Feb. 3, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder spoke with the media Sunday after the Hawkeyes lost to Northwestern, 67-65, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
COACH BLUDER: Tough loss. I feel like we just kind of let that one slip through our hands, gave it away. Held them to 18 points the first half and give up 49 points the second half so a total letdown on defense in the second half, unfortunately.
You know, we are just not shooting the ball very well. Melissa Dixon is the only one that shot the ball well on our team today and it’s too bad. We are just not running our offense right now.
It’s really weird to have five experienced starters in there, I just think right now our offense should be clicking, should be looking so good and we regressed. Our offense is not near as good as it was early in the year, we are not working together and so we are not getting good shots and we are not getting shots that we work on every day in practice. It’s too bad but hopefully we’ll learn from this and move on.
Q. What was Northwestern doing to your defense? Was it just on the whole, assignments looked like they were getting the buckets down low especially.
COACH BLUDER: Absolutely well, I feel like I have to look at the film to see this, but I feel like our help side defense was pretty nonexistent today. We made some defensive laps; we helped off of people we are not supposed to help off of. But I’ll be anxious to watch the game film to get a little better feeling on what happened there.
Q. When did you feel things kind of started to turn away, was it when Logic got the technical, or when Morgan fouled out?
COACH BLUDER: I feel like we were still okay in those situations, I really do. What was it, three, four minutes left in the game, we have a three or four point lead and we are on our home court.
We just took kind of some silly shots. We tried to make something happen instantly, instead of playing with the lead, we are up three or four points, why not work the ball and get a good a high percentage shot. I think we took some really contested and tough shots in those situations. Make them play defense at that point. We are in a bonus, and so unfortunately, yeah.
Q. 20 for 61, are you really disappointed on that? Looked like the second half they were making you take some tough shots?
COACH BLUDER: Well, 20 for 61, and if you look at our starters alone, I think we had 12 field goals between our starters. You know, that’s not very good.
And so you know, we definitely have to start running our offense and start working together. If we are not working together the offense doesn’t work and we need to get back to that. It’s really to me, odd, that we are not doing it because it’s worked so well for us in the past. But the team, if you are not doing it together, doesn’t work, the offense doesn’t work.
Q. Seemed like all the time when we were in a zone, defense should be a constant, but like you said the offense can come and go. What do you think you’re going to need to tweak defensively?
COACH BLUDER: Well, the first half our defense was excellent. They scored 10 points in four minutes. They scored eight points in 16 minutes to close out the first half. Our defense was excellent. Our zone defense was excellent. Our man defense was excellent.
Second half, they found the holes in the zone and they started knocking down 3s. Just didn’t get out there on the 3 point shooters so when we were forced to go player and Morgan fouled out obviously that hurt our height inside and our experience inside, and that was unfortunate. You know, I should not have had her in there that early, put her in there for two or three minutes to give Kayla a blow, and she picked up a foul. We’re in a five we are in a zone defense, I don’t know, looked like she was standing up pretty straight to me, but, I don’t know.
Q. How was it having Morgan out, especially Northwestern’s size?
COACH BLUDER: They definitely have a size advantage to begin with at all positions, and so then without Morgan, it was even tougher.
Q. What was it like to have Melissa come off the bench and knock shot after shot?
COACH BLUDER: She’s a perfect to have off the bench. She brings energy, she brings outside shooting, she plays hard defensively. She’s a great spark and you want that spark coming off the bench. We have the perfect person in that role right there. Melissa is playing it beautifully for us.
Q. Did you hear a horn in the final seconds before the final?
COACH BLUDER: I saw the red light, so I knew it was good.
Q. With ten games to go and then the Big Ten tournament, you always figure at that moment, the selection committee, they are looking at the last ten games.
COACH BLUDER: We are 0 2 now.
Q. And they love to see how teams are finishing, the month of February.
COACH BLUDER: The month of February has usually been good for us. But yeah, if you count ten back, that starts with the Illinois game. So we are 0 2 and last ten games are one of the elements that they take in the selection committee.
So we have dug ourselves a big hole, that’s for certain, and you look at who we have left, it’s a tough schedule ahead of us. So we have put the pressure back on ourselves, so to speak.