Dec. 6, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa head women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder spoke with the media after Thursday night's 50-42 win against Iowa State inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
COACH BLUDER: It was obviously a defensive battle and it was a battle the whole game. I thought both teams played very, very well defensively, and you know, for us to hold them to 30 plus points below their average, I feel really good about that but they held us below our average, as well.
So I think both teams, again, played very, very good defense. We missed too many free throws. We had an opportunity I think to really put this game away. We missed too many free throws, but I thought the second half, we did a good job of taking care of the ball.
We only had five turnovers in the second half and we had good balance. Melissa Dixon, she hit the 3; that was huge and she comes back with a layup, as well. That was big for us.
But Theairra (Taylor) also had a really nice game, defensively handled Moody, which is a tough defensive assignment, and you know, I thought that Sam did a really nice job on Hallie, as well, and that's a tough defensive assignment.
Sam (Logic) gave up a lot of inches and I thought she did a really good job to obviously a real quality player in Christofferson.
Q. Being without Chelsea the last few games either trying to prepare
COACH BLUDER: We had prepared for her all week like she would play, so I think that's the best way to go into a situation like that. She's a great player. And so we had to be prepared that she would play.
Q. You broke out to a 14 0 lead. What was working well early?
COACH BLUDER: Well, we dropped shots early. You know, we went cold. But again, give credit to Iowa State defense. But you know, we hit some 3s, we hit some free throws early in the first half. We did not score much the first ten minutes of that game, or the first half. That was tough.
You know, to keep them up, and we still went into the lead at halftime even though it seemed pretty dismal, were not getting the shots. Anna Prins did a good job on Morgan. That's the tallest player Morgan has been against all year and I thought she did a nice job on Morgan.
But their sagging defense hurt us a little bit with our drives; but we kept driving and that was good because we got to the free throw line when we were able to drive. They only didn't get to the free throw line very much, and we each put 34 threes up, you don't get to the free throw line very much, and I think that was a big difference, too, was us getting to the free throw line.
Q. What was that play, the tie break
COACH BLUDER: Totally offense, I just thought we rotated the ball well and found her in the corner, and she was wide open and she's good at that shot, too, in the corner right there. That's kind of pretty that's a good spot for her to be shooting that three from.
Q. Iowa State only led once the whole game, you have to be proud of the defensive intensity. Is this some of the better defense you've played all season, the intensity all season?
COACH BLUDER: You know, I thought it was good defense. I wish we could have boxed out a little better. I'm always going to find some things that we need to work on, obviously.
We were up 11 and we let them get back into it, that was kind of disheartening, but the last four minute, I thought we really buckled down those last four minutes. Crunch time, we got the rebounds in those last four minutes when we needed them and we played good defense the last four minutes when it was really important, as well.
Q. Do you feel confident having Morgan (Johnson) out there on the floor for so many minutes during game?
COACH BLUDER: I do. If she was healthy, she may not come off. We have several days off before our next game right now. You know, Morgan is an important cog in our wheel.
So, yes, as much as we can have her on the floor, we definitely are going to. But yeah, two minutes to rest, but we did get her out through some media time outs early and hopefully that extended it a little bit. But she's just important for us to have on the floor, both offensively and defensively.
Q. So the break between now and your next game influenced your decision to let her stay out there?
COACH BLUDER: No. It's nice now to think about it but actually, no. We needed her on the floor.
Q. Good to have wins against a Top 25 team, Coach?
COACH BLUDER: It is. For us to have two top 25 wins this early in the year, I think is really good for us. You know, sometimes you can't get those in your non conference season as easily, so I was really, I thought, very good that we have two already this year, plus a good win over Middle Tennessee, too. So three quality wins.
Q. Did you expect them to hit seven of the 34 shots from long range? Did you expect that?
COACH BLUDER: Well, they are good three point shooters, there's no doubt, you play Iowa State, expect to see a barrage of threes.
Sometimes those threes are hard to box out and they got a lot of offensive rebounds because of the long rebounds. That was a little bit frustrating.
You know, they shot 34, they only made 20 percent. So I thought that was, again, a good opportunity for us to not let them get to the free throw line when they are taking the threes like that.
Again, every coach goes into a game plan with a little different feeling, and that's a lot of threes. But neither team really shot very well from the three point line.
Q. Ten days to the next game, is that good, or not? Some coaches like a break.
COACH BLUDER: You know, it's all right for us right now, just because, first of all, it's finals. They need to focus on finals, and that's their No. 1 priority.
But the second thing is, it actually gives us a little time to work on our stuff. We have played ten games already. That's a lot of games. We've had to crunch it in in a short amount of time, and you know, Iowa State has played six. That's a big difference for the two teams.
So we have not had a lot of time to work on us, so it will be nice this week being able to work on us and being able to work on some situations that we have not been able to address so far.