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March 25, 2019
Baylor - 102, Cal 63
THE MODERATOR: Let's go to questions for our student athletes.
Q. Chloe, you had several big baskets there on the 15-0 run that kind of got you guys going. When things are going right like they were in that moment, how are you feeling? What's going through your head, and specifically tonight?
CHLOE JACKSON: Just to keep it going. We knew we couldn't let up. They're a good team so we had to play hard for a whole 40 minutes.
It's great. Everything was going right for us, but stay in the moment.
Q. Juicy, you missed your first four. I know Kim tells you, Keep shooting. What got you going, I guess?
JUICY LANDRUM: At halftime before we came back out coach told me just to settle down, set my feet, just relax, and shoot. So that kind of helped settle down a little bit in the second half.
Q. Kalani, we talked about the matchup in the post today going into this game. What did you think about how it played out today? You might not have the points, but you were very active and very involved. That pass you had to DiDi was probably one of the best I've seen in a while.
KALANI BROWN: You're right. I didn't have the points or the fancy double-double, but I think I came out with great defense. I think that was my focus in the whole game and I executed.
Oh, the pass to DiDi. She just kept cutting and I just kept seeing her. In the middle of a post move one time. I was like, Wow, she's really wide open. (Laughter.)
I just kept throwing it to her. If you all going to keep leaving her open, I'm going to just throw it to her.
Q. Kalani, you start the game by grabbing the rebound. You and Kristine were right there and got an offensive rebound and then you went right back up with a layup. Was that a big basket in your head at that moment to set the tone?
KALANI BROWN: I definitely think it was a momentum changer. Gave us a lot of energy, and we were really excited to get the first basket. Got us on a roll.
Q. Juicy, three pointer to end the first half. You mentioned at halftime coach said to settle down and just keep shooting. How big was that shot in terms of momentum and a good feeling going into the break?
JUICY LANDRUM: I guess it was kind of a big moment of change; another shot before that was an air ball.
Supposed to be (indiscernible), but the play wasn't open. So, I mean, I just hit the shot. Had to look up at the shot clock and shot it. Just happened to look up and it was two seconds and I just took the shot.
Q. Kalani, end the first quarter, beginning of the second you all outscored them 25 to 2 run. Can you reflect on the atmosphere and this being your senior year?
KALANI BROWN: Fans play a big part. They give us so much energy and excitement when they get excited when we make a great play. They push us to do better. I don't know, we got some of the best fans in the country. Just been a blessing to play in front of them.
Q. Kalani, I know your drive and focus is to get to a Final Four. The emotions of playing your last game in the Ferrell Center. You knew it would come at some point, but what are the emotions like and was it like on that victory lap?
KALANI BROWN: I was more shocked than anything. I don't know. I'm going to miss it for sure. I'm a little sad, but just want to thank Baylor nation. I'm so grateful.
Q. Chloe, the same thing for you. You guys went back in and she did the substitution timeout. Big hug with Kim and then the victory lap. You only spent one year here, but what were those moment like for you?
CHLOE JACKSON: It's been a blessing to play here Baylor. I just can't thank Coach Kim enough for the one year and just recruiting me to come here. I definitely think I made the best decision. The fans have been amazing. They're family for sure. This one year it's really felt longer to me. Yeah, it's a blessing.
Q. Chloe, going back to the game you mention the run. You guys wanted to just keep it going. Before that when it is kind of back and forth and they had the lead a couple times, talk about what if felt like.
CHLOE JACKSON: Just to keep playing our game. We knew eventually we kind of run them down, get them tired, but our transition is our go-to really. Love to get our transition run. We knew once we started that they couldn't keep up much longer.
That was our main focus. I think that helped us on the run.
Q. Kalani, you talked yesterday about getting maybe a one-on-one matchup. Looked like had three on you. How much do you being able to handle Kristine one-on-one really help your defense do you think?
KALANI BROWN: Definitely helped me. She's a great player. She's athletic, can jump out of the gym, so she definitely challenged me on the defensive end. To just come and deliver I think speaks volumes for me, because moving my feet has been something I've been working on for four years and I think I've gotten better, so...
THE MODERATOR: Anymore questions for the student-athletes? Ladies, we'll let you go. Thank you.
Questions for Coach Mulkey.
Q. Kim, I remember in the NCAA tournament selection show Andy Landers' question about whether or not you all would be able to do tempo? Did you answer that tonight?
COACH MULKEY: Yeah, I don't know. You either go fast or you're slow. I think we were fast tonight in parts of the game and parts of the game it was a half-court game.
I don't know if there is another part of tempo that he was referring to, but we can do both. I think that when you get down to the top teams in the country you're going to have to execute in the half court both offensively and defensively, and we can do that.
Q. Clearly the post matchup was fun to watch, but it seemed clear right away that they were going to make your guards beat them. Just talk about what Chloe and Juicy, your guards, were able to do.
COACH MULKEY: Three things were key to this game. I said this before in the scouting report. The best defensive team is going to win, best rebounding team is going to win, and depth is going to be a factor.
I thought all three played out. Cox and Kalani's defense, I think that's the first game all year she didn't have a double-double. You give credit to Cox who came out and guarded her in the second half. I thought they would go right at here and didn't want to have Kalani pick up her third foul.
