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March 7, 2009

Lisa Bluder

Kristi Smith

Kamille Wahlin


Ohio State – 72
Iowa - 56

THE MODERATOR: Okay. We'll open up with the general comments from Coach Lisa Bluder then go to the student-athletes.
COACH BLUDER: Want to congratulate Ohio State for a great game. They played really well. Their defense was great in the first half and it almost shellshocked us the way they played defense.
We were back on our heels, turned the ball over too many times at the beginning of the game and you just can't give a good team like that that many points right off the bat.
The second half we came around a little bit. We did a better job taking care of the basketball, shot the ball a little bit better. So that's good, but obviously this game didn't go the way we would have liked it.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Kristi, I think I saw you shaking your head early in the first half. What was that like the first 10 minutes?
KRISTI SMITH: You know, it's just frustrating. We obviously didn't come out the way we wanted to start the game, and you can't give good teams like Ohio State -- I don't really know what to say. We definitely didn't start the way we wanted to.

Q. Kristi, could you talk about the turnovers in the first half, especially that first about eight minutes, I think you had about seven or so, the team?
KRISTI SMITH: To their credit, they're a great defensive team, and I think they just caught us on our heels and caught us off guard.
They were intense. And we weren't prepared for it.

Q. Kamille, did they do anything different than the first time you played them, defensively?
KAMILLE WAHLIN: They're just a very good man-to-man defensive team. They came out and we knew that was going to happen. But, like Kristi said, we were on our heels and we didn't attack them like we should have like we did the first time we played them.

Q. Kristi, I know you're not always underneath, but Jantel Lavender and Star Allen, how can you -- they seemed to have their way tonight.
KRISTI SMITH: Yeah, they were beasts down low tonight and they got a whole lot of rebounds and that hurt us.
We just gotta go work the next couple of weeks and get better.

Q. Kristi, what do you think is the biggest difference between yesterday's performance and today?
KRISTI SMITH: Just we didn't attack tonight. Last night I felt as though we were attacking the hole a lot harder, more aggressive. Our shots were falling last night. Our shots weren't falling so much tonight.

Q. Could you talk about that a little bit more, both of you, just the shots not falling tonight, kind of the shooting performance?
KRISTI SMITH: Basically, you know, when our shots don't fall, we've got to count on our defense. We've got to get stops. And we didn't do that.

Q. Kamille, you really provided a spark in the second half. You scored seven points of your team's 15-to-4 run or whatnot. Could you talk about that little mini run you had in the first half?
KAMILLE WAHLIN: Wish they could have come a little earlier because when you go against a team like Ohio State, it needs to be a full 40 minutes. It can't happen halfway through the second half.
It was a good little run, and hopefully we can take that run and learn from it and realize that we need to put that into 40 minutes instead of just a little spurt here and there. But that's just something that we have to learn going into the tournament.

Q. Kristi, could you talk about you guys came in, seven-game winning streak, played your best ball of the year and that first half and overall not playing as well as you had been?
KRISTI SMITH: That definitely wasn't the half that we -- or how we wanted to come out and play, but we have two weeks to work hard and prepare ourselves for the NCAA tournament and I'm sure we'll take full advantage of it.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies.
Questions for Coach.

Q. Coach, can you talk just more about that start? What about their defense changed maybe from the first time you played them or did anything?
COACH BLUDER: I think they came out much more aggressive than they did at our place the first time. And, yeah, it caught us off guard a little bit.
But we have seen good defense throughout the year. But Ohio State certainly is a great team. And they really came out with that wanting to avenge that loss, and they did a great job to begin this.
We turned the ball over too many times. They had 13 points off our turnovers in the first half. Second half we did a much better job, only three turnovers in the second half. We did a lot of things better in the second half, but you can't give that much of an advantage to a great team.

Q. Coach, could you talk about Lavender and Allen, they really, both had great games down low?
COACH BLUDER: They did. And Jantel Lavender is just, she's just a wonderful player. She's a great, great player. I thought we could do a better job on Star. I think Star is a quality player as well. But her rebounding tonight was exceptional.
Bothers me how many rebounds, she gets seven offensive rebounds. That's something we have a little control over. It bothers me that we didn't box out a little bit better underneath.

Q. Could you just talk about what do you think the biggest difference is between today's performance and yesterday's?
COACH BLUDER: The ball didn't go in the hole as much for us. We shot the ball extremely well at our place, and we got to the free-throw line 30 times. Tonight we got to the free-throw line nine times. That's not enough for us.
We're a good free-throw shooting team. We're used to being at the free-throw line. We're used to being able to penetrate and drawing some fouls. And we weren't able to have that happen tonight. So I think that was a big difference for us.

Q. Did you guys help your seed this weekend, do you think, for the NCAA tournament?
COACH BLUDER: I think so. We came in here playing very well in our last 10 games and played well yesterday. I know the whole thing, the seed, is not based on one 20-minute performance.

Q. Could you talk a little bit more about the shooting, seeing they were pretty cold in the first half?
COACH BLUDER: Especially from 3-point range, we're a good 3-point shooting team. But we didn't get many good looks either. Give credit to Ohio State for that. They really got out and really took away our strengths, and we just didn't take advantage of some things that we felt we could take advantage of, too. For example, a guard guarding Wendy down in the block. But we couldn't get her the ball. And, again, give credit to Ohio State for preventing us from doing that.

Q. How important of a part to their offense do you see Allen as being? Coach Foster talked about he thought that what hurt them in the first game was when she was out for about five minutes late in the first half?
COACH BLUDER: I'm sorry?

Q. Talking to him for the last month, he's talked about how Star Allen being out against you guys was what really put them off track then and obviously she had a great game tonight.
COACH BLUDER: She did. I mean, she did. She had a great game. Especially rebounding-wise, I thought she was very, very good. No, she didn't play as well as she did tonight at our place. That's absolutely true.
She didn't have those kind of rebounding numbers. I just feel like we should have been able to beat her off the dribble a little bit more, off the dribble drive. Again, give her credit that she was able to contain our drives.

Q. Coach, can you talk about the game Kamille had especially against going head up against the Big Ten Freshman of the Year a lot?
COACH BLUDER: Kamille, she struggled to begin with. It's tough when you go into a game like that, and she had some early turnovers. But I think it really shows a lot of her maturity, the way she turned it around the second half. I mean, she came out the second half and did a great job attacking and wasn't scared to pull up.
And I'm disappointed that we didn't keep getting her the ball in that situation, and I needed to stress that more. So I'm just pleased with the way she was able to turn it around, because sometimes that doesn't happen, especially to a younger player, they're not able to turn it around within a game like that. So she did a great job with that.

Q. Coach, twice in the game they missed both free throws and then got the rebound to put it back in. How demoralizing is that?
COACH BLUDER: That is -- that's one of those things that's pretty demoralizing when that happens. You get to the free-throw line. They did not shoot well from the free-throw line tonight. We just didn't take advantage of that with the boxouts. But, again, it's something for us to really work on in the next couple of weeks.

Q. Only Kristi and Kamille finishing double figures scoring, how big of an effect was that? Normally you guys run on being really balanced.
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, but we were still balanced tonight. We didn't have the people on double figures, but we had two people with 9, two people with 8, two people with 11. So we were balanced, just not enough high balance.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

End of FastScripts

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