March 7, 2014
COACH BLUDER: We feel really good about this game. Coming from behind, battling foul trouble the first half, beating a very, very good basketball team, a team that's going to do incredible things in the NCAA Tournament. So it always makes you feel good when you beat a team that you respect. And we have a lot of respect for Purdue and the program and Sharon and Courtney Moses, and so that one makes this one feel good, those reasons.
Q. Ally, I guess I'd sum up this game with Iowa is you; you were 0-for-nine at one point, banged your head into the basket, fell on the ground. The second half was just different, you kept attacking and attacking. What made Iowa win today?
ALLY DISTERHOFT: I think we just did a great job distributing the ball. That's kind of something we pride ourselves in is playing very unselfishly, always looking to make that extra pass. Obviously the first half for me was a little rough, but my teammates and coaches were just encouraging me throughout halftime and the second half. We believe in each other so much, and when you have a group of girls that believe in each other that much, you can do some pretty great things and, I think that's what we did here today.
Q. Samantha, you guys scored on nine straight possessions there late in the game to take them into a seven point lead. What stands out execution wise in that stretch there for you?
SAMANTHA LOGIC: I think keeping our composure with 12 minutes left, you're down seven, easily could fold or easily could just lose your focus, and I think we kept our focus today. Like Al said, just distributing the ball. You just don't know who the ball is going to go to. And on our team anyone can make a play. We had a couple of different people today at some point make huge plays, and that's what we feed off of.
Q. Sam, what did you guys think of the pace of the game? Is that the type of pace you guys wanted, the back and forth seesaw type of thing?
SAMANTHA LOGIC: Yeah, I think so. We want to get up and down. In the first half we weren't able to do that too much because we weren't rebounding on the defensive end, letting them get put backs so we couldn't get out and push. We did a little bit better job in the second half, I think. That's the best place that we distribute the ball. Obviously with three or four people that can lead a break, it makes it really fun.
Q. I think a couple parts of the game you had to match up with Courtney Moses. What sort of things as a defender can you do to try to limit her effect on the game?
THEAIRRA TAYLOR: You're not going to just stop her in the game. You just want to contest her shots. She's good at coming off screens. They set a lot of down screens and flair screens for us. We just wanted to show on those screens and our focus going in defensively was to stop Courtney Moses. She's a great player, but I think we did a good job at the end in contesting her shots.
Q. Ally, what was your reaction when you heard Ohio State won and kind of your thoughts on a few things that you guys need to do to beat them?
ALLY DISTERHOFT: Yeah, you know, we were watching the end of that game, and you know, obviously they played a great game. But you know, we're just going to focus on what we need to do to win. Obviously having played them twice this season, I think that gives us a bit of an advantage. We kind of know what to expect scouting wise. Like I said, we're just to focus on playing Iowa basketball.
Q. Sam, you touched a little bit on the foul trouble. Particularly in the first half I think you guys only had 16 fouls, but it was you two, Dixon two and Doolittle two. How did that come into effect in particular in the first half and especially the closing of the first half?
SAMANTHA LOGIC: You know, we usually sit out with two fouls. Didn't want to pick up that third one, so Beth was out for awhile, Dix was out for awhile. So it was important that our bench played really well again. Obviously they gave us a lift yesterday, and we got a lift going into halftime again. Just to keep it close, that's all you're going to do and that's what -- we know we can win those kinds of games. They did a great job. But just got to try to stay out of that.
Q. There were two times in the last three and a half minutes out of a time out Purdue had a turnover and kind of threw it out of bounds. Can you take me through those two plays, and were you expecting what they were going to try to do or how those played out?
COACH BLUDER: They were trying to force the ball inside. I think we did a good job in getting our feet and getting them around and make it a harder pass. They were trying to really take advantage of Ally inside. Again, I think our footwork kind of created a harder pass. But also I think when they lost the lead it took a little wind out of their sails, and obviously the momentum shifted.
