March 4, 2010
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the University of Michigan. Coach, please begin by making an opening statement. We'll take questions from the student athletes.
COACH BORSETH: We're excited to be moving on to the Big Ten tournament.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Jenny, can you talk about the game today and your role especially starting off so well?
JENNY RYAN: I think that, you know, the game was I mean, it was a tale of two halves, but it was the first time all season that we've actually put a good half and went into the locker room with a significant lead. We're used to playing from behind. In the beginning I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I trusted that everyone else started hitting their shots eventually. It was a complete team effort.
You knew Northwestern wasn't going to roll over and die on us. They came back, had their run. We went through a lot. Were able to stick it out and pull it out in the end.
Q. Courtney, because of what happened the regular season you knew it wasn't the same old Northwestern. How much, if at all, do you think about being swept by them as a motivator for this game?
COURTNEY BOYLAN: I think that was a big motivator for us. Not just Northwestern, but being swept by anybody in the Big Ten during the regular season is a big motivating factor. And they definitely at the start of the season I want to say that they were towards the top of the Big Ten. You knew they were definitely a good they're obviously a good team contender. We wanted to come out and definitely prove ourselves against them and not let them sweep us the three games this year.
Q. Jenny, how much did the early offensive rebounds help you guys get going building momentum?
JENNY RYAN: Anytime you get offensive rebound it gives you both an extra possession and takes away a little bit of the other team's momentum and we get extra shots that maybe we wouldn't have been able to get and just was part of the big first half run that we had.
Q. Talking about being swept, now you have to play Michigan State. What's your recollection of those two games?
COURTNEY BOYLAN: You know, I don't know, to be honest. Right now we're happy to be playing them moving on. We have another shot at them.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.
Q. Can you talk about the great start in the first half and then what happened in the second half?
COACH BORSETH: You know, we haven't really put together a first half in a long time, and today we did obviously. I thought that really helped us. We had three straight turnovers. I think that really set off that bad run in the second half. You know what, it just gets to you. I think it gets to anybody, get too big of a lead the other team makes some shots and all of a sudden the collar starts to tighten.
I don't think they were any different than any other team would handle it. Courtney's charge stopped that bleeding and we got back into it. It was a long stretch, agonizing for anybody. At least it was for me.
Q. Were you pleased with the balance on your offense tonight? I think it was five players in double figures just being able to spread it around couldn't focus
COACH BORSETH: That's the goal. We've got a no we've got an offense that relies on all five people being able to score. They kept telling me they're face guarding Carmen, they're face guarding Carmen. Well, let them face guard Carmen. There's four other guards that have to be able to produce. They did. Jenny had a couple of put backs, KP (Krista Phillips) had a couple, Roni (Veronica Hicks) had a couple, Courtney had a couple.
So balance is key. We don't have any All Conference players. We've got to rely on the teamwork to do that. I thought the kids did a good job tonight.
Q. Kevin, looked like Amy Jaeschke was having a lot of trouble with the physical play, with Courtney Phillips' physical play. Did you do anything different this time against her?
COACH BORSETH: Against Amy Jaeschke? She's a good player. She's so efficient down around that basket and they use her the way anybody would want to use her. They give her the ball quite a bit.
We tried not to help as much this time around. I know last time we helped quite a bit off of her. They pitched it out, hit a bunch of 3s. We tried to let KP do more so, handle herself this time.
And I think both those big kids guarding each other get frustrated, because they have big bodies leading on them all game long. I didn't really look at Jaeschke's stats, 6 for 14. Obviously we did a pretty good job on her. She still had 17.
Q. Can you comment on Jenny's play? I think she had a hand in your first 15 points?
COACH BORSETH: Yeah, you know what, she had two down the stretch in that stretch where we weren't making baskets. She had two wide open shots that she missed. Down the road Jenny's going to make those shots. We had some shots in that stretch, the three turnovers when we didn't score, you asked me that question, those were killers. We came back, had two open shots. Jenny had two of them.
She's one of those kids that really doesn't have any fear at all. I think you watched her play in the state tournament game when she was a junior and kid comes out on fire and she plays with a lot of confidence, and obviously we feed off of that. She played 40 minutes. I don't think we even took her out of the game.
Q. Free throws down the stretch at Northwestern killed you guys. Today obviously was a completely different story. Talk about that?
COACH BORSETH: Courtney was 7 for 7. That had a lot to do with it. I think we did a lot of substituting to favor that because we knew they were going to follow us. We only had four fouls at one stretch. Joe was telling them to foul. And I figured, oh, boy, here we go. If we're not careful, they'll knock it out of our hands.
We got Courtney in at the right time, of her and Day (Dayeesha Hollins) switching. Although Day shoots good free throws, Courtney does a good job at it. But free throws are key, especially when you've got leads in the game. If you make them, you can maintain your lead. If you don't, you let the other team back in.
But today we made them.
Q. Kevin, you've got Michigan State, how do you approach that and what do you remember about the two games against them?
COACH BORSETH: How can you forget. They're really good. They're one of those teams that plays really well at the end of the year, and I think they demonstrated that the last two years. So they're probably playing their best basketball right now and they're certainly a handful for anybody. And they're really a handful for us. But right now we just want to get through that Northwestern game and we're glad to be able to move on.
So have to go back, watch a little videotape, but we're going to have to play really well.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.
THE MODERATOR: Joined by Coach McKeown and the Northwestern student athletes.
