March 7, 2009
OHIO STATE QUOTES
THE MODERATOR: We're going to go straight to the student athletes for questions, and I will repeat the player's name before they answer.
Q. Jantel, watched you guys come out tonight for the game, the starting 5 especially, what were you talking about? Were you just talking about this game?
JANTEL LAVENDER: We came out and held it up and we were like all we have to do is be ferocious and have a lot of energy and focus on running and rebounding, as it was the key thing that we were talking about in our huddles. And we were talking about coming out, being the first people to start out in the game and with a lot of energy so that everyone on the bench could come out with that same intensity, because we set the tempo for the game.
Q. Ashlee, do you remember any games where you guys came out the last two games, where you came out with a better first seven or eight minutes this season?
ASHLEE TREBILCOCK: I don't know whether there was a couple better couple minutes, but we came out real hard against Michigan State and a couple of those teams at the beginning of the Big Ten. And we just brought that back. It's all about like our first defense, we weren't letting them get anything off.
And I think that's why we got that early lead.
Q. Jantel, was there any talk about the fact that they had scored 85 points against you the last time you saw them that you did not want that to happen again?
JANTEL LAVENDER: Yeah, that was a major emphasis. And we knew if we give up 85 points it's kind of hard for us to beat a team like that. We know if we play defense and we hold them to a certain amount of points that our team is capable of it, and we come out with a great defensive effort we'll do good. 85 points is just too much to give up. We knew that.
Q. Jantel, you and Star Allen you did whatever you wanted, could you talk about that?
JANTEL LAVENDER: I think we saw it early we could be dominant in the post, it was opening up and we reversed the ball. And we play a high low game good together and we noticed it early in the game, and we took advantage of it.
Q. Ashlee, one of the things you guys did in this game that was different at Iowa Star was on Kachine Alexander. Can you talk about the reason that that happened and the job that Star had to do to keep her off the boards?
ASHLEE TREBILCOCK: It's just a smart matchup because Ausdemore is more of a guard, and we realized that. And Wendy Ausdemore is more of a driver. And it's hard for someone like that to go against Star. That's kind of a hard matchup for her.
So Coach made that call before the game, and it was a good move.
Q. Both of you, could you talk about how many times how many turnovers you froze in that first half on Iowa and overall for the game?
ASHLEE TREBILCOCK: I wasn't in in the very beginning, but we just had a lot of pressure. We weren't letting them getting any easy entry passes. You could tell they started getting frustrated when Smith threw up kind of an ugly looking 15 footer, and they started rushing shots and just trying to get shots off.
And that was just they couldn't get the ball into their guards.
JANTEL LAVENDER: That was a good response.
ASHLEE TREBILCOCK: Thanks (laughter).
Q. At what point did you really know that you had this game under your control and you were going to win this game?
JANTEL LAVENDER: I think we came out and we set the tempo in the first half, and we knew we had to come out with that same energy in the second half and we knew if we didn't let up it was kind of hard for them to keep up with us, especially with the way we were running and the way that we were rebounding.
So we knew we had to come out with the same intensity we played in the first half and we were up like, what, I don't know by how much by the second half. But we just came out and played the exact same we did in the first half because it was effective.
Q. Ashlee, you had I think eight straight points there when they started to cut into it a bit. Did you feel good to hit those 3s to put down their little rally in the first half?
ASHLEE TREBILCOCK: It's nice to make shots. I didn't think about it, it was eight in a row or anything. But the most important thing is our teammates, we were reversing the ball really well and they were getting me open shots and the layup just opened up.
Q. You've already played Purdue twice. You get them tomorrow night. What do you expect for them tomorrow night, Jantel?
JANTEL LAVENDER: I expect them to come out and play extremely hard. This is sort of one their home courts. We have to be ferocious, like we played today. Come out with the same intensity we played today and just play Ohio State basketball.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies.
Questions for Coach Foster.
Q. Talking about offense last night and this game, even though you got off to a fast start, it was all about defense again, wasn't it?
COACH FOSTER: It's always about defense.
Q. How did you like the way you guys were doing it this time?
COACH FOSTER: I thought we had the right energy and I thought we made the right decisions, and we were very aggressive with our switches. We didn't we went to them. We challenged early and often.
Q. Coach, could you talk about how well Jantel runs the floor? She always gets down quick, a lot of easy baskets in transition.
COACH FOSTER: I've said this actually got a letter from a fan after Jantel's freshman year that told me she was slow and didn't have good hands. And my biggest fear is that Jim Tressel realizes that the best tight end on our campus plays for me. She can run like a deer and she's got great hands.
