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March 11, 2006

Kim Mulkey

Chameka Scott

Sophia Young


SOPHIA YOUNG: Credit to Oklahoma State, they have great tradition.
Q. Can you talk about the shooting, shots not following, particularly in the first half?
CHAMEKA SCOTT: One of the worst offensive games ever. Just shots weren't falling. We were getting open looks and they were shots we've been practicing but they were not going in for us tonight and that's hard to deal with.
Q. Did you try to rebound against Courtney?
SOPHIA YOUNG: Courtney is a great player and she's big and she is physical and she uses her body very well. Sometimes it's difficult to get around her. She's a great rebounder and give her credit.
Q. You guys seemed a little rattled at the beginning of the game, do you think that first play of the game, that fast break pretty much set the tempo for the game?
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: No, I don't. I didn't think we were rattled. I just thought we missed shots. I mean, gosh, we shoot 79 shots, that's special. Look at what we shot from the field. Always give credit to the opponent. Some of those that we missed were great defense, I would say the majority of what we missed were wide-open looks and that was probably their game plan was to make other people beat you besides Sophia, and we didn't get it done. You can go from top to bottom, everybody that played got wide-open looks. At this level, you've got to nail shots. We didn't do it.
Q. Chameka, when they are hitting 3s like they all seem to be daggers, how hard it is to defend them?
CHAMEKA SCOTT: With them having three-point shooters, it spreads the floor a lot but at the same time you just want to help inside the three-point game which is good for them I guess. And once they got hot, you know, they were on a roll and the shots were falling for them, and they kept going in that aspect of their game. I guess we were just not getting out far enough and they were hitting.
Q. Particularly in the first half, did frustration start to set in, and did you feel like that affected your game at all?
SOPHIA YOUNG: Yeah, I would say that. I was feeling a little frustrated, not anything they were doing, just like not hitting my shots.
Q. You shot like 23 threes and I know some of that was late, but was there a lot that you did have to maybe match their threes or anything?
CHAMEKA SCOTT: Well, no, I just shoot 3's all the time and, you know, just as a shooter you don't want to let the first couple go. Like I said they were giving us looks. We kept trying, but they just were not falling. I don't think there was pressure in that sense at all. We were still trying to play Baylor basketball.
Q. Can you talk about just the physical nature of play in the lanes today as far as toward the end of the game, it was really evident that it was a very heated match-up?
SOPHIA YOUNG: We knew that the game was going to be physical coming out because that's always been the type of game that we played. Courtney and Leah did a really good job of trying to keep the ball away from me and, I don't know, it was just a difficult game and we knew it was going to be like that.
Q. Can you talk about the last minute, you were maybe wanting to get Courtney to the foul line and see if you could come back on the offensive end and get something going?
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: We were trying to foul her, maybe her shoot free throws, hope she would miss, come down the offensive lend and get a bucket and get the lead. We started doing that early in the six-minute mark and you didn't want to wait too long. I thought we cut it nine, I wanted to play good defense and Tisdale and went and fouled. I didn't want a foul.
But they are the better team. They are better than we are. So to elaborate on your question about losing three teams, you beat somebody three times, you're better than they are. So they are better than we are. We are both going to go to the NCAA Tournament and hopefully going to make a run and hopefully represent the Big 12 well.
Q. As poorly as your team shot in the first half, you were still in the game?
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: That's unbelievable. That's unbelievable to shoot 19 percent. Not only did we shoot poorly, Oklahoma had 19 turnovers at the half. Just wild that you would even think we would be in the ballgame at that point. I think that's just the guts and the will to win and the effort that they gave on the defensive end of the floor. It's just we couldn't buy a basket from the perimeter.
Q. Can you talk about the difference of this year and last year, last year you were on the big winning streak and run?
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Well, you want to win the Big 12 Championship outright, and we didn't do that. We came in second.
So we are going to erase all that have from our minds and we're going to take tomorrow off and we are going to get ready to practice on Monday. In a lot of ways, leaving the conference is a breath of fresh air. We don't beat up on each other. When we go to the NCAA Tournament, it's really a breath of fresh air for all of us.
