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March 18, 2017

Dawn Plitzuweit

Bridget Arens

Allison Arens

Iowa City, Iowa

Iowa - 78, South Dakota - 73

Q. You went against Iowa toe-to-toe right until the very end; at least your effort was there.
BRIDGET ARENS: Yeah, I think it's disappointing to end that way, but I really think that every girl on the roster really bought into what we were trying to accomplish today. We may not have come out on top, but I think everybody gave their best effort, and we hope to do that every time we step foot on the floor.

Q. What about going against Megan Gustafson? She's kind of a load down there.
BRIDGET ARENS: Yeah, she's a good player. She made us pay, but she's a good player.

Q. What makes her so good down there? Se was 15-of-16; everything was going in.
BRIDGET ARENS: She's got some size. She gets deep position, and when she's got that size, she can finish over a lot. Her teammates did a great job of making passes, and it was probably a team effort on their part.

Q. Great 3-point shooting. Have you guys been doing that all year pretty much?
ALLISON ARENS: Well, we try to.

Q. They got off to a fast start. What enabled you guys to get back so quick in that second quarter?
BRIDGET ARENS: Poise, getting in a flow. J.C. Bradley stepped up and made some huge shots. She's a great shooter. She has a lot of confidence, so we knew when the ball went in her hand that she was probably going to make them, but just getting in the flow of the game was big.

DAWN PLITZUWEIT: I was proud of how our kids competed throughout the course of the game, and certainly dug ourselves a little bit of a hole early, and to weather that storm and come back and be tied at halftime, even having an opportunity going into the fourth quarter, I think the score was tied at that point in time, and then one shot, one rebound, something goes our way, it can be a different outcome.

But it wasn't, and I thought Iowa did a really good job continuing to attack our low post kids, and when we tried to double, then they dumped it down for a lay-up opportunity. So tried a couple different ways to guard it, went into a zone to try to guard it. Gustafson got a huge rebound at the end of the game, and not because our kids weren't trying, she's just a little bit better than our kids in that position at that time and that possession.

Iowa has a really good chance to go on and continue being successful in the WNIT, but really excited to watch them grow because they've got a bunch of young kids, too. I think they do a really good job, and just really excited about our kids and the way that they handled themselves with a lot of composure and a lot of poise and played good basketball. It was a fun game to be a part of.

Q. You mentioned the double-team. Did you think going in you'd be able to play that double-team more than you were able to?
DAWN PLITZUWEIT: We did. We thought we could potentially get to it, but they took advantage of it early so we tried to get into different ways to guard. Bridget was doing a decent job for a little while just making catches a little bit tougher, making the possessions go a little bit longer, but they continued to find a way to get the ball in to Gustafson, and her size and her ability to score. I thought our kids at times were doing as good of a job as they could defending her, and she still made shots against us. She really played a great basketball game.

Q. What was your scouting report against Iowa? Was it what you expected, inside game and outside shooters and balance and things like that?
DAWN PLITZUWEIT: I think they're a team that scores the ball very efficiently, and they did that tonight. They average 76 points a game, they score at a 47 clip, so you try to find different ways to slow them down, whether it means try to turn them over, whether it means try to outscore them, and I thought in stretches we got some things in transition, too. But they're a team that's really hard to hold down because of the way that they can continue to score.

Q. When you shoot free throws as well as you do, it's a nice luxury because you're able to take the ball on the bounce and then when they collapse you kick it out?
DAWN PLITZUWEIT: Well, we've been fortunate during the course of the last few weeks, maybe the last month of the season, we've been able to attack the post and score inside, but that was a struggle for us tonight, so we had to find another way to continue to attack the rim, and we did it off the dribble a lot with Allison tonight, some with Ciara, some with Madison McKeever, and I thought our kids did a really good job getting to the rim, and obviously got to the free-throw line, and you're right, having an opportunity to finish and make shots at the free-throw line gives you an opportunity to continue staying in the game.

Q. With how new this team was heading into this, new staff, new system, new everything, and you guys end up with 23 wins, in the second round of the WNIT and just looking how young your roster is and how many girls stepped up, how encouraging is that looking towards the future?
DAWN PLITZUWEIT: Well, it's really exciting for us, and we just talked to our kids in the locker room just about the way that they approached the season. They very easily could have come in and said, well, we've had success and we've done it a very different way, and so we're not really sure, but they never did that. They were always kids that bought in. They worked really hard. They were incredibly coachable. They gave great, great effort, and they continued to grow.

I'm really proud of our seniors. Jasmine Trimboli, who should be back with us next year after having a season-ending injury; Caitlin Duffy, who we hope can get a sixth year, we'll have to kind of wait and see if that happens; and then Abigail Fogg, and Bridget Arens, and those two kids played a ton of minutes for us.

Abby is a kid that last year shot one arc shot, and I think she made one tonight. She's shot about 70 on the season so far, or close to 70 on the season. So the development that she has had has been incredible. And Bridget, too; Bridget hit some big shots. They went into it was either a box-and-one or a triangle-and-two, and Bridget was left unguarded and hit some big shots. So our seniors have done a great job of being great leaders for us this year, and our younger kids have gotten some very valuable minutes, so the fact that during the course of the game today we've had really four underclassmen, freshmen and sophomores, actually five, Taylor did a great job when she came in, a lot of young kids playing, really gets us excited about the future of the program.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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