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March 3, 2018

Bill Fennelly

Bridget Carleton

Claire Ricketts

Emily Durr

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Texas - 81, Iowa State - 69

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by the Iowa State Cyclones, Emily Durr, Bridget Carleton and Claire Ricketts. Coach, your thoughts about tonight's game?

BILL FENNELLY: First of all, on behalf of everyone associated with Iowa State I want to thank the Big 12 for an amazing event, thank the people of Oklahoma City. We had a great time. Couldn't be a better conference tournament in the country. I want to congratulate Texas. That's a great team, no surprise to anyone. Was proud of our kids' effort, but the way they shot the ball in the first half and our inability to stay with them hurt. But that's a great team that's going to have a great run in the tournament, skilled, athletic, well-coached, all the pieces to being a great team and they played that way tonight I thought.

Q. Emily, you had a great run to start the second half. It was like 17 straight points, something like that. What was your mindset coming out of the locker room at halftime and how did it translate to what you did on the court?
EMILY DURR: Coach talked to us and said let's show some fight in the second half. We kind of let them get on a run late in the first half and if it was going to be my last game of my career I wanted to go out on a high note. So my teammates set good screens and I got to the basket and made a few shots.

Q. Bridget, you've seen Texas many times. The difference between your two teams, could it be they just throw so many people at you, their depth is so much greater than your depth and do you feel it?
BRIDGET CARLETON: Texas is a great team. They're coached really well. They have great players. They're great athletes, 1-5 on the court. They're all amazing athletes and I think that's where they have some advantage over us, so that hurts us on the rebounding sometimes. Transition they're so good and dangerous in transition. That's one of their strengths. So I think that's the biggest thing. They're so athletic, 1-5, and that's tough to guard.

Q. Emily and Claire, you guys are coming to a close with your basketball careers and you definitely left it all on the court. Can you talk about how it feels to go out strong and what it means to play for Iowa State?
CLAIRE RICKETTS: Like Emily said, if this was going to be one of our last games it's important for us that we leave an impact on the younger kids and I think that's what we tried to do in our final run was impact the younger kids and teach them -- show them the way and show them that working hard even to the finish even fits not the best outcome.

EMILY DURR: Yeah, just like Claire said, playing at Iowa State is a privilege to us and such a blessing. Speaking for myself and for us it's been the best four years of our life and we have had such a great time. So what better way than to go out and play hard and play your best and show your fans what you're capable of and I'm proud to say that me and Claire did our best.

Q. Emily, Ariel Atkins doesn't get a lot of national attention, but from you guys as players, how do you look at her? It seemed like she was doing everything tonight.
EMILY DURR: Ariel is such a great competitor. A lot of people don't see she runs the floor hard. She does little things that won't show up in a stat sheet, but she goes for that loose ball, gets that tip to her teammate.

She is great player, a great shooter as you can see she was 5 or 6 from three. But, yeah, she is just a great competitor and she doesn't get the attention she deserves sometimes.

Q. Bridget, what can you say about your teammates and roommates on your right and left and what they've meant to this year's team?
BRIDGET CARLETON: Yeah, they were huge! They meant a lot to this team, to this program. They were -- Coach said they exemplified the Iowa State way this whole year and they were the seniors we needed this year, they led us on the court and off court and they knew what their role was and how to get everyone going and they meant a lot to everyone on our team, our coaches, our support staff, everyone. They're just amazing people before players and I think that's what's most important.

EMILY DURR: Can you send us the video of that (Laughter)?

