Postgame Quotes vs. Oklahoma

Head Coach Jeff Mittie
Opening statement…
“Well it was a hard fought game. We played excellent in the first half, not so good in the third quarter. Sloppy. I thought we lost focus in the third. Oklahoma University was really doing some good things like moving the ball against us. They came out with a determination to drive it down our throat in the third and they did. We re-grouped and I thought we played great the last eight minutes of this game. I thought our group fought through some of the fatigue things that come with a quick turnaround. I was proud of their effort. I thought a lot of our players played well. Ironically, I think our posts and forwards passed the ball a little sharper than the guards did tonight. Eternati Willock had three assists, Peyton Williams had three assists and Jessica Sheble had two assists. I know you guys [Karyla Middlebrook] and Kindred [Wesemann] had four apiece, but still with forwards and centers that is still pretty good. Anyways, I am pleased with the victory. We grinded one out tonight and I liked the way we fought down the stretch.”

On feelings during the OU rally…
“I was proud but I was also concerned. I did not like our body language in some timeouts. Now, I did like our body language with about six minutes to go. It felt like our timeouts were determined. It felt like the talk in the huddle was determined. It felt like we were getting stronger. There was a stretch where I did not see that, I saw some frustration. I was very proud in the way they responded. I was very proud in the way they battled and got connected in this game. OU has been a team where they have won every close game. They have won every close game. Our group played with a lot of confidence down the stretch to win this game and that is what I am most proud of.” 

On the importance of this game … 
“I believe it is the first time that we as a program have been above .500 in the Big 12 in about seven years, so it is significant in that regards in terms of conference. It is a signature win late in the year against a 16th ranked team, so that is a signature win. Every win down the stretch is critical. However, when you get the opportunity to win a game against an opponent like this, you better win.”  

On free throws…
“Getting to the line is always a strategy of ours. We feel like if you are playing zone, you are going to give up some things, like open looks. You really cannot play a lot of zone if you do not have an advantage at the free-throw line. That is a really bad team if you do not do that. We did want to put pressure on them early and the floor was open early. Karyla Middlebrook put a lot of pressure on the rim. I thought our ball movement was not great at that time, but we were getting a lot of attacks at the rim and that was critical. When you have a lead like that you are going to get a lot of free throws because they are going to start hammering you, and put you to the free throw line. That was a big part of this game. There was a stretch in that second half where we wanted to pound them inside. I thought our group did an excellent job at that. 

Senior Guard Kindred Wesemann
On growth of the team…
“We played a pretty good stretch tonight. We fought through adversity, which is something we have been struggling with. Hopefully that is the expectation from now on for this program.” 

Junior Guard Karyla Middlebrook
On first half performance…
“My coaches and my teammates told me to be aggressive so that is what I did and the ball was going in for me.”

On the slow third quarter…
“I let nagging things get in my head and I have to be better at blocking those out.”

On first quarter timeout message…
“He [Jeff Mittie] told us to calm down and stay poised, stay together and control the ball because we knew they were going to be attacking us. He told us how much confidence he had in us and we made sure to stick to the game plan and to keep our heads.”

On playing against Oklahoma…
“It is nothing special about Oklahoma. My teammates told me to be aggressive and the ball was going in so that gave me more confidence. I look for my shot a little bit more once I see it going through the hoop. I feed off of Kindred [Wesemann] and Kaylee [Page] whenever they score and I try to help them out whenever I can.”

Head Coach Sherri Coale
Opening statement…
“I thought Kansas State played really well and I thought they did a great job. We continued to make [Karyla] Middlebrook look like an all-star. She has had her two biggest games in conference play against us. With that being said, I cannot remember the last time we only shot nine free throws in a game and it was not like we were settling for threes. We shot six threes at the end trying to catch up. We were driving inside, throwing it to the post and we shot nine free throws on the day, so I am a little disappointed in that. We dug ourselves a huge hole in the first half. If you only score 25 points in the first half of a Big 12 game, you are going to have a hard time winning. We came out in the second half and scored 46, so it was a totally different deal. We have to be ready to play on the road and we were not.”

On second half adjustment…
“We just talked about the same things we talked about prior to the game. There were no enormous resolutions at halftime. We had to attack the gaps in the zone. We spent the first half of the game throwing over the top of it which is really bizarre. We have not done that all year. We could never really get into any kind of rhythm in the first half. We talked about penetrating the paint, kicking it, then penetrating again and creating some offensive rhythm. I thought we did a nice job in the second half but there were too many turnovers in the first. I think we had four or five shots at taking the lead when we would stop and go down. At least that is what it felt like. We were throwing it inside and getting good looks, but we were never able to make that go-ahead basket. ”

On defending Breanna Lewis...
“She shot a lot of free throws. She shot nine free throws, so she shot as many as our whole team by herself. She is a load to guard down there. She is a load and she is really good for them.”