Nov. 20, 2012
Lisa Bluder: You know, coming into this game, you're always a little bit worried because it's kind of one of those trap games. You're playing North Carolina, you're coming off that, you only have one day to prepare for this game, and your team looks at it and says, oh, there's an 0 and 3 team coming to town. I don't think it was our "A" top 10 performance, but I don't think it's a bad performance, either, considering all these things. We just had to work extremely hard on Sunday to play that game and then turn around two days later and play this game.
I thought we did an excellent job on No. 15. She was the key to their offense, and I think we frustrated her and flustered her with our double team. That is something we've never done before. We had one day to learn that defense, and I thought Morgan and Bethany did a really good job of putting in what we talked about in, again, one practice session.
I didn't think the zone would give us that much trouble to be quite honest. A little surprised by that. But in the games that we saw them play, we never saw 2 3 zone ever. We did not we've never really practiced against 2 3 zone for the last week, week and a half except for a couple possessions against Illinois State, and so for us that was kind of different.
We didn't expect it, and I'm just a little surprised that it hurt us, slowed us down that much. But I am happy that we still got the ball into the paint against a zone like that and against a 6'7" center.
You said the game overall wasn't the best. The second half, how would you grade that? Seemed like it was a little better than the first.
Lisa Bluder: Well, we did a good job on the offensive boards. We only had three offensive boards at half, and we had 12 for the game, so we had nine offensive boards the second half and I really like to see that because we've been trying to challenge our team with crashing better all season, and we finally got that a little bit today, so I want to keep that going.
I thought we were patient with the basketball tonight. You know, we shot better from three point range tonight, so that's good to see. But you know, part of us only having 57 shots was that we were patient with the basketball, and that doesn't give us maybe as many scores, but it also doesn't allow Robert Morris to have as many scores, either; because we had the ball in our hands, they can't score, so they only had 53 shot attempts.
I think that we were trying to be patient and work it against their zone, and I think that was a good decision on our players' part tonight.
Would you talk about both Sam and Morgan's games the second half? Seemed like they really kind of took it to a different level with the offense kind of struggling.
Lisa Bluder: Well, Sam's nine assists is outstanding. I love to see that. I think she prefers doing that more than anything.
That was fun to see, but yeah, we got Morgan the ball a little bit more inside. We talked about how at halftime we have to get the ball inside whether it's getting it into our post or short corner or whether it's dribble penetration, but in the first half I thought we just kind of passed the ball around the perimeter without ever really getting it inside of the paint.
I thought the players took what we said at halftime and really put it into motion and did a much better job in the second half of trying to get the ball inside.
You have a big road trip coming up. Talk about the opportunity that really presents there for some big games.
Lisa Bluder: Well, it's our first road trip of the year, and we're spending Thanksgiving together, and I think that's always a great opportunity for players and teams to come together. That's when relationships are really built is when you're on the road, you're celebrating a holiday like Thanksgiving together. And we're going to have a little bit of fun; we're going to go to the Miami Heat game on Saturday night, so that should be fun for us; we're going to play three games while we're down there. We're down there a week, so plenty of time to get to know each other very well.
Coach, can you talk about did you get out of the this game what you wanted to get out of this game?
Lisa Bluder: You know, I'm not sure. We had to work on I was happy again with our defense because it was a different defensive scheme and they were able to put that into motion in one game, and I think that's really good. Again, I really liked the offensive rebounding; we got that going the second half, and we really haven't gotten that going all year, so hopefully that's going to get on a roll. But offensively I just am not sure that that is the performance that we're going to need to beat a good zone defense in the future. I think we're going to have to do a better job of scoring against the zone.
Is there anything you can kind of take from it? I know Sam said emotionally you may not have been there but you still came out with a win?
Lisa Bluder: Yeah, and I think there's a lot to that. That's why, again, I think it's a trap game; it's a little bit of a dangerous game because of where we were playing them and who it fell after, too. So I think that's always important. I think coaches kind of understand those things and the emotions of players and how much energy they expended on Sunday in that game was pretty intense.
And then coming back here and again only one day to prepare is you know, that's not an easy thing to do.