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 28, 2016

Kim Mulkey

Alexis Jones

Nina Davis

Dallas, Texas

Oregon State - 60, Baylor - 57

THE MODERATOR: Okay, we're going to go straight to questions for our student-athletes.

Q. Nina, third straight loss in Elite Eight. Is this tougher than the other two?
NINA DAVIS: It's tough, you know? Any loss is tough, but I guess you can say this one hurts a little bit more because it's three times in a row. We played hard. I can't say it was lack of effort. We fell short by one and any loss is just always tough.

Q. To either Nina or Alexis, talk about what it's meant to go through what y'all have been through this season and getting to this point.
NINA DAVIS: It's been a great season, you know. It's been a long one. I couldn't be more proud of this team. We didn't reach our goal of making it to the Final Four, but a lot of teams don't make it to the Elite Eight. It was only 80 teams and we was one of those, and we will never take that for granted. We are going to get back in the gym and get over this eventually and try and get ready for next year.

ALEXIS JONES: What Nina said. We just gotta keep pushing and take this loss as motivation.

Q. For both Nina and Alexis, they were effective from the 3-point line in the first half, not in the second half. Do you guys feel like maybe that was a problem that they were able to be as effective in the first half?
NINA DAVIS: For sure. We knew coming into the game that they had great shooters. We knew their guards could shoot lights out and the they pretty much did that the first half. We gave them some open shots, but they also made some great shots and we were contesting the ball. They kinda cooled off in the second half, but they were making mid-range jump shots and things of that such.

ALEXIS JONES: They hit like seven 3's in the first quarter and we had to buckle down in the second half, but like Nina said they hit some clutch shots at the end of the shot clock.

Q. Alexis, it looked like you did have a decent look there. Can you sort of go through that last sequence for us?
ALEXIS JONES: I don't know what to say. I mean, I'm still thinking about it. I don't know if somebody else was open, I don't know.

Q. Did their size affect you? Maybe you weren't able to drive like you usually do? Was their size affecting your game?
NINA DAVIS: No. I mean, every time I got the ball they were sending one of the guards to double me, so whenever I looked to score they were sending two people and that was leaving one of my teammates open.

They're big, but we played against big teams all year. So I can't say they affected it. They were just sending someone to double me.

Q. Nina, then Alexis, seemed like you guys were fighting uphill and every time you would get close they would hit a shot with a second or two left on the shot clock. How much could that have eventually worn you down even though you had a chance in the end?
NINA DAVIS: It's tough. Whenever we pulled within one they would make a clutch shot or get a rebound or we would foul and bail them out. You have to give credit to Oregon State. They're a team full of upperclassmen, and they made clutch plays. They wore the shot clock down. They reduced the shot clock and we would play good defense and within 5 seconds we would do something. So it definitely wore us down getting so close. But like I say, just a lot of credit to them.

ALEXIS JONES: A lot of credit to them. We had a lot of chances during that 4-minute period of time where we came down and missed a lot of easy layups at the same time. I mean, they were hitting clutch shots. We was playing some defense. They were just hitting clutch shots in our face, and like Nina said, that foul at the end kinda hurt us.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, congratulations on a great season. Questions for Coach?

Q. Kim, did you feel like y'all were affected by their size? I mean, just whether it was -- you only took five 3-pointers, and Nina it seemed like it took her spin moves away?
KIM MULKEY: Well, probably, I think it was more the size with the physical play starting out. I thought they saw two of the best defensive teams in women's basketball just battle their butts off. I thought our kids played extremely hard. I thought we got off to a bad start. You cannot miss that many free-throws and win a ball game at this level. We missed 8 free-throws and you lost by 3. You knew they were going to make 3's. I thought in the first half inexperience on the defensive end in communicating when they hit some of those threes was a big factor.

Then I thought when we tried to keep it close missing free-throws, you know, it's going to bite you at some point. We made adjustments at halftime, I thought Khadijiah Cave gave us big-time minutes battling in there as small as she is.

They're an older team full of juniors and seniors and in places we're extremely inexperienced I thought we got exposed. They did hit clutch shots and we didn't. I mean, there was how many times we had a tie ball game there at the end and we didn't get a good shot. We either turned it over or ball, dribbling too much, didn't share the ball, you know, it wasn't that they didn't want to do good. But I just thought the one that made the clutch shot was going to win there at the end.

