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March 11, 2013

Bill Fennelly

Nikki Moody

Anna Prins


Baylor – 75
Iowa State – 47

THE MODERATOR:  We're being joined by Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly and student‑athletes Nikki Moody and Anna Prins.  Coach, opening comments.
COACH FENNELLY:  First of all, my NASCAR thank you moment.  I want to thank the Big 12 Conference for everything they did.  Phenomenal event.  City of Dallas, fantastic.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time.  Wonderful venue.  Could not have been a better student‑athlete experience for all of our players, our fans.  So I appreciate that very much.
Certainly Baylor played up to their No.1 ranking.  When Odyssey Sims and Brittney Griner go 21‑26, I don't think I don't think the Mavs could have won tonight.  Very proud of our effort, very proud of our team.  We're looking forward to next Monday night and finding out where we get to play.
I love our team.  I love what they're about.  I love what they represent.  Wish we could have played a little better tonight.  They're a great team and they played that way.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for our student‑athletes.

Q.  Nikki, can you describe that play late in the first half when the ball is sitting up on the rim after your layup attempt.
NIKKI MOODY:  It was just devastating to me 'cause it just sat there for the longest, then decided to roll out.  I was pretty upset about that one.

Q.  Anna, can you describe going up against Griner tonight.  How well did she play, what was the feeling of what you could or couldn't do against her?
ANNA PRINS:  Yeah, I mean, it's always a great opportunity to play against Brittney Griner.  Just to see her skill set improve through the last four years.  I felt like she couldn't miss tonight.
It's been an honor to play against her, and Baylor in general.  You know, this is where we wanted to get to, to play them one last time.  Like coach said, wish we played better.  But, you know, we're going to walk out of here with our heads held high.  We have more games to play, so we're really excited about that.
Again, just a great opportunity to play against Baylor one more time.

Q.  Anna, is maybe the head game more difficult than the physical game playing against her knowing she's behind you?
ANNA PRINS:  Yeah, I mean, definitely a different kind of a presence when you know that she's behind you.  But I guess that's the fun of the game, is to figure out strategy, you know, just try to take what she gives you.  A lot of fakes.
But, you know, again, it's a privilege to play against her.  Wish her the best in her future.

Q.  Nikki, how difficult was it to kind of get in an offensive flow, particularly in the first half?  How hard is it to go against Odyssey?
NIKKI MOODY:  She's a very good player and she plays great defense.
It was mostly just they pressure a lot on the outside, it's harder to pass the ball exactly where you want to.  You have to improvise and do different things.
You know, it's great playing against her because it's great competition.

Q.  Anna, looked like in the second half you basically said, I'm not afraid, asserted yourself a lot more against her inside.  Talk about what went through your head at that point.
ANNA PRINS:  I guess just the mindset of, We have 20 more minutes to play, what do we have to lose?  I might get blocked five times, but I'm just going to keep taking it at her.
I don't know.  I was just throwing up threes and they were going in.  But I think just the mindset overall of we have 20 more minutes to play in the championship game, might as well do what we can and just attack and do our best.

Q.  Big picture, how do you recover from this?
NIKKI MOODY:  We need to learn from it.  It was a great game to play in.  This is the kind of games we want to play in.
We learned a lot tonight as us as teammates and we just have to keep playing together.
ANNA PRINS:  Yeah, I mean, the same thing what Nikki said.  We can always learn something from every game we play, no matter win or lose.  We have more games to play.  We have a little recovery time, find out who we play a week from today, keep enjoying the ride.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll continue with questions for Coach Fennelly.

Q.  I remember reading a story a few days ago that you said when you showed your kids the stats, you took Baylor out of there.  Does that kind of make it easier to put this one behind you, this is a team at a completely different level than maybe anyone else in the country?
COACH FENNELLY:  I think they are different than anyone in the country.  They've proven that over the last two years.
You know, it's hard to put it behind you because you lost in a championship game and you didn't play the way you wanted to play.  It is what it is.
What they did to us tonight they've done to a lot of people over the last two years.  I'm not disappointed at all in the effort of our team.  I thought our kids were great.
The play in the first half was bad and that's my fault.  I take full responsibility for that.  When two All‑American players play that well, we have a ball sitting on the rim that won't go in, they just throw one up at the end of the shot clock at the end of the game, it goes in, that's the kind of night it was.
They're a great team in every way, shape and form.  We did everything we could to try and stay in the game, but just couldn't do it.

Q.  What was the defensive game plan at the outset?  Why did you say it wasn't a good one.
COACH FENNELLY:  We switched a lot of different things.  We made some decisions on double‑teams, guarding people that was a mistake on my part.  That's not the kids' fault.  That's my fault.

Q.  After yesterday's game, is this kind of what you expected from Baylor?
COACH FENNELLY:  Yeah, I don't think there's any question that everyone kind of saw that the bear kind of came out of hibernation kind of thing.  I don't say that any discredit to Oklahoma State.  They played really well.  When you say, Baylor woke up, you don't give the other guy credit.  But they did.  They had a great focus.  They're making shots.  They're not throwing the ball over.  Their defensive pressure is very good.
But I'm sure that was discussed in the staff meeting with the Baylor players and coaches.
I told our players, It's going to look like eight of them out there for a while.  And Kidd, one of our freshmen out there said, I think there were nine.  It was kind of one of those nights.

Q.  There were a couple moments in the first half you sat down and didn't say anything.  Does a part of you appreciate her greatness during the game at all, maybe arguably the best player ever?
COACH FENNELLY:  She's the best player I've ever coached against.  Yeah, I mean, the things she does are really special.  That's a credit to her coaches.  She makes shots.  They do a lot of good things to get her the ball.
You try a lot of different things.  I think we've all tried a lot of different things and none of them have worked.
But, no, she's a unique talent, a very special player that's changed the dynamics certainly not of just Baylor basketball, but our league and the whole country.  I think she'll do great things.  I will root for her a lot in the WNBA and hopefully on the Olympic team.  Be very glad that we don't see her again.
Let's put it this way.  I want to rephrase that.  We wanted to see her one more time tonight.  I'd like to see her one more time.  That would be in the national championship game.  Let's talk about, I guess.  Why not, what the heck.

Q.  So much is talked about Brittney, and for tremendous reasons.  Their defensive pressure bothered you.  How difficult was it even to get the ball up court into the offense?
COACH FENNELLY:  They're a very good defensive team.  Odyssey Sims, I had the privilege of coaching her a couple years ago.  She's the best on‑ball defender in the country.  When you have that kind of on‑ball pressure, and in the back end of that is Brittney Griner and Jordan Madden, they're defensively prepared.  It's not just throw the ball to the big kid and let her score points.  That's a basketball team that ask things very efficiently at both ends of the floor.  That's why they're so dominating in so many ways.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, coach.

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