Q. Coach, how did you think your bench played tonight? In particular, Claire and Kali had to give you a lot of minutes in the first half. Can you assess how you thought they played?
COACH BLUDER: They were big. I was just looking at that right now, Ryan, is that Lex plays 16 for us, Claire plays 15, Kali plays 13, all huge minutes, and they played really well in their time. That's what's been so nice, you know, the development of our bench in the last month or so. Claire Till's basket in the last few minutes there, that was huge. She just took it up strong. And they're just not trying to overdo. They're not trying to do too much. They're coming in and they're playing their role and they're giving us good quality minutes.
Q. Lisa, the two turnovers that Brian talked about, overall Purdue committed 20, but being able to capitalize on those mistakes, how big was that for you guys?
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, I think we scored 32 points off of their 20 turnovers. That's a lot. You know, we had a couple of times they threw it out of bounds but we also took five charges in this game, maybe even more. That number stands out to me right now. It's not easy to take a charge. I really admire players when they take charges, because it's hard to put your body in the way of somebody coming in full force to the basket. Once you get a couple of them you realize they are going to call this. We are going to be able to pick it up. Then it kind of snowballs. I think that happened to us today. We realized we could do this, and it kind of got everybody a little bit more inspired to give up their bodies.
Q. Doolittle was pretty much a nonfactor in the first half. What sort of things were you guys able to do to get her going in the second half?
COACH BLUDER: You know, Bethany can have a bad first half. Ally can have a bad first half. Although I don't like it, I still believe in them. I believe in both of those players so much that they're going come back. Halftime they regroup mentally, come back and give us some great minutes. First half Bethany got into a little bit of foul issues. I'm just never going to back off of her. I won't back off of either one of them. I think they're both great players.
Q. How much did what happened in the first meeting when you guys had the 18 point lead maybe fuel your team when you got down six or maybe the end of the first half to stay in this game?
COACH BLUDER: That was big. It was referred to quite often in the last 24 hours. And you know, honestly probably before then even, too. Our players wanted this rematch. They wanted to have the opportunity to play Purdue again. Again, not -- in all full respect to Purdue, I mean, they're a great team, but it hurts when you're up 16 and you lose by one point. Those things stay with you a lot. And so they were very excited about having this opportunity.
But you know, we'll get down -- we were down seven with 12 minutes. We had to kind of remind them again of those situations that we had a big lead and they came back and beat us and you know, we can turn the tables here.
Q. Lisa, did you have to kind of breathe a sigh of relief at the end? That one really came down to the wire. I guess how on edge were you throughout maybe the last two minutes or so of the game?
COACH BLUDER: I've been on edge the last 24 hours. So it wasn't really the last two minutes, to be quite honest. I mean, Purdue is a great team. They're an 8 RPI. I mean, to beat a team like this -- somebody asked me something about an upset. I said we were tied with Purdue. It wasn't really an upset. They beat us by one point. But yes, breathe a sigh of relief when we got the -- I think it was a seven or eight point lead late. That was nice. It didn't have to come down to the wire like it did last game, the last shot.
Q. Coach, what do you guys need to do well tomorrow?
COACH BLUDER: You know, I have not -- I didn't watch the game today. My assistants did. But I did not. I didn't watch them yesterday, either. I've always believed in focusing on the next game at hand and not really looking ahead a whole lot. So I have great assistant coaches that have prepared us and I'll meet with them right after this. I do know that Ohio State shot the three really well in this tournament, extremely well. So we're going to have to get out and cover their three point shooters. Ameryst is a great player. We definitely have to keep track of her, just like Courtney Moses is a great player. You have to know where those people are and she's having a fabulous tournament.
COACH VERSYP: That was a great basketball game. Saw a lot of offense obviously from the first play in this game. Iowa is obviously a very good team. Both of us pretty much had the same records. Knew it was going to be a battle. People say upsets and this and that. It was just a great basketball game. It could have went either way. And I wish them the best of luck as they move forward.
Q. Courtney, just the turnovers today, is that sort of what the game came down to, you guys giving up a few too many possessions?