CLAIRE RICKETTS: We would like that! (Laughter)

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

Q. Coach, you talked about what the senior class meant to you and the program. What impact do you hope they left on the program moving forward?
BILL FENNELLY: Well, I hope that they left a legacy of -- I'm a big senior person. I talk about leaving a piece of you behind. I think this group needed to understand, especially the younger players, what it means to play at Iowa State. I told the players sometimes we're only evaluated on wins and losses. The record is my record, it's not their record; and not going to the tournament is my fault, it's not their fault. But leaving an image and a vision of what it means to be a great teammate, what it means to be a "we" not "me" situation. What it means to do things the way we believe they should be done. That's what we hope that they would leave with our younger players and that was the very last thing I told them when I left the locker room is the rest of you need to build on that and move forward with that, because at the end of the day, the scoreboards go blank. But there are certain things that stay with you, and I think Emily and Claire set the tone from day one on what we needed and it's a credit to them and their parents and the way they did things.

Q. Coach, talk about Texas' depth and how difficult that can be to handle for just about anybody else in this conference.
BILL FENNELLY: I don't know, they just come in waves, you know? It's kind of like, you think one thing is going to catch a break, but they just keep coming at you and they play so hard. I think sometimes, I think Karen doesn't get enough credit for how good a coach she is, because they have a lot of great players. They do, but they play hard, they have a plan. As we mentioned, Ariel Atkins is a monster! You have two senior guards with her and Brooke that know how to play with and off of each other and then they just keep coming. I think in this league you look at all the teams, even Baylor now, us, Oklahoma, West Virginia. We're all playing five, six kids and they just, you know -- it might not show up on a stat sheet, but it might be a kid that goes in for five minutes and guards Bridget and makes her life miserable. And then here comes another one or it's an offensive rebounds. Those are the thing that they do. They played a ton of kids and every kid comes in and contributes and that's a credit to them and a credit to the kids they recruited.

Q. Coach, Rick had the players talk about what it was like to play against a player like Ariel. Talk about what it's like to coach against a player like Ariel. What's your mindset going into coaching a game against her?
BILL FENNELLY: Miserable, fear, sick to your stomach! The thing about Ariel that I've always admired, the game looks easy to her. She just, catch-shoot. There is no, I don't know, it's a hard thing to describe. If she needs a good agent I'm available, because that kid is going to make a lot of money. She is going to play a lot of basketball. She is dynamic, being left-handed. She can go inside. If you look at her numbers, she rebounds, she scores, she defends, she blocks shots, she is An All-American basketball player. She really is. Just a kid that does everything their team seems to need at the time they seem to need it. I really enjoyed hugging her afterwards and wishing her luck in the rest of her life so we don't have to see her again (laughter). That was probably the highlight of the night, her and Brooke both.

Q. I asked you about the 3-point situation where your team always throws a lot of threes up, you hit 27 tonight and hit 9 of them, you were higher than that last night that's the difference?
BILL FENNELLY: Texas defense, they push you off of three. We missed a few open once to stop the run. What happened is because they can recover, because of their length that's a shot that the percentages sometimes is good and we had to go 3 for 2 on a lot of situations, couldn't get it done tonight and they go 9 for 16, and I think Ariel was 5 for 6 or 6 for 7.

Q. 5 for 6?
BILL FENNELLY: I can't remember the one she missed.

Q. This was also the end of a career for another special Cyclone in our family, Rich Fellingham, can you touch on what he's meant to the program?
BILL FENNELLY: These people don't have that much time! As I said in the stuff at home, two things: Number one, besides the players, he's probably meant more to Iowa State women's basketball than anyone. Our fans became connected. The first game I coached at Iowa State we had 310 people. Now we average 10,000 people and most of the those people, the two people that impacted that were Rich and my wife Deb. Those are the two people that marketed that program when no one wanted to market it. And number two, the only thing worse than losing tonight and not coaching these guys tomorrow is I have to walk out there and do one more radio thing with him, and I'm not looking forward to that at all. Special person, special Cyclone. I told him when his banner gets hung at Hilton Coliseum, like Pete Taylor, John Walters, Eric Heft. I'll be there and proudly say he was someone who did so much for Iowa State basketball, and it was an amazing thing that the Big 12 did ten minutes to go, but that's how Big 12 is. They are classy that way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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