I thought Kalani was tremendous on the defensive end because she was very disciplined. Kalani always has trouble picking up that second foul, leaning into them, wanting to block a shot. I just told her, The thing that will impress people the most tonight is can you guard her, and I think she proved that she could.
Then when you talk about rebounding, that kid played 33 minutes and had six rebounds, and I can't help bu look at NaLyssa Smith and Aquira DeCosta. They both played 11 minutes, and Queen Egbo. All three of those. That's three freshmen. They played 11 minutes and have unbelievable stats.
So therein is the rebounding and also the depth that I thought would play a factor.
Q. Kim, do you think of a 25 to 2 run as sort of a knock-out punch? Is that something that you want to see your team be able to do on a given night?
COACH MULKEY: Yeah, I would like to see it every game. As I told them when we were up 40 in the timeout, don't look at the score. These last minutes I am evaluating you as we progress in this tournament.
Just keep coaching, because a lot of those kids are young. We only have two seniors on the team. I just thought that -- you just got a bunch in that locker room that can play. It's our job to keep them focused and motivated. I think I have used everything possible to motivate them. I'm digging deep. Showing them 2005 National Championship film.
They're just looking at me like, Coach, God, you were younger, no wrinkles, no gray hair. I said, Focus on the floor. Anything. Because, guys, it was a long period. 12 days was a long period between the time our conference tournament was over and playing, and you didn't want to become rusty. Wanted to give them some days off.
I was impressed with a lot of things on that floor for us tonight. We beat a Cal team that was on a roll, that had won a lot of basketball games, that plays in a great conference against some great teams. We came out ready to play.
Thought the crowd was good. They took their Geritol. Saw some folks that honestly surprised me they can stay up this late. Now they proven it, they need to get on that airplane and go to Greensboro. It's my understanding we play the first game; is that right?
THE MODERATOR: No. Second.
COACH MULKEY: We play the second game Saturday in Greensboro at 2:00 p.m., so that's 1:00 p.m. here, right?
Q. Kind of touched on it on that run in the? Second quarter. Chloe's made some pretty big mid-range shots and long twos. You think those shots from her really helped space you away from Cal?
COACH MULKEY: I think Chloe's ability to shoot mid-range jumpers has made us a very good basketball team, very dangerous team. She was a two player at LSU, an off guard. You don't want to take that away by moving her to the point, so really it never changed with us on her scoring ability.
What did change was she now had to think the game through the eyes of a coach on the floor. She has done a remarkable job with that.
Q. Kim, you mentioned obviously the crowd here tonight. Apparently throughout all 16 regions there were good crowds the first two rounds. Talk about what that means for women's college basketball.
COACH MULKEY: Well, it's why we moved from neutral courts. I read Brice Cherry's article in Sunday's paper, and I'm not sure the gist of his article, but it sounded like he wanted to say home court is an advantage. Well, we've tried the other way, as you all heard me say. We're not ready for that. What I would say to him is get better. If you're one that doesn't get to host, get better. Improve your team.
You know, I'm not a believer, like he said in his article, that the tournament starts after you get to the Sweet 16. I thought that was a great game tonight. I've seen some lower seeds get beat. Didn't I just see Missouri State beat Iowa State on their home floor? There were five lower-seeded teams in the round of 32 that worn. Miami got to beat in the second round and they were a three or four seed.
So disagreed with his article that the game doesn't start until basically you get to a Sweet 16. Maybe I interpreted the article wrong. Man, I sure wish he would've talked about what a great memory it was for Abilene Christian. God, what a memory those kids have, instead of something that came across as negative.
Q. You talked about Queen and what she was able to do in 11 minutes. A lot of that was even with Anigwe still in the game. For her to have eight points, six rebounds, two blocks...
COACH MULKEY: Look at NaLyssa's stats. Look at Aquira's stats. I couldn't pick one of the three of them because what they did was outstanding. We emphasize rebounding to those kids, and they went in there. The points are icing on the cake.
What they did defensively in altering shots -- they fouled a couple times -- but just going in there and rebounding the ball, and all three of those kids did that.
Q. Coach, you talk about the fans allowing you to feed the monster all the time. You exhibited such excellence in 19 years. What do you have to say for your fans about continuing to feed the monster?
COACH MULKEY: They're still here. I shouldn't say that, because a lot of the them have passed away. We've lost a ton of great supporters, Maggie. They appreciate women's basketball at Baylor University. I'm blessed. Little did we know as a staff when we came here 19 years ago that we would do this as quickly as we did it.
And then to maintain it, it wears on you. It wears on you. Some coaches have a different personality than I do. I give it everything I have. I give it every ounce of energy I have. Those kids give it every ounce of energy they have. The fans, God bless them, because they love women's basketball here at Baylor.
Q. Kim, now you go to Greensboro to play South Carolina. Do you like the fact that you've been to Columbia, South Carolina to play South Carolina?
COACH MULKEY: I thought about that. Do I like the fact that we've already played them this year or would I rather go into it not knowing much about each other? I don't know. But we know what they do; they know what we do.
It'll be like a home court to them. What is it, couple hours, two, three hours from their home. I'm not sure NC State, Kentucky. Who one that? NC State. It's be a home court for them. That's where the ACC tournament is played there.
That's okay. That's okay. We'll go and give it our best shot, and got to win two to get to a Final Four. It's fun. It's fun.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions? Coach, congratulations on the win.
COACH MULKEY: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports