Dec. 5, 2010
COACH BLUDER: Well, I'm very pleased with this win. Kansas State is a good team. They play hard. They keep fighting. They don't make mistakes, and undefeated coming in here. So I think it's a good win for us, especially after not such a good start. I thought our first half was very lackluster. We didn't play with a lot of emotion. We weren't communicating very well, and then we bounced back. I'm really proud of the team, the way they changed, the way they changed at halftime. They came out a different looking basketball team. That's the type of team we like to see, one that plays with emotion, a little more aggressive, a little more assertive. And it's nice also to win a game – with us only taking eight 3 pointers. That's something we usually rely on to win games. Today we got high percentage shots. We got the ball into Morgan, who I thought had a great second half for us. And we also got to the rim with some good penetration, too. So we got high percentage shots, and that's good to see.
Q. (Question about Morgan).
COACH BLUDER: Morgan held her to one field goal second half, had five blocks in the night. I thought Morgan did a really good job. She was hurting us in the first half. I thought Morgan did a good job in the second half on her.
Q. Coach, one of the things you talked about more driving and penetrating?
COACH BLUDER: Well, we thought their guards were in foul trouble. And that was an opportunity for us to be able to try to take advantage of that. And so I thought we could beat them off the drive, and in fact we were supposed to be doing that to begin the game. But we did a lot better job in the second half.
Q. Did you talk about that at halftime with them, kind of reinforce that?
COACH BLUDER: I don't remember that being a point of concentration at halftime. But we did isolate Kachine several times in the second half to try to take advantage of that, what we thought was a mismatch or an opportunity to draw a foul.
Q. What were the kind of important...
COACH BLUDER: I thought it was more of changing our attitude, our energy level, our enthusiasm, our communication. I felt like that was really not our style. We weren't playing with just that love of the game; and I do think, though, the second half we came out and played much better.
Q. You gotta love that 38 points in the paint?
COACH BLUDER: I do.
Q. Really have a message at the half, you wanted to get it inside more to look for the shot inside?
COACH BLUDER: Again, that was the message at the beginning of the game. That was one of our keys at the beginning of the game, we wanted to get to the rim. We wanted to get to the rim, either through great penetration or by getting the ball into Morgan. So we felt like that was one of the keys to winning the game at the very beginning, but it's good we actually put it into use the second half.
Q. When do you start thinking about Iowa State?
COACH BLUDER: Now. I haven't watched any film on them. I know they beat Michigan today at Hilton. It's kind of an interesting week, with two back to back Big 12 opponents. So it should be a great game on Thursday. Hopefully we'll have a great crowd here. We had a great crowd today. Hopefully we can get a great crowd out here. I know Iowa State travels well. It should be interesting, fun atmosphere, two nationally ranked teams going at each other.
Q. Most physical game all season, as Morgan could attest to, with all the ice packs, staying strong going down the stretch, seven of eight on the line, testament how well prepared they are?
COACH BLUDER: We just played at North Carolina, so this was not even close to what we saw at North Carolina as far as a physical style of game. But we're really happy with the way we knocked down free throws. We're a good free throw shooting team. We love to get to the free throw line. That's really a part of our offense, to try to get there as many times as we can. Last year we were the fifth best free throw shooting team in America. We want to keep that tradition going. Kamille knocked down four really important free throws at the end of the game. That just shows you what kind of competitor she is.
Q. What's Kachine's status of playing, obviously cleared?
COACH BLUDER: She hasn't practiced the last two days but she did get through shootaround today, had to go through a couple more tests after shootaround in order to be completely cleared. But she did it. That's good. We're glad to have Kachine on the floor.
Q. Can you talk about the way Morgan is developing as a defensive presence?
COACH BLUDER: I think Morgan's had a really nice year for us. She had five blocks for us again today. Staying out of foul trouble now. Beginning of the year she was getting into a little bit of foul trouble, but she's staying out of foul trouble now. She's tough to shoot over, very tough to shoot over. As we started playing her behind Childs in the second half, and you could just see, she really struggled with having to shoot over Morgan. So usually we like to deny the ball a little bit more in there, but we felt like, okay, let's see what she can do when she gets the ball in there and has to shoot over Morgan. So Morgan, she's just worked so hard. And really happy to see her playing this way. She played exceptional in North Carolina as well.
Q. Over 7,000 people here today. Talk about the crowd and how that played a factor.
COACH BLUDER: Terrific crowd. Just appreciate them coming out so much to support us. Now we have another challenge. Playing Iowa State on Thursday, just hope we get a great crowd for our game on Iowa State because it just helps you. Again, our change in the second half was an emotional change. We draw that from the energy of the crowd.
Q. Coach, in a game that's so close like this one, how important is the second chance points and points from turnovers?
COACH BLUDER: We didn't get a lot of either one of those things today. And really they didn't get a lot either. They had more rebounds than we did offensively. This was a really unusual game for us rebounding wise. I thought that we would be able to do a better job of crashing than we did. So I'm really disappointed in our rebounding. Only one offensive rebound at the half, because they're huge. You saw Hannah Draxten get that offensive rebound put back, how important that was. Those are usually easy points. So it's something we'll have to focus on against Iowa State. And, again, neither team really turned the ball over a lot. I thought that was good, probably a really good game to watch as far as a nice clean game. But we'd certainly like to do better job on the boards than we did.