WKU Lady Tops ‘not intimidated’ by Baylor, but fall 87-74 in Waco

Postgame comments from the Lady Tops after their season-ending 87-74 loss to Baylor in the NCAA tournament:

MICHELLE CLARK-HEARD

Opening thoughts: “This is definitely a little emotional for us. My team, they put so much into this, and they’ve done a ton. For us to come in here and compete the way we just did and go to the last, I’d say three minutes, it says a ton about this team and how special they are.”

Scoring against Baylor’s D: “We’ve kind of stuck with the same thing. We run a motion offense, and we get our kids comfortable in what they can do. That was the biggest thing. We came into this game saying the same thing. We were going to continue to do the things that we do, adjusting in some small ways, but what they were comfortable with.”

How did they keep team poised: “This team has kind of rode everything the coach’s said. We talked about us and what we needed to do. We gave them the game plan and how we needed to prepare, but those players really believed in this staff. Our whole goal was to play four-minute segments – four-minute games. Every time they came to the huddle, we told them what the score was.”

Not letting Baylor push lead: “It comes a lot from these couple of practices when we got here. I give a lot of credit to the seniors. Bianca McGee and Chaney Means had good practices, and we were trying to make sure they understood the environment we were going to be in. We told them, ‘This is what women’s basketball is. Preseason and in the summer, this is what you work for – to have the opportunity to play in the NCAA and play on national TV. … I know the young ladies sitting in that locker room, they’re going to be burning up inside for a while, and this is going to give us an opportunity to continue to keep growing.”

Put team back on the map: “That’s what we’re going to continue to keep doing. We’re going to continue to build this program and build it back to where we need to be. It’s a ton of credit to those players and the staff. I’m just sitting here as the head coach, but this is not about me. It’s about the players, the staff and everyone else who’s put everything into this program these two years I’ve been here. I’m just hoping all the people that were watching – former players, former coaches – that we made them proud.”

Potential for next year: “I am excited to get Alexis Govan back. And to add some freshmen and add some height. We were kind of lacking that today if y’all didn’t notice. We’ll keep getting better. I’m excited to see how much we can keep growing and where we can take this program.”

Baylor’s Nina Davis: “She is definitely a workhorse. She never stops moving, never stops working. She’s hard to block out. She’s unbelievable. Odyssey is an unbelievable player, but we knew all along that Nina was going to be the one that was going to be hard for us to contain.”

KENDALL NOBLE

Stopping Baylor’s runs: “I think we were just confident. We knew we could play with them. We just had to get stops and rebounds. We finally started getting stops and rebounds, and then we would could score and counter their run.”

Not being intimidated: “We weren’t intimidated by them. We knew we could play. We knew they were a good team, but we were prepared for everything they threw at us. We just fell a little short.”

“We felt great. We were right in the ballgame, right where we wanted to be. Coach Heard said we kept ourselves in the game.”

CHASTITY GOOCH

Battling Baylor’s posts: “We were just trying to play smart as a team. Communicate, talk to one another.”

Playing with four fouls: “I couldn’t play as hard as I wanted to, but I just had to keep playing smart.”

Did you all make a name for yourselves: “We most definitely did. I felt like we fought throughout the whole game. We gave it our all. I think we put ourselves back out there on the map.”

BIANCA MCGEE

Game overall: “I feel like we competed well. We followed the game plan of the coaches but just couldn’t get any rebounds during the whole game, and especially down the stretch. That led to some second-chance baskets, some fouls and some free throws.”

Keeping close with Baylor: “We always know that a team’s going to make a good run. Of course Baylor was going to make a run on us, but we wanted to remain calm no matter what.”

Davis and Sims: “Davis is one of the best freshmen we’ve played against. Very athletic, good around the basket. She rebounded very well and got some second-chance baskets. Odyssey Sims, of course, she’s averaging 30 points per game, so we knew she was going to be ready to play. I take my hat off to them. They’re two great players.”

Shape they left the program in: “It was about each other. We did it for each other and the program. Western Kentucky has a great history, and it’s great to have them back in the NCAA tournament. Just be ready, because they’re not going anywhere.”

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