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March 16, 2018

Freddie Murray

Shakyla Hill

Jazmin Boyd

Waco, Texas

Baylor - 96, Grambling State - 46

THE MODERATOR: We'll begin with a short overview from the head coach.

FREDDIE MURRAY: It was a hard-fought game. We knew actually what we had to deal with with Baylor. I think everybody in the country knew what we had to deal with. It was no surprise.

They were a hard cover for not just us but any team that they come up against. We fought gallantly. We thought we was able to do some things against them defensively.

But in defeat, you know, my hat goes off to them. Like I say, a lot of passes they got throwing, you're looking at a 6'4" kid, with her hands raised being 6'8", throwing it to somebody 6'7" with her hands raised, being 7'2", 7'3". 56 of their points actually came in the paint. We thought we was able to get some things against them early on.

I think the physicality of the game was a little different, not making any excuses, but it's a little different from our players.

In our conference, a lot of the physicality is actually called from the referees. Here at this level, it's allowed. If anything I want to bring a light to is consistency in officiating across the board because officiating should be the same way everywhere. Our players kind of got caught up into calls that they generally would get in our conference, they don't get now.

But those are things that we have no control over. You have to continue to play. Baylor is a great team. But I'm proud of these young ladies. They did something special this year that hasn't been done probably in over 19 years. We have nothing to hang our heads down about.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Shakyla and Monisha, at what point did you realize these guys are much bigger, much stronger, and it was hard to make any inroads inside?
SHAKYLA HILL: Well, for one this is Jaz, not Mo. For two, I think we knew right off the bat they were bigger and stronger than us. I don't think we backed down at any point throughout the game.

JAZMIN BOYD: Like she said yesterday, they still put on their shoes like we do. We just kept fighting till the end.

Q. It's one thing to see it on film, another thing to be on the court with it. How tough was it to get going in the paint for you?
SHAKYLA HILL: It was very tough. If anybody has ever seen me play, they know I normally typically get to the cup with ease. I think I did that tonight still, but I think because they were so much bigger and taller and longer, it wasn't as easy as it normally is.

Like I said, I don't think we gave up. I didn't really change anything that I did. I just kept going until the end.

Q. I think I was sitting in front of your mom maybe. She was going crazy the entire game. What does that mean to you?
SHAKYLA HILL: That means everything to me. Actually, I have probably the biggest support system out of everybody. I think I needed 26 tickets for this game. Throughout the whole season, my family, they do not miss a game. They come to everything. They support everything.

That means probably the most to me. It motivates me past anything.

Q. I know this game didn't go the way you wanted it to. When the look back at the season, what are you going to take away from it?
SHAKYLA HILL: I think we actually had a big accomplishment. We did something that hasn't been done in 19 years. We came here. We got here. I don't think we're going to look at this as a negative. We're actually a young team. We only have one senior, so everybody should be coming back. Next year we plan on doing the same thing, but coming back bigger and better.

Q. You were the hot hand tonight. What were some of the emotions you were feeling on the court throughout the game?
JAZMIN BOYD: I was excited. Being that they are a bigger team than us, it felt good to hit shots on them, to score, to get in the rhythm.

Q. When you were attacking the basket, you were trying to draw as much contact as possible. You weren't getting a lot of those calls. What was going through your mind?
SHAKYLA HILL: Honestly, it was a lot of frustration going through my head. I thought I was doing like what I needed to do. I thought I was getting into their body. I thought I was drawing contact. But the refs weren't calling it.

In my head, I had to keep going. There was a lot of frustration going through my mind.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies. We'll continue with questions for coach.

Q. How frustrating was it early when you saw how well Baylor was out-rebounding you guys?
FREDDIE MURRAY: It was frustrating somewhat. Like I said, make no mistake about it, we knew what we were up against. It was no surprise to us. They did nothing that we didn't think they were going to do. We just thought we could do certain things, keep a body on them, kind of get into their body, move them out from where they wanted to be at in order to try to make passes harder for them.

Like I said, when you're throwing well over 12, 14, 15 feet where you are, there's nothing you can do about that. The thing is, they're a great team. I'm not going to take nothing away from them. Like I said, we thought we could probably negate some of the things they did in the open court. They did a good job of kind of clogging up the driving lanes on us, which made us more of a perimeter-based team.

In these type of games, you got to make shots. But my hat is off to them. They going to be a tough team to beat.

Q. When you take a look at how things were going at first, the ladies never gave up, talk about what you told them at halftime.
FREDDIE MURRAY: One of the reasons I kind of alluded to the officiating early is because our players, that was a concern of theirs. When you don't feel like you're fighting for them, then they kind of lose it mentally. I wanted to let them know, Let me handle the referees, let me stay on them.

Again, the physical play is different from where we play at. There's a lot allowed today that's not allowed in our conference. It is frustrating. It's frustrating for them because they feel like all of their hard work is going negated. But that's something we have to continue to fight for, consistency across the board in officiating, no matter what conference you're in.

We make no excuses about today. We were beat by a greater team. We were able to do some things against them, but they were the greater team tonight and my hat is off to Kim and the Lady Bears.

Q. Being that you've been to the NCAA tournament many times, what was the preparation like for Baylor?
FREDDIE MURRAY: Like I said, both teams came in with a reduced roster. A lot of players we did not have with some size we had earlier in the year. When you have to tailor your offensive and defensive schemes to do some things, it can only get you so far.

Another team with players smaller, you might see a different outcome. Again, Kalani Brown, Miss Fox, they are hard to cover. Like I said, I've been a fan of them as a coach. I'm going to continue to be a fan of them.

Like I said, we wanted to fight from start to finish, and I think that's what we did.

Q. Only one senior on the squad. How will that experience help with next year's potential return back to the NCAA tournament?
FREDDIE MURRAY: It's going to help a lot. It's going to help a lot. When you're able to get to this level on a consistent basis, nothing is new to you.

I think the players learned a lot from this. I think they're going to grow from this opportunity. We plan on coming back here for years to come. Hopefully it will be a much lower seed to where we don't have to have an opponent like a Baylor the first time out.

We plan on coming here. We're going to do a great job of recruiting trying to get more size, more depth at other positions. We want to be one of those teams that are consistently making the NCAA tournament.

Q. What do you take away from a game like this looking forward?
FREDDIE MURRAY: We have to get more stronger. We have to get more aggressive in our play throughout the season. Again, like I said, it's kind of hard to do because of the imbalance of how officiating is throughout the year.

Like I said, a lot of these kids was in high school last year playing on teams with players much smaller and the pace of the game much slower. So to be here, you know, just the experience from it, just taking in everything from winning a championship, the preparation that goes into it, coming here and being around great people. I think Waco and Baylor did a great job of hosting us here. We're very thankful of that.

Like I said, just the experience from it. I think we're going to go back to the table, we're going to learn from that. We're going to recruit some bigger players, recruit some more size to be more effective when you do make it to post-season play, especially to the NCAA tournament.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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