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November 29, 2017

Lisa Bluder

Iowa City, Iowa

Florida State - 94, Iowa - 93

LISA BLUDER: Well, I'm really proud of my team. I thought they battled every second out there. Proud of their effort. I wish we could have given them the win. I think they deserved it. I think the fans saw a very exciting, fun game tonight. I think they got their dollars' worth, so hopefully they'll come back.

We shot the ball extremely well. We had five people in double figures. We shot the ball well from every category. But when you give up 24 more shots to the opposing team and you lose by one point, it's hard because it's offensive rebounds. We let up too many offensive rebounds and had too many turnovers, and a lot of live-ball turnovers that ended up being high percentage shots for them at the other end.

In saying all that, we're still in there at the end, and Megan, again, if she's not one of the best centers in America, I don't know who is. She continues to give me wow moments. I see some of the things she does on the floor and I'm in awe of her abilities. But everybody shot the ball well tonight, not just Megan. Everybody was involved. I think there was a point where we made 15 straight shots we made. That's just unheard of. Great job offensively.

Defensively, we just didn't have an answer for Thomas. Imani shot well from three-point range, but I thought Thomas on the block really, really hurt us. She's a great player. Probably will play in the WNBA next year, and we just really struggled defending her down the stretch.

Q. Of all those "oh wow" moments, how was the one at the end of the third period where Megan ran the court?
LISA BLUDER: Yeah, I mean, the body control, the hands. Call her velcro hands because she catches everything. To be able to slice through those defenders on the move, catching the ball over your shoulder, it's unbelievable.

Q. You guys were ahead by 12 and then Thomas sort of took over. Was there something defensively that happened there or was it just an all-American doing all-American things?
LISA BLUDER: We didn't have a defensive answer for her and then I tried to go zone and tried to give a little bit of help to my post down underneath, but then they come out and hit a three, so that didn't work so well, so I'll take the blame for that. I'm the one that went to zone in that possession to try to help out on 20 inside, and they come out and nail a three on us.

Q. Can you talk about offensive rebounds being a problem? It's been a problem for you the past couple years. What do you think you need to do to correct that?
LISA BLUDER: Well, we have went against two exceptional offensive rebounding teams. Florida State ranks in the top in the country in offensive rebounding. They get over 50 percent of their offensive rebounds, which is amazing. We held them to 39 tonight, so it was actually better than anybody else has been able to hold them. I know they still got 19 offensive rebounds, but we definitely have to do better. We definitely have to get our guards involved in our zone box-outs, and we must improve.

But you know, I'm a little bit more disappointed in our offensive rebounds. We only got 21 percent of offensive rebounds, we only got five. Those are second opportunities. Those are easy buckets on offensive rebounds, so that's a little frustrating for me.

Q. I know this is a little hard right now, but what do you feel like your team gained from tonight?
LISA BLUDER: I hope they feel like they gained confidence. We led the No. 11 team for almost 31 minutes. So I hope they gain confidence that they can play with anybody in the country. Florida State has five senior starters on that team. They're an experienced team and we played them right down to the end. So I'm proud of my team for keeping in the moment and playing hard. I think there's a lot that we can gain from this game, and there's certainly a lot that we can gain.

Q. Do you think those turnovers were a function just of their quickness, or was some of it maybe fatigue?
LISA BLUDER: It could be. You know, yeah. I mean, there was definitely some passes that we weren't reading the defense very well. When the defense is on the high side, you can't make a pass into the post. Some reads that we can work on to make it better to avoid some of those situations. But I think they're pretty quick. I think they got around us pretty well. We still had 28 assists, though. That's pretty good.

Q. Was that a set play that Meyer tried to miss a free throw on purpose?
LISA BLUDER: We were going to try to miss it. We had the rebound for a second. We have a play we run off the free-throw line and try to get the offensive rebound, and it was almost there.

Q. Megan's two free throws tied the game at 86, and then I don't think there was a time-out, and then 32 hit that bomb from way out. Is there any defense for that? She obviously was ready to shoot.
LISA BLUDER: She was and that's when I went to the zone, so again, I'll take full responsibility for that because I just was trying to provide a little help because I felt like 20 was killing us inside and trying to provide a little bit of help from that.

But that was a pretty big dagger.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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