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March 9, 2011

Kelsey Bolte

Hallie Christopherson

Bill Fennelly



THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Coach Bill Fennelly of the Iowa State Cyclones and Hallie Christofferson and Kelsey Bolte. Coach, your thoughts about this afternoon's game?
COACH FENNELLY: First of all, I want to thank everyone in the Big 12. This was a great event. An honor to be a part of it. It was exciting. The game itself was typical Iowa State-Kansas State. Close, low-scoring, hard-fought, right down to the wire. They made a couple more plays than we did. Unlike the first two times we played, maybe it was our turn to make the plays, but they did tonight. So congratulations to them.
I'm proud of the effort of our team and how hard we played down the stretch to get down like we did against a team like that and have two looks at the basket to tie the game was great. But they outplayed us in certain areas today, and they deserve to win the game.

Q. Kelsey, Kansas State said you guys did a really good job of setting screens to get you open for that last shot. They had a scramble on the post to come out on you. Did you ever feel like you had a ray of a look? What was the last possession like as far as trying to get the shot off?
KELSEY BOLTE: Yeah, I had a pretty good look at it, but she's a pretty big girl so it's hard to shoot around her. But probably the best look I could have had, I guess.

Q. You had a frustrating day. Was it just the inability to get the ball? What made it so tough for you today?
KELSEY BOLTE: Yeah, they played good defense on me. Most of my shots were contested. I missed a lot of shots that I usually make. So they had good defense, they disrupted me a little bit. So they did a good job.

Q. What did you feel was different between this game and the first two times you played K-State?
KELSEY BOLTE: Well, I think Chambers did a really good job of taking it to the basket. I think she got a couple of and ones on us. We did a good job of trying to go around the screen, we hedged out a little bit, but she did a great job. We did a good job on Childs as well. Tried to force her a little bit, but couldn't get enough stops. We just couldn't do it defensively.

Q. What was this game like as a freshman? The team was down by 13 and you scored 8 straight to help get them back.
HALLIE CHRISTOFFERSON: I just try to stay calm, and take what the defense gives us, and we have to take open shots.

Q. Hallie, what was it about their offense that allowed them to get so many points in the paint against you guys?
HALLIE CHRISTOFFERSON: Well, we knew that we had to keep Childs in the paint. Just they're very physical in there, and that's what any Big 12 team's like. Just their physicality, probably.

Q. Hallie, you scored 8 straight. You were down 13 and got it to eight straight and Lauren hits the three pointer to get it to five. At that point are you feeling like momentum's on your side? How much do you think things can change emotionally for your team at that point?
HALLIE CHRISTOFFERSON: Yeah, definitely. We had a nice run there at the end. And that's what obviously teams like to come back. We had the momentum, and the crowd was definitely in it. We just had to get more defensive stops and we lacked in that area.

Q. Kelsey, Brittany Chambers, did she play differently than she did the first two tiles you were playing or was it just guarding mistakes on defense for you guys?
KELSEY BOLTE: I don't think she played any different. She dribbled the ball a lot, dribbled around, trying to create a lot for herself. She was just able to do that really well today. She did a great job.
I think we tried to defend her as well as we could, but like I said, she dribbles the ball a lot and tried to create a lot for herself. She did a good job.

Q. The first two games were very hard fought against Kansas State as well. What would you say is the difference in making the edge go their way this time?
COACH FENNELLY: I think early we missed some shots that I think we need to make. We got really hurt inside. Our post play besides Hallie wasn't very good. And I think you extend so much effort chasing her off the three point shot, especially Brittany Chambers that they dribble drive to the basket. They did a little better job of that. Getting the ball in the lane off the bounce. We rotate it a little bit late.
But it's a typical game with them. All three games were eerily the same. We just won two out of three. But the scores are the same. The game's are the same. Somebody makes a couple of shots. We had two really good looks at the end of the game after being down 13. Our kids played hard.
But that's how these games go with them. They're very well-coached. They're well-prepared. They're hard to score on. We knew that. It was difficult for us to get some looks at the basket. Had some turnovers at bad times, but that's Big 12 basketball.

Q. Could you assess where this puts your NCAA Tournament chances, this loss?
COACH FENNELLY: I don't know. I'm not on the committee. I think if you look at our numbers, we probably are a team that should be considered. I think several of the teams that played to be are in the NCAA Tournament. But they're not going to call me and ask me.
But I honestly believe that. If you look at the strength of our league and the strength of our teams and what they've done all year long, I would be disappointed if the Big 12 doesn't get seven teams in the NCAA Tournament. I think we've earned that.
All we can do is we're 22-10, the numbers are there, and whatever they decide. I've never been -- which I probably should. I grew up in a political family. But I've never been someone to politic in front of the committee. I don't think that's my job. I think we've done what we can do now, and we'll wait until next Monday, and hopefully our name will come up. If not, we didn't do enough.

Q. Talk about Hallie. I know she hasn't played as much in the last couple games, but it seemed like when you needed her in the second half, she was trying to will your team back?
COACH FENNELLY: I think Hallie's struggled a little bit offensively. She might have hit the freshman wall a little bit. But when you see a kid in this environment as a freshman literally bring our team back almost single-handedly, that says a lot about her. She is a very calm person approximate. She doesn't get too rattled.
But she's a phenomenal kid. She deserved to be on the Big 12 freshman team. She played much bigger than that, and certainly hit some big shots and gave our kids some energy. She was certainly our best post player today.

Q. I wondered if you could talk for a moment on about the atmosphere out there? You had a couple of teams with really terrific fan support it looked like. It was just a fun atmosphere.
COACH FENNELLY: It really was. Both teams have a great core fan base. I think they enjoy this kind of game. They know it's going to be a competitive game. Two teams that I think do things the right way, and represent the league and represent their schools in a very, very positive way. I think they appreciate the effort of the kids.
I think they appreciate the kinds of things that they do on the court, off the court, the way they carry themselves. It was a great environment to play in. That is what these tournaments are all about.
It was a great day. Obviously the result wasn't what we wanted, but the environment's very special here. Every time we play K-State, it's that way, home, away or neutral, so a great environment. Certainly appreciate the fans and the way they do things.

Q. I'd ask Kelsey to start with about Childs coming out on her when you guys worked to get her open. How rare or how tough is it for a post player to get out there on the three-point line shot like that?
COACH FENNELLY: It's tough. You've got to have someone who is committed to doing it. She made a good play. It's tough when you're out of timeouts. Our kids ran the play pretty well. It wasn't a wide open shot, but Kelsey had a look at it. You know, the shot that Chas had right before that couldn't have been more wide open.
So when you're down 13 with 7 to go and you have two looks at the basket to tie the game, you have to feel good about it. It was a tough shot, but she got her shoulders by the kid. But it was really good defense that made it, instead of a wide open shot -- really as the play was developing she looked to me like she was going to be wide open.
But Childs made a great defensive play that made it hard on Kelsey to get a shot off. To Kelsey's credit, she tried to get one up there. It was a good look. It didn't go in but that's part of the game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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