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March 2, 2007

Star Allen

Jessica Davenport

Jim Foster

Maria Moeller


THE MODERATOR: We'll take an opening comment from Coach Foster, then take it to the student athletes.
COACH JIM FOSTER: I'll just wait for questions.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student athletes?

Q. Jess, what was the toughest part of that game for you guys? Was it Marscilla's injury or was it just the way Indiana was scrambling the game?
JESSICA DAVENPORT: We've played without players before, but we have to give credit to a good Indiana game. They were hungry for a win. They weren't going to go down easy, so it's hard to just pinpoint one thing.

Q. Jess, you planted yourself underneath the basket most of the game and you never removed yourself. Was that Ohio State's intention to get you deep into the paint?
JESSICA DAVENPORT: Yeah, definitely. My teammates know I'm able to score inside, and if I'm getting triple- or double-teamed, I'm going to hit them back outside for shots, so our plan was to get good ball movement and execute our offense.

Q. Jessica, more along those lines, your 30 points, how good do you feel about 14 of them coming from free throws?
JESSICA DAVENPORT: It was nice. Those are free shots that you get to take at the basket. Nobody is hanging on you, nobody is trying to get in your face and make you miss it. It just takes concentration to knock them down.

Q. Was that part of your personal strategy coming in? Do you think, I may not be able to score every time against McKay but at least I'll get to the line?
JESSICA DAVENPORT: Since the start of basketball season, my was goal was to get to the foul line a lot more than I did last year. Throughout the year I've been working on my moves, and I've been able to get to the free throw line more.

Q. Star, you wound up with 13 rebounds. How focused were you on the boards in this game and when did you really start going after them?
STAR ALLEN: I think I really started going after them at the beginning of the game. I don't think there was any time where I felt I wasn't going to get that rebound. I just went for every rebound. I was real determined about getting all the rebounds.

Q. Star, you were sitting for a long time and you finally got back in the game and made a couple of baskets real quick just to settle. Did you feel like you helped settle things back there at the end?
STAR ALLEN: I think when I came in and made a couple shots, I think it brought a lot of energy to the team and it just lifted the team, as far as transitioning on offense.

Q. Jim, I've got a question for you. What's Packer's condition, and now that you're playing without Brandie Hoskins, how do you think people will step up to that challenge, and how is Packer?
COACH JIM FOSTER: I don't know, the doctors will tell us. I think she's got an ankle sprain. I don't know what -- there's degrees and there's low ones and high ones, and we don't know the ins and outs yet.
But we have players. It's just an opportunity for somebody else to step up and be ready. I thought Stephanie (Blanton) came in and played some very good defense, and Shavelle Little came off the bench, and Cherise Daniel, we as a team know that she's been playing good in practice and she's ready to help us in games. We'll just go down the list and get somebody out there.

Q. Maria, can you talk a little bit about playing against their pressure throughout the game and what they were trying to do with you guys?
MARIA MOELLER: They were trying to pressure us so our post entrance pass wasn't as easy, and then it was tough throughout the game just to take the ball down the court. I just have to be smart with the ball come Sunday and just take care of the ball and play as more of a point guard. I want the ball in my hands at the start of the game.

Q. We've talked about this a lot, Jess, but you guys have been in a lot of close games this year. Did you call upon that again this time when they got it down to about four?
JESSICA DAVENPORT: I guess we did. We've had players on the floor who've been in close games all year. Nobody got rattled. We've been in those positions before, like you said, so it was just a matter of us going out there executing, breaking down their pressure and making sure we got the ball in the right people's hands.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Foster?

Q. I want to go back to Marscilla, same thing, same ankle in the first half, and do you know how she did it the second time?
COACH JIM FOSTER: She wasn't really ready to play defense on that possession, and when you're not ready to do something and then you have to do it kind of quickly, it's like you moving quickly at your age or me moving quickly at my age, you tend to injure something. Well, young people do it when they're not ready. She was a little out of position and then had to react very quickly, and sort of an awkward -- there was an awkwardness to it.

Q. How much did not having her hurt you during Indiana's comeback in the second half?
COACH JIM FOSTER: I don't know, I thought -- today's game, with the three-point field goal being what it is, and TV timeouts being what they are, it's just a series of mini-games. So they had some runs, and then we answered their runs. I think we had people make good choices and I think we had people make some bad choices.
But it's not like we had preparation time; we had to do it on the run and do it within the framework of the game. I think the ball got in the right person's hands, and everybody that played scored. I thought Ashlee made some timely baskets for us. I think Shavelle came in and picked up some of the defensive slack, so I don't think there's any one person that stepped up to take Marscilla's place. I think a lot of people just did a little bit of her job.

Q. I suppose I could have asked her this, but talk about Maria. She only took one shot but she was out there for 40 minutes.
COACH JIM FOSTER: She's a tough kid, hard-nosed. By class she would be called a freshman, but 29 games into the season playing the amount of minutes that she's played, she's not that. But she did lapse into it a couple times and she made a couple freshman mistakes.
When you have somebody as skilled with the ball as Brandie and as skilled as Marscilla, you're very willing to give it up. Now it's her time to step up to the challenge, and I think she will, and has.

Q. You've been asked for years about just Jess. But is tonight's game another reminder that it starts with her?
COACH JIM FOSTER: Inside-out. We're an inside-outside basketball team. I've been fortunate to coach some pretty good centers, and when you have a pretty good center, it seems like a pretty good idea to throw the ball in. And when you have somebody as unselfish as Jess, the ball will come out. Four assists puts her up close to 70. That's a lot of assists for a post player.
Sometimes you look at post players, and they have six, seven, eight, nine, ten assists for a season. I don't think she's given credit for the kind of passes that she makes and finds her teammates with. She's got a pretty good partner in Star, and then with Tam (Riley) and Star, and then we can go big with 'Dre (Andrea Walker). So we're comfortable with our post game.

Q. You held them to 33 percent shooting. It looked like they were never in rhythm. A lot of their shots were awkward shots. What did you do defensively to rattle them?
COACH JIM FOSTER: We just talked about staying in front of the ball. I think the last time we played them at our place, I think our containment of the ball was not good, and I think we really talked about that and emphasized that, and I think did a very good job.
If someone is determined to drive and you're sliding your feet, they're going to have to take a difficult shot. So I think we just did a pretty good job of moving our feet defensively.

Q. Jim, one more question. I know Penn State and Illinois are playing each other so you'll have to go through one of them. Which poison do you want, Purdue or Michigan State?
COACH JIM FOSTER: We're going to play the winner of Illinois-Penn State game. And Sunday, if we're fortunate enough to win that game, I'll talk about the game after that.

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