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March 8, 2019
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Texas Tech 104 , Oklahoma 84
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by the Texas Tech Coach Marlene Stollings, our players, Sydney Goodson, Chrislyn Carr, Brittany Brewer, and Zuri Sanders. Coach, congratulations on the win and your opening thoughts?
COACH STOLLINGS: Thank you. I'm so thrilled for our team, particularly these four young ladies sitting up here with me for doing something really special. Everyone knows we inherited a program that hadn't had the best of times and they have come so far.
Two of our young ladies up here have career highs, Brittany with 40, Zuri with 25 points, and to set a Big 12 scoring record with 104 points is phenomenal. This conference is incredible. It's been around for many, many years, and I'm just so happy for our kids.
Q. Brittany, it looked like one of the keys to the game was your ability to get the offensive rebound. Talk about that part of the game. Have you ever had game similar to this?
BRITTANY BREWER: I don't think I've had a game similar to this, but definitely the goal as a team was to rebound, and then last game that we played them I didn't really do my job and so I knew I had to come out here and give me teammates my all.
Q. Brittany, you set a record for field goals in the first round. How does it feel to be able to accomplish a record like that?
BRITTANY BREWER: That feels awesome. I definitely wasn't expecting that. I just wanted to come back and have a good game. So it's an honor, yeah.
Q. Coach Stollings, obviously with Brittany you had a big advantage with height and stuff but you came up with a good game plan, too, to get her involved and get going. Could you talk about coming into the game how you thought you might get her going?
THE MODERATOR: We would prefer we let the student athletes answer.
Q. So Brittany was having a really big game in the first half, you guys could tell. Did you guys just start feeding her the ball? What was your mindset?
ZURI SANDERS: I would say that we definitely feed off each other, and something we noticed is that Brittany had the hot hand so obviously you want to keep feeding that hand, and she didn't let us down at all. The ball was going through the net for her and I'm so proud of everything she gave for forty minutes straight. Even if a shot didn't fall she didn't let that affect her, and she definitely came through today, and the other two young ladies and the rest of the team. It was a great win. It wasn't just one player doing one thing, it was an all-around team win.
SYDNEY GOODSON: Absolutely, Brittany is in the gym all the time and it's cool to see her hard work pay off, but like Zuri said, it was a big team effort. But, yeah, Brit had the hot hand; we were going to get her the ball. We could hear the coach on the side saying "give it to Brittany, give it to Brittany!
COACH STOLLINGS: You did hear me? (Laughter.)
SYDNEY GOODSON: So of course we want to feed her the ball. She was knocking down shots and she made rebounding a lot easier because they were all going in. (Laughter.)
CHRISLYN CARR: Feeding off what Zuri and Syd said, she had the hot hand so obviously the ball is going to go her. Like they said, Coach was screaming really loud give her the ball, so obviously we're going to give her the ball. She was hot, and like they said, it was easy to get the rebounds.
Q. Brittany, I know you and Zuri had huge games tonight. Could you talk about how Zuri opened that up for you with her dominant play down low?
BRITTANY BREWER: Zuri is dominant down low and I think when we put her down low she just proves herself. She has done it this whole week against Oklahoma, and every time we put her down there she is always saying, I'm not a 5, I'm not a 5, and I'm like, You can play like a 5 if you want to. So good down low. She opened up a lot, especially for double teams and stuff like that. She was awesome.
Q. Syd, Coach alluded to these were not the best of times for this program last year. What was the biggest jump? What led you guys to this point? And Zuri, if you want to answer the same question after Syd.
SYDNEY GOODSON: I think it was work ethic and culture. I think this year we're all really close. We're a family, bonded together. On and off the court we're always together, and I think that's fun. I don't think we understand what working hard at this level looked like and what it meant, and for us to come together and trusting our coaching and buying in we made a huge jump.
ZURI SANDERS: I think a huge emphasis is buy-in. As soon as the new coaching staff came in they said they're not changing and they're going to always push us regardless of what we're giving them. That's something we deeply appreciated, they is that they never let us down, so we're not going to let them down. And you can see that with the outcome of this game be tonight. We worked our butts off this season to get here, and I think it's definitely shown.
THE MODERATOR: Ladies, congratulations on your win. We will see you tomorrow.
Q. Brittany had such a great game. You had a height advantage with her, but could you talk about your game plan to get her going in the game?
