Feb. 6, 2011
PARDON OUR PROGRESS! As friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Hawkeyes know, the UI Athletics Department is well into a multi-million dollar revitalization of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This important and exciting project has reduced for this season the number of ticket windows that are operational on game nights. Fans attending the home events of the 2010-11 UI men's basketball, women's basketball and wrestling teams are invited to avoid game night delays by purchasing their event tickets online or in advance of game day. If your schedule doesn't allow for an advance purchase, we recommend you consider arriving at the Arena a little earlier than originally planned. Go Hawks!
COACH BLUDER: Penn State is a good team. You know, they showed why they're No. 1 in our conference. They can just score at will. They're very, very hard to defend because of their quickness, their athleticism and rebounding. We just couldn't keep them off the boards. We gave up too many second shot opportunities, too many points in transition. And, unfortunately, that resulted in the loss today. We took care of the ball. Eight turnovers, that's good. We shot well from the three point line. That's good to see. Free throw shooting obviously had a little bit to be desired. Missed too many opportunities there at the free throw line.
Q. Coach, talk about only eight turnovers. What do you think you did on defense that shut them down a little bit?
COACH BLUDER: Well, I don't think that we really shut them down when they score 82 points. But, you know, 13 turnovers isn't bad either. That's not something to complain about if you're Penn State, having 13 turnovers. They don't have a high amount of assists because they're really a lot of one on one players, so that's kind of more in their style as well, where we like to create for others on our team.
Q. Defensively it looked like some of the problems were caused by their ability with their dribble penetration. What type of adjustments or what would you like to do if you face a team like that again to get that under control?
COACH BLUDER: We work on it. Every practice contains a dribble drive. Has to be more of a point of focus. It was one of our keys to victory today. We pointed it out that we wanted to contain their penetration. Alex Bentley is so good at penetrating. She can stop on a dime and just pull up with that nice, beautiful jump shot from eight feet. She's in the paint. She's very good at it, very good at it. It's hard to defend. I think we did a little better job in the second half than we did in the first half of it.
Q. Coach, is transition defense not getting back sometimes, giving them some easier shots?
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, I think not getting back or communicating, you know, defensively who you have in transition. It may not be the player you're assigned to in transition. But, you know, I think that really hurt us. And they're very good at it, too. I mean, they exploited it on us. We're not the only team they've done this to. They're averaging 80 points a game for a reason.
Q. The first game was very low scoring. Have they progressed that much as a team in the months since then?
COACH BLUDER: I think they've gotten better. We also did a better job on Maggie Lucas last time. We held her I think to three points, where today I think she had 18, something like that. So she got the hotter hand today than she did at their place. She did not shoot well at their place and that helped us.
Q. What is the focal point of the next five games? Big Ten title is not going to happen.
COACH BLUDER: We're going to take each one, try to win each one at a time, which is very possible. We can do that. We can win each game. But we got to focus one at a time. Our goal is to get to that first round bye, have that first round bye, which is finishing in the top five teams in the Big Ten Conference. That's got to be our focus at this point: win those games with the possibility of having that first round bye. I think this year that's really, really important.
Q. Coach, you have injury updates for Kachine and Hannah?
COACH BLUDER: Hannah had an eye infection, so she was unable to play today. I don't know, I'm hoping she'll be back by Thursday, but we don't know. It's a pretty bad eye infection that she has right now. And Kachine is just being evaluated right now by a doctor. I haven't heard anything. So I'm positive about that, assuming everything is going to be okay.
Q. Look like foot or ankle?
COACH BLUDER: I don't even really know to be quite honest. I just know it's a leg, which she needs.
Q. Last collision late in the game?
COACH BLUDER: I don't really even know. I don't remember it ever happening either. But, you know, we got a lot of people in there after every game. I don't think it's anything to get too worried about at this point.
Q. What can you say about her making the milestone?
COACH BLUDER: That's amazing. You know, I mean, Kash has 17 rebounds for us, eight offensive rebounds. When Bentley was scoring, 'I want Bentley, I want her.' You just love kids like that. You want people that want to compete like that. Yeah, she's done a great job. I'm glad that she's in a pretty special group of women with this recent development.