home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 27, 2015

Sune Agbuke

Nina Davis

Niya Johnson

Kim Mulkey


Baylor – 81
Iowa - 66

Q.  Sune, I'm guessing the game plan wasn't to go to you for 23 points.  Was that just something that opened up or where did that come from, I guess?
SUNE AGBUKE:  They were really crowding down on Nina.  I think that was their game plan to keep her from getting the ball and I was wide open and I did a great job and my teammates did a great job of getting me the ball, and it was going in.

Q.  I was about to ask roughly the same question or what they put in your Gatorade because we knew you were a rebounding machine, and last week a blocking machine.  Is this a career high in scoring for you?
SUNE AGBUKE:  Yeah, I haven't gotten into double digits once.

Q.  Sune, if you could, describe the emotions from having a game like that in your senior season and last tournament?  What does that feel like?
SUNE AGBUKE:  I think the greatest feeling you have as a player is getting to come through for your team.  Any opportunity you have to do that, you get to come through for your team, and that's just the best feeling.

Q.  Niya, 16 assists tonight, no turnovers.  What was clicking for you?
NIYA JOHNSON:  Really just finding the open teammate, trying to drive and attack, make them close down on me and hit Sune in her sweet spot which is the free‑throw line, and like I said, just finding my teammates.

Q.  Nina, talk a little bit about your focus coming into the game because the zone spread things out but you looked like you were still attacking and going to the basket?
NINA DAVIS:  We pretty much knew they would come out in a zone, but we couldn't let it slow us down.  My mindset coming into every game is to keep attacking, whether they are in a man or a zone.  I just had that mindset and I was attacking and when they were doubling down on me I was getting the ball to Sune and she did a great job of stepping up today.

Q.  Niya, you guys got off to the 8‑0 lead, then expanded the lead, and then late in the first half it got down to one possession, you hit two big three‑pointers.  How big was that going into halftime and carrying that momentum into the second half?
NIYA JOHNSON:  That was huge.  I was on a run and Prince hit a big shot and I told her good shot and she said, I don't know how that that went in, but that was huge because they was getting complacent and also getting our excitement, thinking they could come back and run on us the next half and play with us.  I told Prince that was a huge shot.

Q.  Niya, you had the 16 assists but you only needed the one to break Odyssey's record.  What does that mean to you to pass Odyssey and move into first all‑time for Baylor?
NIYA JOHNSON:  That's huge, being a leader in assists at Baylor and passing Odyssey Sims, which she's a great player, I'm just thankful for getting the opportunity, and it's a blessing.

Q.  Sune, was your heart beating a little fast as the officials go to the screen after the elbow caught the gal, or what's going through your head at that point?
SUNE AGBUKE:  It was such an accident.  I really didn't mean to.  I felt bad, but I was like, is that really a flagrant because I felt like I just kind of stepped through.  I didn't mean to hit her in the face.  My teammates kind of had to calm me down because I did feel bad, but it was completely unintentional.

Q.  Everybody is talking about offense.  I thought the defense was phenomenal tonight.  You held one of the leading scoring teams in the nation that averages 80 a game to 66.  Could you talk a little bit about the preparation and how you did that?
SUNE AGBUKE:  We knew that they scored a lot of points a game.  We scored about the same amount in the 70s, but looking at defense statistically, it was night and day, so that for us was going to be our focus.  We knew that if they were going to score 80 points we're not going to win.  And we knew we could score and we weren't going to have trouble with that, but we did have to limit their threes and limit their transition buckets, and that's what we did.
NIYA JOHNSON:  I just thought that the guards did well defending their perimeter players, especially Dixon.  She was 2 for 10 from the three‑point line, and she averages about four a game, and I just thought that Prince and me and Imani and Kristy, as well, did very good on her, as well as Samantha Logic, just throwing different bodies at her.

Q.  Niya, was it flow of the game, you go to Sune, you go to Kristy, those are not options A and B usually.  Was that just flow of the game or was that that was open?
NIYA JOHNSON:  Most certainly.  They was hot at the moment so I kept feeding them the ball and telling them to shoot it and attack and just opened up the offense for us.

Q.  Back in the Elite 8, potentially playing Notre Dame again just like last year.  Does that game carry any extra weight going into tomorrow?
NIYA JOHNSON:  Yeah, we didn't forget going to the Elite 8, them beating us at our home place, and we still talk about that to this day.  We're just going to go out there and attack because we don't remember the wins, we just remember the losses.
SUNE AGBUKE:  Yeah, we've talked about it, and for us it's not just thinking about that loss last year, either, but we do have a tradition at Baylor.  We're 4‑1 against them, so going in as a group, we feel like we're 0‑1, but we do have to kind of uphold our end for Baylor and come out and make it 5‑1, hopefully.
NINA DAVIS:  It's definitely a game that has been in the back of our minds.  I think once we was put in the Oklahoma bracket with them, that was probably the first thing that popped in our minds.  But all tournament long, we just couldn't overlook the other teams that we had to play.  Of course we was anxious to play Notre Dame but they had to get to the game tomorrow and we had to get to the game, too, and then when we get that, we can finally focus and go out there to watch and see if we have a chance to beat them, have a chance to play them.

