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March 26, 2016

Kim Mulkey

Alexis Jones

Nina Davis

Dallas, Texas

Baylor - 78, Florida State - 58

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by the Baylor Bears, head coach, Kim Mulkey, her two student-athletes, Nina Davis and Alexis Jones. Coach, are you going to skip your opening statement? Okay, we will take questions from the floor.

Q. Nina, once again, 30 points, you guys had the lead on 'em, but Coach called a time-out. Can you talk about the adjustments and how y'all were able to recover from that early first period?
NINA DAVIS: We really wasn't playing good defense. We were letting them get out in transition. They were getting anything they wanted. They were getting layups and we know that's not how we play basketball.

So we needed a time-out to regroup and remember why we were here and what was on the line, and after that we were fine.

Q. Both for Nina and Alexis, Coach Semrau was in here talking about what a great passing team you are and I know Niya has a lot to do with it, but it seems like this team as a whole passes very well which facilitates your offense. Can you talk about that, how good you guys feel like your passing is this season?
NINA DAVIS: We are just a team that's been unselfish all year. At one point in the game we have three guards in and Niya and Alexis and Wallace in, and we don't care who scores. If we see a teammate open we're going to make the pass and starting with Niya and her court vision and Jones has a high IQ and we are going to work the ball and get the best shot available.

ALEXIS JONES: The same thing that Nina said, everybody on the team has a good IQ on passing the ball and knowing when the opening players is going to be open so it's just something that we have been blessed with and -- as a team and we know how to pass the ball.

Q. Nina, speaking of unselfishness, your story numbers are down this year from in the past and Coach talked about that yesterday, you now have back-to-back 30-point games in the NCAA. What's changed for you? Are you look for your offense more now?
NINA DAVIS: I can't say I'm looking for my offense a little bit more now. I owe all the credit to my teammates when I'm hot they do a good job with passing the ball and putting me into position to score. So I really owe it to my teammates for helping me to get those 30 points because without their assists, I can't score any points.

Q. I think you had 11 points fairly early, finished with 15, was that taking stuff away or you getting everybody else involved?
ALEXIS JONES: I mean, Nina was out there doing all the work. They didn't need me! Why would I go in there and try to be extra when all you got to do is get the ball to Nina and get the score. I did what I had to do, I was rebounding, got some he deflections on the defensive foul. I did what I needed to do and I ended up scoring points. When they need me to score, I score, and when they don't I'm here to do other things.

Q. Even though you've seen her now, when you were sitting out last year and all this year, are you still surprised by the spin moves and the way Nina is able to score against bigger people inside?
ALEXIS JONES: I mean, no, she's always in the right spot at the right moment and she always gets a defender when they're trying to, you know, get up on her and she is quicker than a lot of people think and she just knows how to get her shot off, so I'm not really surprised. I know she is going to get her shot off and I know she is going to get her points.

Q. Nina, you guys have worn the bracelets all year, eight is not enough, and I know that's where you are and what can be different this year for this team being here?
NINA DAVIS: It's been a long year. We've had a lot of ups and downs this year. We had a down when we lost to Oklahoma State, and we were able to go on the run and win so many games on the road.

As far as getting another shot to getting to the Final Four, that's all you can ask is for another opportunity and we've presented ourselves with it. This team is great. We are so unselfish. We play good defense. We have so many scorers. I feel like we have all the pieces to get to the Final Four. We have to go out there and play and give it our all.

Q. Alexis, talk about Alexis Prince, her money shot was on track today, and also Wallace, it was incredible she lost the ball one time, but she is hustled down and was able to pick the ball. Can you talk about Wallace and Alexis Prince as well as?
ALEXIS JONES: Now Prince is knocking down her shots and also Kristy is knock down her 3-point shots. They have always been great 3-point shooters and at the right moments they knock down those shots, and Kristy is a hustler. No matter what happens, she is going to go down there and hack somebody or she is going to go down there and try her hardest to get the ball back even if she turns it over. That is just Kristy's attitude and she plays hard at all times.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, congratulations. We will take questions for Coach.

Q. When you called a time-out there in the first quarter there had been the turnovers, you guys were down, talk about what you said and how the team responded after that?
KIM MULKEY: I was just telling them how great they were doing! They needed a pat on the back! No, we were sloppy, so you just kinda call a time-out to change momentum and just settle down, you know. I thought we came out of the gates pretty darn good and then you allow -- you took a little breather, I subbed I think one or two there just to elimination settle us down.

Q. (No microphone.)
KIM MULKEY: You saw the response. You guys need to write about Khadijiah Cave. That's who you need to write about. We know Nina and Alexis and those two are All-Americans, but I didn't have to play my two freshmen bigs after they got in foul trouble. And I thought let KK do this. She is a junior, getting the offensive boards and DePaul and Oregon State are over there scouting you, and they can't get a true picture of what the bigs are able to do. But when those bigs were in there you saw them blocking shots with two hands, wasn't blocking shots on the defensive end.

KK is patiently waited her turn to shine. She has been a starter some this year. She hit big shots. She got offensive boards, and it was just good to see.

Q. I was going to ask about KK, but when you got from her when -- there has been a stretch here where she hasn't played a lot --

Q. And was she a better match-up for Florida State?
KIM MULKEY: You don't know that until the game happens and I'm not sure I would have put her in if those bigs hadn't been in trouble. So when opportunity knocks, take advantage of it and put me in the position as a coach where I can't take you out, and that's what she did. The first thing that got my attention was when she went to the offensive glass and she kept going. We were slipping the screens on the traps up there and she hit a jumper right there at the foul line, she defended. You worry with her size can we defend their bigs and I thought KK did fine.

Q. You're good at using things to motivate your team, whether it's bracelets or whatever. Any chance that you mention those two number 1 seeds falling yesterday?
KIM MULKEY: Well, they watched it. I didn't go to dinner with them. I was actually hibernating in my room watching Kramer play baseball, so I didn't go to dinner with them. But I know it was on at the restaurant and they watched it.

We're at a point now where I can tell them the President picked Florida State, two No. 1 seeds lost. I'm not sure that that motivates this bunch. I think the motivation is we have been here, done that, we want to go to the Final Four for those three seniors. Certainly you try any and everything you can. My assistants are the best in the world because I don't know how the social media stuff, but they can find stuff and say stuff to 'em and put it on their lockers. Hey, whatever works, use it.

But we're just playing really focused right now. I thought and I said this when I saw Florida State was in our bracket they're not a 5 seed. I mean, I watched some 3 seeds today that Florida State is much better than.

Q. Back-to-back 30-point games now for Nina, is there anything different you're seeing that might be the cause of that? Or is she just the recipient of the --
KIM MULKEY: I think it's the defense of the opponent, I think it's honestly, the defense of the opponent is allowing Nina to do some things. You're not going to guard Nina one-on-one with an extremely big player. She as an unorthodox way of getting by you and getting shots off and getting fouled and making the craziest shots you will ever see but that's Nina.

I think it's what we saw against Auburn. I think it's what we saw today when they went to their 1-2-2 three-quarter press. They were staying with the hedge. We dump it to her and she's got one-on-one. So it's what the defense presents that has allowed Nina to do that.

Q. Your counterpart was in here from Florida State noting how tight the game was called early. They lost some of their big players to early fouls. You were in the same situation but the fact you were able to go to somebody like Cave and have that kind of depth, what luxury is it for you?
KIM MULKEY: Well, it's a luxury. She didn't have anymore fouls on her posts than I did and I went with a kid that doesn't see the floor a whole heck of a lot, but she is certainly as good as some I have out there and she produced. I didn't put the bigs back in after they got in foul trouble. I didn't put 'em back in. I let KK go the rest of the game.

It's a luxury. I'm blessed to have, as I've said many times, I've got nine starters. I can only play five at a time and KK, what a wonderful person, one of the hardest workers. She is just like Wallace. Just never stops working in practice, has a very mild and shy-type personality but is growing up and coming out of that and she has been a great mentor and leader for Kalani and Beatrice.

Q. Coach, congratulations on what you're doing. I wanted to ask about your legacy here, being here in Dallas and I remember putting this program on the map. Can you talk about what it means to you to be in this area and the chance to go another Final Four? What does it mean?
KIM MULKEY: I'm not sure I can answer what it means to me. I was hired to do a job 16 years ago, and I asked the President and the AD then, are you sure you're ready for me? (Chuckles.) That's what I asked 'em, because I said I'm going to coach my heart out. When what it means is that we keep graduating players and getting good players and players and players and what it means to me is those players that we recruit want to keep it going and to be able to do something for the first time.

I want to get to a Final Four so bad for Niya. I just want those kids to go. Their freshman year, Niya, Prince, Kristina. That was Griner's senior year and everybody thought we were going that year and we didn't get to go and you just hope and wish things can happen for them. It's not me, I said when we won our first one at Baylor in 2005 the happiness and the joy for me is watching all those Baylor people enjoy -- God knows at that time they suffered many, many horrible moments in athletics at Baylor.

It was just a joy to watch 30-something thousand in the RCA Dome just go nuts and be proud, and I think maintaining it has been difficult. It's not easy to build a program, but it's certainly harder to maintain it and we've been able to stay competitive.

Q. Coach --
KIM MULKEY: I love your mother. His mother was my high school teacher and she bailed out after two months. She had to get married and went off!

Q. But she came here!
KIM MULKEY: I love that lady!

Q. How strong was the Baylor support tonight and did it have a strong sense of a home game?
KIM MULKEY: I didn't get to look around, but I could hear 'em and it should be. When you're this close, and we have all the Baylor alums in the regional area. They should be here. Easter is not until tomorrow. Go do your Good Friday stuff. Come to a ball game Saturday. Get in church tomorrow and pray that we win on Monday. That's what the good 'ol Baptists do, and they tolerate this old horrible Methodist. Y'all have a good one.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach, appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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