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Baylor, Georgia Tech Postgame Quotes

March 24, 2012

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

#1/1 [1] BAYLOR 83, #15/13 [4] GEORGIA TECH 68
MARCH 24, 2012 • ATTENDANCE: 7,941

  Head Coach Kim Mulkey

On handling Georgia Tech’s press:
“I thought the difference in the game was Odyssey Sims, Nene Hayden, Jordan Madden, and Destiny Williams. Brittney got 35 points because of their ability to handle pressure and score at the end of the press. We’d heard and read [that] in the Big 12 we don’t see press like that very often, and they have guards as good as Sims in the ACC. That motivates you.”

On coaching against Pat Summitt:
“Tennessee has done a heck of a lot more in women’s basketball than we have. We’re still trying in our own way to become respected like Tennessee is. I don’t take great pleasure in coaching against Pat Summitt. She’s a personal friend, a mentor. She is everything that is good about sports. We have a job to do. We’ll go out there and play extremely hard; I’m sure they’ll go out there and play extremely hard. We’re both trying to get to a Final Four. She has seniors who haven’t been, and we have a kid who’s supposed to be the greatest post player to play the game who’s never won a championship.

On the fact that Monday’s game could be Summitt’s last:
"I’ll tell you, I’ve been a part of those. I was sent to the playoffs when Kay Yow was battling [cancer] in her last year; we played at Oklahoma State the day after the men’s basketball plane crash funeral. Those things won’t be mentioned in our scouting reports. We’ll be talking about personnel on the floor, what they do well, what we’ve got to do defensively and what we’ve got do offensively.”

On Destiny Williams’ development:
“Destiny’s had double-doubles in 13 Big 12 games; she’s been doing this. This is not anything surprising or anything new. That’s what Destiny does. She just has a sneaky way of getting offensive boards in there. She’s a tremendous offensive player, can face up and shoot the ball, can play with her back to the basket. This is not something that is just new today. It’s something that’s been going on for months. We’re just grateful that Destiny is on our team because she’s a quiet, quiet, big-time player for us.”

On taking an early timeout:
“I just thought we were caught up into the flow of moving too fast. Be excited, but slow down. We were just playing way too fast, and I wanted them to take a deep breath.”

On pressure in Elite Eight game:
“We’re 37 games into it now. Our pressure come Monday won’t be any different that is has been over the last 37 ball games. For me, personally, I don’t feel any pressure; the team doesn’t feel any pressure. If we get it done we’ll jump for joy; if we lose we’ll head back to class. I thought [Kentucky head coach John] Calipari said it best about his team when he said, ‘We’re the only team that is not expected to lose; isn’t that a shame,’ Maybe that’s the approach we need to take. We’re 37-0 and talking about a national championship and 40-0. Well, what if we lose? Is that terrible season?”

On Griner’s dunk:
“You expose yourself when you press like that, especially when you’re pressing a team that has good guards. I thought you saw our kids handle the press really well.”

On losing the rebounding battle:
“I’m not happy about a lot of things right now. Twenty-five [Georgia Tech offensive] rebounds jump out at you. Now, how many of those 25 did they get in the last six minutes when I cleared my bench and she kept her starters in? I don’t know; I’d have to go back and look. I cleared my bench when we were up 31. I’m not real happy that we allowed them to cut it to 15, but it was the right thing for me to do. It was the right thing for me to get those kids off the floor.”

  Junior Forward Brittney Griner

On the play of Destiny Williams:
“I draw a lot of attention sometimes, with two or three defenders on me. Destiny does a great job, when I get the ball of moving, where I can see her and hit her. On the offensive boards, she is going to go in there and get those rebounds that we need. She is a great player, and I love playing with her down in the post.”

  Junior Forward Destiny Williams

On playing with Brittney Griner:
“Playing with Brittney makes basketball a whole lot easier. I think we have improved on knowing each other offensively and defensively. We know how to switch now, we communicate more, and just knowing where each other is on the floor has improved a lot this year.”