Q. This game had a Sweet 16 type of feel, do you think it's like a game you could see a few weeks down the road?
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Sure. Hopefully you can draw upon the fact you don't like sitting up here losing so you get in the gym and shoot some shots and make some buckets.
Q. The 20 out of 79 shots, do you think their defense was obviously --
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Their defense was good on Sophia. Very seldom do you see a team where someone steps up when Sophia is not doing good; then you have Chameka that steps up, but to have the entire team, the entire team offense, it's a mystery to me, too. If I could bottle it up and tell you what happened, I'd sell it to every coach in America. First of all, I always give credit to the opponent. I thought their zone defense made us take those threes, for a reason. There was a reason they were playing zone defense. So give those guys credit.
But at this level, you've got to nail wide-open shots. And we've got pep people on this team, we go to Iowa State and played zone before, we go to different places in this league and we've hit those shots. Didn't hit them tonight. Not a person on our team did.
Q. (Inaudible.)
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Sure, it's called good coaching.
Q. What is it about your team this year as they have tried to forge their own identity as opposed to last year's team what makes you feel good about this team?
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Last year when we sat here, we were reining conference champs and we won a National Championship yet. We did not have anybody on the team that went that for to the NCAA Tournament. We have four or five that have been to the NCAAs and understand what it's all about. I think that they will lead and guide the younger players and we'll make a run and be as tough as we possibly can. How far we go remains to be seen.
Q. Can you talk about the role Jasmine played in keeping you in the game the in the first half?
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Well, Jasmine, she did a very good job. She tried to generate some offense. Jasmine is very good in the Open floor. She did her job to keep us close in that ballgame with Tisdale in foul trouble, I thought jasmine did just fine. She made a few steals defensively. She tried to generate things in the Open floor for us to create some excitement. I thought that she did just fine.
Q. Are you surprised more teams haven't tried to send Paris to the line that much the way you did today earlier this season?
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: I don't know. If we had not been behind, we wouldn't have done it. It's just the flow of the game and coaching and trying to cut the lead. You've got to do something. You've got to make some changes. Our best option was just to put her at the line. She was 6 for 15, so it worked in a lot of ways.
Q. You guys played two really good games that you guys seemed to have control of for large part of. Wonder if you can talk about what kind of improvement you've seen out of them or maybe whether they are peaking, just seemed like a different game than those first two.
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Well, I think you want to play well when you're heading into the post-season and I think now that they have got their freshmen and they have played this many games, they probably understand the Paris's strengths and weaknesses better, as older players do.
The more you play together, the better you get. They are playing very good basketball right now. I hope that they and all of us that go to the NCAA tournament can do very, very well.
Q. When they are hitting 3-pointers and when they have their perimeter game going, how good are they?
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: How good are they? Well, you've got to take your poison. Do you double-down in on Paris or do you go out to the three? Very difficult to guard both positions, and that's what they bring to the table. They have a big presence inside. Yet if you double-down in there, they are going to kick it out from the three. You know, I thought Abiola defended as good as she could. She has a lot of skills and banged in there as much as she could until she fouled out. I thought Higgins hit some big shots for them. That's what you do when you are heading into the playoffs, you've got to have players make plays.
Q. Sophia called this her worst offensive game ever, but it wasn't like they took a shot without three players on her so, what do you tell her now?
COACH MULKEY-ROBERTSON: I go and tell her and all the team, this game is over with. We are going to go back and we are going to get rested tomorrow and we are going to come to practice Monday and we are going to go to the selection show and we're going to play the last part of our season. And our season is broken down in four: Evaluate what you did non-Conference, what you did in Conference, what you did in the Conference tournament and now let's see what happens in this last part of the season.

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