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March 18, 2017

Kim Mulkey

Beatrice Mompremier

Lauren Cox

Kalani Brown

Waco, Texas

Baylor - 119, Texas Southern - 30

Q. Lauren, how much fun was that, because I don't know that you've shot that many three-pointers all year.
LAUREN COX: Yeah, that was a lot of fun, just because they were falling for me and my teammates were getting the ball, and we were just really working together and sharing the ball with each other.

Q. Kalani, against a team that you have a serious size advantage against, how important is it to take advantage of that?
KALANI BROWN: It's very important to dominate the paint, especially when you don't have a lot of height. I think that we did that, all of us did that. Everybody came out ready and everybody came out and executed, and we were all ready to play.

Q. Beatrice, Lauren talked about the sharing of the ball. I just looked, seven players had at least four assists. You two guys in particular shared it a lot. Can you talk about the post-to-post passing?
BEATRICE MOMPREMIER: Just coming out there, and if somebody opened up they should get the ball because they worked hard to get open, so just being able to pass it to them and they had a good shot.

Q. You guys set a record, largest margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game. Does that mean anything to you? Is it cool to have?
KALANI BROWN: Definitely it's an honor. We all worked hard. It was a team effort. Everyone contributed. And I think we're excited about it. I'm excited about it. I mean, not many teams do that.

Q. Question regarding the pace of the game, so two-part question. The pace of the game, how did you feel about the pace of the game, and how important was it for the post players to be able to see each other, feed each other, and just celebrate this victory today?
LAUREN COX: I think that's one of the things we do really well is run the floor, especially our posts. We are told to run free-throw line to free-throw line, and when we get out there, that's what we're trying to do, and our guards push it and get us the ball.

Sorry what was the other question?

Q. Passing.
LAUREN COX: Oh, that's something we've been working on in practice. Every day we go through a drill passing it to each other.

BEATRICE MOMPREMIER: Just going out in practice every day, like just running the floor and passing the post, like we do drills for it just to perfect it, so just going out there and doing what we've been working on in practice.

KALANI BROWN: Piggy-backing off what both of them said, it's something we've been working on from day one. When you have shots like we have, it's got to be dominant, and I think Coach Mulkey really focuses on that.

As far as the pace of the game, the game plan was to rebound, and I thought we did that very well today. Lauren got some transition buckets. We did everything, executed today, basically.

Q. Coach Mulkey talks about staying focused, staying into the game. When you all have situations like you had today where you get off to an early break quick and the defense picks up and it all starts to roll over in waves, how do you all keep focus in a situation like that and just steadily move forward and not have a drop-off?
BEATRICE MOMPREMIER: Just going out and not looking at the scoreboard, and thinking that the game is just 0-0 when you go out there.

LAUREN COX: We just have to feed off each other. If one of us hits a shot, even if we're up a lot, we just have to get excited and feed off each other's energy.

KALANI BROWN: And also leadership. Leadership has a tendency to keep us focused in game situations. With them leading us, we're pretty much focused the entire way.

Q. Coach, you said yesterday you were hoping your team came out and played with the same fire and enthusiasm that Texas Southern was going to have. Are you pleased with what you saw from your kids today?
KIM MULKEY: Without a doubt. I thought the group that started the game was as intense as they've been probably all year. I thought their intensity, I thought their focus was just so much better than the last game, and then the group that went in the game, all of them that went in the game, understood you'll come out of the game if you don't get in passing lanes. You're going to come out of the game if you allow people to go to the offensive boards, and I just felt sitting here looking at some of these stats, we shot 78 percent in the third quarter. I don't know if I've ever coached a team at Baylor that we haven't been in quarters many years, but that's pretty remarkable.

We did score a lot of points, but the thing I'm most proud of is how few points we gave up, and I just thought that -- we had to foul on the three-point shot, we fouled a couple jump shooters. You can't do that against teams when it's a close game. But I just thought our defense was just so much better, particularly help side.

Q. Did you think going into the game that it would be this one-sided?
KIM MULKEY: No. I don't ever think that. I know when I'm watching the film, I have a tendency to think, okay, we can do certain things against a team that we're getting ready to play, and I just thought that we did well with our high-low stuff, and we've been emphasizing that a lot lately. I think the misleading thing about this team is those three that were up here are pretty big, and they're two sophomores and a freshman. They've got a lot of basketball left in them. But guys, we're leading the country in three-point field goal percentage. I don't even know that I knew that until it was said at the press conference the other day. 40.6 percent from the three, so we've got kids that can shoot it out there, and we don't shoot as much as others in the country because if we do, I'm not a very good coach when you've got this kind of size inside. But we've got a lot of balance.