  Sophomore Guard Odyssey Sims

On Brittney Griner’s second-half dunk:
“I was real excited. I had a towel in my hand on the sideline, and I kept jumping and swirling the towel around. It’s different when you see it in warm ups, but it’s more exciting when you see it in the game. It’s not something that you see all the time. In a game, it’s something that automatically gets us fired up. I think we are more excited for her than she is for herself.”

On Baylor’s growth since its last matchup with Tennessee:
“We are closer than we were at the start of the season. We have a better understanding with each other. We know who needs the ball, when to get the ball to Griner, when to cut. It’s something that we have been working on all year, and we continue to push each other each practice and we keep getting better.” On handling Georgia Tech’s press: “We have been preparing for it ever since the Florida game, where we didn’t do as well as we could have. At practice we worked on a lot of different presses. I thought today we did a better job bringing the ball up the court.”

  Junior Guard Kimetria Hayden

On an early timeout when trailing 10-6:
“Coach [Mulkey] just told us to calm down and settle down. We weren’t getting the defensive rebounds; they were getting a lot of offensive rebounds. She told us we have to stop that.”

On holding Georgia Tech to 37 percent shooting and forcing them into 20 turnovers:
“Today our defense was good, but it could have been better. We know that if we play good defense we can beat anybody.”

On making 22 free throws while Georgia Tech only attempted nine:
“We were moving our feet and our hands and we were taking it right at them.”

On Brittney Griner’s second-half dunk:
“It excites everyone. She gets her dunks when the opportunities come. She can’t get a dunk when the lane is packed, but when she is wide open she is going to dunk it. That’s where it came from. She was alone on a fast break and we threw it to her and she dunked it.”

  Junior Forward Brooklyn Pope

On her missed layup in the second half:
“I was going to try and dunk it and God said, ‘No.’ I tried to take off, probably, too far out. I should have just laid it up. It was like a split-second decision—a bad decision.”

On the timeout that led to a 20-0 run after trailing 10-6:
“Coach [Mulkey] fired us up with very positive comments, and I think it really helped. It was for the best. What she says in the huddle stays in the huddle, but just know that it was extremely positive because you saw the aftermath of it.”

On Baylor's defense:
“It shows our defense is not so bad. Brittney Griner had a lot of blocks, but we also forced a lot of shot clock violations. That goes to show that the perimeter players are doing their job just as much as [Griner] is doing her job. We’re not just a shot-blocking team, but we are also a team that can play on the perimeter and get shot clock violations. We play mean, honest defense. We don’t get out there and hack and foul. We were beating them to the spot we think they were going to go to.”

  Head Coach MaChelle Joseph

Opening Statement:
“First of all, I think you saw out there why Baylor is the number one team in the country. Obviously, I’m proud of my team for not giving up, not quitting. I’m really proud of the tournament Sydney Wallace had, not just here but throughout the first and second rounds and then to come in here and score a personal best 32 points and school record eight 3-pointers I think says a lot about her and gets us excited about the future.”

On the top-to-bottom threat Baylor poses, beyond just Brittney Griner:
“I really felt like Destiny Williams was a huge factor in the game. We had to make some adjustments as to how we were going to defend based on her performance in the first 10 minutes of the game. I really felt like she’s playing at a level right now where I don’t remember Destiny Williams being that effective. I think, as the season has gone on, she’s learned how to play around Brittney [Griner]. I think she’s really made them difficult to defend. I thought today was one of her best games that I’ve seen her play. Odyssey Sims is a great point guard; she’s just so disruptive on the defensive end. She uses her body, she’s strong, and she’s got quick hands.”

On out-rebounding Baylor 44-33 and getting 25 offensive rebounds:
“We said we needed 20 offensive rebounds, that was one of our goals to win the game, to have an opportunity. Griner does a great job getting rebounds, but most of her stats are defensive rebounds. She’s a very effective rebounder, and obviously I think Destiny Williams is a great rebounder. So you’ve got Brittney Griner and then you’ve got her sidekick who averages 10 rebounds a game – that’s pretty impressive. But I thought our rebounding was one of the highlights of the day.”

