March 25, 2009

BAYLOR QUOTES

Head Coach Kim Mulkey

Opening statements on her team’s performance tonight:

“I don’t normally have an opening statement, but tonight I do. I would like to compliment South Dakota State University. That’s as fi ne a basketball team as we have played this year. I also want to tell you how proud I am of our basketball team at Baylor. Jessica (Morrow) struggles and hits the one big three, gimpy Rachel (Allison) gets the rebound at the end and the foul and then (Whitney) Zachariason comes in and shoots the free throws. We’re just fi nding ways to win.”

On the adversity her team had to overcome in the game much like the rest of the season:

“I think Jessica (Morrow) said it best, we just persevered. We didn’t have the lead till the last three or four minutes of the game. I told them in the last timeout, ‘how many games have we won down to the wire this season? You’re going to win this game’. The kids just want to win. These three seniors didn’t have their best night tonight but they hung in there, some got in foul trouble, one got hurt but they still lead your ball club.”

On slowing the pace down during the fi rst half:

“I think it was more you had two teams that just didn’t really stop doing what they do well. I think fatigue set in and foul trouble started to affect things more.

We couldn’t have shot any worse than we did the fi rst half and we were still only down one. I don’t think it was really anything that we did to slow things down other than call a couple of timeouts and make a couple defensive stops. I know everyone has talked about their three-point shooting but I said it yesterday, what impressed me most was their discipline. They probably got more backdoor cuts against us than we have in a while. Also, I want to compliment my
coaching staff. I am so thankful for them, when your in the hospital and don’t know if you’ll return to coaching and to know that and feel safe to have them run your team. They did their job here and I couldn’t be more happy with them. To also have a university who cares enough to fl y doctors up here to check on you when you’re in the hospital, that’s why I’m at Baylor, why I’ll stay at Baylor, retire at Baylor. I absolutely love where I am.”

On Kelli Griffi n’s play tonight:

“Kelli (Griffi n) is doing exactly what you hope she’d do. She’s growing and maturing and being your quarterback on the fl oor. Most importantly, she’s not
turning the ball over. She’s probably the main reason we won tonight because she put us in a position to have that shot at the end of the game tonight, not
so much that she made the shot at the end of the game.”

On her evaluation of South Dakota State’s basketball team:

“I think everybody has already noticed them. I think everyone is excited about the program and they are defi nitely getting all the credit they deserve. Those
kids play hard and are very well-coached. I am so impressed with their program.”

On choosing to move Melissa Jones to guard Jennifer Warkenthein and come up with the big defensive steal in the last minutes:

“Melissa (Jones) is just a jack-of-all trades. If I need her to play post, play the 2 (guard), play the 3 (guard) its always “yes ma’am”. She is a little undersized

but she is very intelligent and I’m not sure she leapt out of the gym to get that pass but she leapt enough to tip it and get it back into her hands. It was huge.
She worked really hard and she happened to get it. It was a big defensive stop.”

Guard Melissa Jones

On her team’s rally to win the game in the second half:

“I think we just have a bunch of fi ghters on our team. We’re all pushing for each other and have each other’s backs. We all want the same goal. It speaks
volumes for our team.”

On guarding Jennifer Warkenthein in the late minutes of the second half:

“They are so hard to defend. Every player there can play every position on the fl oor so its so hard and you just have to do whatever you can do defend them. We were just lucky she missed the last couple opportunities she had because she got some good looks and did a great job tonight.”

Guard Kelli Griffin

On the last second winning shot:

“I knew I could get down the court in that amount of time, I just didn’t know if I could get the shot off. But I went in with the mentality to score instead of to
just get fouled which most people do and luckily, it went in for me.”

On looking for her shot more rather than normally looking to distribute to other teammates:

“In the beginning, I was trying to get the ball to other people, get our seniors some looks, but I saw they were struggling so I decided to, as a point guard,
to take control and try to help out the team as best I could.”


SOUTH DAKOTA STATE QUOTES

Head Coach Aaron Johnston

Opening Statement:

“This is the third time this year we have had to talk about a loss and why we didn’t win, this one is the hardest. It’s just amazing how even the numbers on
the page really are, and everything is just about a dead heat. That had a lot to do with how the game was. We have had a great experience here, everyone here has treated us marvelously. The season has had an impact and will really be recognized. We went 32-3, we didn’t set a school record but it tied it and it’s a wonderful accomplishment. We say goodbye to four seniors, and that’s probably one of the hardest parts we will have to go through.”

On when Baylor switched the pace:

“The fi rst half things were going our way, and foul trouble was the biggest issue we faced. Defensively fi rst half we were excellent, foul trouble got us in
trouble fi rst half.”

On the last scoring play by Baylor:

“We talked about it, she had a great game. I thought we defended it well, it was a tough shot and she made it, and it went in their favor. Looking back on it, I don’t think we could have done something different, she made a difficult shot.”

On the future of the program:

“I hope it continues to raise awareness about South Dakota State and basketball at South Dakota State. I think it has a program building impact, and a motivating impact. It was tough to get here, getting here this season was immensely diffi cult. I don’t know the percentage, to only lose 3 times out of 35 games is incredible. I hope it serves as a motivating factor for our future players. It’s a whole different thing to walk off the fl oor and want to do the work to get back here.”

On if he was satisfi ed with their performance:

“I think so, yeah. I was very proud of how we competed, Baylor plays exceptionally hard,. I did not think our effort at any time was less than them.
Defensively I thought we played well, they are a good team its hard to stop them every time. We just needed one more basket.”

Forward Jennifer Warkenthien

On the last play by Baylor:

“We just talked about sticking to what we have done all year, playing really hard and just trying to lock them up and get a stop on defense.”

On if the momentum changed when Baylor slowed the game down:

“I think it was on both ends, they played really well and attacked us hard. We got lazy on defense and started fouling. Overall, the fact that they are a really
good team and werent going to give up either.”

On the last play set-up:

“I don’t know what they were running. It just kind of happened, they got an uncontested look at the basket it went in. There is not much you can say or do
about it.”

Forward Jennifer Muckenhirn

On what she was thinking when the buzzer sounded:

“You have an incredible rush of emotions, you can’t say one or the other. At that single moment obviously you will remember the game, but at the same time, you walk off the court knowing these people you spend every day with become your best friends and your family. Don’t let the last second shot or one play hold you back from the memories of all the good that happens. There will be a time when we can look back and refl ect on all the good that happened.”

On when Baylor took the lead in the last two minutes:

“We were talking a lot about the entire season they have been behind a lot and have battled back, it’s something we talked about. We didn’t think if we gave
up the lead, the game was over. It was a battle back and forth, we talked about it and we held our composure and fought pretty hard.”

On if this experience has had a positive impact on the future:

“I think it’s huge, it opens the door for people to really see that South Dakota State is competitive, and basketball is taken seriously there. Lubbock has been so great to us, and the fan base here. The experiences you get here are incredible and it’s something you walk away with. And for the young kids a
jump start and a stepping stone to coming back next year.”