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March 31, 2013

Brittney Griner

Kim Mulkey

Odyssey Sims


Louisville – 82
Baylor – 81

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Baylor.  We'll go straight to questions for our student‑athletes.

Q.  Brittney, the last play, the foul they called, did you feel like you got it clean?
BRITTNEY GRINER:  I mean, I feel like I got all ball, but, you know, I mean, wasn't my call.  That's all.

Q.  Brittney, this was an incredibly physical game.  How much might that have bothered you?
BRITTNEY GRINER:  We see physical games every night.  Most of the time, get more calls.
But, hey, you know, you just play through it.

Q.  Odyssey, y'all were down 19 with 10 minutes to go.  Can you talk about the way y'all fought back.  What got you back in the game?
ODYSSEY SIMS:  We just kept fighting and never gave up.  We pushed each other.  Came down to the wire and made big plays.

Q.  Odyssey, can you talk about when you hit those two free throws at the end, did you think that might have been enough?
ODYSSEY SIMS:  I did all I can for my team.  I never stopped fighting.  I wasn't hitting all of my shots, but I never stopped shooting.  I made some big shots down the stretch.  I made all my free throws.
We were right there.  Just couldn't finish it.

Q.  Odyssey, can you talk about how difficult it is with a team like that.
ODYSSEY SIMS:  They jumped on us from the start and we didn't respond.  Had a late start late in the second half, picked it up.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll dismiss the student‑athletes and continue with questions for coach.

Q.  I'm sure you've seen every conceivable defense to stop Brittney, but it seemed like they always had three players in her vicinity at all times.
COACH MULKEY:  I'm sure Jeff could answer better than I could.  I think they were in a box in one.  Whoever was on one side, they had another play behind her.  He can tell you better what they did.

Q.  Can you talk about their zone, that they were double‑ and triple‑teaming Brittney.
COACH MULKEY:  You want to attack dribble‑penetration, but you also have to hit some 10‑ and 12‑foot jumpers early in the game.  I thought other than them shooting lights out on the offensive end, I thought we were patient with what they were doing defensively.
Guys, you just had an opportunity to beat a team that made 16 threes and Griner got 10 touches, and you go up 1 with nine seconds to go, that's pretty remarkable.  You're supposed to get blown out if you get 16 threes, and we didn't get blown out.

Q.  How critical was it not to have a timeout there at the end?  What specifically should have happened?
COACH MULKEY:  They've been taught what to do there.  I think they were in such shock that it was a foul called, and I'll be glad to answer any referee question you want to ask me, because I don't mind getting fined, so ask me.  Now is the time to ask me, okay?
But we didn't do what they've been taught to do.  We're supposed to throw it.  You've seen us do it many times, throw it to halfcourt for Griner, then let the two guards cross and look for a good shot.
I don't know really other than maybe they were in a state of shock that a foul was called there.  I don't know.

Q.  Can you comment on the officiating in this game.
COACH MULKEY:  I thought the game started out way too physical, way too physical.  I thought that all three of them, if they go past this round of officiating, it will be sad for the game.
I thought the two critical calls at the end of the game were really bad.  Jordan Madden drives in the paint.  We already have the missed shot.  She calls an offensive foul on Madden right there.  Well, why so late?  Odyssey Sims had the rebound in her hand.
Then I don't know about that at the end.  It was on the opposite end.  I'd have to go see it.  You saw it.  What did y'all think?  Was it a foul?  Did anybody here think it was a foul?  Honestly, tell me.

Q.  I thought it was a foul.
COACH MULKEY:  Okay.  All I can tell you is the one in front of me, the charge was critical, it was critical.  I thought it got personal with both teams.  When you allow it to be that physical, you have taunting.  I thought Schimmel went and got in Griner's face and all they did was warn her.  When Odyssey and Schimmel got into it right there, it became a technical and a technical.  What's the difference?
It got out of hand and it got personal with players, and you don't like to see that.

Q.  It seemed to get out of hand, like you said.  Both coaches were jumping around.  Were you concerned that your players were going to keep their composure when coaches and everyone were sort of going crazy on the sidelines?
COACH MULKEY:  When you're down 19, then up 1 with nine seconds to go, do you think they kept their composure?  We were down 19 and we went up with nine seconds to go?  Did they keep their composure?

Q.  I was talking about the last possession when the foul was called, were you concerned people were going to make the right decision?
COACH MULKEY:  The girl drove by Griner, your All‑American post player.  I'm not ever concerned about Brittney making a bad decision.  You said it was a foul.  I'll have to go back and see it.  I don't think the referee raised his hand that it was a foul.  I thought he was raising his hand that it was going the other direction.  I thought he was just going to say it was our ball.  I don't know.
I am proud of the fact that the kids fought hard because they could have quit on you really, and they didn't.
Compliment and credit Louisville.  If Louisville can hit 16 threes a game, good Lord, they'll win a national championship.

Q.  Did you feel those threes they hit, were they open shots?  Did they maybe surprise you with how deep they were shooting them?
COACH MULKEY:  Well, the post player that Griner is guarding, she hits a couple.  That's when you know it's going to be a long day.  I'm not sure she's taken a whole lot of threes all year.
That was their game plan, to shoot a lot of threes, and they made a lot of them.  We would cut the lead, they would hit another three late in the shot clock.
Of the 16, I'm not quite sure how many of them were open because of our poor defense, where they penetrated, kicked out, we helped off.  But you got to make shots.  They weren't coming in the paint, were they?  And they made 'em.

Q.  There early in the second half, you cut it to 5.  Then they hit seven threes.  They made the big lead.  Did that make it the toughest to come back on?
COACH MULKEY:  Every three that they hit when we would cut the lead made it that much tougher.  You keep thinking through the course of the game that they're going to start missing some.  But they never did.  Then I just thought that our full court pressure allowed us to make plays and got us back in it.
Tough way to lose.  It's hard to lose when it's your last game, but it's even harder the way that game ended.  Makes it a little tougher.

Q.  Did you express your opinion to the officials as the game was going along?  Were you very vocal about that?
COACH MULKEY:  Yes, yes.

Q.  You've had other physical games since you've had Brittney.  Did you think more was allowed in this game?
COACH MULKEY:  Yes, yes.

Q.  You hate to see players, not just Brittney, go out after all they've accomplished fighting back tears.  How do you as a coach help your team put this in perspective so they're not remembering this one loss but all they have accomplished?
COACH MULKEY:  Well, you don't do it tonight.  There's nothing I can say to them tonight that's going to make them feel good.  You just try to help them get their composure and you protect them like a mother hen.
As I told them in the locker room, I'll take every hit you want to write, about we choked, Baylor or bust, epic disappointment.  Put it right here on these shoulders.  Don't you point one finger on those kids, you put it right on me.
THE MODERATOR:  Coach, thank you very much.
COACH MULKEY:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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