Jan. 19, 2012
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COACH BLUDER: Good win for our program here tonight. You know, I liked the way we played in the second half. I thought our defense was pretty good in the second half. Taylor Wurtz is a great shooter for them, and we held her to 0 points the second half after scoring 12 the first half, so that was nice to see. But obviously the thing that I’m happiest about is the rebounding, coming back after the Purdue game and rebounding like we did tonight, out rebounding them 41 to 19, did a good job offensively, good job at the free throw line. Jaime and Kamille did a tremendous job for us. So it was a really good game. It feels good. 17 assists on 24 baskets, too. I like to see that. So it feels good to be back on the winning track.
Q. Talk about the two guards, having two guards who can kind of take control of a game like that and the way they work off each other.
COACH BLUDER: Well, they’ve played together for so long now, you know, three years playing together. They really enjoy playing together. You can tell that. They feed off of each other, they know the offense well, they know each other, when they’re going to cut, and they look for each other. So I think it’s a fun duo to watch.
Q. Kamille, how important was it to get this win out on the road?
Kamille Wahlin: It was an extremely important game for us. We needed it big time, being 2 and 3, now it put us back into .500 in the conference, and going into two road games you definitely just want to protect the home court and get those home wins because on the road it’s tough to get wins, but hopefully we can do that still.
Q. Kamille, your offensive production has really gone up since you’ve gotten into Big Ten play? Why has that happened?
Kamille Wahlin: I guess I’m looking to be a little more aggressive, looking a little bit more on my shots instead of being passive. I think I was a little passive earlier in the season, and now I guess I’m just kind of letting things happen and taking what’s there.
Q. Why was it such a to the players, why was it such a seesaw game, you give up eight, they come right back. I think it happened about three different times. Why?
Jaime Printy: I think both teams just got hot at different times. They went on a good run in the first half, but we were able to stay composed, and then we went on a couple runs in the second half. Both teams shot the ball really well at certain times of the game.
Q. Kamille talked about how important it was going into this. As you kind of hit the midpoint of the season, do you start to think about we need to win here to kind of improve our standing if we’re going to make the NCAA tournament?
Kamille Wahlin: Yeah, it’s important for us to, I think, definitely get wins here. I think obviously every year the goal is to get into that NCAA tournament, and we’ve let a few opportunities slip away, and we’ve put ourselves in this position, but we’ve been here before, and we just need to handle it and take one game at a time and kind of get ourselves back in it.
Q. Coach, over the period of about five minutes where you held them scoreless in the second half that kind of allowed the team to pull away. Did you say anything in the timeouts? What led to that?
COACH BLUDER: You know, we switched up our defense a little bit in the last ten minutes of the game and started switching on some more screens, something we hadn’t done earlier in the game, and I think that made us a little bit more aggressive on defense, as well. So that was nice. Again, I think we controlled the boards, so that controlled opportunities to have the ball in our hands, as well. And when we went on a run, we hit high percentage shots. Jaime hits a lay up, Kamille hits a couple lay ups, Jaime goes to the free throw line, Kamille goes to the free throw line. Those are high percentage shots, and that’s what we got when we went on that run after about the ten minute mark.
Q. Wisconsin played kind of that physical defense. You guys kind of countered, though, with Morgan. I think she had four blocks at kind of key times. Talk about what does Morgan give this team defensively? Is it presence maybe?
COACH BLUDER: Well, she is one of the tallest girls. We haven’t seen a lot of tall posts this year really. I mean, Morgan has really had the upper hand on that. She’s a good shot blocker. She will leave here as the best shot blocker of all time at the University of Iowa. She is very good at it. She enjoys it. She times it pretty well. And a lot of times she keeps them in bounds, and that’s unusual. Sometimes shot blockers, you see them swat them and they end up out of bounds and it’s their ball still. It wasn’t Morgan keeps them in bounds a lot of times, which is really nice. But she provides great help for us in the defensive end, but definitely she occupies space down there.
Q. Jaime, Morgan had a career high tonight of 20. How would you assess that?
Jaime Printy: I think she played really well. She shot the ball really well from behind the three point line, and it’s kind of cool that she comes home and she’s an Iowa kid and I know her family was here, so that was kind of cool for her.
Q. How can you use that to build confidence heading into the game at Penn State?
COACH BLUDER: Well, I think every time you have a win, you enjoy it and try to build off of it. You try to show them the things that you did well in the game, but we try to do that even off of losses. We try to show them the things that they did well, as well. Sometimes I think you have highlight films, you show them all the things they do wrong, that’s what they see and that’s what they continue to do. We try to mix it up and show them the things they need to improve but also show them the things that they’re doing well because you want to reward that and you want them to see that over and over again so they continue that behavior, as well. I just think going into Penn State with a win is a good feeling. We’ve got to remember it and prepare for Penn State knowing that two people have went in there and beat them on their home court in the Big Ten season.
Q. What kind of challenges do they present to the team?
COACH BLUDER: They are one team that has a pretty athletic tall post. We haven’t seen that yet, and they have that. She’s a good shot blocker, as well, and she does a lot of good help on drives. They’re a very fast team. They’re an extremely fast team, great transition offense. They’ve got a great shooter in Maggie Lucas, a tremendous three point shooter, very good point guard in Alex Bentley, obviously picked as one of the top players in the Big Ten to begin this year. They’re just a nice inside outside game, as well. Yeah, I think their offense is pretty darned good.
Q. Jaime, the fact that two teams went in there and won, does that give you girls confidence that you can go in there and do the same thing?
Jaime Printy: Yeah, definitely. Road games are always tough, and just knowing that Penn State has lost twice on their home court in Big Ten play is huge for us. We’ve just got to go in there knowing that we can do the same thing to them.
Q. Can you talk about the impact Theairra and Bethany both had on the game tonight?
COACH BLUDER: I think Theairra is coming along, I really do. I think she’s getting more confidence with the more minutes that she’s playing, so that feels really good. I think she feels like now she belongs out on the floor instead of just getting some kind of scrap minutes. She really understands that she’s a big part of what’s going on. Bethany has been like that for us all year. She’s been backing up Morgan, and she’s been getting those minutes all year for us, and so as a freshmen I think she’s developing very, very well and learning the system and gaining confidence all the time from Morgan.
Q. What makes this such a good free throw shooting team?
COACH BLUDER: Got the right people shooting them. Jaime shot nine tonight, Kamille shot six, right? And then Bethany shot one. It helps when Jaime is one of the best in the country at shooting free throws, so it’s kind of nice when she’s there nine times.