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March 3, 2017

Joe McKeown

Nia Coffey

Christen Inman

Ashley Deary

Indianapolis, Indiana

Ohio State - 99, Northwestern - 68

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Northwestern student-athletes and Coach McKeown. We'll start with an opening statement from you and we'll take questions from the students.

COACH MCKEOWN: You know, we got off to a rough start. We struggled a little bit and Ohio State hit 9 3s and we just couldn't recover from that. And I felt like we had a really good game plan. We played really well against them, our senior group. And I thought we were ready to play.

And you've got to give them credit. They just made a lot of shots, took us out of what we did. And, you know, really that was the story of tonight's game or today's game.

On the other side of that, I can't tell you what these three student-athletes have done for our program, for Northwestern. We're 20-11. They've won 23 games. Got to the NCAA Tournament. They've averaged probably 20 wins a year, but more important the impact they've made on Northwestern women's basketball nationwide and as student-athletes in the community, everything they've done just really proud of them.

And I think there's a chance we might get to play again, those things are out of our hands right now. So we'll see. But, again, played such a great game against Iowa and to come back today just didn't play as well as we're capable. So disappointed. But really proud of this team.

Q. Ashley, seemed like in the first half, first quarter especially you guys struggled to get good looks offensively. What do you think that was?
ASHLEY DEARY: We just had difficulty breaking their press.

Q. And then the turnovers were a big issue. What kind of went wrong in the game that led to so many turnovers?
NIA COFFEY: Their press was giving us a lot of problems and we just turned over the ball a lot, and we couldn't get into the flow of the offense.

Q. Obviously got into first half trouble struggling against the press how much was that a turning point to have to go deeper into the bench and find some options at the point?
COACH MCKEOWN: I mean, listen, Ashley Deary is -- she's played probably more -- I don't even know in four years probably as many minutes as anybody in the history of this program. So it's hard to be on the floor without her. And picking up three fouls put us in a bind there. But, again, but the things we probably needed to that we did in the first game against Ohio State, we just couldn't get done today against the press.

Q. Touched on it in the opening statement, but what has sort of the senior class meant to the program and just to you as a head coach having them on the team?
COACH MCKEOWN: I think the biggest thing to me personally was all three that are sitting here could have went to hundreds of schools all over the country. Great high school careers, were highly recruited, great student-athletes. For them to take a chance on Northwestern and then on me, because at the time we were just building, we were trying to turn the program around. And I spent a lot of time recruiting all three and I'm really proud that they bought in not just to me but to Northwestern and our family atmosphere.

Q. You got into a bit of foul trouble early in the game and in the third quarter. How were you guys adjusting to sort of Ashley with the three early fouls?
COACH MCKEOWN: Yeah, obviously we could have done a better job handling the press. With Ashley out and we just didn't do a very good job of -- and Ohio State did a really good job of getting in passing lanes, trapping us, deflections, forcing us to play faster than we wanted. That led to us taking some, not just turnovers but some quick shots too that we thought those played into the transition of both teams.

Q. When you did break the press, it seemed like you were out of sync offensively. Was the press a component of that, not being able to run really crisp?
COACH MCKEOWN: I think there was some that. I think when we did break it we were able to score. When we were able to run our offense and reverse the ball, we were able to get good shots.

I don't know how much playing yesterday, with so many injuries we have, played into today, but we're not a program that's built on excuses. It's not how we ended up being Northwestern.

So just didn't get it done, just didn't execute. Didn't make the right pass at the right time. And when you win 20 games and you have over .500 record in the Big Ten, we made a lot of great plays this year. So today was, I think, an exception to who we are.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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