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March 16, 2018

Kim Mulkey

Lauren Cox

Kalani Brown

Alexis Morris

Waco, Texas

Baylor - 96, Grambling state - 46

THE MODERATOR: We'll get rolling here with questions.

Q. Kalani, how special was it playing Grambling knowing the connections your mom and did have to Louisiana Tech?
KALANI BROWN: It was great. My mom and dad told me many stories about Grambling, how great of a school it was, how much fun they had there. Some players I played against in AAU went there. My teammate Darae Taylor, she went there. I haven't seen her because college split us up. It was great seeing her.

Q. Lauren, had you a career-high 30 tonight. A little bit of a slow start really. Talk about what you were able to do inside and the way you and Kalani shared the ball.
LAUREN COX: I think a big part of it obviously was our size advantage. I was just able to catch it on the low block, turn and face, just shoot over them. Me and Kalani, we're going to be a matchup disaster for some teams. You have to focus on one of us. When you focus on the other, then the other one's going to go off.

Q. Alexis, what stood out about your perimeter defense tonight?
ALEXIS MORRIS: My teammates did a good job of helping us with dribble-penetration tonight.

Q. Lauren, you were able to avoid getting into any sort of foul trouble inside, actually racked up quite a few blocks. What was working for y'all in the paint?
LAUREN COX: It's a timing thing. Me and Kalani both played volleyball in high school. I think that helps a lot. It translates to the basketball game, blocking shots. Coach Mulkey always tells the guards if somebody gets past you, don't foul them or anything, because we're the second line of defense and we're going to help you out.

Q. Alexis, how much does this help you? We talked yesterday about now it gets serious. How much did it help you to calm your nerves, get a game under your belt?
ALEXIS MORRIS: I would say it started in the Big 12 tournament. That was my first real feel of starting. I been got the experience under my belt in the Big 12 tournament. It helped me today.

Q. Kalani, you shut down Hill. She only had 10 points. Going into the game, what was the message from coach to you guys specifically with her?
KALANI BROWN: She said she played against height. I guess we challenged her shot with us being a presence in the paint. Just by us being there, it altered her shot. Made it hard for her to get her shot off, yeah.

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

Q. You don't get a lot of these types of games, particularly first round games. To get one like this, rest some of the players, how much does that help going into Sunday?
FREDDIE MURRAY: Well, any time you can rest what few players we can rest, we're thankful. We can score the ball, and I didn't think we came out and shot it particularly well. Dekeiya doesn't miss that many wide-open shots. Juicy missed her first couple of shots. We've been off a week. I thought we were just a little bit rusty offensively on open looks. I didn't think that we took care of the basketball. Had just unforced turnovers that we need to clean up.

Obviously they were concerned about our height. They played the little matchup zone. We tried to make things happen too much. Just made some bad decisions early.

But we'll take, whatever it was, a 50-point win any day and rest kids as much as you can, particularly this late in the season.

Q. You dominated inside the paint and the boards. In your point of view how were you able to do that so well?
FREDDIE MURRAY: Those two kids, Cox and Brown, they're just special talent. You can come up here to press conferences and tell somebody you've played against height. Well, there's a difference in playing against height and playing against talented height.

I don't know that there are many girls 6'7" in the country really that can play as well as Kalani. Then when you look at what Cox brings to the table, you have to guard her on the perimeter, she can shoot the three. That helps Kalani one-on-one in the paint.

Those kids, they're just a special duo. I just get to be the lucky one to coach 'em.

Q. Was it helpful to build up that lead early to get Natalie in there, back used to game speed?
FREDDIE MURRAY: Not just Natalie. Moon as well. Moon is a Louisiana girl. We talk about Kalani. You forget that Moon is a freshman from Destrehan. Let's not forget about Moon. She got 15 minutes. I tell you, she's as quick as anybody on that floor. We had a couple turnovers. She sprinted to the other end and contested layups. They either made them, but they had to worry about Moon.

Just getting everybody an opportunity to play. There was another opportunity tonight to play the two managers. That's a feel-good story. They just played in their first NCAA tournament. Those memories will last them a lifetime.

Q. During the game, in the fourth quarter, Kalani and Lauren were up on the Jumbotron. They were giving the bunny ears. They joke around all the time. What does their relationship mean to you, if any, how Kalani talks about the team being her family?
FREDDIE MURRAY: Well, it's not just those two. Those two are just an example of what I get to see every day. We have many more on the team that have fun and laugh and love and cry and hug and pull for each other. Really you have to with only eight players in uniform.

I didn't see that. I probably would have given them the evil eye and said, Wait till the game's over. But I may not have. I may have winked at them and said, Enjoy yourselves.

They just like each other. I've coached some wonderful teams here, some talented teams, championship teams. You can't make a team have chemistry. You can't make kids love each other. You can't really coach that.

I have to give those props to their families, to their parents. I say this many times. Lauren Cox and Natalie Chou came to this program with All-Americans in front of them, but they still came here. That just tells you the unselfishness of those kids. You add Didi, Juicy. They know when they get recruited to Baylor, there's no promises in playing time. They're promised one thing only, we'll get you a degree. I can't promise you national championships, I can't promise you Big 12 championships. We'll make you a better player. We will promise you a degree, however long it takes you to get that.

When you see those kids want to come play with the talent that we have, knowing they're going to have to work every day, that's a testament to how they're raised.

Q. Some of it was not getting the minutes, but how much better is Lauren than she was a year ago?
FREDDIE MURRAY: You can probably answer that just from what you saw a year ago and what you see today. A year ago we had a bigger bench, a lot more depth. It was a challenge as a coach to figure out who needs to play with who, develop the freshmen. You had four seniors. It was work every day. Not that it's not now.

You don't have many decisions you have to make as a coach. When you're a freshman and you're coming off the bench, your window is pretty short because you can't make many mistakes or you're probably going to come out.

Now they have to play through those mistakes because they can't come out. We don't have anybody to sub for them. I think conditioning, her knees feel as good as they've ever felt. I think her diabetes is probably under -- we just watch her closely and monitor her diabetes. She eats healthier now. She has fun. I think Lauren Cox is just a happy kid right now.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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