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March 18, 2016

Terri Williams-Flournoy

Janiah McKay

Jazmine Jones

Waco, Texas

Auburn - 68, St. John's - 57

THE MODERATOR: All right. We're now joined by Auburn and Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy, student-athletes Jazmine Jones and Janiah McKay. We'll start with an opening statement from Coach.

TERRI WILLIAMS-FLOURNOY: I can't even begin to tell you how excited and proud I am of my young ladies to come out and play defense as impressive as they did. It goes to show you how much they have bought into our defense and how they've continued to play it day in, day out and how we knew we had to get after St. John's today.

Q. Jazmine, just talk about that strong start you guys had and what that did to kind of get you through the whole game?
JAZMINE JONES: We knew we had to get out with momentum and that just really kept us going. It was definitely our defense that did it for us. That's what got us here. We are going to keep playing defense like Auburn basketball does.

Q. This question is for McKay: You had a career-high 24 points. It was an absolutely spectacular game. Not only did you shoot the ball well, but you're consistent from so many different places. As you were getting towards the final minutes of the game, what was going through your mind? Were you aware of the stats? You know, obviously the game was still pretty close. What was the mindset there?
JANIAH McKAY: Anytime I play, I don't really think about my stats. I'm more concerned with my team winning. Kudos to Tra 'Cee Tanner and Jessica Jones for setting great screens, which allowed me to get open. Coach always told me, stay aggressive. Stay aggressive. When I keep pressure on the defense, it makes it easier to get Brandy Montgomery open or Katie Frerking.

Q. Coach mentioned the buy-in with the defense. Talk about the turnaround this team had from last year to this year?
JAZMINE JONES: We're definitely buying it. We've seen how much it does for us. All of the work we've put in, it's because of the defense. We have to train so hard because our defense is like that. When we get on the game it shows that we're ready for it. We do what we do.

Q. Both players, it's been a while since Baylor lost to an unranked team. Do you know the last unranked team to win here?

Q. 13 years ago.

THE MODERATOR: Anything else for our student-athletes? Thank you. We'll open it up now for questions for Coach.

Q. Coach, the program's first tournament win since 2009, I guess what does this do for you, and for the program going forward, just as a building block? Is this a good steppingstone just to come in and get your first win?
TERRI WILLIAMS-FLOURNOY: I don't know if it does anything as special for me as it does for our young ladies. I'm just really happy for them. They worked real hard. I'm the one that pushes them. They're the one that does the work. It's just great for our Auburn women's basketball program to get back to the NCAA Tournament and get our first win in the NCAA Tournament.

Once again it just speaks volume to our league. When you play in a tough SEC conference, it gets you ready for the NCAA Tournament.

Q. So your next game is against Baylor. Obviously going to be a bit of a challenge, 33-1. Besides their record, they've been a strong team for the past about a half decade. You in your four seasons have put together quite a good resume. You have strong wins. You've been able to progress your players to the point where we see girls like McKay go from the beginning of the season to realizing their potential in the tournament. What is the biggest thing you look to do to try to make sure something like what happened to Idaho earlier today, doesn't happen where you guys could walk away with a huge upset?
TERRI WILLIAMS-FLOURNOY: I don't think we have to do anything special besides be who we are. You don't have enough time to put in these magical tricks to beat Baylor. We have to go out and play Auburn women's basketball. We have to continue to be who we are. We have to let our defense do the work and hopefully everything else will click back in place.

But it's our defense that has gotten us this far and it will continue to be our defense that carries us on.

Q. Can you comment on the play from people beyond Tra'Cee Tanner, Katie Frerking and Brandy. We usually see numbers from them. Can you comment on the play from the rest of the team.
TERRI WILLIAMS-FLOURNOY: All season long we've talked about the big three and we also talked about when the big three aren't producing, how tough it is for us. We didn't have the big three producing tonight offensively. We still did our job defensively. For Janiah McKay to give us the scoring lift that we needed was absolutely huge.

And for Jazmine, you know, when Jazmine can score -- they don't guard her. When Jazmine can score and be the offensive threat we need her to be, it gives us more options when the big three aren't doing what we need them to do.

Q. I know they got tired late in the game but how big was the opening stretch and how your team caught you the out in the start of the game how much of an impact did that have tonight?
TERRI WILLIAMS-FLOURNOY: It was absolutely huge. Our young ladies were able to see right away into our defense and what our defense could do to our team. Once again it gave St. John's another way to, uh-oh, okay. For so many days we know how prepare for us; don't turn the ball over. Don't turn the ball over. You have to be good against the press, as soon as you come out and turn the ball over, you second-guess yourself, and that's what we want our defense to do.

When we come out on the defense right from the jump, it gives us the energy we need and it makes our offense. It's really good for us.

Q. Like you said, the SEC prepares you for games like this. I don't know if you got to watch Baylor earlier, I think you've seen them earlier. How do you compare what Baylor does compared to what you see in the SEC?
TERRI WILLIAMS-FLOURNOY: Baylor is a very good team. I did not watch them earlier. I am superstitious like that; I take one game at a time.

Baylor is a really good team. I actually saw their championship game of the conference tournament. They're big. They've got guards that score. There's a reason they are ranked and a reason they only have one loss.

When you look at other teams in the league, we have teams that are big in the post like Baylor. We have guards that can score like Baylor. Do you have all of them on one team? Yeah, South Carolina. We have really good teams in the SEC. Does it prepare you for Baylor? It does. It really does.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Coach, good luck on Sunday.


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