Jan. 24, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder answered questions from the media after the Hawkeyes’ 71-60 win over Wisconsin on Thursday night inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Lisa Bluder: Not the prettiest basketball maybe we’ve played all year, but it’s a win, and that’s good. Jaime Printy was a hero tonight in my opinion. We’re down one point with six minutes to go, and she scores 14 straight points. That makes a coach’s life awful easy.
You know, she is unbelievable at the free throw line, but she did it in all areas, taking it to the hoop, step back threes, going to the free throw line. So it was in all manners that she was looking to score. I felt like she just took it upon herself at that point to go assure us that we were going to get this win.
Start of the second half, kind of disappointed, turned the ball over too many times at the beginning of the second half, didn’t rebound the ball as well as I think we can do. But again, I’m not going to complain about the things we didn’t do well; I’m going to celebrate the things we did do well. Morgan Johnson only plays 17 minutes, has two points, and we win the basketball game, and that’s something to be celebrated. Not the part that Morgan only had two but the part that we won.
Q. Was Wisconsin doing something differently tonight?
Lisa Bluder: Absolutely. They played us entirely zone for the last eight minutes of the game the first time we played them, and this time they played us the entire game in man to man, so we were preparing for the zone the last couple of days. But that’s okay, because Michigan plays in zone so we’ll now be ready for that.
Q. What did you talk to the team about? Wisconsin had 13 offensive rebounds, but Jaime’s final four points came on block outs where she was fouled. What message did you try to get across there?
Lisa Bluder: In the last four minute media time out we talked about it was all we had a one point lead at that point, and we just said this is all defense and it’s all rebounds, both offensively and defensively, and we’ve got to start boxing out better, and then we got some over the back calls there at the end and let us walk down to the other side and shoot free throws. We really needed to be doing that all game, and it’s frustrating we didn’t because Wisconsin is not one of the best rebounding teams in this conference, and we did not really take advantage of that tonight.
Q. Coach, are you proud, though, that you were able to pull out a game like this where you didn’t play your best basketball?
Lisa Bluder: Absolutely. Any time you get a win, that’s the bottom line. We found a way to win, and that’s good. Again, we’re used to having Morgan, double doubles and that sort of thing, on the floor a lot more time, and Kayla Timmerman stepping in as a freshman and playing more and more minutes all the time, one time we had a four guard lineup in there, so we found a way to get the job done. When things aren’t always going your way, that’s what you have to do, and that’s what winning teams do.
Q. What was the difference between this game and Michigan, a team you probably should beat. Tonight the energy wasn’t there, but you pulled it out. What was kind of the difference between this game where you pulled it out and Michigan where you came up a little short?
Lisa Bluder: Well, I think the difference is Michigan is a much better team than Wisconsin. In my opinion Michigan is the surprise team in this league right now, and they are very experienced; they have five out of six top six players are seniors, four out of five of their starters are seniors, so they’ve got a lot of experience, and they came out and shot the ball extremely well against us.
So a lot of things went well for them, but I think you really can’t compare the two games because they’re very different opponents. Michigan shoots the three pointer very well, and Wisconsin really doesn’t.
Q. What’s it been like for the team to finish these last couple games against Purdue and Wisconsin where Michigan and Michigan State seemed it was definitely a big issue, finishing the game?
Lisa Bluder: Michigan State was. The Michigan game we actually kind of caught up a little bit at the end. We made it close at the end. But the Michigan State game we definitely did not finish well. I mean, it was a tie game at three, then we lose by nine, so that was frustrating. So it is nice to see your team reacting differently a week later.
Q. Now that this game is over you shift your focus to Michigan. I know that’s a game this team really wants to get.
Lisa Bluder: Yeah, I think we just say the word Michigan right now and all the hair raises on the back of our necks. We’re ready to get after it. I know we’re going to have two really good practices before we head to Michigan and play them on Sunday. Again, I have a lot of respect for them, good basketball team, shoots the heck out of the basketball. But we can shoot the ball a lot better than we did the first time that we played them, and I think we can defend better than we did, too. I think they got too many open looks.
But I am ready to get out on the floor and start preparing for this game.