On Griner’s dunk:
“It doesn’t bother me. I think she’s great for the game. She’s awesome. I would never want to see her limit herself. I think it’s great for the game; she’s changed our game. She’s elevated our game.”

On Baylor’s defense:
“I think Baylor did a good job, especially with Sydney Wallace – getting up in her [face]. That’s the first time she’s really, all year, had somebody try to deny her the ball. Tonight they really paid attention to her and really tried to keep her from catching the ball. I thought their 16 points off turnovers in the first half were really the difference in the game. That, and Destiny Williams. Those were the two things we didn’t do a very good job of countering.”

On Monday night’s Baylor-Tennessee matchup:
“It’s a very interesting matchup. I think it’s going to be historical for a lot of reasons, and I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for people to come out here and be a part of it. I have tremendous respect for Pat Summitt and everything she stands for and represents and has done for our game. I think if you talk about someone that’s a pioneer, someone that’s changed women’s basketball forever, the first name that comes to my mind is Pat Summitt. You talk about a player that has changed the game forever and has made a difference, you talk about Brittney Griner. I don’t know that we’re ever going to see another female basketball player with the capabilities that Brittney Griner has. It’s unfortunate that one of them has to lose, because both of those teams and programs are so important to women’s basketball.”

On building Georgia Tech:
“There’s no doubt I think the thing I’m most proud of is that all five of these seniors are going to graduate from Georgia Tech in four years. The fact that these players became the winningest in the history of the program and all graduated in four years is a huge compliment to our university and our student-athletes. But it took us three years to change the culture and expect to win. We’ve gone on six seasons in a row and been to six NCAA tournaments and finally broke through that wall and got to the Sweet 16. And now our players have tasted it; they know what it’s like to compete at this level. I’m excited about the players we have coming back and the players we have coming in.”

  Senior Guard Metra Walthour

On the season:
“I’m proud of the season that we had. We won a lot of games and we went places we’ve never been before [as a team]. I’m very proud for the program, and I wish the best for them in the years to come.”

On the game:
“They’re the number one team in the nation, and they showed us a whole different level of intensity. We hung tight with them in the beginning, but they pulled ahead at the end. They pretty much showed us the level that we need to play at to get over the hump, but I’m still proud of the season we had.”

  Senior Guard Tyaunna Marshall

On season:
“Overall, I think we had a great season. We wouldn’t have made it to the Sweet 16 without the five seniors that we have. I feel like we played great throughout the course of the year. Over time, we really came together and played as a team and it was fun to see who stepped up at different times this year. I think we found a next level that helped us accomplish the goals that we had this year.”

On the game:
“At first, we started out strong and jumped on them on defense. Unfortunately, we let them get out ahead a little bit, and it was impossible to get back into the flow of the game. We just needed to hit more shots. As far as our game plan goes, I think we executed well today. We just needed a couple more shots and get a couple of key defensive stops against Griner.” Georgia Tech center Sasha Goodlett:

On Baylor center Brittney Griner:
“It was very difficult [to defend her] just for the fact that she’s so long and she’s so lanky. It was very tough, so I give a lot of credit to Griner.”

On her career at Georgia Tech and how she’s helped move the program forward:
“It makes me feel proud. Me and my fellow seniors worked harder and last year when everyone counted us out, we came together and we knew we were going to be able to take this program to a whole other level, and that’s all we had our minds set on. Personally, this hurts that this is my last game. I wish I could have hit a couple more shots, but that’s how the chips fell. I’m very proud of the season I’ve had. I’m very proud of my fellow seniors. I’m very proud to say that I’m a Yellow Jacket.”

  Freshman Guard Sydney Wallace

On only forcing 11 Baylor turnovers:
“I feel like they did handle the pressure very well. We could have had a lot more traps.”

On her record-setting shooting performance:
“I just went out there with a lot of confidence. I just told myself I would knock it down, so when a chance came, when I was open, I just took it and I just kept shooting it.”

On Baylor’s 20-0 run:
“They just took it up to a whole other level. We kind of got on our heels a little bit, but we just kept trying to play.”



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