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Baylor-UCLA Postgame Quotes

Nov. 17, 2011

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No. 1/1 Baylor 83, No. 22/RV UCLA 50
Ferrell Center - Waco, Texas
November 17, 2011 - Att. 7,577


Baylor Head Coach Kim Mulkey
On the importance of playing good defense:
"I preached at halftime and in the timeouts. We are going to have many nights like tonight on the offensive end, especially with our schedule in November and December. Your defense can be special for you. You have got speed and quickness on the perimeter, you have got size inside. It was a great example tonight for them to see what I have been trying to tell them. We are going to have a lot of offensive nights like this, but if they will just commit to being the best defensive team that we have had here, I think that they will understand that, hey, you finally just hung in there long enough to extend the lead."

On the importance of good rebounding in tonight's win:
"Well I thought that Destiny Williams and Britney Griner took it upon themselves in the second half to get offensive boards. They were in there physical with them and not just long rebounds. I thought Destiny was a woman in there tonight. I thought another key factor was, when you are playing good teams that are playing you zone, you don't penetrate enough and get to the foul line. I thought a key to the game was us getting in the bonus as early as we did in the second half. And that didn't happen by accident, that is understanding what you have got to do to attack zones."

On playing against Notre Dame on Sunday:
"Well they have got what a lot of people think is the best point guard in the country, they have got a fifth-year graduate student at center, they have got 3 Melissa Jones', and we know what we think of Melissa Jones. They played for the national championship, it is the No. 2 and No. 1 team in the country and I hope it is sold out. It is November and it would be a great atmosphere. I don't know that either team is the same team today that they were at the end of the year last year. They are probably, in a lot of respects, trying to find their identity with their team, and I know we are. It should be quite a battle."

Baylor Post Brittney Griner
On attacking the offensive glass in the second half:
"Me, personally, I knew I had to be more aggressive. I felt like in the first half I wasn't aggressive enough to help out my team. I just wanted to do everything I could, like go after all of the boards if I could and just be aggressive. One person doing it, the whole team will feed off it, and we will all start being aggressive."

On playing in a big game like the one Sunday:
"I think any player loves to play these types of games. Knowing that it is going to be a battle every play, you have to execute. One play can cost you in a game like this where it is a one versus a two. We are just excited to play and we are ready to get back out there on the court. Tomorrow we will practice and get better."

Baylor Guard Odyssey Sims
On the high number of turnovers in the game:
"I don't know what to say. Those were my mistakes, but there is just stuff I have to correct. That is something I am working on, considering that I was terrible last year on my assist-to-turnover rating. I just have to keep working and trying to get better every day, trying to improve. I just didn't quite take care of the ball like I should have and that is my bad."

On playing against Notre Dame's guards:
"Notre Dame is a good team. They are improving, we are improving. It is going to be a great matchup. Our players are similar to theirs, we are going to have to defend one-on-one, and we have got to crash the boards. We have got to start out a lot better than we did today. If we start out slow like we did today, they can get a lead early and we will have to fight our way back. These next couple of days we are going to do the best we can to try to iimprove ourselves as a team and just help each other to get better so we can be ready for the game."


UCLA Head Coach Cori Close
On the difference of play in the second half:
"Well, it is really simple: rebounding and taking care of the basketball. We were just in the lockerroom, and I asked Rebekah Gardner what she wants from her team as we move forward and she said one phrase: box out. That's the reality for this team all year, we've said our identity must be getting more possessions than our opponents, and that means taking care of the basketball and out-rebounding opponents. If you give Baylor more opportunities at the goal than us, we're not going to win. That's what they asserted their energy at the second half. It was all about rebounds. I think they had six offensive rebounds and four turnovers in the first four minutes of the second half, and that set the tone for them to pull away."

On Baylor being a team that can wear its opponents down:
"I thought their guard play on defense was the difference, honestly. We started playing east to west. Early on in the game I thought we were able to go north to south, get to the paint and either draw a fouls, get layups or the kick out for easier jumpers. They made us start going east to west, and now we were settling for contested shots, harder shots. I thought their guard play, their adjustment on our screens, them not letting us use the ball screen so Griner didn't have to step out. I think that was the difference. Their guard defense caused us some trouble on the offensive end."

On the game being a learning experience:
"I'm really proud of our young ladies, especially Rebekah Gardner, right here, is our lone senior this year. I've said this so many times, we don't have one player playing the same role that they've played at this level. Not one. Even Rebekah Gardner and Atonye, who are the only two who have gotten college minutes, they've never been the go-to people. I told Rebekah that you have to take the pressurized shot, you have to take the big shot versus the best defenders, and you did it. So from that standpoint I'm really proud of them. I think that you can't give a team confidence. They have to earn it. The first half I think they earned some confidence. They earned something that they can build on moving forward. Even in the second half we crumbled, no doubt about it, but I think our young ladies are coachable enough to learn from that, to go back to the film and say `I can practice that a little harder. I see what Coach was saying.' We've shown so much growth from the beginning of the season to now with all new players playing brand new roles. It's really all about the journey to me, and they really are making great steps in growth."

UCLA Guard Rebekah Gardner
On playing against Brittney Griner:
"You can't go into the game being scared. She's a player just like I'm a player. I've never played against anyone like her so I did learn to pass it out or maybe pump-fake. It's definitely different playing against her, and I did learn a lot."



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