It was good to have Jones back today. I think she gave us valuable minutes, and I wanted to get her off the floor, and I thought it really showed when she had the ball in her hands how quickly she can get it down the floor.

Q. Going back to your size for a second, I went back and looked at the 2012 team National Championship team. You had four players 6'2" or bigger. You've got six on this team.

Q. Is this just the way the game is going, just that you guys have been able to --
KIM MULKEY: No, I don't. I think the game, if you look across the country, I think it probably started with the Warriors. Everybody wants guards and everybody wants to spread the floor. I was a guard. I know where my bread was buttered. I got it to the big girls. Who in the country is going to turn down size? So we run offensive things that are much different than a lot of people who don't have our size.

Now, does it make for a difficult match-up defensively? Sometimes it does. But we've got to adjust. I'm not going to turn down 6'7", 6'4", 6'4". I'm just not going to do that.

Now, the 2012 team, you did have 6'2", 6'2", but then you had Brittney, so she made up for a lot of that.

Q. Talk about the contribution of your bench today. They got a lot of minutes because of the situation. Were you happy, ecstatic, or just --
KIM MULKEY: Well, our bench has been giving us that all year. I've said it many times, I don't know that I really have a bench. I can only play five at a time. I just thought that the work we've put in since the conference championship -- tournament championship game, I think you saw it today. I think you saw post players feeding each other better than they have all year. I think you saw production from people immediately when they came in the game. It's just been an emphasis to continue to work on your defense. Your offense is fine, continue to work on your defense, and I think our help side defense gets better and better, dribble penetration is always a concern because it's just hard to guard anybody one-on-one in the game anymore, so you've got to have that second and third defender, and we've got kids that can block shots. I want them taking more charges. I just want them to play better team defense.

Q. I was fortunate to be able to see both reactions at the selection on Monday and was really pleased to see the focus for both teams. I mean, it wasn't the big hooray, yeah, we're in. It's like, now we know who we're going to play, let's go. Business as usual. Talk about that; was it the right vibe that I was getting seeing both the reactions?
KIM MULKEY: Well, I wasn't in there, honestly. I had gone to my office and was checking in on my son's baseball, and by the time I got back in there, they'd already shot us on the TV. I saw the paper the next day and saw the reaction of the seniors on the front row there, and they're happy. They're beautiful girls, and yet at the same time those seniors are missing a Final Four, and they want to get to a Final Four.

Those seniors have sacrificed a lot. You've got Prince, who is -- I don't even know how many surgeries she's been through. You've got Jones with the knee who's back, you've got KK and Nina, whose roles have changed since they got here, but are such team players and great kids that they just want to get to a Final Four.

So yes, they were excited. We never take it for granted. Fortunately or unfortunately, however you want to view it, I guess people think it's not good if you're just an Elite 8 team. But I know there are lots of schools in the country that would trade places with us.

But we set the bar here. In 2005, I said then, I'm not sure we can feed this monster. Well, we're feeding it. Sometimes the stomach is not full and sometimes it is. We're going to fight and claw until the very end, and let's hope the bitter end is in Dallas, but if it's not, I know this, if it's not, the team that beats us just had played better, and that's what I said about West Virginia. They just played better. We never gave up. We fought hard. Let's see what happens.

Q. Just talk more about Alexis being able to be back on the floor today. Were you happy with what you saw out of her output and everything?
KIM MULKEY: Absolutely. Got her off the floor. She got 12, 15 minutes, I don't remember, but that's enough. Heck, that's about all any of them got today.

But I thought her -- with the ball in her hands from one end to the other, she got down the floor quickly. Alexis has tremendous vision and can make passes a lot of girls can't make, and her shot, I don't know that she took very many. Let's see. How many did she take? Five? Two for five? That's fine. Alexis Jones, really I didn't look at her and go, oh, wow, we're going to struggle with her out there, or oh, she's not healthy. I felt good with her out there. She picked up two quick fouls, which took her out of some minutes there early, but she looked good to me.

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