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March 8, 2019

Brandon Schneider

Kylee Kopatich

Aniya Thomas

Christalah Lyons

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Kansas 76, Oklahoma State 66

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by the Kansas State Jayhawks. We have Brandon Schneider, his student athletes, Christalah Lyons, Aniya Thomas, and Kylee Kopatich. Coach, your thoughts about tonight's game?

COACH SCHNEIDER: Well, I was really happy with how well our players executed the game plan. I thought we did a much better job of exhibiting patience on offense and working for the best shot and not just the first shot. They've got a terrific team, two terrific players in particular in Miller and Gray, and we wanted to make them work for everything.

We felt like if we could hold them under 40 we would have chains and I think they got 41. Proud of our team tonight.

Q. Chris and Kylee, knowing this could have been your last chance in a Jayhawks uniform, what were you thinking going into the game?
KYLEE KOPATICH: That today wasn't going to be our last game. We really didn't want to end it that way. We knew we were so much better than that, and I think we proved that tonight.

CHRISTALAH LYONS: Yeah, what she said and I think we have a winner's mentality.

Q. So the last two times you met up with them things didn't go so well, so what did you do differently?
CHRISTALAH LYONS: I think we followed Coach's game plan. He said he wanted us to move the ball more and that we would have open shots if we do so, and we ended up with a win.

ANIYA THOMAS: Just this game we were more aggressive. We were ready to get it done and beat them.

KYLEE KOPATICH: We have six seniors on your team now and none of us wanted this to be our last game. We prepared better than we have the last two games, and I think like Christalah said, we followed the game plan a little more precise this time.

Q. I asked the seniors about this being maybe their last game. What did you think about your first game, Aniya?
ANIYA THOMAS: Man, it was good. Got my first dub here. We played good! We played very good today.

Q. Coach, can you expand about what your players did? Last game was a loss by 20 but you got the victory here.
COACH SCHNEIDER: In Stillwater we took 20 shots on the first side of the floor and we took 5 shots on the third side of the floor. That's not a recipe for good offense. You're not making your defense work, giving them perhaps a chance that you can take advantage of.

That's really what we harped on for the last couple of days is just making them guard, a little bit deeper in the shot clock and, you know, we felt like we could get higher percentage shots and spread the ball around a little more.

Q. So this is Kansas' first win since 2015-2016 season. How does this feel getting this win in the championship tournament?
COACH SCHNEIDER: I'm just happy for our seniors. They've continued to really have great attitudes. Coming to practice every day, you know, despite the Big 12 record, with the mentality of getting better, and they've stayed very committed to being great teammates.

Q. Coach, I know you guys jumped out to that big lead in the first quarter and OSU cut the deficit to 10 about 3:30 in the second quarter and you called that timeout. What was the message to your team?
COACH SCHNEIDER: Obviously not to get discouraged. Basketball is a game of runs. We had a run early. You know a good team like Oklahoma State is going to come back with a run at you. We were in foul trouble. Richardson and Kylee Kopatich and Aniya Thomas all had two fouls, so we had to have some substitutions during that stretch, but mainly let's make sure we stay poised and composed and stick to the game plan.

Q. What's the game plan for Iowa State?
COACH SCHNEIDER: Well, Bridget Carleton obviously is one of the best players in the country. I'm not even going to just say our league. She is such a hard guard. There is a good chance she is going to get anywhere from 25 or 30. I think the real key with being able to be in the game and compete with Iowa State is you just can't let the other guys have big nights.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach. We will see you tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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