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Baylor, Texas Postgame Quotes

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes |  AP Photos 

 Head Coach Kim Mulkey

On how her team adjusted in the second after a close first half:
"I thought they played extremely hard. I thought it was a physical game. I thought it was a very good, hard-fought game."

On how her team played with Brittney Griner on the bench:
"I thought we were fine. Didn't we go up 11? (We were) just running different sets and getting people different shots. You have to adjust.

On her team's on-the-ball defense and their ability to draw offensive fouls:
"Odyssey Sims pressures the ball so well. She's a gnat out there. There were times where they had two guards bringing it up just to keep her from stealing it or causing too much havoc. We're going to pressure you. She's really one of the best I've ever coached at doing that.

On whether Griner's dominating play in the second half discouraged Texas from playing in the paint:
"I think Brittney is such a team player that sometimes she doesn't get the credit she deserves on how, even with two fouls, I could have put her back in and she could have played the whole game without fouling out. I thought today was an opportunity to let our team grow without Brittney on the floor. I'd rather her be on the floor. But when she came back out there, she was a lot more aggressive. I thought she quit worrying about the foul situation because it was the second half. People have different philosophies. If you're going to come right at her, she is going to come right back at you. She had the eight blocks. That's what she does best. She'll go down in the history of the game as a game-changer from the defensive end of the floor. Not many players can say that."

On how her team this season compares to her national championship team last year:
"We have more depth. We didn't play a whole lot of them with extensive minutes today, but Alexis Prince is a freshman that is outstanding. Niya Johnson has played valuable minutes. What this team has been able to do is get big leads and allow us to get a lot of people minutes that, in the past, we haven't been able to do. I think we're better because we have more depth."

 Senior Post Brittney Griner

On the affect of her dunk on game momentum in the second half:
"It gave us some energy. It got us pumped up and helped us keep making a run. It energized us."

On whether the dunk was a designed play:
"No, it just opened up. When I caught it, she stepped forward, so I was able to step past her and just go up."

On whether dunking is still thrilling for her:
"No, I do (still enjoy it). I'm hard on myself. It wasn't the best game ever. (I had) two quick fouls in the beginning of the game, so I had to sit on the bench. I couldn't help my team. I'm not too thrilled, but I'm happy I got the dunk, I guess"

Junior Guard Odyssey Sims

On her team having continued success without Griner when Griner is on the bench:
"When she goes out, it just shows how strong we are that we can play without her in critical games. We just ran different sets as far as getting other people the ball. We were really working on executing our offense."

On what her team did to pull away in the second half:
"Really, we just kept playing and didn't let the physical play or the refs get in our heads. We stuck together. We got the ball into B.G. (Brittney Griner). We executed more and talked amongst ourselves. We just tried to pound it inside."

 Head Coach Karen Aston

Opening Statement:
"It’s a typical Baylor performance where they are dominating on the defensive end, in my opinion. I am really proud of our team’s effort. I’m proud that these two freshmen showed that they are willing to compete in this league. But more than anything, and what I told them in the locker room is, I would love to see our team prepare and compete on a daily basis the way that we did for this game. I think if we would begin to understand that’s the preparation it takes every single day in the Big 12, then we will begin to get somewhere."

On losing the turnover battle:
"A lot of it had to do with how they put pressure on the basketball. They do a tremendous job of denying the passing lanes. They don’t allow ball reversal because they can because of Griner’s presence in the paint. It just creates bad decision-making. I thought of the 11 turnovers at halftime, all of those turnovers just about turned into points for them in the first half. Some of ours were dead ball turnovers in the second half. It's what they do. They are a tremendous defensive team."

On Baylor senior G Odyssey Sims:
"She’s the best point guard in the country. I’ve had a unique experience having spent some time with [Baylor head coach] Kim [Mulkey] and understanding how hard they work in practice and how demanding everything is. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Kim and what they have done. Honestly, it is an extension of her; there is no question about that. She is a competitor. I thought at that first part of the second half she took over the game. I had two freshmen guards that ran the point tonight against a seasoned veteran who is the best point guard in the country, and they will learn. I was pleased with the way they competed. As Imani said, that is their measuring stick, because she is clearly the best point guard in the country. It’s her ability to take over on both ends. It was a chore for us to get the ball down the floor, and that’s what I love about (Odyssey) more than anything. I love defense and she dominates the game on the defensive end."

On where the turning point of the game was for Baylor to take the win:
"I don’t think there was one particular thing. Obviously, our turnovers were huge. I thought Odyssey taking over at the beginning of the second half was a big difference, but again it was a ‘grind it out’ sort of thing where it was possession after possession. It wasn’t one particular moment. They just continued to do what they do and it wears on a team that struggles to score anyway. We couldn’t get into offense and that’s what they do to people. I thought along with Odyssey that [Baylor senior P] Destiny Williams was really big today. Her rebounding in the second half was really a huge difference."

Freshman Center Imani McGee-Stafford

On playing against Baylor senior P Brittney Griner:
"I think the most important thing I can say is that this was a learning experience. Brittney Griner for me is like a human measuring stick. I get to see how far I have progressed from now. Being 6’7”, I got compared to her a lot in high school. I was just excited to play her and see how far I can progress."

On if anything surprised her about playing against Griner:
"No, not really. My coaches did a really good job of preparing me on the scout. I tried to make sure I did everything they told me to."

Freshman Guard Empress Davenport

On Texas’ future with the freshmen developing now:
"We are learning from every game that we have. I don’t understand how we got so pumped up for this game. Like coach said, we should prepare for every game like we did this game. It’s just a learning experience for us all."



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