Dec. 9, 2011
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COACH BLUDER: Well, I’m proud of my team and the way they bounced back tonight. We only had one day of preparation, and I thought we came out with a team that had a little chip on their shoulder and ready to really perform well, and I thought we did. And so many areas, I thought we pushed the ball well, we shot the ball well. We had 27 assists on 38 baskets. I thought we distributed well. We crashed better. So I’m really happy to see us come out and perform like this, and I think this is just what we needed and this is going to prime us to get really rolling now.
Q. What was biggest thing that you wanted your team to do, to respond tonight?
COACH BLUDER: A number of things we talked about but one was having patience on offense and working for good shot selection, and that doesn’t mean don’t push the ball. We want to push the ball but we also want to be able to execute. And tonight, we executed on our fast break without turning the ball over, and that was very nice to see; and just being able to get a good shot selection I think from a variety of people, that was nice.
Q. Were you guys frustrated after the last two losses?
Kamille Wahlin: Yeah, we lost a close one at Kansas State and we were right there at Iowa State and we kind of just let it go without executing on both ends of the floor. And so after dropping two, we were obviously extremely frustrated, and never want to drop two in a row. Especially games when we felt like, we could have had either one if we would have done the right things on either side. So it was definitely frustrating and we definitely wanted to get that behind us, and have a win, really felt like we were executing a lot better.
Q. Did you take it out on this team?
Kamille Wahlin: Yeah, we probably did take it out a little bit on them. It tends to happen when you’re competitive and you’re an athlete and you get back on the court and you want that next game to kind of get rid of those last two losses.
Q. Coach, easy to look at the offense in a game like this, but what about defensively, holding them to 45 points and 19.7 percent field goals?
COACH BLUDER: I thought we did a good job of keeping our intensity high. Sometimes you can get a big lead, 30 point lead at halftime and come out and just go through the motions and we didn’t do that tonight. We kept the defensive intensity and we kept executing on the offensive side of things and so I’m really happy with the intensity that we played the entire game with, because that’s not always easy to do.
Q. Jaime, how nice was it to see the shots really start falling tonight with you and especially the whole team?
JAMIE PRINTY: I think it was definitely nice. Our team did a great job of passing the ball and getting better looks than we have the past couple of games, and that’s just a huge key on our offense is to be patient, and when we get those good looks, we’ll knock them down.
Q. How do you build off this win?
COACH BLUDER: Right now we are actually going to have the weekend off for them to get ready for finals and then we have quite a few days to prepare for playing at Bradley but we have a tough stretch, three games in six days, basically, every other day, we have two home games before the break. So hopefully now, this will build some confidence. We have got some key minutes for some players. Melissa Dixon is playing really well off the bench, Virginia Johnson came in and was very productive in her time on the floor, that was nice to see. Theairra Taylor, I thought she rebounded, she had five offensive rebounds for us. So a lot of things that we can build on. But the most important thing I think for us right now is building the confidence and executing and I think we did both of those things tonight.
Q. How pleased are with you Melissa? She had a great game at Iowa State and tonight continued that?
COACH BLUDER: She’s a shooter. She’s an offensive minded kid but I hate to say that because I think she plays really good defense, too. I think she hawks the ball well and I think she gives good pressure defense. But she’s a gunner and she’s going to put it up if you leave her open, and I like that mentality.
Q. What has impressed you most about Melissa. She’s getting a lot of minutes?
COACH BLUDER: She’s getting a lot of minutes. I think she just plays with such heart. She plays with a lot of passion out there. She works extremely hard on the defensive side of things, she cuts extremely hard on our offense, and she doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. She keeps her confidence with the shots. So I think she’s doing a really good job as a freshman.
Q. Jaime, what do you see out of Melissa? She is a shooter like you.
Jaime Printy: I love that about her. In the summer we found that out about her. She’s a shooter; that she has the confidence and she has the green light and plays extremely well, plays hard. I mean, she doesn’t force things at all. She’ll give you great passes and she’s fun to play with. I’m really proud of her.
Q. Did you limit Morgan’s minutes because of her knees?
COACH BLUDER: We didn’t come into the game thinking that but once we saw how she was reacting in the first half, we decided it was the best decision to make. Plus, it was a good game to give Bethany and Virginia some good minutes. So it just worked out well. But at the same time, she was pretty productive having, 10 points in eight minutes. She really started off this game extremely well but there was really no reason to push her in this game.
Q. At the 10 game mark now, so what’s your assessment so far and what you see going forward?
COACH BLUDER: It’s hard to believe we are a third of the way through our season. We are a work in progress. We just are a team that is evolving. I think, maybe people on the outside and including us coaches will get a little frustrated because we are maybe not where we want to be. But at the same time, we have to remember, we lost not only Kachine. People keep thinking, we just lost Kachine. No, we last Kachine, we lost Kelsey, we lost Jade, we lost Megan. We lost five players this year. And then we brought in five new players you and think Theairra is in that mix. The girl only played eight collegiate games or 10 collegiate games coming into this year before having two years off. We have six new people coming in, six out of 11 and we also lost Trisha. So I think that we have to remember some of those things going forward, and that we are going to get better. There is no doubt in my mind that we are going to grow, we are going to get better as this year goes on. Maybe we are not where we want to be right now but we are going to get there, I have complete faith that we will.
Q. Is this break coming at a good time, do you think, or rather keep playing?
Kamille Wahlin: You always like a week off to prepare for finals, but at the same time, you still want to play some games. But I think our coaches do a good job when we go into practice for this next week. We’ll get a lot of scrimmaging time in. We’ll be going up against the grey squad guys and that keeps our legs under us as far as game wise. So I think it’s coming at a good time to give people some rest to heal up different things and give Morgan a chance, hopefully her knees get better and things like that. But it’s coming at a good time, and I think just how we handle practices, we’ll be fine.
Q. Is Kalli okay? Saw her limping off after the game.
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, I’m not really sure right now. I heard something about a groin pull possibly but I don’t know 100%. I haven’t talked to our trainer yet. She’ll come back.
Q. Prior, did you know you had 25 points seemed to come naturally tonight?
Jaime Printy: Yeah, I didn’t even know how many I had to be honest. We just ran our offense well and when you don’t force things, good things happen.
Q. Coming off the two road games, two losses, is this what you expected, or were you surprised at all by the way they played tonight?
COACH BLUDER: You know, I felt like we came out and played with extreme confidence, which is, again, I think difficult to do when you’re coming off two losses, especially two tough, emotional losses like we just had. Sometimes your team can be tight in a situation like that. And I think they just enjoyed being on the floor today, and it was fun to see them out there. I think they had fun on the floor again, and it was that was very good to see.
Q. The crowd really wanted 100 points tonight.
COACH BLUDER: You know, JD took that program over and we didn’t need to score it, and I think that was the right thing to do.