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March 8, 2012

Bill Fennelly

Lauren Mansfield

Nikki Moody


Kansas State  67
Iowa State  63

THE MODERATOR:¬† We're now joined by Coach Bill Fennelly and his student‑athletes.¬† Coach, your thoughts on last night's game.
COACH FENNELLY:¬† First I want to thank the great people of Kansas City for not just this event but all the years they've hosted this tournament.¬† It's been a great thing, and they've done a great job of giving our student‑athletes a tremendous experience.¬† We'll miss coming here.
We certainly want to thank the Big 12 for running a great event.¬† The tournament is an end‑of‑the‑year celebration of great basketball.
As far as the game today goes, it's pretty simple.¬† We got our butts kicked in the post.¬† And that's the game.¬† We can analyze it all we want, but at the end of the day, their inside game just had their way with us.¬† When Chelsea Poppens got in foul trouble, the game completely changed for us.¬† K‑State played great.¬† They're very well coached, do a super job.
Jalana Childs was a First Team All Conference player for a reason, and we congratulate them.  We move on maybe.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Coach, thank you.¬† Questions for our student‑athletes.

Q.¬† You guys got up early, like 12‑2, making shots.¬† What do you think changed at that point a little bit?
THE MODERATOR:  Who do you want to answer that?

Q.  Lauren.
LAUREN MANSFIELD:  I felt we came out really hot and ready to go.  We were really pushing it and hitting shots.  I think they just didn't back down.  They fought back and got themselves back into the game.

Q.¬† For Nikki, when you guys put that mini run on them, go up 54‑50, everyone's pumped.¬† Did you guys feel that, okay, now we're taking control and this is the point that we're going to kind of beat this and peel it off?
NIKKI MOODY:  Whenever we got going, the crowd got into it.  We started getting energy and getting more like pumped up to win, and they just kept fighting back.

Q.  Lauren, did you come into this game thinking you're a senior and that you had to step up, or was it more of a deal where shots just started to fall and before you know it, you had double points?
LAUREN MANSFIELD:  I think I definitely feel like time is running out to me.  So I'm going to be more aggressive.  I mean, I know any game could be my last, so I'm just trying to take that and play with it.  And definitely when shots are falling, I was feeling good as well.

Q.¬† For Lauren, I believe it was you, I was kind of blocked out, but did you take that shot in the corner, that free corner that was banked off the left board and rimmed in?¬† What was your thought?¬† Did you think that thing was in?¬† It was an off‑balance shot.
LAUREN MANSFIELD:  To be honest, I didn't because it was kind of just a shot that I had to take and just throw up there.  So, yeah, I was off balance.  I didn't really think it was going in.

Q.¬† This is for Lauren.¬† What do you think was the key in being able to come back every time that they were‑‑ they'd go up, you guys would go up.¬† Lastly, what was the main thing on why you guys weren't able to close it out at the end there?
LAUREN MANSFIELD:  I think for us the whole game the key was kind of open.  So we had to attack off the dribble.  I know Nikki was doing that, and that kind of helped us bring it back there.
And then just credit to them.  They made big plays and made big shots and rebounds, and they fought for it.

Q.¬† Nikki, Lauren kind of alluded to it, but you were attacking off the dribble, going to the basket, and the posts were obviously struggling a little bit.¬† Is that a product‑‑ did you want to do that coming into today?¬† Or is that a product as the game went on to start attacking the basket?
NIKKI MOODY:¬† We knew they were going to front our post.¬† We knew we couldn't get help‑side defense that quick.¬† So we knew attacking would be the best way to try to get points.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Any further questions for our student‑athletes?¬† Okay, ladies.¬† Thank you very much.¬† We'll let your coach stay for a few more minutes.

Q.¬† Bill, two‑parter.¬† One, Childs has had some pretty good games against you before.¬† So it wasn't a shock.¬† Just kind of talk about the way she took it to you both offensively and defensively.¬† And then secondly, I won't say how do you like the chances?¬† You think they can give Baylor a run tomorrow, assuming it's Baylor?
COACH FENNELLY:¬† As far as Childs goes, she's a First Team All‑Conference player.¬† Last time we played them‑‑ the last two times we guarded her much better.¬† She didn't play nearly as well as she played today.¬† That's why she's an all conference senior.¬† She played a great game.
As far as tomorrow, I don't know.  I don't know what will happen.  Whoever wins, obviously, Texas Tech is a team that plays Baylor very well.  That's Coach Patterson's problem now, not mine.

