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March 10, 2013

Sherri Coale

Aaryn Ellenberg

Morgan Hook

Joanna McFarland


Iowa State – 79
Oklahoma – 60

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale and student‑athletes Aaryn Ellenberg, Morgan Hook, and Joanna McFarland.  Coach, your comments about tonight's game.
COACH COALE:  I can see there's a lot of people that want to talk about this one.
You know what, I would say they're a good team.  How they're not ranked, I have no idea.  They have perimeter shooters.  They have sure‑handed guards.  They have a front line that annihilated us.  56 points from their frontline.  They're a really, really good basketball team and they deserved to win that game.
They manhandled us on the inside, had great poise on the perimeter, knocked down open looks.  We didn't do the same.
We didn't come with the same aggression on the interior.  We didn't knock down open shots like they did.  They deserved to win the game and have a chance to play in the championship.
That being said, I'm really proud of our team.  I'm really proud of our progress this year.  I'm proud of our growth.  We've got a lot left to play for.  Looking forward to a few days off where we can recover.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for our student‑athletes.

Q.  Morgan, I know you sure had adrenaline and were excited to play in the semifinals, but did you feel it physically at all that you played last night such a tough game?
MORGAN HOOK:  We might have felt that, but we shouldn't have come out with that mentality.  It's a mental toughness you have to overcome.
We started the game without very much rhythm offensively.  That's really where it started.

Q.  Coach mentioned their dominance inside.  What did you see defensively they were trying to do to attack you guys?  What happened out there?
JOANNA McFARLAND:  Their post players are really strong.  They have a good mind about position.  So if you let them get deep, they're going to score.  That's the thing is you have to do your work early.  As post, that's a big thing on defense and offense.
They just really had that in their minds to be aggressive, get us deep.  If you get them deep, they're going to score.

Q.  Aaryn, will you be glad for the break you're going to get now?
AARYN ELLENBERG:  Yeah, I think it's good for all of us to really recover a little bit from all this beating that's been going on.  That's going to be great for us.  It would have been great to play another day, but...
THE MODERATOR:  We'll continue with questions for coach.

Q.  I know you played against Anna.  This was her career night.  What did you see out of her tonight?
COACH COALE:  Just very aggressive.  Lots of offensive rebounds.  Lots of positions deep in the lane.  As Jo mentioned, we didn't do a good job of doing our work early, and post position is everything.

Q.  You probably would have had your work cut out given what you went through to rally last night.  Did it make it tough to play a crisp Iowa State team?
COACH COALE:  Well, yeah.  I mean, Iowa State, they were really good, and they are really good.  I don't know that I've seen them play any better than they played tonight.
We had a little bit to do with that, too.  We didn't challenge them the way that we should have.  You know, we started off okay I thought, hit a few shots.  Thought, okay, this is going to be more like us.  Then we just went bone dry, just like last night.
That's really, really hard to summons that emotion to get back up that hill again.  You need baskets to get some energy, some life, and we couldn't get a ball to roll in.

Q.  How would you break down tomorrow's championship matchup?
COACH COALE:  Baylor's really good.  Iowa State's really good.  Ought to be a great Big 12 game.
Sorry, not where my mind is right now.

Q.  When you were in Norman, you sounded hopeful about gathering and refocusing.  Were you encouraged by this weekend in general moving forward?
COACH COALE:  You know, I think this weekend gave us some opportunities that we will be really, really glad we had in a couple of weeks.
Everything that you go through, if you approach it in the right way, you can learn and grow.  These guys have done that all year long.  It took us till the end of February to figure out how to be mentally tough together when we're really tight, when we're really physically worn down, when you face great opponent after great opponent after great opponent.  We figured that out and put that all together and we were really good against Kansas and really good against Texas Tech, and really good in the second half last night against West Virginia.
This quick turnaround, the great performance by Iowa State today, gave us yet another level of something to play through.  When we get to the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament, we'll be better and harder for it.  If handled in the right way, it can be a great thing that happened to us.
THE MODERATOR:  Coach, thank you very much.
COACH COALE:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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