Q.  Kim, Niya talked about this a little bit, but discuss the game plan for Melissa Dixon.  You guys were able to take her out pretty well.  Not a lot of teams have a three‑point shooter like that.  What was the plan of attack for her?
KIM MULKEY:  Well, there wasn't a specific one for her.  The entire team was challenged as we have been since the day they put on a Baylor uniform to play defense, and if you look at the NCAA statistics, I thought that jumped out at us in that Iowa scores a lot of points.  They like to push the ball.  They shoot a lot of threes.  We like to push the ball.  We score a lot of points, we don't shoot as many threes.  So then you go and look at points allowed, and we're at 58, and they're in the 70, 72 range.  I've said from day one in every interview I've had that defense is going to decide the game, and I just thought we were very disciplined defensively at all positions.  There was no box‑and‑one, triangle‑two, doubling anybody.  I just thought we made them use the shot clock.  They don't like to do that.  They like to take a lot of quick shots in transition and push it, and I just thought we never really gave them a lot of easy shots.

Q.  I looked up, it might have been one of Sune's last shots she hit, but obviously she had an advantage down low but she was hitting a lot of 15, 16‑footers, and you kind of turned to the bench and had your arms up like this.  Were you amazed?
KIM MULKEY:  No, Sune‑‑ that is a very good shot for Sune.  Sune can face up and shoot that.  It's just she never gets that opportunity because people don't guard Nina the way Iowa was guarding her tonight.  They just were leaving Sune open, so that's a free throw, and so Sune is a senior, and that's not‑‑ she doesn't shoot a lot for us because she's not given that opportunity up there.  They chose to guard us that way, and Sune will shoot it every time she's left open.
I'm not responsible sometimes for what I do or see or say on that sideline, so it was probably one of those gestures like, she's a senior and doesn't want her year to end.

Q.  Kristy also, just what you got from her, hit her first seven shots.
KIM MULKEY:  Well, Kristy has been doing that all year.  Kristy is a kid that plays a lot of international basketball.  She's on the junior national team from her country, and she has started many games, both at point‑‑ she can play the off guard, and I've got basically four perimeter players, and any of the three can have great nights, or any of the four can have great nights.  I just rotate them in and out of there.

Q.  You have a pretty young team, just the one senior, a couple of juniors.  Different group than what you've had so much success with.  Where have you seen the greatest growth from the beginning to where they are now in the Elite 8?
KIM MULKEY:  Defense.  I think we're playing better team defense.  Didn't see some of it tonight because they were really concerned about the three ball, but I just think from the time we started to today and really surfaced during the conference tournament championship, I just see a team that's just really understanding what we're trying to do.  When they're on help side, when they're on ball side, when to front, not front, and it usually takes this long when you have this many young players.  We have Prince out there.  She hasn't played in two years.  You have Imani who's now starting, you have Kristy Wallace who came to Baylor, she's a freshman, you've got Nina Davis whose role now is that everybody focuses on her because Odyssey is gone.
They've just kind of gone under the radar all year nationally.  I don't think regionally and locally Baylor has gone under the radar, but I just‑‑ to think I've had the opportunity to watch Niya Johnson have 16 assists and no turnovers and have to guard people like she did, and she did it earlier in the year, she had 17 and no turnovers.  I played the position.  That's hard to do.

Q.  At about the five‑minute mark remaining in the first half, that's when Sune picked up her second foul, you took her out of the game, Iowa makes their run.  Does a game like this show you how valuable Sune is right there?
KIM MULKEY:  It doesn't show me.  I've been knowing that.  We're a different team when Sune is not on the floor.  Sune is on that floor because she's super intelligent, she's big, she alters shots, she helps teammates.  She anticipates things, and yes, I was disappointed at that point.  In fact, it was 3:52, I think, to go at that media time‑out, and I inserted Khadijiah Cave, and I talked to all of them in that time‑out.  At that point I think we had a 13‑point lead and they went on a 9‑0 run, and before they ever went on their 9‑0 run, I told them, guys, this is where games are won and lost, and dang if they didn't go on a 9‑0 run.  I took K K out.  I felt like she was not defending Doolittle very well and I gave a freshman a chance, and I thought Dekeiya Cohen did good.  In fact I think she got two offensive boards down there.  I thought we ended it good with Prince getting the shot there at the end, but at that moment, runs like that can cost you a game.

Q.  You commented on defense a while ago.  I want you to talk about this.  As aggressive as you're playing on defense, fighting over screens, etcetera, tonight in the first half they never shot a free throw.  You were 11 out of 11, you only had three team fouls.  Early in the year that was a problem.  Talk about that a little bit.
KIM MULKEY:  I can tell you were a coach because your questions are so basketball related and I love it.  It wasn't just playing defense.  One of the ways for us to win the game was to keep them off the foul line and for us to get to the foul line, and we absolutely did.  I think they were like‑‑ well, they were 3 for 7 from the foul line, and it wasn't the typical hand check or trying to block shots.  It was the discipline in how we guarded them.  We always had our hands up here because they can get shots off quick.  When they drove back we didn't try to come down and hack, we just made them make shots over us and we had to do that because our help side was not going to be as good as it usually is because we had shooters out there.  So I thought the discipline that we showed defensively kept them off of the foul line, and that was one of the ways we felt we could win the ballgame.

Q.  Going back to Alexis's big shot to end the half, how big was that momentum wise, second half you come out, shoot 50 percent, step on the gas and never look back?
KIM MULKEY:  Well, it was big because we had lost momentum, they had gone on that 9‑0 run and I thought about actually putting Sune back in the game because we'd done that before and she'd been disciplined enough not to pick up her third.  In fact I think Doolittle came back in the game with two fouls and I chose to stick with a sophomore off the bench when they went on their 9‑0 run.  It was big as far as momentum.  It was.  And then we had the possession coming out of halftime.

Q.  Niya said earlier that you guys don't remember the wins, you remember the losses, and I wonder the last time you played a Sweet 16 game in this building, it obviously was one of the more disappointing losses for you, Brittney Griner's last game.  Has that game been on your mind at all since you've been here?

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297