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March 13, 2009

Melissa Jones

Jessica Morrow

Kim Mulkey


Baylor – 67
Oklahoma State - 62

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by the Lady Bears and Coach Mulkey and her athletes. Coach, opening comments. Congratulations on the big win.
COACH KIM MULKEY: I'll take the questions.
THE MODERATOR: We will do the student-athletes first if you don't mind. If you have questions for the student athletes, put your hand up, your name and affiliation, please.

Q. Melissa, when you guys are down 11 at the half, what are you saying to each other?
MELISSA JONES: I think it came from Coach Mulkey that we can come back, don't give ever up. They show up and make big plays and keep it going.

Q. This is for Melissa first and then Jessica. When did you kind of know that you were not only going to get back into it, but when did you have the feeling you were actually going to come back and take the game?
MELISSA JONES: I mean it's hard to say. You never -- like whenever you're down, like in the beginning I think there is always the fight inside of you that you can come back and win no matter how much you are down. I think it is -- especially at half time we realized we really needed to kick it into gear I think we were able to hold and, you know.
JESSICA MORROW: At half time we pretty much knew what we were doing wrong. Oklahoma State did a real good job on the offensive boards. And they out-rebounded us the first half and we knew that was a key in the game. And we knew if we had any chance, we had to start off the second half, you know, with spark and get back in somehow. And I think we kept chipping away and we got momentum back and were able to make a run.

Q. Jessica, can you talk about the play where Riley drove down and then did you see it coming? Or just instinct to get in the way?
JESSICA MORROW: We have been talking about that. She is a great player, definitely one of the best drivers and the hardest-to-guard girls and not just in the conference, but in the nation. And we were talking about trying to get in front of her. She moves well to try to get away from taking a charge. But I think when it came down to it, she was just trying to get the shot off, and just kind of had the right place at the right time I guess.

Q. Jes, you guys have had your ups and downs in the free-throw department. You made 18-20 in the second half today. What does that say about this team?
JESSICA MORROW: It says that we have been practicing a lot [laughter]. Early in the year it was obvious that was a big, you know, problem. And we don't want that to be the downfall of us in March in the Big 12 tournament and the NCAA tournament. And we had to especially work hard on our free throws and finishing games. Those are easy shots and you are supposed to hit those. And I think we did a good job tonight.

Q. I'll dominate the mic. Melissa, when you are all down 15, do you still have the confidence to come back?
MELISSA JONES: I mean sure, definitely. When you have some of the leaders that we have out there that are always just pushing, no matter what, and believe that we can come back from whatever adversity that we're dealing with, they set a very good example for us to follow. And just playing on the court with them just kind of gets that good vibe around to want to play better to help the team out as a whole.

Q. Jessica, can you expound upon what you just said? You are one of the senior leaders and you said in the press conference the other way, hey, this is kind of my last go-around. Talk about how you pumped everybody up.
JESSICA MORROW: Like I said, we knew Oklahoma State were playing for something, you know. They pretty much had to win to be able to -- they pretty much have to win the Big 12 tournament to go to the NCAA tournament. And we didn't want that -- their momentum, or their motivation to out weigh our motivation to win and get a good seed, also. The and so we just persevered. I think we did a great job. People off the bench, Morghan Medlock, Melissa Jones, I think as a collective whole we fixed the things we messed up in the first half, and also other people got more involved. And I think that played a big role in the second half.

Q. Jessica, talk about the play of Morghan Medlock tonight.
JESSICA MORROW: She was good -- I mean, I expected it from her. I was waiting for it to happy guess I can say. But Morghan, she is a great player and we know she can play. Everybody else might not because we had to yell. We're trying to give it to her because she is an unbelievable player. And sometimes other kids don't get shots. And so, I think that opened a lot for Rachel and Morghan and I think she stepped up big on that tonight.
COACH KIM MULKEY: If I can elaborate on that, Morghan Medlock was a two-year starter at Southern Cal. She was a McDonald's All American out of high school. That tells you about the depth and talent that we have our team without Danielle Wilson, and I won't get into all that. But Morghan is a team player. Morghan came to Baylor to get to a final four and that's exactly what she told me. And she just wants the opportunity. She will get her opportunity, and she understands it's not about starting; it's about being in the rotation of players. And she is good enough to be a starter. Has started some games for us. And so that's, that's a kid that can play.

