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March 9, 2019

Raegan Pebley

Kianna Ray

Amy Okonkwo

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Texas 66, TCU 64

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by TCU Horned Frogs, Raegan Pebley, her two student-athletes, Kianna Ray and Amy Okonkwo. Coach, your thoughts about the game?

RAEGAN PEBLEY: Congrats to Texas. Definitely a battle. Felt like that was an NCAA tournament game. It was very, very physical. Extremely physical. I'm proud of TCU. I'm proud of these players to my right and proud of the players in the locker room. Proud of everything that they've put into the team and the season and proud of everything that they have left in them, too. This is a very driven and motivated team with a lot left in their tank. Just very honored to coach them.

Q. Kianna, talk about what emotions are going through your head, the team in the huddle, late in the game when it's so tight and you guys know it's leave or go home?
RAEGAN PEBLEY: I think late in the huddle we're eyes on the prize. We still in our heads. We weren't down any point in that game to us. I think just locking in on each other and trying to continue to fight for each other, which I think we did, 100%. But, yeah, just staying focused.

Q. Amy, you had a great night, 21 points, double-double. Can you talk about how you were able to come up and lead on the team offensively, especially with Jordan in foul trouble?
AMY OKONKWO: I felt like I had to do whatever my team needed. If that was rebounding, do that. If that was scoring, do that. Just try to do what I can with Jordan on the bench and try to do what I can so when she came back in we could both, you know, help each other.

Q. Kianna, long time since Bowie, 0-9 five days ago and you were lights out tonight. I thought you were maybe the biggest reason you guys were there at the very end. The difference between last Tuesday and today for you is...
KIANNA RAY: Confidence. My teammates telling me to keep shooting it and my role on this team is to look to score. I can't get inside of myself. I have to look to pour out into my teammates and take whatever they're pouring into me.

Q. When you were warming up your shirt said "family." Did the way you played today demonstrate that you take that to heart?
AMY OKONKWO: Most definitely. The frog family. We're going to stay together no matter what.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you. Questions for Coach?

Q. Coach, obviously this game was huge for you guys. NCAA tournament hopes for a bid. The Texas coach was talking about, she believes that you guys are still a high contender for a bid. What are your thoughts on that and do you feel like the Big 12 was good enough this season to get six teams in?
RAEGAN PEBLEY: Absolutely I do. I think we're one of the top RPI leagues in the country. I mean, if you look at the quality of games and I know, you know, the committee is not always looking at eyeball tests and who looks like a good team but even just a -- it's not easy going to Lubbock and getting wins and everybody has to do that and it's not easy going to Manhattan and getting wins. This is a tough league to play in. I think the fact that we're a league where you've got to play everybody twice is something that makes us even a better team or a better league compared to most Power Five leagues don't do that. Absolutely. I know I'm biased. I think that we're still a very good resume-built team for the NCAA Committee to consider. I know we're a team that is so locked in and still fighting and healthy and healthy mentally, healthy physically, and we've battled. We've battled. You look at a game like this and this is sports. You know, couple possessions go a different way. Is that one couple of possessions going to be the difference between us in or out? I hope not. I hope that we can look more at our body of work and what we've done.

Q. Obviously something that stands out is they were able to contain Jordan really, really well. What happens to your team whenever she is on the bench with four fouls and zero points and other girls have to step up and at the same time talk about the way the other girls really did step up tonight?
RAEGAN PEBLEY: I mean, the way that Jordan was played led a lot to her going 0-8, only shooting 4 free throws. This is one of the top field goal percentage players in our league to go 0-8 right at the rim. She needed her other teammates to step up because of how that was going for her. But, you know, she had the confidence, we had the confidence in them and I was really proud to see them step up and hit some of those shots and capitalize off of their opportunities. They work hard. They work really hard to develop that confidence.

Q. Coach, did Texas do anything that was surprisingly strategic or did you anticipate, you know, because you're familiar with this team?
RAEGAN PEBLEY: There probably wasn't a lot of surprises out of either them or us, you know, for each other, especially considering we just played each other. But I was really proud of some of these players like Adeola Akomolafe coming in and the confidence that she had. She not only didn't play a lot of minutes but those minutes were not productive. And Kianna Ray coming in and hitting shots that she didn't when we played them at our place on senior night. We outrebounded one of the best rebounding teams in the country. There was just a lot we did well except we just didn't get three more points.

Q. You are going to lose two great players. Amy just had her career high and Jordan is a really good player as well. So how do you think things will be moving forward without those pieces?
RAEGAN PEBLEY: We're losing great players, but we're graduating great people. You know, what they've done for our program is just continue to set a standard for what that means to be a part of our program and the unconditional commitment that it requires, the vulnerability that it requires, the growth mindset that it requires, and I just have tried to value every single day that I've had to coach these seniors, and I'm serious about that. It's been easy because I love coaching them. They are, man, they are just awesome people. I'm going to miss the people that they are more than players. But I know they will be around. Amy is never leaving. I know that for sure. People in the Big 12 office know that. She is not leaving. She is staying around.

Q. Coach, it happened last Tuesday and happened again today. What sets Sug apart. They don't win this game without her direction.
RAEGAN PEBLEY: I thought we did a better job on her tonight than we did in Fort Worth. I think Sug works really hard. I'm not the coach of their team. I don't see what she does in their practices. But, to me, she is somebody who paid close attention to Ariel Atkins and probably took some pages out of that book.

Q. Coach, how are you able to keep your team motivated following what is a heartbreaking loss? Waiting for the NCAA announcements?
RAEGAN PEBLEY: This team has been easy to motivate all season. They've been driven, so I'm not worried about keeping them motivated. They want to get better and they're going to use this next week. We always use this week to serve our community in Fort Worth in some way while we wait. We're going to use this week to get better as a team and we're going to have fun.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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