COURTNEY MOSES: Yeah, that was the talk at halftime. Coach, as soon as she came in, she put up the stat for the turnovers at halftime and we needed to change that the second half and it didn't happen. We ended with 20 turnovers to their 11, which that's a huge difference. A lot of them were charges, and we didn't adjust to the way that it was being called, and when we were getting those charges, it means we're not getting a shot up and they're getting the ball back. So I think the turnovers are definitely a huge key.
Q. Saying all of that, you have I think a six point lead with about five minutes to go, what changed in that next few minutes that maybe brought them back in the game?
COURTNEY MOSES: They got the ball in transition. They got a few buckets. They were getting layups. They were getting to the foul line and they were hitting their foul shots.
Q. Courtney, you guys came out of time outs two times in the a row there late and had the turnovers. Just how much does that in particular hurt? Because I imagine you guys have something set up coming out of both of those that you feel like you might be able to score on?
COURTNEY MOSES: Any time we aren't getting a shot up and we're giving it right back to them, it definitely hurts. If we're not getting a shot up that means we're not able to get an offensive board maybe. So there's a lot that you lose when you turn the ball over.
Q. Lisa, what advantage did you guys feel like you had inside and being able to you know, do you feel like you exploited that enough today?
LIZA CLEMONS: Apparently not good enough. We did finish. We got Doolittle in foul trouble, which was huge. We just needed to capitalize when we had post players on us. Get inside offense rebounds as well. And since they front, it's easier to get an offensive rebound. I mean, we tried. We should have tried harder.
Q. I guess the same question I guess, just the two time outs and the turnovers coming out of those two, what did you hope for and what happened on those?
COACH VERSYP: We were setting up wide open, our post players were wide open and the ball just didn't get there, whatsoever.
Q. With the -- what's different about this game maybe than the last, you know, six when you had really taken care of the ball really well?
COACH VERSYP: You just got to look at people that had the turnovers.
Q. What was Iowa doing to not allow you to get any stops late in the game?
COACH VERSYP: We weren't playing any defense. So they were just driving right past us and then we were just trying to get be swat machine rather having two hands straight up. So those two combined getting beat off the dribble and then thinking that we can be a fly swatter wasn't really conducive to what we discussed.
Q. As you look ahead to the NCAA Tournament, do you feel this game should have any bearing where you guys should be?
COACH VERSYP: That's going to be up to the committee. My opinion never matters in anything. So you know, our RPI is 7. Supposed to look at the whole season, injuries, et cetera. Iowa is a great team. They're ranked in the top 25. Their RPI is 28. Do I need to go on? I don't know. It's not up to me. I hope we're a four or five seed. I hope they're a four or five seed. I hope Penn State, they were a three seed; this may hurt them. I hope they're a four or five seed so the three of us have a chance to do something.
Q. KK Houser was suited up today. What was her status? Could she have played?
COACH VERSYP: No. Just going through the warmup. For the game situation, where I needed to have her come in maybe to shoot a free throw if they were pressing us, if we needed a free throw shooter rather than defender, I would have put her. Or if it was the other way around, if we had a good lead, I would have put her in just because she deserves that opportunity.
Q. At the end of the first half they're in foul trouble and only having that four point lead as opposed to what it was at nine, when you reflect back, how big was that sequence for you guys?
COACH VERSYP: It was big. We're ahead by nine. We're not supposed to hop off any ball side shooters. We had turnovers and we had charges and four plays that we were supposed to execute, we didn't execute one. That's when we wanted to take advantage of their lack of size. We were trying to get it inside, trying to get lobs in, and we didn't do that one time in the last four minutes.
Q. You basically started to answer it there, but you just didn't take advantage enough of getting the ball inside for not only then but for a lot of the game?
COACH VERSYP: Yeah. We needed somebody to take control out there. Nobody was. If you push the ball you don't have anything, you need to bring the ball back and then you need to be executing and be zeroed in on what we're looking for in the mismatches, and we did that very poorly today.