COACH STOLLINGS: We started the game with her on the perimeter. She's a very solid 3-point shooter for us, and as the game evolved Zuri hit quite a few shots at the basket. As the game evolved we wanted to shift that, so we moved Zuri out and allowed her to become more of a screener and put Brittany at the basket.
We always felt Brittany could score against them, but Oklahoma packs the paint. They're good in help defense, and we didn't want to start the game with two or three defenders on Brittany. Her hitting those shots early really helped with that. It loosened things up with Brittany scoring and Zuri scoring from the outside, and so then we were able to reverse them. She went to work down there. She is a capable very scorer when she had the one-on-one matchups, and even one-on-two at times. The secondary defender ended up being a guard a lot, and with her size and height she was able to shoot over them.
Q. Coach, I know this is your first Big 12 tournament win as head coach of the Raiders, how does it feel?
COACH STOLLINGS: It's great. We're here to win. You go to the tournaments to win. It's called March Madness for a reason. I told our team in the pre-game talk there is nothing more exciting than this time of year and nothing better than being on this stage in the Big 12 and performing and to have fun and enjoy the moment. Don't look at it as pressure, look at it as opportunity.
I thought they did a good job of not putting extra pressure on themselves. Again, I'm just so happy for them. I've been coaching a long time and wins will come and go, but and I'm so happy for this group in particular, because they had to go through a lot of change to get here today. To be sitting here with a Big 12 record is just tremendous. I'm so happy for them.
Q. Coach, did you have to change the culture when you got here? A year ago at this time I never remembered a program being as down as they were when you walked off the stage last year.
COACH STOLLINGS: Yeah, culture was huge. It was in every aspect of their lives, so to speak, for our returners. For our new kids, they don't know any different, but for our returners, it had been pretty rocky. It was very important that we set the standard. As Zuri alluded to a few minutes ago, we weren't going to change. We were going to keep that standard. They were going to have to rise up to our standard. We were not going to drop down to anything that had happened previously.
Within that we put in a lot of accountability. It even shows in our academics. We have above a 3.0, academically and when I arrived we were one of the lowest academic female sports on campus.
Our ultimate goal was how they approach life and, that's why I coach, is for when they leave us. The ultimate goal was to help them become better women for when they leave us, and that's not just on the basketball court.
Q. So speaking on what you just said what, are the things you implemented to change the culture? You said the grades changed, attitudes changed; Syd said it's like a family. What are some of the things that changed that?
COACH STOLLINGS: Well, you know, initially there was a lot of discipline, hard work, the strength and conditioning workouts changed drastically, accountability academically. Lots of things fall under that. I could probably write a book. I won't keep anybody in here for all of that. Those are the highlights.
And just our approach to practice. We're big on treating the practice like a game. Scoring in the hundreds is and we want to be able to do big picture as our program evolves. We want to be able to do that a lot. Very uptempo, very fast paced, and very hard to guard. We got to see a glimpse of that tonight. A little bit unexpected, but we'll take it. There are lots of things that go along with it.
Q. Coach, the point differential between the first two games was Texas plus 1. Today you were able to beat OU by 20. What was the difference in today's game compared to the rest of the season?
COACH STOLLINGS: Today's game, I think, is the ability to keep the pace. We thought if we could get into the fourth quarter with the pace the way we wanted it would wear on them a little bit. They're in great shape, too, and they like to run as well, and I will certainly give them credit for that. But we thought we could sustain it better.
One of the biggest things we take pride in is our strength and conditioning, and it's one of the things in the fourth quarter we like to see separation in. Tonight we were able to see that separation, and a lot of those points ended up happening in transition later in the game.
Q. Coach, got a quick turnaround for the game tomorrow. Talk a little bit about facing Baylor, the number one team in the nation.
COACH STOLLINGS: I was hoping I would get out of here without that question! (Chuckles.) For a couple of hours before I get to a Baylor question! But Baylor is just loaded. They're deep, they're tall, and they can score at multiple positions. They're impressive, and it will be a tall task for us, no question about it.
We have great respect for their team and what they've done this season and what they've done for our conference. I want to be very clear on that. They've brought a lot of notoriety to the Big 12 with their performance, so we will let the kids get some food and the coaches will get to work right away and we will put the best game together that we can, David versus Goliath.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, Coach, we will see you tomorrow afternoon.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports