Minnesota-Wisconsin Postgame Quotes




March 1, 2012

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Minnesota

THE MODERATOR: Joined now by Minnesota head coach Pam Borton as well as Rachel Banham and Kiara Buford.

Coach, an opening comment.

COACH BORTON: Yes, it was a great win. Great win as a collective group. I thought we had great balance offensively. When we can get our post players to score, we usually win and win pretty big. And that's probably been one of our weaknesses all year.

I thought our starters really got us off to a great start. I thought Kiara really set the tone for our team with her defense and her attacking, and just really our team really fed off of her tonight.

Great team effort and gives us one more day to play together.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student athletes.

Q. Kiara, you played a great game, 19 points, 0 turnovers. Tell me about your mindset going into the game knowing it could have been your last game.

KIARA BUFORD: I think just leaving it all on the court. There's nothing we had nothing to lose going into this game. I had a lot of goals at the beginning of the season, and this is one of them that I wanted to accomplish.

I wanted to make sure before I went out as a senior that we had a good game here at the Big Ten Tournament.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

WISCONSIN

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Wisconsin head coach Bobbie Kelsey as well as student athletes Taylor Wurtz and Morgan Paige.

Coach, an opening comment.

COACH KELSEY: We just ran into a very good Minnesota team tonight. They hit a lot of their shots, a lot of loose balls. They did recover those and put them in. They had balanced scoring. They played a complete game.

And we really struggled to score. We struggled to pass. We struggled to do a lot of things. But it wasn't for lack of effort, and it's just one of those nights where we couldn't really get it going in our favor.

But we didn't quit. We played all the way to the end. I was very proud of the team. They didn't give up.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student athletes.

Q. Can the two of you talk about just how difficult it was even to get those shots off outside?

TAYLOR WURTZ: Yeah, Minnesota is a really good team. They picked up their defense intensity. But we had open looks. We just have to be able to hit those. And obviously tonight they weren't falling.

MORGAN PAIGE: I would say that we really got out of sync with they were really up on us with ball pressure, and at the beginning we really got out of sync and we never really could get back into a rhythm where we could like take our time with our shots.

I feel like we had some open looks that we didn't knock down.

Q. Looking forward to next season, how do you progress from this loss?

TAYLOR WURTZ: I think you use it as motivation. And you just think, okay, how can I get better. And we gotta go into the offseason every day valuing every minute that we get and getting up shots and working on our ball handling so next year we can make a run in this tournament.

MORGAN PAIGE: I also feel that it's very important to take this opportunity and have your team buy into what you want to do. I feel like if we can get ourselves to believe that, we can be a top caliber Big Ten team in the offseason and really work for it, that anything's possible.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Coach, it seemed like they really took control of the boards. What were some of the things that you and your team were trying to do to counteract that?

COACH KELSEY: I think the hard part was they were very aggressive, and we didn't counter that. Tonight we got really pushed around on the box-outs, especially they were going up very strong for the ball.

And we kind of were batting at it, poking at it, but not really aggressively getting it. And when a team wants it more than you do, and it appeared that way, not for lack of effort. But you gotta put that effort into motion. You've got to apply it. And we just didn't do that. And they were hungry for the ball.

We beat them before. And they weren't going to come in here and let us beat them again. And they executed their game plan, and we didn't.

Q. Did Minnesota do something different with their lineup from the time you did beat them up in Minneapolis?

COACH KELSEY: No, they switched on defense quite a bit. We couldn't recognize the fact that if you have a post on a guard and a guard on a post, well, you just go down and post up. And we did that in the second half.

But it was kind of too little too late. We kept getting the hand off and just running right by. And they just switched right back. So we didn't do a very good job of reading the defense and really taking advantage of a mismatch when they did switch a big on the little or a little on the big.

Q. When four players score in double figures like they did, is it tough to constantly get control of multiple scorers like that?

COACH KELSEY: It's very tough. That's what you really want as a coach. You don't want one 30 point scorer; you want four that can get 40 points, ten apiece. So they really shared the ball. They had 15 assists and they hit the open shot when they were open. And we had some open looks like the players said, we just didn't knock them down.

I've been at the highest level. I was here when Texas A&M beat Stanford. And the difference is the teams that win, they hit shots, period. If you switch, they're going to make you pay. If you don't, they're going to make you pay.

And that takes a total team effort, that's why when you do have four people in double figures it's very difficult to get a handle on who can you help off of, who can you not.

When a team can shoot, you're pretty much a one on one by yourself, and they took advantage of that as well.

So they played a really good game. And we just have some work to do. It's painful for the players because no one likes to lose that way.

But I said: Channel it. Make it something that, again, motivates you to get better. Don't cry about it. Get mad, and then go do something about it.

Q. All 12 of your players played, in fact, the last couple of minutes you had four freshmen and a walk on out on the court. How does this help you for next season?

COACH KELSEY: We didn't want to get anyone hurt that was going to return. Taylor and Morgan, you don't want to have them out there and Cassie getting in a blowout game. You don't want someone to go down with a knee injury or an ankle or something like that.

But kudos to those guys who came in, the players who came in and really kept playing.

It's easy just to give up, look at the scoreboard, say, hey, we're getting our butts kicked and this is over. But Kelly came and hit two 3s. Maybe I should have put her in before then. But hindsight is 20/20. She does a great job in practice getting us ready. So I felt confident she would go out there and at least look for her shot. And she did that and they got her the ball and she hit the shot.

So I'm happy for her. Walk on, it's hard to be a walk on on a team where you don't play a lot, and then when you get an opportunity in a game like this, it's bittersweet, the fact you can get some shots up.

But Kelly is a team player and she wants the team to win. It's not about her individual stats.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.