Q. Jessica, can you just talk about the defense there at the end? I think their last field goal was like with five-something left. The defense you guys played to get back in the game.
JESSICA MORROW: Riley, she's a very -- she is probably one of the hardest people I have ever guarded in the Big 12. She is an amazing player and she is very quick. And I felt like it wasn't just me on defense, it was my teammates helping me, also. Because, she had screens set for her everywhere, and I felt like people like, everybody stepped up and took the charge when I got screened and Rachel who was there, Morghan who was there, Ashley Field who was there, everybody was just there when I needed help, and I think that's what did it on the defensive end for us. And we just kept rotating, so.
THE MODERATOR: Any further questions? One more last question.

Q. I guess if you guys both want to address this. When you guys played at Kansas last week, it was just kind like kind of a lifeless group. Obviously still feeling the aspects of not having Danielle. What has changed in these last two games? Was that just a matter of getting that out of your system? And did you sort of flush that immediately?
JESSICA MORROW: I don't think anything changed honestly. Kansas is playing good basketball. It wasn't their night. Honestly, I think if any team went and played there that night, a lot of them would have lost. I think with them playing so well in general, and then that night, and then for us, we didn't really bring it that night either. I just think we just did a good job of coming back and getting ourselves together for the next two games in the Big 12 tournament, so.
THE MODERATOR: Jessica, do you want to comment? I'm sorry, Melissa.
MELISSA JONES: I have to agree with Jes. Kansas definitely playing some really good basketball. And that night, I mean, it was, it was a good one.
JESSICA MORROW: Every team has those kind of games.
MELISSA JONES: Yeah, but . . .
THE MODERATOR: Okay, ladies, thank you for your comments and we will let you return to the locker room and Coach Mulkey will stay and answer your questions. Congratulations, we'll see you tomorrow. Questions for Coach.

Q. Hi. Coach, you said several times in press conferences this year the seniors got to lead. Did the seniors do their part in that comeback tonight?
COACH KIM MULKEY: They did, Vince. And they didn't shoot exactly well. You look at Jes and Jhas's percentages from the field, they didn't shoot it well. If you look at the game closely, I was isolating them every opportunity I could because those are the guys that have to guide you and make plays late in the year. And I thought Rachel Allison again was big for us on the boards. And I think Jes said it best, we persevered. We never got rattled. We took their best shot. And Baylor's not going away.

Q. Coach, Morghan is now 2-4 on the season from three-point land. Are you going to encourage her to step out there a little more?
COACH KIM MULKEY: No. [Laughter]
That's one of those where: What is she doing? Great shot. You know. We have post players, even with Danielle, we have athletic post players. They run the floor well, they like to face, they like to play with their back to the basket. And, you know, Morghan is one of those who likes to play with her back to the basket -- excuse me, facing the basket, and Rachel is. Even big Ashley Field will catch it and face it. So I guess if you're productive, there is not a lot you can say as a coach, but we don't go out there and practice it.

Q. Coach, have you ever coached in too many games where the opposing team has three made shots in a half? Was that your defense? Their lack of offense? What was that about?
COACH KIM MULKEY: I hope it was our defense, but I'm not going to be here bragging on that until I look at the film. Just know that -- correct me, was Riley, 0-10 in the second half? Anybody have a halftime stat sheet? I may not be real good right now with math. But tell me what she was from the field in the second half. She was 0-10. I don't think it was an accident. I think it is a lot of kids putting their hands in her face. I think she is so good and has ability to get in there and take her body into them. And we really challenged them in time-outs and half time. When she initiates a contact, you back off or you take a charge. Don't go in there.
And I thought we listened very well. I thought the charges were big for us. We don't take a lot of charges normally as a team. And we probably had four or five tonight that were at critical moments in the game.

