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March 8, 2014

Tiffany Bias

Jim Littell

Brittney Martin


Oklahoma State – 67
Iowa State – 57

JIM LITTELL:  Obviously very excited to beat a very good Iowa State team that has played very well recently.  They've won three out of their last four games and played Baylor really tough, so we knew we were catching a team that was really hot.
Very pleased with the way we guarded tonight, the foundation of our program for a long time has been defense and rebounding.  We gave up too many open looks in the first half, but I thought our kids really locked in and probably played the best defense they've played all year long in the second half to limit them to 20 points.
We talked about it at halftime, having some patience offensively, making them defend for longer into the shot clock.  I thought Tiffany Bias was exceptional running the offense tonight and controlling the tempo of the game, and Brittney Martin by far her best game of the year on both ends of the floor.

Q.  Tiffany, when you guys got down early, what was your message to the rest of the team being the leader?
TIFFANY BIAS:  Just to keep our heads up.  We've gotten into a hole before at the beginning and we worked our way back, so I think when we had the first media time‑out, just we were one down and get a good set drawn up and then execute it.

Q.  Was coach Littell's halftime message a threat or an inspiration?  You came out in the second half and had a really good spurt.
BRITTNEY MARTIN:  I think we could take it as both.  We could take it however we want, whatever motivates us, I think.
TIFFANY BIAS:  It's always about inspiration, but I think there was a hint of a threat in there.  But no, I think that we all knew that we needed to start the second half with a fire under us, and I think that we did that.
JIM LITTELL:  I'm denying that, by the way.

Q.  What's the difference between this game and when you played them a couple weeks ago?  Far different result.
TIFFANY BIAS:  Defense.  I think that's the main thing.  I think when we were at home our defense was slacking a lot, and I think tonight we came out and we played the best defense we have all year.
BRITTNEY MARTIN:  I think the effort base was really what got us going in the game and kept us in the game, so I think effort has changed.

Q.  Brittney, you guys came out and scored the first nine points the second half, the first seven by Atkins.  Talk about her contribution today.
BRITTNEY MARTIN:  She does that in practice, too.  When she gets on the floor she plays hard and does what she needs to do.  She was hot when she first came in so we kept giving her the ball.  She was working hard for it, getting rebounds.  She was just hot tonight, so I think she just took it over.

Q.  Tiffany, Iowa State made a late run in the second half and Suttles had a big lay‑up down low and also stepped out and hit a three at the perimeter.  Can you talk about her contribution late off the bench?
TIFFANY BIAS:  Kendra always has those great contributions, and I think that's why she's deadly.  She can step out and use shoot that three.  She's been rebounding for us all this game and she's played great defense on Hallie, and I think that was a big play when she had that two‑footer and then hit that three.  That really got our momentum picked up again.

Q.  Coach, again, the difference between a couple of weeks ago and this game, primarily defense as the girls said?
JIM LITTELL:  You know, we didn't do a good job of covering the three in the last ballgame.  They had 37 attempts and made 15.  We just lost track of some people in transition a week ago, and we made a commitment to make sure that we got back and also tried to follow Christofferson a little bit more.  But that's a hard guard for us because she's a 6'3" post that can step outside.
But I think we were just a lot more conscious after the first 10, 12 minutes of the game about guarding the three line.

Q.  The first two or three minutes were your worst part of the game.  What were you seeing?  Why off to the sluggish start and what happened the rest of the game that you changed?
JIM LITTELL:  Well, I didn't think‑‑ for the most part I thought we competed really hard in this entire game, but I didn't think we competed very hard in the first five minutes, and we were giving open looks, we were giving drives to the basket, and then offensively we had no patience.  We were resulting in taking quick jumpers.  We didn't give the defense time to make a mistake.  So at the first media we just stressed that, hey, slow down, let's take care of the basketball, let's make them work a little bit more, and we got to be conscious of guarding the dribble drive.  We gave up three open threes in the first three or four minutes of the game, and you can't do that against Iowa State.

Q.  Jim, don't want to oversimplify this, but offense off turnovers, 17‑6 in OSU's favor and points in the paint 40‑22.  I thought you really got the job done off the turnovers.
JIM LITTELL:  We did, and Brittany Atkins turned the ballgame around to start the second half.  She got some run‑throughs defensively and just really gave us a big spark.  The 9‑0 run that was led primarily by her was the point of making our kids believe that we could get back in the thing.  You know, second‑chance points, points over turnovers, we haven't done as well as we need to do the last couple weeks, and it was very good for us tonight.

Q.  Coach, obviously we don't know who you're going to play tomorrow, but can we get a couple thoughts on both teams for you for possible opponents for tomorrow?
JIM LITTELL:  You know, Baylor obviously is very strong and features the best player in the country.  Kansas had a great comeback and are led by one of the best post players, Chelsea Gardner.
Baylor is indicative of their record, 26‑4, and having the leading scorer in the nation, and they've got Nina Davis who's just a rebounding machine inside.  We've got our work cut out whoever we play, but we're glad to have the opportunity to play Baylor or Kansas, whoever comes out of that game.

Q.  You guys have scuffled a little bit here the last few weeks.  Today you seemed to really grind out a good victory.  Are you hoping that's the one that you say, okay, hey, that kind of got us going again maybe?
JIM LITTELL:  You know, we have scuffled a little bit, but we've found a way to get some wins out of that.  I heard Fran Fraschilla say not too long ago that you play great a third of the time, you play average a third of the time, and you play poorly about a third of the time, and we've found a way this year to win a lot of games this year when we haven't been as good as we need to be.
These kids have found a way to win.  Our effort level was much better today.  I hope that's a sign of games to come.  Our defense was much better, and our shot selection was much better.
We've got ourselves in trouble the last couple weeks by being hurried and not taking good shots, and I think that's indicative of shooting 50 percent from the floor.  We didn't shoot very well from the three, but I thought our shot selection was much better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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