Feb. 28, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder answered questions from the media Thursday night after the Hawkeyes defeated Indiana, 75-70, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
COACH BLUDER: Huge win for us. Obviously an important win for us. It felt great to win again, and we want to do it again on Sunday. So that is our main focus right now. That’s our main focus right now. I’m happy for our seniors that went out victorious.
Down 15 in the first half, it didn’t look so good. But our team kept believing, kept fighting, kept working hard. We didn’t panic. We worked for good shots.
I’m really proud of Sam for tying that record. I got to coach Cara that year, and Cara was a tremendous point guard. For her to tie that record a year that Cara was MVP of the Big Ten tournament is pretty amazing. That’s a great, great accomplishment.
This is just a really good win for us, and we’re pretty happy.
Q. What did you guys change defensively in the second half to force the turnovers and get things going?
COACH BLUDER: Started switching up some ball screens and that helped a little bit. We started showing with Morgan on ball screens and doing some things a little different. But I just think we were trying to keep the ball out of 24’s hands a little bit more and trying to keep the ball out of 1’s hands more, and keeping the ball out of 1s hands.
Q. Coach, was there a play where you felt like you might get over the top?
COACH BLUDER: When the buzzer sounded. No, we got up to 7. Felt pretty good then. But we were tied at 62 62 with two and a half or three minutes to go, wasn’t it? So, yeah, it was obviously down to the wire.
Really proud of them to be able to just crunch time. I thought we got a five point lead then, and we got the ball back. I thought we managed the clock really well. Worked it down to 4 seconds and then drew a foul, so I thought we did some good things with clock management at the end of this game.
Q. With the importance of this game, were you surprised or what was going through your mind when you’re down 18 in the first half?
COACH BLUDER: I’ve watched a lot of film on Indiana, and they make hard shots. They make hard shots, and tonight, they made hard shots, in my opinion.
Yes, there were a couple that they were open from three point range, and they probably gained too much confidence on that. But there was a love of them that were contested pretty well, and we really had to focus on getting the ball out of her hands.
You know, first ten minutes of the second half, I don’t think she scored a point in the first ten minutes of the half. I’m talking about 24.
Q. Coach, yesterday you were talking about Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year. What did Melissa do tonight to prove that?
COACH BLUDER: You’d have to be silly not to vote her as the Sixth Player of the Year in our conference. I mean, she ranks in the country in field goal percentage, three point field goal percentage. So, to me, it’s a lock in. But, even if she doesn’t get it, we know she is. We know she’s deserving of it, and some of those things can be very political.
But we know that Melissa’s best sixth player in this conference.
Q. Coach, how will this help you going into the next game?
COACH BLUDER: It’s enormous. We felt like we needed two wins this week, but you don’t get the second one without the first one. I’ll start looking at Northwestern tonight. It’s enormous getting this win, and then going into Northwestern.