Q. Kim, right before Riley's charge, Byford drew a charge on your end of the court. I can't remember.

Q. Okay. That kind of seemed that your players kind of seemed to rally around her at that point. You could just kind of see it in your face.
COACH KIM MULKEY: The shot clock was winding down on our end and Jes pretty much had to do something to get her position to get an open look. So I thought the young lady, it was a charge, but I was kind of hoping that they would call all of that hand-checking out front before she drove and that's what I was griping about, not the charge. Because I really thought the Oklahoma State kid took it.

Q. Whenever a key player goes down by Danielle does, there always seems to be that period of adjustment. Are you guys through that now? Are you still learning on the fly how to play without her?
COACH KIM MULKEY: I am so glad you asked that question and I'm going to give you a great detailed answer and I want everybody to write it, okay.
We're not going away. Danielle Wilson was hurt. We beat the 15th ranked team in the country, Texas, on their home floor without her. They've got an unbelievable RPI. We go to Kansas and, Michelle, I thought their answers -- you were at that game. Kansas could do no wrong. I believe this, when you get your butt whipped you compliment the other team. And Kansas would have whipped anybody that night. We came back and beat the number eight team in the country on our home floor with a 5 RPI. We now played another team on a neutral court, if you call this a neutral court. I tend to. I thought the fans were as big in number as the Oklahoma State fans. We're not going away.
I said it a minute ago, guys, we have depth. Morghan Medlock is a player. I don't know what else we can do. Just keep winning, guys, just keep winning. If we are the conference that everybody says we are in the country, and supposedly we have the number one RPI and we have read that all year, then two teams from this conference ought to be number one seeds and I want somebody to tell me why not.
You can talk about Stanford being out in their league and we beat them early in the year. Okay. This league is brutal. Ask Gail Gustin for us to compare this league to the ACC and see what she tells you. Ask Gary Blair to compare it to the ACC and see what he tells you, on their best years.
I am going to elaborate on that, because we're not going away. We're not going away. They just keep winning.
And I don't think we have to win this thing to get a number one seed. I don't think that's fair. We finished second in this league, and if it's supposed to be what it is, and everybody says that it is, then this team deserves a number one seed.

Q. Kim, there haven't been many games where you all have been down like this. I mean, you all have been in pretty much every game. Is this maybe a good thing, to just show the team hey, if we ever get down 15 points we can come back?
COACH KIM MULKEY: I don't know if it's good or bad. I don't think any coach likes to dig out of a hole. But I mean, it's the nature of the business. This time of year, there are upsets. This time of year you have got teams that are fighting for their lives really as far as the life of their season. We're not fighting for our lives, and that's what makes this win special. Is that we know where we're headed. We know what our next job is. We're just continuing to do what we have done all year, and that's win basketball games.

Q. Kim, first off, you call were getting out-rebounded I think by 11 in the first half. Talk about what you all were able to do on the boards in the second half and particularly what Morghan Medlock gave you this game.
COACH KIM MULKEY: I felt the first 10 minutes of the game we were out-hustled, the least ball long rebounds. I thought we were too deep. We were too deep and they were getting all the long rebounds behind us. And if we'd lost the game, that's where we would have lost it is the first part of the game. And I felt that we made a conscious effort of talking to them about position yourself a little bit further from the rim. And I thought we did that in the second half. And again, if my math is right, I think those guys got one offensive board the second half. And those are not adjustments that a coach draws up on a board. Those are things that come within players. They're talked about in the locker room. But it comes from within an athlete's body to go out there and make change. And I thought that our kids did.
The bench was tremendous for us. Melissa Jones and Morghan Medlock off the bench. That's why they're there, because I like them coming in the rotation and giving us something. And please acknowledge those two kids.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, Coach, thank you very much for your comments. We'll see you tomorrow and good luck.

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