Michigan State Postgame Press Conference Transcript

Jan. 27, 2011

PARDON OUR PROGRESS! As friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Hawkeyes know, the UI Athletics Department is well into a multi-million dollar revitalization of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This important and exciting project has reduced for this season the number of ticket windows that are operational on game nights. Fans attending the home events of the 2010-11 UI men’s basketball, women’s basketball and wrestling teams are invited to avoid game night delays by purchasing their event tickets online or in advance of game day. If your schedule doesn’t allow for an advance purchase, we recommend you consider arriving at the Arena a little earlier than originally planned. Go Hawks!

COACH BLUDER: Well, this is a big win for us, obviously Top 10 team in the country, top of the Big Ten, and this was a hard fought battle for both teams. And it’s just like it was at their place: It was back and forth, and both teams I thought played pretty well. I can’t believe quite honestly that we won this game shooting that poorly from the free throw line and giving up that many offensive boards. I mean, they had 20 more shot attempts than we did, but we were very efficient with the ball when we had it, and I think that was a big difference. We have one more field goal than they do, even though they have 20 more shot opportunities than we did. At the end of the game, I just think we were not to be denied. Kelly has two big threes and Jaime Printy the big three she made, she was so far out, I didn’t see it. I was looking at the people underneath the basket and she was out of my vision and I have no idea where she took it from, but I know it was deep. And then I know Kach had three nice driving layups at the end of the game, too.

Q. Same exact spot at Michigan State, is there a little bit of dejavu? What’s going through your mind?

COACH BLUDER: Oh, definitely. It’s the same exact spot that she put it up from. I thought Kash was right there, I think she even got a fingernail on it.

Kachine Alexander: Mmm hmm (laughter).

COACH BLUDER: Obviously we did not want to give up those two offensive rebounds in the end and it was meant to be for us tonight.

Q. Can you talk about the last play?

Kachine Alexander: Well, for the first time, I didn’t listen to Coach Bluder.

COACH BLUDER: The first time?

Kachine Alexander: Because I just didn’t I was not like letting go of her, that was my whole thing. And Kelly was listening to me, thank the Lord and her person is setting the screen and I’m like, “No switch, no switch”; and I just like put a hand up with everything and I tipped it. And yeah, the rest is history after that.

Q. Can you talk about the three at the end of the game?

Kelly Krei: Just great pass by Kash and great opportunity, and so time to hit some threes.

Q. How did it look coming out of your hands?

Kelly Krei: It looked good. Really happy to see that. My shot had been a little off earlier in the game. But just have to take every shot one shot at a time and I thought I did that tonight.

Q. Kash, did you have a feeling like history was going to repeat itself?

Kachine Alexander: That’s exactly what I mean. As soon as she put it up, I knew it had to be short, because I touched it. And yeah, I didn’t want that to happen again and I said it with like a minute left, I said, there will nobody repeat of the last Michigan State.

Q. Talk about the matchup when you were player to player, you’re 5 9 and she’s 6 1 and different body style to yours. Talk about what it’s like guarding her defensively?

Kachine Alexander: Coach Bluder has face in me to guard one through four and if I was a little bit taller, I’d probably guard one through five. I knew coming in I didn’t think she was going to post up, but they were trying to take advantage of it. And all of the coaches have confidence in me and so I just have to keep fighting and make sure I’m in good position. Because she’s wider than I am, I have to be in good position because I couldn’t recover like Morgan could on a smaller position. So I had to be in good position, like the whole time.

Q. How big is this win in terms of long term goals for the team?

Kachine Alexander: I think it’s a great win. We split with Michigan State and we split with Ohio State. So it’s one of those things coming down to the wire, we have the two big powerhouses, if you want to call it that, Michigan State and Ohio State out of the way now. And we have the rest of the season to just keep going now. And winning on home court is a great confident booster, especially after Ohio State.

Q. How did you defend the last play differently?

COACH BLUDER: How did we defend that last play? Kash didn’t switch. (Laughter). It was the shot in the air but it wasn’t the same play.

Q. They get three or four shots, you guys are leading by two, you seem to get down in transition, got to the open three; how big of a swing of emotions did you feel at that point from late in the defense to over and over again, watching them miss and then hitting it?

Kelly Krei: Any time anyone hits a big three, it just lifts your spirits and just makes me get that much more on defense and that much aggressive, and really, momentum is important. Especially the fans were terrific and I really can’t say enough. They get you going and just keep you positive. I just love the fans.

Q. When they kept getting the three or four shots at the end, they have three shots

Kelly Krei: Just have to keep playing and hope that our shot was going to come and we did.

Q. Midway point in the Big Ten, Michigan and Michigan State tied at first and Ohio State and you guys are tied. The race at the halfway point?

COACH BLUDER: It is still totally up in the air. You’ve got to you know, Wisconsin is up there, as well. We only get to play them once this year, but it is on our home court. But I just think, it could be anybody’s game, and it’s just so odd the way the conferences worked out. We have played eight games, but four of them have been against Ohio State and Michigan State, same as Wisconsin. They have played Purdue twice already. It’s just odd the way that it came out. So I think there has not been enough people playing each other yet to even know what’s really happening in this conference.

Q. How do you avoid the letdown on Sunday?

COACH BLUDER: Yeah, it’s something we are going to have to talk about. Definitely it’s something that we have to be concerned with. We are going on the road. Illinois is much improved over where they were last year. This definitely helps. But we know how important that road win, and that’s a place that we have had good success in the past. And I think we have to use that, but also understand that exactly; that we cannot letdown. That that’s an important game for us. Every game is important.

Q. Does it help that carrying on from last year?

COACH BLUDER: Good feelings about it. Last year we went in there, we were 1 6 and that’s kind of where we turned the tide. So I think the team feels really good about going there. And we again had some good success there and I think any time you’ve had success in a building, you feel better going back to that building.

Kachine Alexander: Yeah, definitely, we have actually been talking about it, just throughout the team just saying, guys, remember, we are going back to Illinois where we had our graduation ceremony. Kind of one of those cool things you know you’ll never forget. So like Coach says, it’s always fun going back to a gym where you’ve had previous success.

Q. You went over to the band and students after the game; whose idea was it to celebrate with the fans after the game?

COACH BLUDER: It was actually Abby Emmert’s idea and she said it before the game to me, so I said it to the players in the huddle. You know, our band is great. We love traveling with them, Big Ten tournament, NCAA Tournament, and we would love to see more students up there with them but they are really good.