at what they have done this year, and there's more to do.  But as they mature and they get older, a leader's going to emerge, a defensive stopper's going to emerge.  We've got recruits waiting in the wings, we've got Alexis Jones waiting to get on that floor.  We've got all those recruits waiting to join this bunch.  It doesn't happen usually your freshman year or your sophomore year, it usually takes two or three years to get them to where they get it.  But what they do have is they have heart, they have unselfishness, they have an unbelievable will to win and they don't panic.  Panic usually is something you have to deal with.  We've panicked in one game this year.  We didn't panic in the two losses recently.  We had shots at the end to win those, took good shots, missed them.  So yes, Chuck, I do, but I also tell them that, too.

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