Q. Coach, your team's gotten off to a great start two nights in a row, but then it's leveled off. Is that any concern to you? Is it hard to keep an edge?
COACH FOSTER: No, it's basketball. I mean, they're 21 10. They're a good basketball team. This isn't boxing. You can't knock an opponent out. The game's going to last 40 minutes.
And they have three seniors that have scored over a thousand points in their career. They're hungry. They have first and second round at their place, play preceding, all the motivation in the world.
That's what this thing's about, and what collegiate sports are about. This time of year playing with a purpose and with a lot of heart.
Q. Again, you switched Star onto Alexander, who was pretty active and remarkable on the boards, but she did what kind of job do you think she did with that?
COACH FOSTER: I think she did a great job. Alexander's home is the lane and Ausdemore's is on the perimeter. That's where they're both in their comfort zone. And last time we're running Star out to the perimeter, play a post player really as a guard and we got a very active rebounding forward who is making hay in the lane with her aggressiveness.
Q. Allen was pretty tenacious on the boards. Could you talk about her? A lot of rebounds, at least one or two off a missed free throw. Could you talk about that?
COACH FOSTER: She had a lot of practice with that tonight. We usually are a very good foul shooting team. In fact, we are a very good foul shooting team. So I'm not quite sure what the team decided to work on their offensive rebounding off of foul shots today.
She's quick. She's very quick and very deceptive and she has great hands. So if you don't put a body on her, her feet are going to get her in a place where she can do damage, and it's something that she's done for her whole career and is doing more often down the stretch.
Q. Again, you've seen Purdue twice. Are you guys going to surprise each other tomorrow night with anything or are you just going to go after each other?
COACH FOSTER: I'm sure that people will have wrinkles. It's the nature of what we do. We'll watch film tonight and tomorrow morning before we go on for our shoot around. And we'll have some thoughts, as will they.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. We'll open up with the general comments from Coach Lisa Bluder then go to the student athletes.
COACH BLUDER: Want to congratulate Ohio State for a great game. They played really well. Their defense was great in the first half and it almost shellshocked us the way they played defense.
We were back on our heels, turned the ball over too many times at the beginning of the game and you just can't give a good team like that that many points right off the bat.
The second half we came around a little bit. We did a better job taking care of the basketball, shot the ball a little bit better. So that's good, but obviously this game didn't go the way we would have liked it.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student athletes.
Q. Kristi, I think I saw you shaking your head early in the first half. What was that like the first 10 minutes?
KRISTI SMITH: You know, it's just frustrating. We obviously didn't come out the way we wanted to start the game, and you can't give good teams like Ohio State I don't really know what to say. We definitely didn't start the way we wanted to.
Q. Kristi, could you talk about the turnovers in the first half, especially that first about eight minutes, I think you had about seven or so, the team?
KRISTI SMITH: To their credit, they're a great defensive team, and I think they just caught us on our heels and caught us off guard.
They were intense. And we weren't prepared for it.
Q. Kamille, did they do anything different than the first time you played them, defensively?
KAMILLE WAHLIN: They're just a very good man to man defensive team. They came out and we knew that was going to happen. But, like Kristi said, we were on our heels and we didn't attack them like we should have like we did the first time we played them.
Q. Kristi, I know you're not always underneath, but Jantel Lavender and Star Allen, how can you they seemed to have their way tonight.
KRISTI SMITH: Yeah, they were beasts down low tonight and they got a whole lot of rebounds and that hurt us.
We just gotta go work the next couple of weeks and get better.
Q. Kristi, what do you think is the biggest difference between yesterday's performance and today?
KRISTI SMITH: Just we didn't attack tonight. Last night I felt as though we were attacking the hole a lot harder, more aggressive. Our shots were falling last night. Our shots weren't falling so much tonight.
Q. Could you talk about that a little bit more, both of you, just the shots not falling tonight, kind of the shooting performance?
KRISTI SMITH: Basically, you know, when our shots don't fall, we've got to count on our defense. We've got to get stops. And we didn't do that.
Q. Kamille, you really provided a spark in the second half. You scored seven points of your team's 15 to 4 run or whatnot. Could you talk about that little mini run you had in the first half?
KAMILLE WAHLIN: Wish they could have come a little earlier because when you go against a team like Ohio State, it needs to be a full 40 minutes. It can't happen halfway through the second half.
It was a good little run, and hopefully we can take that run and learn from it and realize that we need to put that into 40 minutes instead of just a little spurt here and there. But that's just something that we have to learn going into the tournament.