Q. Coach, could you talk about whether you made an adjustment to take away their 3-point game at the halftime or whether they just weren't taking that many?
KIM MULKEY: We made adjustments. A lot of it was communication with inexperienced post players because it's the posts, you know, that were setting the screens. We made adjustments. I used up my time outs quickly trying to make sure they didn't stay in a flow. I was calling time outs so they wouldn't go down there and just take 'em off balance. We started pressing just to keep them out of using up the 30-second clock in the half-court. The technical, you bet I meant to get it!

Q. Coach, talk about that. Not allowing their team to get into transition when you call timeouts. At first, I thought, okay, then when you called the second I said, okay, now I know what's going on. Was that a coach's reaction or just trying to establish some situation at that time?
KIM MULKEY: I was trying to take them out of the flow. Anything I could to keep them from, you know, responding to what we were doing. We were all trying, trying anything we could, and I told 'em, I said, you know, I'm going to use up these time outs. There's no need to save 'em. Nothing came down to me not having a time out. They knew what to do. They knew what to run, and, you know, guys, we just didn't make clutch shots, and they did. That's it, because both teams guarded each other very well.

I mean, we didn't have but 8 or 9 turnovers. We created 19 turnovers. We created 19 turnovers, and we couldn't go to the other end and score it! Give those guys credit! Defensively they're No. 1 in the country in field goal percentage defense, and we're No. 3. So I just thought both teams battled. I thought the difference in the ball game was missed free-throws and clutch shots -- how many times did the shot clock wind down and they hit a big shot?

I thought the fourth scorer for them, Hanson, you can't let the fourth scorer score. You got your hands full with the three that you know about, but when you let that fourth one score then you're going to be in for a long night!

Q. Coach, I know both of your posts are quite young. There were moments that they looked quite talented. Can you talk about the future for those players?
KIM MULKEY: Well, they are talented and I'm not afraid to use 'em and they want to do good and they have had a remarkable year. Everybody in that locker room had a remarkable year. Sometimes when you get beat, you need to just complement the opponent. There are reasons you don't do things that you normally do and it usually starts with well-coached teams that play defense. That's the way I look at this game.

Q. You talked about y'all didn't turn it over much, but you had two critical ones there late, Alexis stepped out-of-bounds and then the lob to Nina. How critical -- with the game tied --
KIM MULKEY: Well, you had the ball in the hands of the people you wanted to have the ball. So those were not inexperienced players that had those turnovers, and those kids feel horrible. You know, you had what you wanted and we just could ever take the lead when it was a tie ball game and we made defensive stops and we got a rebound, just never could get over the hump.

Q. Coach, how would you describe -- what makes them such a good defensive team? Obviously experience, but --
KIM MULKEY: Michelle, I tried to figure that out after watching film and I couldn't figure it out. I think part of it is angles. I think it's physical play, just toughness, maybe?

I don't know that it's height as much as it is they're in the right place at the right time and they play you pretty physical. Smart. We never -- they're not up in you defensively like pressuring you or anything. I just think, you know, they just know how to compete.

Q. I know there is going to be disappointment getting here three years in a low and losing again, but talk about what this team did for you this season? I know that you've enjoyed coaching this group.
KIM MULKEY: The first thing is, when you think about the three seniors in the locker who you hurt for the most because those three are the epitome of what all student-athletes should be. They're graduate students. They got their degrees in three years. They won a lot of basketball games. They won a lot of Big 12 championships for our program. They set the tone and set the bar high in practice every day and that's who you hurt for.

Then you work your way down to all the returning players and make sure that they remember this moment, remember what they did good and bad in this game and get back to work and get better every year! I thought that the new players made us a better basketball team, Alexis Jones, Beatrice Mompremier, Kalani Brown, those kids made us better.

Q. Coach, there's UConn, but the other three teams are all first-timers and I'm wondering, you did this over a decade ago of building a program into a national champion. What does it mean for the game to have three first-time teams going to the Final Four?
KIM MULKEY: Well, I think it's good! I don't find that that's a bad thing. But, Michelle, I don't find that UConn's dominance is a bad thing, either. So let me weigh in on that if I may. I was part of a dominant program in the early 80s at Louisiana Tech. How is anything like that bad? Here is what I would say to that. They better enjoy it because it's not going to last forever! None do! Immaculata, Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech, Delta State, John Wooden and UCLA, it doesn't last forever. Pat 'em on the back and say, enjoy it! You don't have to worry about other people's opinions. Enjoy the ride because it will end one day.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, congratulations on a great season.

KIM MULKEY: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
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