March 1, 2012
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Nebraska coach Connie Yori and Rebecca Woodberry and Lindsey Moore and Jordan Hooper.
Coach, a couple of opening comments.
COACH YORI: I thought in the first half we were very aggressive. We moved the ball well. We were aggressive off the dribble. We got some things in transition.
Very different game than the first time we played them. I think we scored more in the first half than we did in the entire game the first time we played them. But a lot of it, our players played with an aggressive mentality. They played with confidence.
They did the things that we asked them to do. In the first time around, we were very passive, and I thought this time we just played with a different mentality offensively.
And the other key stat is we rebounded. We gave them very few extra opportunities, and we did a really good job on our defensive glass.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.
Questions for the student athletes, please.
Q. Lindsey, have you ever sat down that long for a game?
LINDSEY MOORE: I don't think so. I think that's the first time that I've [sat that long]. I don't even know how many minutes I played. But I think that's probably my season low.
Q. Is that hard to do?
LINDSEY MOORE: Kind of. I think when T got hit, she was like, all right and Coach Kelly was like, "One of you guys go." I jumped off the bench trying to get in, but she ended up being fine and I came back.
Q. Why were you guys so much different than the first time?
LINDSEY MOORE: I think we executed what we wanted to do early, and I think our pressure really bugged them. In our first game against them, I don't think our pressure really affected them at all.
And this time we're actually able to get out, pressure, pick up how we want to and play the style we want to play.
Q. Jordan, would you say this is the best you've seen the team play all year?
JORDAN HOOPER: We came in with an aggressive mentality. We focused on what we wanted to do, and we executed.
Q. Jordan, the last game against Northwestern, you guys really struggled from the 3 point line. But today the first two shots you took were 3 pointers. You want to talk about that? Was that a mindset going?
JORDAN HOOPER: Wasn't really a mindset. I think it's just a confidence level. I think I've gotten more confidence as the games the last two games have gone on. So I think it's just confidence.
Q. After you hit your first one, Dannielle came down the court and hit one. Did you want to go back and hit another one?
JORDAN HOOPER: I didn't really pay attention. I mean, I knew that happened, but it wasn't really in my mind to do it again. We just had to score more points. That's all we worried about.
Q. The same thing Lindsey talked about, you sat on the bench basically the entire second half. What was that like knowing you didn't have to go in anymore?
JORDAN HOOPER: It wasn't tough because our team was doing so well, but it was kind of weird not going in every couple of seconds, I guess.
Q. Rebecca, how did you and the other freshmen how were you guys so successful today?
REBECCA WOODBERRY: I think we were successful because of our practices, and we just work hard in practice. So when we have the chance, when our teammates need the rest, we're able to go in and contribute the way we're supposed to and run our system.
Q. Rebecca, the intensity didn't seem to drop off when all freshmen played the last ten minutes. Why is that?
REBECCA WOODBERRY: We kept telling each other to keep the fire up and keep playing defense hard because, like Lindsey and Jordan said, our pressure was bugging them. So we wanted to make that a point, to keep the pressure up, because if we weren't scoring, as long as we were playing good defense, we'd be all right.
Q. Lindsey, everybody is going to talk about the main shots in the first half, but how much did the little defensive plays and the steals and getting some of those hustle plays help you guys execute on offense?
LINDSEY MOORE: Our defense created our offense I think today, and that was a huge part of why we were able to get so many good looks. Our pressure was really bugging them. And it's hard it's a hard team to play against when we're up pressuring and taking things away.
So our defense created our offense today.
Q. Lindsey, you think this game sends a positive message about how Nebraska will be able to compete in the Big Ten long term?
LINDSEY MOORE: I hope so, because this is the style we want to play. And the fact we were able to execute on both ends of the floor I definitely think shows how we are today.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies.
Questions for Coach.
Q. Coach, at what point can you actually relax during a game like this when you're up 20, 30 points, if at all?
COACH YORI: Well, I'm not one to relax a whole lot. I felt like a couple of minutes left in the game we were finally in good shape. But up to that point you want to keep playing your possessions.
It's a focus in our program on a daily basis to focus on the possession. And we want to do that and we want to keep doing that. And I think the exciting thing about this game is that we did have kids who continue to do that.
And we had five freshmen on the floor. I don't know how many minutes. But good part of the second half. So the fact that we kept playing well, there was some relief there.
Q. Can you talk about what you did during that big run in the first half defensively to keep them from scoring and neutralize their height down at the post?
COACH YORI: If you look at the stats, we won all the aggressive stat lines. We turned them over. We run the battle of the boards. We got to the foul line more than they did. So those are things you look to do, we look to do within our system. And those are important stat lines.
And we won the battle of the possessions and we were the aggressive team. And we are a pressure team. We want to get out and play that way, and I thought our kids did a really good job of buying into what we wanted to do today.
Q. You're 2 0 against Iowa, which you face tomorrow. What do you really remember about those games?
COACH YORI: I remember they were both really close games. And they came down to the wire. And we were fortunate to win two games, and we know Iowa's a really good basketball team and playing their best basketball right now and they won eight in a row, and they're going to be well rested and they've got the advantage from that standpoint.
It's hard to beat a really good team three times in a season. So we'll have our hands full tomorrow.
Q. With the win streak they're on, their freshmen Samantha Logic has really been dominating. Can you talk about how you plan to limit her defensively tomorrow?
COACH YORI: We don't really have a plan right now. We're going to get back to the drawing board when we get back to the hotel and figure out what we want to do tomorrow.
Q. And also can you just talk about in a kind of a lopsided win like this today, how beneficial is it for you to rest your star players and keep them fresh for tomorrow?
COACH YORI: It's huge. Like I said, when Katie Simon, who barely played for us, plays more minutes than Jordan Hooper, that's a good thing in a tournament setting.
So we were fortunate to get the lead and hold the lead and not have to bring the starters back in.
Q. Was there a certain anger in your play today?
COACH YORI: I don't think we have angry kids. So I would say no. We've got happy kids.
Q. A little revenge
COACH YORI: We've got angry coaches sometimes. Happy kids.
COACH YORI: I don't know. You can maybe go with that angle. But I don't think that was what our focus was. Our focus was to do what we wanted to do and be who we wanted to be and be aggressive.
Q. There was a couple of shots on the chin and that kind of thing?
COACH YORI: That's the game. You're always going to have that.
Q. After the Ohio State game, you said your team resembled a box of chocolates, after the Forrest Gump reference. What would you say they pulled out of the box today?
COACH YORI: Well, I like a good caramel with chocolate on it. So maybe that would be it. I don't know. Yeah, we played well. And it was good. We played two consecutive games now, when we were not playing particularly well for a period of time. And we've played two really good games in a row.
So I think there's a lot of confidence to be gained from that going into tomorrow and heading into whatever happens after tomorrow.
Q. Can you talk about Brandi's on the ball pressure and how important that is? It doesn't necessarily show up in the stat line, but just frustrating Northwestern's offense?
COACH YORI: The good fortunate thing we had going today is we had our freshmen Tear'a Laudermill and Brandi Jeffery primarily, they were able to get up in pressure and really create some havoc.
When those guys do things offensively and make plays on the offensive end and make good decisions, then they get to play more. And they did that.
And I think there's a wearing effect that we play with, and when we can play with some depth we had a series of games there that we did not our bench did not produce for us. But we had to go longer minutes with our starters.
We're not very good when we do that. We are a team that wants to play kids that are fresh. We want to keep running kids in at that position in particular. And when those guys play as well as they did today, that's going to help us in the long run.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, opening comments.
COACH MCKEOWN: You know, two of the smartest people in coaching told me or one I read, the other told me say as little as possible after the game. One was Tara VanDerveer and one was Tom Landry. So I'm just going to say Nebraska took the game to us from the opening tip, really, and we can never bounce back.
Give them a lot of credit. I think the pace they played at we controlled in Lincoln, and today we couldn't do that, and that was the big difference.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Karly.
Q. How much of their pressure upset your guys' offensive flow today?
KARLY ROSER: I think just them getting in our shorts right off the tip, like Coach said, kind of rattled us a little bit. And last game we were able to handle it no problem. But this game we let it get to us a little bit more. So that made it difficult to run our offense, get the ball up the court, and they forced a lot of turnovers on our part.
Q. What goes through your head, Karly, in that big run in the first half that they had and shots aren't falling for you guys and they're falling for Nebraska?
KARLY ROSER: Just that we need to find a way to bounce back. We've done it in past games and had good results. So we knew we had it in us. I think we just kind of ran out of gas at the end and they kept taking it to us. They didn't really slow down at all. Just a tough one.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. We'll finish up with questions for Coach.
Q. Coach, with what you saw today, what would you say of the Huskers' chances going forward in the tournament?
COACH MCKEOWN: I think in conference tournaments, really, I think you just win and advance. Obviously they played well. But I'm sure if you asked them, they're just focused on Iowa.
But it's such a balanced league that on any given night in this league I think you'll see a lot of potentially crazy things happen in this tournament. But they're capable of winning it. So is probably a lot of people that are still playing.
Q. The change in their pressure defense was more half court than the last time you played them?
COACH MCKEOWN: Well, last time I thought the game in Lincoln, two things happened in the first half. Number one, we just handled the pressure that they put on us and we played great defense. We scored. We were able to score.
So I just felt that we played with a lot of confidence. Went into halftime I think it was a tied game. But felt like we were in control of the pace of the game.
Where today we turned it over in that run. They made shots. They got I think they hit seven or eight 3s, where in the first game we defended the 3 point line really well.
And today we just didn't do a very good job.
Q. In the couple time outs you took in the first half, what was the message to your team?
COACH MCKEOWN: Just trying to slow them down. Just trying to slow down and get the ball inside and trying to make us play with some of the poise that we showed when we were really good this year and try to control the game the way we did in Lincoln. We just couldn't do that. I'm sure I'm probably out of time outs this year. I'll have to check my stats.
But the other thing, I'm just really proud of our team to start off 10 1. We were one of the best teams in the country. Went on the road and beat top 20 teams. I thought we were right there.
We got bit a little bit with injuries and kind of carried through the Big Ten. So I'm disappointed. We're disappointed. But I'm really proud of our team. And today was not indicative of, I think, the kind of team we are.
So for our senior class, to win as many games over their four years, I think they won more games than any three year stretch in Northwestern history going back to the '90s. So it shows you the strides we're making as a program. We lost three great players last year, three seniors.
So we'll bounce back. We'll be back. But I wish Nebraska well. They played really well today.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.