Dec. 19, 2012
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COACH BLUDER: I was very happy with the way we played this game and keeping the intensity high both halves. When you get a significant lead at halftime, it’s kind of easy to let down. Christmas break is right around the corner, but we kept our intensity high, and I was very, very happy with our defensive effort to begin the half, both halves. Missouri State came in here averaging 75 points a game, and for us to hold them to 43 points is significant.
The damage that we did on the boards — they’re a plus-seven rebounding team coming in here and we really took it at them at the boards, did a great job. I think we passed the ball well. We had 25 assists again tonight, so once again, we’ve passed the ball extremely well. I’m just happy with the way that we’ve played.
I thought what was really nice is everybody that came into this game played extremely hard. Whether it was Kali, whether it was Kathy, whether it was Melissa, whether it was Trisha, Kayla, I mean, they all played hard coming off the bench, and that’s exactly what you want them to do. So I really thought that our reserves came in and did a great job tonight.
Q. Coach, Kayla had four minutes in the first half and nine in the second. Is that an indication that we’ll see more of her in the future?
COACH BLUDER: This was a great opportunity for us to get her some experience. Morgan was in foul trouble and a significant lead like that, those are times that you need to get those players in and give them the confidence. Sometimes we put her in and she panicked a little bit today. She came out and played hard. She had eight rebounds in 13 minutes including five offensive boards. Those are impressive numbers.
Q. Coach, was Bethany successful in getting more rebounds?
COACH BLUDER: We’d like to get more rebounds out of Bethany all the time. I love that she had ten at halftime. That’s wonderful. I think she has the ability to be a very good rebounder for us.
Q. Coach, my initial count was five players had career highs in eight different categories. Have you ever had a game like that where every player was clicking?
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, I’m not sure. It’s always hard to remember those pass games. You just remember the one that just happened. Certainly this is a game that I can still look at stats and find things like I wish we had shot better from the free throw line. We had 16 turnovers. But I think we had six offensive charges, turnovers that resulted in turnovers. So that number is a little inflated because I don’t often count those offensive turnovers like that in my little crazy mind.
Q. So much for a trap game. Did you do anything different after Drake or before the San Diego trip to prepare for this?
COACH BLUDER: No, you know, we really didn’t. We just talked a lot about how we had to keep the focus. This is a good team. This is a team that only lost by three points to No. 22 Oklahoma State. So I think by having a really good opponent really opened our eyes and made us focus. I think not going home until Friday is also a good thing, so everybody’s not packed and ready to go right after the game. So we can worry about those sorts of things later.
Q. Did you see a performance like this coming in practice? Did you know they were going to come out and play as well as they did?
COACH BLUDER: Well, you always hope to foresee a win. You’re always believing that you’re going to win the next game. I was worried about Missouri State. Again, I think that they’ve been a very high offensive team. I thought we could score points against them though. I did think that we could score against them. I was more concerned about our defense tonight than our offense. But I thought we clicked on both ends.
Q. How is it having an extra weapon on the perimeter?
COACH BLUDER: I think we have a lot of them, I really do. You saw Melissa Dixon. You saw Trisha Nesbitt last week, Kathy, Kayla went in and played really well today. So I think we have a lot of extra weapons. This is what we saw earlier in the year, and then we didn’t get it going right away in the beginning. Now we’re getting more game reps and getting a lot of practices. So I think it’s giving everybody a lot more confidence.
I just want to thank the Hawk fans for coming out tonight too. The weather reports were so daunting, and for the people who came out here and showed up, that really means a lot to us. Just want to wish Merry Christmas to all the Hawkeye fans.