Q.¬† Considering how things went between K‑State and Iowa State in the game in Hilton about a week ago, did you feel like perhaps overconfidence was a factor today, or was your team not as prepared as what you normally expect them to be for a game like this?
COACH FENNELLY:  Absolutely not.

Q.  Coach, not to look too far ahead, it was talked about on Monday just how anxious you are this time of year, and now you're looking forward to all this time between now and selection Monday.  Can you put into words, A, how you feel about these two teams that just played today and also how it's going to be like for you in that intervening period?
COACH FENNELLY:  As far as the teams today, I don't think there's any question that Kansas State is a team that deserves to be in the NCAA Tournament.  They're a very good team.  All the numbers are good.  To finish fifth in this league says a lot.
As far as our team, I don't know.¬† Yeah, you want to think that you've done enough, and I'm not trying to avoid the question.¬† I just‑‑ I don't feel comfortable.¬† The committee does a phenomenal job.¬† If we've done the things that I think we've done with our schedule in our league, then they'll put us in.¬† If not, they won't.¬† We'll live with that judgment, and I will be‑‑ I will tell you, I'll be by myself a lot till Monday night because no one will want to be around me.¬† Wait until 6:00 on Monday night.
I don't know.¬† I hope it happens.¬† I think‑‑ again, I hope it happens.¬† We'll see what happens.¬† Sorry.¬† Not a very good answer to a very simple question.

Q.  Coach, Chelsea Poppens got in foul trouble.  Do you think that's a product of how she's been playing, or is this an off night for her?  I know she's been consistent for you.
COACH FENNELLY:¬† When she got in foul trouble, the game changed.¬† The two fouls she got were‑‑ she ran a kid over that stepped in front of her, and she reached in on a rebound.¬† You can't do that.¬† You can't make those plays.¬† Our first team all conference player sits a lot on the bench.¬† And their first team all conference player changed the game.¬† When we went to the bench, we got nothing.
We're not a very deep team anyway.  So when your best player sits a lot, it's very hard.  So that was a big part of the game, no question.

Q.  Coach, talk a little bit about how Nikki and Lauren were able to keep you guys in the game.  42 points combined.  There hasn't been a game this season where they've both been that effective.
COACH FENNELLY:¬† I thought our guard play was maybe the best it's been collectively all year.¬† Anna had to chase Brittany Chambers all over the building.¬† Lauren and Nikki got us shots.¬† We could not have asked for a whole lot more from those three.¬† They did everything that we talked about.¬† Nikki was aggressive with the ball.¬† Lauren was‑‑ we asked Lauren to hunt her shot a little bit.¬† She did.¬† I thought they played very, very well, all three of them.

Q.¬† Go back to the beginning of the season, Bill, 0‑5 to now.¬† Just capitalize a few areas where you guys made the greatest improvement.
COACH FENNELLY:¬† Randy, number one, for any team in this league to be 0‑5 and then be where they are today says a lot about the kids on our team and then my staff.¬† I told our players, when we were 0‑5, we had a meeting, no big clubhouse meeting or anything like that.¬† I just said, we're going to finish things the right way no matter what.¬† That's the way we do things.
I asked them to understand that.  I think we evolved and got better offensively.  We've always been solid on defense.  Offensively, we were a lot better.  To be honest with you, the schedule turned a little.  We had a monster first five games.  We competed in most of them.
But to end up the fourth seeded team in this league after that was quite an accomplishment for them, and I think it's something that down the road they'll‑‑ if we're fortunate enough to make the tournament, we'd be the first 0‑5 team to ever do it.¬† When it happens, most people don't recover.¬† But most people don't wear an Iowa State uniform either.¬† Very proud of that fact.
THE MODERATOR:  Coach, thank you very much.

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