Coach McKeown, we'll begin with you having an opening statement, and then we'll take questions for the student athletes.
COACH MCKEOWN: You know, we just got off to such a bad start. Michigan took advantage of that and they shot the ball first half. They just seemed like they made everything under the shot clock, open shots. We opened them up a little bit. You have to give them credit.
And second half I thought we came back with a lot of intensity and I thought we made it a great game for a while and just can't spot a team in a conference tournament, 22 points in the first half. We just couldn't dig out of that. That's basically what happened.
I will say this: Without getting on the soap box, these guys had a great year. We've had a tremendous year as a team. When you look at the turnaround we've had from the last couple of years, these guys deserve a lot of credit. They've bought into what we do from the first day of practice. For seniors, like Kristin Cartwright, a fifth year senior, didn't have to, came back and played and just had a great year. I think to me I'm going to really look at the big picture this year when it's all said and done.
Last thing I will say is hopefully we'll still be playing. Hopefully we'll get a chance to play in the NIT in the post season, I think we've earned that right. We'll see what happens. But I feel like these guys deserve that opportunity.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach. Questions for student athletes.
Q. Question for Amy. Amy, a lot of times during the season you have, and Northwestern has the advantage inside with your height, how do you have to change your game when you're going against Krista Phillips or Allyssa DeHaan, a couple of centers that are bigger than you?
AMY JAESCHKE: Every night it's different when you go up against Big Ten post players. You just have to change your game up a little bit. You still have to keep the mentality of having to attack the post players on defense and try to just get them in foul trouble and rely on your guards a lot to have a big night.
Q. Kristin, best record in 13 years, Coach, right? I think you said best record in 13 years. It's worth coming back for, regardless of how the tournament ends, it's worth coming back for, to be a part of that, I take it?
KRISTIN CARTWRIGHT: Yes, like Coach said, it's been a great year. We've made a lot of we've achieved a lot of records from like ten years back or so. So that was great to be a part of. And obviously we want to do a lot better here.
But I think we're all proud of each other for the success that we've had this year.
Q. Kendall, how frustrating was it when Michigan was going on their 12 0 run, stuff like that in the first half when they were pulling off offensive boards and banking in 3 pointers at the buzzer, stuff like that?
KENDALL HACKNEY: I give Michigan credit. They were playing hard the first half. We weren't playing as hard as we could. We let them have a lot of second chance opportunities, which we've been working on, and they're very good at crashing the boards. So we didn't do a great job of boxing out. And they scored a lot of their points off of second chance.
And it was really frustrating. But, you know, we just gotta we couldn't let it kill us. We just had to keep coming back in the second half. We really fought back and showed a lot of heart, I think, especially in the second half.
So they knocked their shots down. Their shots were falling, every single one, no matter what they threw up. And we did our best to contest, but a lot of times we just mixed some boxouts here and there. It hurt us and we dug that hole in.
I thought we did a great job coming back and fighting back in the second half.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.
Q. Coach, you talked a lot about changing the culture of winning and the culture of women's basketball at Northwestern. Where does this season end that journey and what's the next step?
COACH MCKEOWN: That's a great question. Not because he's sitting here but Jim Phillips, to me, has a great vision for Northwestern athletics, not just basketball. I think it's a great time to be part of it now.
You saw what football did. You see what Coach Carmody is doing with his program. So many of our sports are national powers across the board. I think it's a great time, I think, to be part of Northwestern. And it's frustrating for me because I'm used to playing in the championship game, playing in the NCAA tournament.
So I've got to find a better way to deal with that. I struggle with that right now. But, more importantly, when you look at our team, it's just been one of those years, so many great things happen.
We hit a shot to beat Purdue, it was so long ago and it was last year, December, but winning out in Michigan and coming back and beating Minnesota with two seconds left on an inbounds play, hitting the shot, the game we did at home defeat Michigan. Those were plays and games, beat DePaul for the first time since DePaul was a Protestant school, I don't know. It's been a while.
Those games, Beth Marshall hitting eight 3s against Arkansas and just sending them home in a game that I thought we were in trouble and really they were in trouble. You're going to remember those things when it's all said and done.
Today is a bump in the road. But the big picture of this program, I think we're on the right track.
Q. You're bringing back so many of your rotation players next year, losing Kristin, how important is that for this experience, for the expression that they're coming in with a winning season rather than the past class that started losing right away?
COACH MCKEOWN: No question, just the atmosphere when we come into our locker room, you come to practice, you're part of something rather than being in a situation where a lot of times it's been when is the last game. Now, they're setting goals higher. And I think Kendall and Dannielle had a great year. Inesha Hale has been hurt a lot. We have to get her going.
I think the players we signed, they're all we have a young lady sitting out, Tailor Jones, that played for the University of Florida, played in the NCAA tournament. She energizes practice, and I think she'll be a big piece of what we do next year.
Q. This is kind of a follow up, but if you had to say one thing that you want to see improve between now and the start of next Big Ten season, what would that be?
COACH MCKEOWN: That's a good question. I think where we broke down as a team, when you really just get technical and just talk about pure basketball and we watch film all night, you're like I can't believe we didn't screen here or do that.
I think offensively we were just limited this year. We have to develop offensively a little bit. We've got to develop more weapons besides Amy. And that caught up with us a little bit down the stretch this year.
I think the biggest thing for us, believe it or not, I've always had a lot of success as the defensive coach, is that we have to get better offensively, as a team, passing, shooting.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.