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March 8, 2019

Teri Moren

Grace Berger

Ali Patberg

Indianapolis, Indiana

Iowa - 70, Indiana - 61

TERI MOREN: Well, really loved our effort tonight. Loved how we battled back from an earlier deficit. Struggled tonight from the outside. We had four starters go 6 for 28 from the field. The two young ladies next to me really kept us in the game offensively. I thought Linsey Marchese was great in the low blocks, especially defensively against Megan. I thought she did a really nice job overall. But we're disappointed. We're disappointed because, like I said, we got the lead and then couldn't build on it, got some good shots. They went to the old triangle-and-two, had some open looks that just didn't go down for us. Unfortunately wish we could have shot it better. Wish Jaelynn Penn could have shot it a little better tonight. I think maybe the outcome could have been a little bit different for us. But really proud of our group.

Q. Grace, your mid-range shot has kind of been a strong suit of your game, but today you were really able to get into the paint and pull up. What was working for you?
GRACE BERGER: I mean, I knew my shot felt good in warm-ups, and I got in and hit a few, so I was just pretty confident, I guess, in that first quarter.

Q. You guys have given pretty good effort since that Northwestern game. Do you feel like you're playing the right way at this time of year?
ALI PATBERG: Yeah, after that Northwestern game, our team was pretty disappointed in each other just because we know that's not how Coach wants us to play. That's not how we're supposed to play and represent our school and our program. I think since that game, like you said, we've given it all. We've given everything we've had out there, and we've tried to execute the game plan that the coaches give us. I think that's how they want us to play, and I think that's how we'll continue to play.

Q. Ali, Gustafson is obviously a great player offensively. How hard is it to get out to shooters with how much attention you have to give her on the inside?
ALI PATBERG: Yeah, she's an amazing player, and our game plan was to make it tough for her, to clog the lane, kind of take passing angles away into the post. And like Coach said, Linsey was awesome. She did a great job. I think she left it all out there for our team. And you know, their guards, they're great guards, and they hit shots tonight. It's a credit to them.

Q. Ali, you guys forced a lot of turnovers there in the first half, and in the second half they were able to control the ball a little bit more. Did they change anything offensively in the second half that made it a little bit harder to create pressure or take the ball away?
ALI PATBERG: Yeah, I think they hit shots in the second half. We were really active in the first half and we got steals. But I still think we made it pretty difficult to get the ball in the second half, as well.

Q. Grace, in a game where Jaelynn kind of struggled to shoot the ball at the beginning, when you came in did you take it upon yourself to slot into her role and try to get some buckets for your team?
GRACE BERGER: I mean, I wouldn't say I was trying to fill any roles. I was just getting open shots and my teammates and coaches were encouraging me to shoot it, so I was shooting it with confidence.

Q. The team struggled offensively in the first quarter against their zone defense. What made theirs tougher than some you've seen throughout the season?
ALI PATBERG: I thought in the first half -- we came in at half, and Coach said the ball was sticking. I didn't think we were moving it as well. Personally I wasn't getting us into our offenses as quick as I thought I could have, and you know, I thought the middle was open. I thought once we got the ball to the middle we started to create things. Brenna hit a couple of shots. Grace got in there, got some passes out. So I think it was more us offensively in the first half not executing as well as we wanted to.

Q. Obviously you've been talking about this for a while now. You guys have been beating up on each other in the Big Ten. To get one win in the Big Ten Tournament and to battle a team like this, do you feel like you've put together enough resume to --
TERI MOREN: Oh, yeah, without question. It's just not in the Big Ten play. Our non-conference schedule was extremely difficult, and I think that's one of the things that the committee wants you to do. They want you to go out and play people and they want you to beat people, and we've proven that we can beat people, whether it's at home or whether it's on the road, like the road win at UCLA. But then the Big Ten, just the parity, night in and night out. It's always interesting to look up when they'd flash your resume across the TV, and you see Big Ten teams that are bad losses, and I think that that is simply because of the RPI. But I don't know if you ask any Big Ten coach if we think a loss to another Big Ten team is a bad loss. It's just that good of a conference.

Q. Jaelynn got off to a poor start shooting, but what does it say about her and her attitude that she came in and hit two big shots in the fourth quarter?
TERI MOREN: That she wasn't going to quit shooting, which is good, which is what any great shooter does. They have a short memory. But we needed her in that first three quarters to hit some shots for us, and I think, like I said, the outcome I think probably could have been a little bit different for us. So I think it was a frustrating night for Jaelynn, even though she had a couple of those late at that point. Like I said, wishful thinking, but I wish she could have hit a few of those earlier.