Q. Kristi, could you talk about you guys came in, seven game winning streak, played your best ball of the year and that first half and overall not playing as well as you had been?
KRISTI SMITH: That definitely wasn't the half that we or how we wanted to come out and play, but we have two weeks to work hard and prepare ourselves for the NCAA tournament and I'm sure we'll take full advantage of it.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies.
Questions for Coach.
Q. Coach, can you talk just more about that start? What about their defense changed maybe from the first time you played them or did anything?
COACH BLUDER: I think they came out much more aggressive than they did at our place the first time. And, yeah, it caught us off guard a little bit.
But we have seen good defense throughout the year. But Ohio State certainly is a great team. And they really came out with that wanting to avenge that loss, and they did a great job to begin this.
We turned the ball over too many times. They had 13 points off our turnovers in the first half. Second half we did a much better job, only three turnovers in the second half. We did a lot of things better in the second half, but you can't give that much of an advantage to a great team.
Q. Coach, could you talk about Lavender and Allen, they really, both had great games down low?
COACH BLUDER: They did. And Jantel Lavender is just, she's just a wonderful player. She's a great, great player. I thought we could do a better job on Star. I think Star is a quality player as well. But her rebounding tonight was exceptional.
Bothers me how many rebounds, she gets seven offensive rebounds. That's something we have a little control over. It bothers me that we didn't box out a little bit better underneath.
Q. Could you just talk about what do you think the biggest difference is between today's performance and yesterday's?
COACH BLUDER: The ball didn't go in the hole as much for us. We shot the ball extremely well at our place, and we got to the free throw line 30 times. Tonight we got to the free throw line nine times. That's not enough for us.
We're a good free throw shooting team. We're used to being at the free throw line. We're used to being able to penetrate and drawing some fouls. And we weren't able to have that happen tonight. So I think that was a big difference for us.
Q. Did you guys help your seed this weekend, do you think, for the NCAA tournament?
COACH BLUDER: I think so. We came in here playing very well in our last 10 games and played well yesterday. I know the whole thing, the seed, is not based on one 20 minute performance.
Q. Could you talk a little bit more about the shooting, seeing they were pretty cold in the first half?
COACH BLUDER: Especially from 3 point range, we're a good 3 point shooting team. But we didn't get many good looks either. Give credit to Ohio State for that. They really got out and really took away our strengths, and we just didn't take advantage of some things that we felt we could take advantage of, too. For example, a guard guarding Wendy down in the block. But we couldn't get her the ball. And, again, give credit to Ohio State for preventing us from doing that.
Q. How important of a part to their offense do you see Allen as being? Coach Foster talked about he thought that what hurt them in the first game was when she was out for about five minutes late in the first half?
COACH BLUDER: I'm sorry?
Q. Talking to him for the last month, he's talked about how Star Allen being out against you guys was what really put them off track then and obviously she had a great game tonight.
COACH BLUDER: She did. I mean, she did. She had a great game. Especially rebounding wise, I thought she was very, very good. No, she didn't play as well as she did tonight at our place. That's absolutely true.
She didn't have those kind of rebounding numbers. I just feel like we should have been able to beat her off the dribble a little bit more, off the dribble drive. Again, give her credit that she was able to contain our drives.
Q. Coach, can you talk about the game Kamille had especially against going head up against the Big Ten Freshman of the Year a lot?
COACH BLUDER: Kamille, she struggled to begin with. It's tough when you go into a game like that, and she had some early turnovers. But I think it really shows a lot of her maturity, the way she turned it around the second half. I mean, she came out the second half and did a great job attacking and wasn't scared to pull up.
And I'm disappointed that we didn't keep getting her the ball in that situation, and I needed to stress that more. So I'm just pleased with the way she was able to turn it around, because sometimes that doesn't happen, especially to a younger player, they're not able to turn it around within a game like that. So she did a great job with that.
Q. Coach, twice in the game they missed both free throws and then got the rebound to put it back in. How demoralizing is that?
COACH BLUDER: That is that's one of those things that's pretty demoralizing when that happens. You get to the free throw line. They did not shoot well from the free throw line tonight. We just didn't take advantage of that with the boxouts. But, again, it's something for us to really work on in the next couple of weeks.
Q. Only Kristi and Kamille finishing double figures scoring, how big of an effect was that? Normally you guys run on being really balanced.
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, but we were still balanced tonight. We didn't have the people on double figures, but we had two people with 9, two people with 8, two people with 11. So we were balanced, just not enough high balance.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.