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March 19, 2017

Kim Mulkey

Kristy Wallace

Nina Davis

Waco, Texas

THE MODERATOR: We have Coach Kim Mulkey, Nina Davis and Kristy Wallace with us today. Questions for the student-athletes?

Q. Nina or Kristy, could you tell the break from the Big 12 until this weekend, even during the week, had helped you guys a little bit, refresh you physically and mentally?
NINA DAVIS: For sure, rest is always great. It allowed players like Alexis Jones come back and get her rhythm back and practice with us 100%. Around this time of year rest is always great. We have seniors on this type of team and any rest is always great. It showed yesterday.

Q. Kristy, what did you like about y'all's defensive effort yesterday and how do you carry that over to tomorrow?
KRISTY WALLACE: It was good, I think that we emphasized that throughout the week. Cal is an athletic team so we're going to need to be able to contain them and stop dribble penetration.

Q. Nina, obviously I know the focus for you is trying to get to the Sweet 16, but talk about the fact that you'll be playing your last home game here tomorrow night and the emotions that will go with that.
NINA DAVIS: It's a bittersweet moment. Baylor has been great to me these past four years, the fans, I'm definitely going to miss the opportunity to play at the Ferrell Center in front of my fans and teammates and coaches, but I'm not focused on that. I'm taking it day by day and game by game and I'm looking at the big overall picture, and after we get there maybe the emotions will come of how this is my last year.

KIM MULKEY: Kristy Wallace's family is here from Australia, a side note for you. A long trip with two little sisters, and of course Nina's family from Memphis doesn't seen so far compared to that, but Kristy would never tell you that.

Q. How do you erase what happened last night and the fresh start? I know you guys go from game-to-game, but how do you erase the performance last night and move forward?
NINA DAVIS: Simple, you erase it. It was a great game. It was a great showing. I think everyone on the team scored. It allowed a lot of us to get rest and the young players to get out there and get comfortable in their first NCAA Tournament game. We're expected to win and we expected to win that game so you move on from that. You just look forward to the next game. You don't look too far ahead, and you don't look in the past.

KRISTY WALLACE: What she said. Just move on and take it game by game.

Q. Kristy, we will ask you about your family being here. Like Kim said, you didn't tell us the other day that they were coming. How special is it when they're here? What's it like when they are here for you?
KRISTY WALLACE: Very thankful that they got to make it up here to the tournament. Yeah, very blessed to have my family here and very excited that they get to watch a few games. It's a big effort and a big trip to make, so I'm just thankful that they get to be here.

Q. How long is the trip?
KRISTY WALLACE: It's a 16-hour flight, so it's pretty brutal.

Q. Nina and Kristy, what have you seen from Cal? Did you get to watch the game last night? What have you seen from the Golden Bears?
NINA DAVIS: They're a team full of a lot of athletes. They have five. They have a great post player and they are going to come out aggressive and try to take us off the dribble penetration. They're going to rebound hard and we have to do a lot of boxing out and a lot of help defense. On the defensive end they play man-to-man. So we have to do what they're doing to us and attack the basket and come out hard like we did yesterday and play with a lot of energy.

KRISTY WALLACE: Cal is an athletic team and we have to contain the dribble penetration, like Nina said. They have a good post presence, so our bigs are going to have their hands full dealing with that. Defense is a big key and that is going to win us games, so we need to focus on them and stop them that way.

Q. Nina, you played them in 2014 here in the tournament. Do you remember the difference between then and now? Have you seen them since then?
NINA DAVIS: That was back in the day, my freshman year. They were a great team. They came out and gave us a challenge. I think they had Brittany Boyd and that crew. I don't think they have changed much. The faces have changed, but they're going to attack. They're athletic. They crash the boards hard and we know they don't want to go home, and this is the NCAA Tournament and they're going to come out and try to pull off an upset.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies. Questions for Coach?

Q. Coach, what have you seen film from Kristine Anigwe, their really good forward?
KIM MULKEY: Tremendous athleticism, leaps out of the gym, has great range, runs the floor well. She's just an athlete. She didn't score a lot last night, but we know that we've got to defend her. She gets to the foul line more than anybody on their team, leading scorer. We have the size to match-up with her. I think playing Cal versus LSU, it's a little bit more traditional for us because of their size.

If we had played LSU it would have been difficult, because they bring their bigs outside the paint. So tremendous, tremendous athlete.

Q. Kim, two years ago when you were hear you mentioned the 2017 Final Four here two years ago and I know there was excitement about your team and I'm not asking you about getting to the Final Four, but you two years ago were excited about the prospects of what you had with this season with this team. Talk about how this team has developed and has it lived up to what you hoped for two years ago?
KIM MULKEY: Well, I can answer that based upon what they've done to this point. If we don't make it to where certain people think we should be in a Final Four I guess they're going to call it a failure. I don't do that anymore. I'm blessed to have an elite program and coach elite basketball players and there are a handful across the country that get to do the same thing I get to do.

You look at our record. The games we've lost were to good teams. Hopefully the loss to West Virginia in some ways made us refocus and I just know that the team that took the floor last night. It didn't matter who we played. That team last night was as focused and as ready as they have been at any point this year. It started in practice. You can say well maybe the loss made them. Maybe. Whatever it was, I know that four seniors in that locker room realized this is their last time to play on this floor. They realize this is their last chance to get to a Final Four.

When you are young, you don't want to disappoint your coach and you don't want to disappoint your seniors. I thought the youth on that floor last night, the three that came to the press conference with me, being so young, they were poised. They were focused. They were determined to do their part.

Q. Can you talk a little bit -- Kalani and Beatrice, obviously their size gives them an advantage, but it's more than size. You have to have the technique and you have to play. Talk about how you've seen them develop since last year when they played in this tournament?
KIM MULKEY: Last year, they both came in as freshmen and played immediately. There is no substitute for experience. There is just no substitute for it.

After that first year they realized, I did a lot of good things, but I've got a long ways to go and it doesn't start when we start practice in October. It starts in the summer when they're here for summer school and working with strength and conditioning coach. I think kalani -- well, I don't think, I know. Kalani is in great shape. She can play for longer periods. She is moving. She took charge. She is running the floor. Who does that at 6'7"? She wouldn't have done that a year ago.

Beatrice is a rebounding machine. Beatrice can get to offensive rebounds as good as any kids I've coached and one of the best I every coached, and one of the best I have ever coached at offensive rebounding was Danielle Crockrom. Beatrice has a knack for being around the ball. She wants to contribute, and both of those young ladies have a lot of college basketball left in them, and I'm just grateful they're on our team.

Q. Are you having as much fun with this group as maybe you've had with any team you've had?
KIM MULKEY: Yes. You know, each team is different. Each team brings challenges to the table. What this team has done is challenged me to stay on my toes because we've got so many that can play. You usually can figure out your rotation after about a month of practice.

This team just has so much talent I can't do that. It's game-to-game. It's who we play. It's who is playing good, and I can't ever relax because I'm always trying to be conscious of who needs to be on the floor together for us to win and for them to look good.

The good things about this team -- I never have issues with them. I never have school issues. I never have, you know, late-for-class issues, tardy for a tutor issues.

Some coaches may tell you across the sport that that isn't a good thing. You need some of them that get in trouble every now and then so you can stay fired up; but, no, it makes you want to stay in coaching longer when you don't have off-the-court issues. They've just been a joy to coach and I would love nothing more than to see those seniors lead this team to Dallas. But if it doesn't happen, we will move on and prepare for the next year.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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