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Baylor, Oklahoma State Postgame Quotes

Jan. 6, 2013

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes |  AP Photos 

  Head Coach Kim Mulkey

On what she expected today:
“I don’t know what you have in mind as a coach other than making sure you have your kids prepared. Make sure that there is nothing that they see out there on the floor that we didn’t present to them in practice. I thought that everything that Oklahoma State did from the beginning of the game we prepared for. They guarded Odyssey in a 1-3 and chased her, and we had prepared for that. I thought that early in the game we had missed some shots that we don’t normally miss, but at some times I thought that we did some good things against the zone. I thought we had great ball reversal and screened the zone well. Other than missing some shots I thought that we did pretty well. They were a team that was leading the nation in points scored. With two games into conference, we have held teams to the 30s and 40s. You have to be proud of the defense.” 

On Oklahoma State’s zone defense:
“I thought that there was a span in the first half for about two to three minutes where we took too many perimeter shots. You never want to discourage a kid from taking perimeter shots, but you have to have post touches. We had the ball reversal, but we didn’t take good perimeter shots. I guess that if they went in I’d be telling them great shots. I don’t know that they pushed us out as much; we just had some open looks. We will get them again if we just wait a few more minutes on ball reversal.”

On this being her best defensive team ever:
“I can’t ever say that. It’s like picking your favorite child. I just know this: defense and half court execution of your offense are two critical areas to win national championships. I’ve been fortunate to coach players that understand that I will never let up on the defensive end of the floor. I was taught that, I played like that. You just have to make sure that when you recruit them they know that. What we have now could make (Oklahoma State head coach Jim Littell) think that we have the best because we have Odyssey with tremendous ball pressure, two athletes on the wings who are as quick as lightening, a 6-8 post and then a 6-2 athlete. There’s a lot of elements there to what he is saying.” 

  Senior Forward Brooklyn Pope

On scoring 13 of Baylor’s first 23 points:
“The defense they played was three people on Brittney, so I just sat in one spot and if the guards penetrate the right way like they did, I will be wide open and will hit the shot as long as I make the move quickly enough. I was able to make the move fast enough and score.” 

  Senior Post Brittney Griner

On Brooklyn Pope’s contribution to the team:
“I love it. Anytime that I can draw two or three people on me, that means somebody is open. My teammates do a very good job finishing, and Brooklyn did that for us.”

On holding Oklahoma State to 28 percent shooting in the first half:
“It shows that we work on defense a lot in practice. If you come play for Coach Mulkey you have to play defense. Defense is always something that we can rely on even if our shots aren’t falling. We were very proud of our defense tonight.”

  Head Coach Jim Littell

Opening Statement:
“I don’t know what more that I could say. What I have said about Baylor before is that they are the best team in America. The one game that they lost was when Odyssey (Sims) was hurt. This is a team that is the greatest defensive team in the history of women’s collegiate basketball. They do so many things to you that makes it difficult to score. I thought that our team played pretty well in the first half. They’ve got a way of speeding you up and forcing you to take hurried shots or get out of your offense. Their length on the perimeter as well in the post is awful hard to handle. This is one game for us that we have to move on and prepare for Kansas in a quick turnaround Tuesday.”

On the change in tempo after the game was tied 23-23:
“They turned it up. They decided that it was their time to play now. I thought that during that stretch, also, that we had five or six shots that you have to make if you are going to compete against a team like Baylor. You can’t have empty possessions and go down the court and get good looks but not make the shot. You have to have an exceptional night shooting if you want to compete there. When we got to 23-23, they just rallied and played like they were capable of. They turned it up to a different level.”

On the strategy to defend Brittney Griner:
“Looking at 14 points and 10 rebounds for 30 minutes, I think we did a pretty decent job and were physical, but when you are covering her you have to shift people to guard her, and it opens up a lot for other people. It makes it very difficult to rebound. Even if she doesn’t score her presence opens up a lot in the lane for other people just because of her presence.”

On using zone defense to defend Baylor:
“We did a good job, but they eventually made adjustments. For Brittney, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a defense that (Kim) Mulkey hasn’t seen the last four years. They’re very good at adjusting to anything by using cuts and sending people to the short corners. They’ve got a pretty good grasp of how to play against many different defenses. Yeah, it worked for a little while until they made adjustments. I felt like we could’ve kept it a little closer in the first half if we had made some open shots. We didn’t because they speed you up and force you to play.”



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