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March 9, 2005

Megan Mahoney

Deb Patterson

Kendra Wecker


THE MODERATOR: We'll have an opening statement by Coach Patterson. Congratulations. Your thoughts about the game.

COACH PATTERSON: Thank you. I thought it was a good overall team effort by our basketball team. Very pleased that we had an opportunity to share a lot of minutes and thought on both ends of the floor. Our bench stayed very committed to execution. That was very important for our basketball team as we worked to move through the stretch run of the season and enter into post-season play.

THE MODERATOR: We'll have a few minutes of questioning for our student athletes. As you know,Kendra Wecker became the all-time Big-12 leading scorer with 22-48.

Q. Kendra, what does it mean to you? What was the first conversation with Nicole like?

KENDRA WECKER: I didn't talk to her till I got into the locker room. She just said, "Congratulations." You know, it means a lot to me. But I think the most important thing about this evening was our win and us getting the chance to play tomorrow in the Big-12 tournament. You know, it's a great honor. It's a record that I'm sure someday will be broken. It's great to have it right now, but somebody's going to come along through the Big-12 league and break the record someday. That's totally fine. The most important thing, like I said right now, is for us to get this win and advance in the tournament.

Q. Megan, you guys have won five straight now with an average of 22 points. They haven't even been close. Now you're going to face a Texas team y'all lost to by four on your home court. Talk about that rematch?

MEGAN MAHONEY: We're definitely excited to have the opportunity to play Texas. They're obviously a great team, definitely have some great players, Jamie Carey, Tiffany Jackson, Schreiber. We're just excited to get out there and have that opportunity and battle because this is what it's all about, you know, advancing in this tournament. Both teams are going to come out swinging so we're just looking forward to that.

Q. Kendra, did you notice the ovation you were getting even while Nebraska had possession, and Nebraska fans joined in during the timeout? What did it mean to you?

KENDRA WECKER: I heard them mention something over the PA about the record. I was in the heat of a timeout so I was listening to Coach P.


KENDRA WECKER: You're welcome. That's my job. No, but after I made that shot, then it's kind of a rush for everybody. It was just exciting. I thank the Nebraska fans for their support, you know, obviously our fans as well.

Q. Kendra, did you know that was the basket? Were you keeping track in the back of your mind?

KENDRA WECKER: I'm not going to lie. A little bit. You know, it wasn't something that I was, you know, obviously concentrating on coming into this game because my first and foremost thing is to do whatever I can to help this team win. You know, like I said earlier, tonight it was a great team victory and everyone got involved and had something to do with the win. I guess it is kind of a little bit of relief, you know, to get that out of the way. We can just move on from here.

Q. Coach, can you talk about your team's fantastic first half shooting-wise?

COACH PATTERSON: Well, again, I think offensively we played with a great deal of confidence and did a nice job distributing the ball, just I thought brought great tempo to the game as we started the game. You know, they got the first basket. I think it took us a couple possessions to really get confident. But, again, it's been a while since we played. I like the fact that the ball was touching a lot of hands. You know, we were fortunate to get on track early. It was a struggle for them on the other end to get consistent production. I think that was important. And then valuing our possessions. Last time we played Nebraska, we had a lot of turnovers. I thought it was important for us particularly in the first half to establish we were going to take care of the ball.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, we'll keep coach for a few more minutes. Congratulation for the win. See you tomorrow. Questions for Coach Patterson.

Q. Can you talk about Nebraska's offensive struggles? You played them three times now. What did you see tonight from them? Obviously, you played good defense. What did you see from them tonight offensively that made you believe they struggled?

COACH PATTERSON: Well, you know, there are some nights when your team, for whatever reason, just does have difficulty putting the ball in the basket. This is a Nebraska team that has played extremely well relative to the personnel and experience that they bring to the floor. You know, they're still very young. Their junior college players are young in the system. Kiera Hardy, who had to carry such a major load for them, has become a player that everyone in this league, the last five or six games, has brought their best defenders' attention to her. You understand Jina Johansen is their only senior. They're bound from situation to situation to struggle when they're playing a senior-dominated basketball team or be on the road. You know, there's just some situations where it's tough because the people you're competing against are more experienced, they're better individually at that stage in their career. I think on a night like tonight in the atmosphere that Nebraska was confronted with, all of those things contributed to their struggles. Our players did a great job with assignment defense. They did a real good job of maintaining discipline relative to their personnel. At the same time, this is a Nebraska basketball team that's had a great season. In my opinion, they have maximized every ounce of ability that they've had over the course of the season. And tonight they had to line up against a basketball team that at this stage in our career, we're a better basketball team. We're more experienced. We've got a player on our team that just broke the Big-12 scoring record. It's a tough mountain to climb. So I think, you know, it was a lot of things. But credit our players for doing a nice job defensively, but also credit theirs for the great season, the great fight, the great second half that they brought to the floor in terms of their fight and competitiveness.

Q. Last game with Texas, Tiffany Jackson only had eight points. Schreiber got loose on you. Do you take a different approach for this game coming up tomorrow?

COACH PATTERSON: Well, we have to because we lost the first game. We definitely have to change. You know, I don't think you can ever expect to see Tiffany Jackson score in single digits. I mean, you're definitely dreaming a very good dream, you know, if you're thinking that. I think overall, as we face this great Texas basketball team, we will have to play significantly better in every aspect of the game because what we brought to the floor wasn't enough to beat them. While I was pleased overall with our interior defense, our perimeter defense was lacking. As you said, Jamie Carey and Heather Schreiber pretty much scored at will on the perimeter that first time out. So needless to say, we need to bring a much higher level of accountability and awareness to where they are on the floor and then finish that by denying them the open looks that we provided the first time. You know, one of the challenges Texas presents is the fact they are so talented and so versatile in their ability to attack you and be efficient inside and out. That's the challenge you face with a great basketball team like that with the athleticism and that outside scoring threat. So certainly we will have to be significantly better over all with our approach to that perimeter defense.

Q. Can you talk about the record, what it means to you as a coach? You've now had two players break it in consecutive years.

COACH PATTERSON: Well, it's just a tribute to those players individually. First of all, Nicole Ohlde, and secondly obviously Kendra Wecker. Each of them during the course of their career literally elevated the level of basketball played at Kansas State University. They've done it with great class, with great consistency. What's amazing is to have two players like Nicole Ohlde and Kendra Wecker who have achieved that standard and at the same time have been team first players their entire career. I think it's very odd to see two players that are as selfless as they are and as committed to winning and ready to set aside individual accolades to help their team win, achieve at the level they have. I think that's one of the things that's absolutely exceptional and phenomenal about both of them. Nicole Ohlde has transitioned into a great professional player, and Kendra Wecker will do the same. But what they've brought to our program and to this league in my mind is just so special, not just because of what they've done but because of how they've done it. You know, if young people across the country could use those two as an example of achieving excellence while at the same time building their program and helping their team win, boy, it would be a very special thing. I don't know that there will ever two like those two again in this league from the same team. I think it's a very special experience that we've lived. You can see the results in the success that our program has had.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thanks. Congratulations.


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