Iowa Dumps OSU

Iowa Dumps OSU

Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder's Press Conference transcript after Saturday's big win against Ohio State.

COACH BLUDER: I felt like today we came out and played like we were playing last year, and it feels so good. I thought we kept our focus extremely well in this game. Even when all the fouls are being called against us and the drives, I thought we kept our focus.

We were disciplined. We only had nine turnovers. That was great to see. Our shooting was back to what we expect out of our players, and they just did such a great job. I thought our focus and intensity getting ready for this game was excellent, and I'm just really proud of them.

I'm also very thrilled with our crowd. They really came out to support us this game. I want to thank them. They were amazing, almost 10,000.

I've never heard this arena so excited about a jump ball in all my life. They were excited about everything. They were excited about the popcorn, I think, being done on time. It was just really nice.

It was a good feeling, and it was great energy out there. I think our players really used it and appreciate it very much. So special thanks to the fans that came out today.

Q. Why are you guys so successful driving the ball? Just seemed you guys were more aggressive today.

COACH BLUDER: Jaime Printy put on a penetration clinic out there today. She was excellent getting to the basket can, getting to the rim. She's probably going to beat herself up about missing those two free throws. But she was outstanding, I thought, today.

It's actually something we really want to try to do all the time. We feel that opens up our outside shots by penetrating hard to the basket.

Q. You treat all games the same beforehand, but now that you've won it, what does it mean to win this game?

COACH BLUDER: It's our second top 25 victory. We beat Iowa State convincingly, now we beat Ohio State. They're the number one picked team in the Big Ten to begin the year.

We have a lot of respect for their program. So any time you beat somebody that you respect, it feels good.

Q. That 89 points was the most that anyone's put up against Ohio State this year. Was it in the plan to try to go up tempo and try to get the drive going?

COACH BLUDER: Honestly, we try to do it every game. It's not like there was a special emphasis in this game over other games. It's something that I think we've had a renewed focus in in the last couple of weeks. I think we got away from it, and we've just tried to really emphasize it. It was there, and we took it, so I'll take it.

Q. Last time you saw Lavender was in the Big Ten Tournament and she scored 35 points. She only had 11 shots in this game. Just your defensive scheme coming in and why did it work so well?

COACH BLUDER: We think she's terrific. We think that Jantel Lavender is one of the best posts in America, so we gave her a lot of respect today. We tried to keep our weak-side defense around her.

I thought Morgan did a really nice job on her. I thought Morgan's only a sophomore, but she went against some of the best players and the best posts in America last year as a freshman. I just think it helps her maturity, and I knew going into the summer she knew what to work on to be a better defensive player.

But I think it was a combination of Morgan and we had some good traps. I don't know if it frustrated her or not, she'd have to tell you that. But we did get her into four or five turnovers for the day, which is pretty unusual, probably, for Jantel.

Q. How did the scheme change when Lavender got her second and third fouls bang-bang in the end of the second half? And there was a stretch there where Morgan drove on her twice in a row. Were you more aggressive after that point?

COACH BLUDER: Yeah, obviously didn't take her out of the game. She still played 39 minutes in this game. And Jantel has only fouled out of one game in her whole career, which is an amazing statistic.

But we did feel once she had three in the second half, we shouldn't shy away from her. We should take it at her. Maybe she wouldn't try to block our shots if we go in there when she had the third foul. So we were just very, I think, just more conscientious about being able to take the ball at her and not shy away from her.

Q. What do you do to keep this team -- you mentioned playing like you did last year, what do you do now to keep it at that level for Thursday night Michigan State and throughout the rest of the season?

COACH BLUDER: Remind them how good this feels. I think when you win it's a lot easier to come to practice and be focused and work hard. Those are the things, fundamentals. We need to stress our fundamentals every day. Get ready for every opponent and approach every game the same way.

We're pretty boring in that way. We really do approach every single game the same way, and that's what we need to continue to do.

Q. How tough will that Michigan State team be at home?

COACH BLUDER: They're very good. Michigan State is playing well at home, and obviously it's in their house. We beat them twice last year, and I'm sure they're going to remember that just like we remembered the situation with Ohio State.

Q. Your thoughts on what it's going to be to get through this season for everybody?

COACH BLUDER: Yeah, I agree. This is great year for us to go back to playing 16 games versus playing 18. Most of the top conferences in America don't play as many conference games as we were playing, and I think it was hurting us.

If you play against each other, somebody's got to lose. If you play out of the conference, you can maybe get all of those as wins. Especially if you're winning against good people, which I think the Big Ten did a great job of going out and playing against more competitive people than we've played against in the past and also winning those games.

But you just have to look at Northwestern and what they've done with their program and how well it brought that program up. I mean, there is no easy game in this conference anymore. It definitely is going to cause some interesting -- I mean, every game is so important, I think. It's going to make it interesting at the end of the year because I think the margin of error is going to be very slight.

Q. Kamille had been struggling and she had a nice game today. Talk about her efforts today.

COACH BLUDER: Yeah, I thought she did a beautiful job with some great pull-ups. I thought she led us well. I thought she was very focused. Again, I thought this was a great balanced win.

We had four people in double figures. I thought Kalli Hansen came off the bench and did well for us. I mean, there were so many people that contributed to this win. Kamille was certainly one of them. But this feels like a team victory, and that makes it more rewarding for all of us.

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