Dec. 1, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder fielded questions from the media after Iowa’s 68-46 win against Northern Iowa on Saturday inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
COACH BLUDER: I thought this was a good win for us tonight. We kind of slowed things down and executed. We were trying to run before we could walk. Some of those turnovers we were making were because we were trying to hurry a little bit too much and not execute our offense enough.
Today I thought Sam led our team and did a good job. Okay, we’re going to get into our offense and we’re going to walk before we’re going to run. I’m not saying we’re not ever going to run again. We are going to run. We’re going to get our turnovers under control, then I think we’ll start advancing things.
I thought we played a little more reserved tonight, and we needed to do that in order to get a win and get ready for our next game.
Q. You talked about Sam. The second half, she had 8 out of your 10 points. You’ve been waiting for her to have a moment like that.
COACH BLUDER: I have a lot of confidence in Sam. I thought she made good decisions tonight. I thought she was in control of the game instead of the game being in control of her tonight. I thought that helped her in making shooting decisions and passing decisions.
I think our defense, too, on the other side of things, Theairra had the matchup of Jacqui Kalin. Melissa came in and spelled her. I thought our defense was very good tonight, kept them out of the paint. I understand they didn’t score a two point basket until a minute and a half left in the first half. That is an amazing statistic when you look at 34 paint points for Iowa to 4 for UNI. That’s pretty remarkable.
Q. What would you attribute that advantage to?
COACH BLUDER: On the offensive side, we have Morgan Johnson. That makes life pretty easy as a coach when you have somebody like her. She’s such a good target and she has such beautiful hands that the players have a lot of confidence passing her the ball. People try double teaming her. They try hanging around. They set screens for it, and it doesn’t matter.
But I think our team is doing a very good job of getting the ball up high, letting her hang on to it. Defensively that’s our goal, to keep people out of the paint, try to force them to take tougher shots.
Q. Coach, is that something you drew up in the game plan, assuming she would be double teamed?
COACH BLUDER: We thought that would be a strategy they would use. We didn’t have a whole lot of time to prepare for this game. We had one practice and one shootaround to get ready for this game. We didn’t get to do it a whole lot, working against the double team. Certainly we put it in their minds that it may occur.
Morgan had five assists tonight. I think she’s more excited about that than her double double.
Q. You talked about a mythical state championship. How much would you like to see Iowa still play Drake and UNI every year?
COACH BLUDER: There’s been discussion about the women doing something similar.
Personally I’m for the mythical state championship, the way it is right now. I think it’s good for women’s basketball in our state. I think we have four quality basketball programs in the state and I think we need to be playing each other at this point.
I’m not saying that might be the case forever. I think right now it’s a good thing for our state to be doing that.
Q. Is it going to be nice to have some time to prepare for Iowa State?
COACH BLUDER: It’s going to be nice. We’ll have the luxury of having an actual day off tomorrow. Our players haven’t had a day off on a Sunday for the whole month of November. For them not to have classes or basketball practice for a day, or a game, I think mentally they need that.
Then having three days to prepare for Iowa State is not a luxury we’ve had since the Northern Illinois opener. It will be nice to be able to spend some time in practice preparing for our opponent, but also working on some things to make ourselves better.