Q. Can you talk about the way Ali Patberg played yesterday and today?
TERI MOREN: Well, she's pretty special. Obviously she's new to the Big Ten and a lot of the fans from the Big Ten haven't had the opportunity to watch her, this just being her first year for us. But I think everybody walks away with an appreciation of how she plays the game, how she carries herself, how she handles herself, how she handles herself with her team. But her ability to score it, her ability to facilitate, the energy that she plays with, this is a kid that is very passionate about the game. But I thought Ali, AP, was really, really good the last two days. But it's not anything -- none of us are surprised by it. That's how Ali Patberg plays.

Q. What are some of the challenges of facing a player like Megan twice in such a relatively short span? And would you say it was, I guess, more or less challenging the second time around?
TERI MOREN: She's challenging, period. You can play her five times, 10 times, it doesn't matter. She's going to be a challenge. She's not just a Big Ten Player of the Year, I think she's nationally one of the very best post players right now in the country. But as Ali said and I said in my opening statement, I thought Marchese did a great job. She goes to the free-throw line, went and goes eight for nine, I think. And has, again, 30, but you think about those points that don't come from the free-throw line, that's a pretty good night defensively on her. And I thought Linsey -- you know what, there's no recipe. I've said that. What we try to do was just make it difficult. We tried to dig as much as we could just to create some activity every time she caught it we wanted a second defender to be there. But then you get -- you worry about, again, if you don't recover quick enough, you're going to leave some of their terrific shooters on the outside open. But Megan is a terrific player, and she's going to go off and hopefully I'm certain have a great professional career, wherever she ends up.

Q. How big was Grace coming off the bench and kind of providing a spark for you guys, especially early?
TERI MOREN: Sure, and on a night that JP was struggling, she was huge. I thought in the second half particularly for Grace, she might not admit this, but I think she started getting a little tired. Her shot was pretty flat going down the stretch there. I think it really just came down to her being fatigued. She doesn't normally play that many minutes for that long of a stretch. Now, she plays minutes for us, as you all know, but the stretches that she was playing for us and having to produce some shots for us, that's a little bit longer than she's used to.

Q. You talked about Grace maybe being fatigued. From playing yesterday, did the team look fatigued at all?
TERI MOREN: No, I think, like I said, I loved our effort. Again, that's a -- what are they, top 10, 11 in the country, and you're behind and then you catch up and you tie it up and then you go up. So there's no time right now to be fatigued. We were great today at our shootaround. I thought we had a lot of energy. I know that just in checking in with our kids, they felt really good physically. So I don't -- fatigue is not -- it's only the second day, so that didn't play a part in it. What played a part in it was the fact that we just couldn't hit shots. I don't think that that had anything to do with fatigue, though, at least for Jaelynn and Brenna Wise. Brenna didn't shoot it as well as she has been, either.

Q. You mentioned the good play on defense of Linsey Marchese. She played 27 minutes in this game, only three fouls. What have you seen in the development of her game recently that you can keep her on the court longer and she stays out of foul trouble?
TERI MOREN: I just think her confidence. It started, I think, with Iowa, the big win at home when we asked her to help Kym, help us guard Megan, and I think she just got -- gained some confidence. And then she's been practicing better. She's been practicing more confident, and now we're seeing sort of the fruits of her labor. She's stayed after it, and her attitude has been great, and she had another task against Purdue to help us guard Harris, and I thought, again, she did a great job.

And so just really pleased with the amount of work that she has put in. But her improvement has really been great down the stretch here for us.

Q. Every time you guys got within a few points or took the lead, it seems like Iowa would hit a big shot. How does that sort of affect the mentality of the team?
TERI MOREN: Well, it stinks. You know, you get the one-point lead and then you give up an open three. And our intentions were in the right place, right. We knew that the key for them stopping them starts with how you're going to guard Megan. And so we were, we were risking it all to have it all tonight, and we were going to try to clog it up as much as we could. But what you risk with that is, again, not getting out to those shooters. And I don't know if it was Meyers or it was Davis, she stuck that three on us when we went up by one, and that does, that deflates you a little bit because now you get the crowd behind you, you feel like you've got some energy, and like I said, Brenna Wise, it was her kid that stuck the three. Her intentions were right where they needed to be, she just couldn't climb out fast enough in order to get out there and contest that shot.

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