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March 4, 2010

Kristin Cartwright

Kendall Hackney

Amy Jaeschke

Joe McKeown


Michigan – 67
Northwestern - 54

THE MODERATOR: Joined by Coach McKeown and the Northwestern student-athletes. Coach McKeown, we'll begin with you having an opening statement, and then we'll take questions for the student-athletes.
COACH MCKEOWN: You know, we just got off to such a bad start. Michigan took advantage of that and they shot the ball first half. They just seemed like they made everything under the shot clock, open shots. We opened them up a little bit. You have to give them credit.
And second half I thought we came back with a lot of intensity and I thought we made it a great game for a while and just can't spot a team in a conference tournament, 22 points in the first half. We just couldn't dig out of that. That's basically what happened.
I will say this: Without getting on the soap box, these guys had a great year. We've had a tremendous year as a team. When you look at the turnaround we've had from the last couple of years, these guys deserve a lot of credit. They've bought into what we do from the first day of practice. For seniors, like Kristin Cartwright, a fifth-year senior, didn't have to, came back and played and just had a great year. I think to me I'm going to really look at the big picture this year when it's all said and done.
Last thing I will say is hopefully we'll still be playing. Hopefully we'll get a chance to play in the NIT in the post-season, I think we've earned that right. We'll see what happens. But I feel like these guys deserve that opportunity.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach. Questions for student-athletes.

Q. Question for Amy. Amy, a lot of times during the season you have, and Northwestern has the advantage inside with your height, how do you have to change your game when you're going against Krista Phillips or Allyssa DeHaan, a couple of centers that are bigger than you?
AMY JAESCHKE: Every night it's different when you go up against Big Ten post players. You just have to change your game up a little bit. You still have to keep the mentality of having to attack the post players on defense and try to just get them in foul trouble and rely on your guards a lot to have a big night.

Q. Kristin, best record in 13 years, Coach, right? I think you said best record in 13 years. It's worth coming back for, regardless of how the tournament ends, it's worth coming back for, to be a part of that, I take it?
KRISTIN CARTWRIGHT: Yes, like Coach said, it's been a great year. We've made a lot of -- we've achieved a lot of records from like ten years back or so. So that was great to be a part of. And obviously we want to do a lot better here.
But I think we're all proud of each other for the success that we've had this year.

Q. Kendall, how frustrating was it when Michigan was going on their 12-0 run, stuff like that in the first half when they were pulling off offensive boards and banking in 3-pointers at the buzzer, stuff like that?
KENDALL HACKNEY: I give Michigan credit. They were playing hard the first half. We weren't playing as hard as we could. We let them have a lot of second-chance opportunities, which we've been working on, and they're very good at crashing the boards. So we didn't do a great job of boxing out. And they scored a lot of their points off of second chance.
And it was really frustrating. But, you know, we just gotta -- we couldn't let it kill us. We just had to keep coming back in the second half. We really fought back and showed a lot of heart, I think, especially in the second half.
So they knocked their shots down. Their shots were falling, every single one, no matter what they threw up. And we did our best to contest, but a lot of times we just mixed some boxouts here and there. It hurt us and we dug that hole in.
I thought we did a great job coming back and fighting back in the second half.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Coach, you talked a lot about changing the culture of winning and the culture of women's basketball at Northwestern. Where does this season end that journey and what's the next step?
COACH MCKEOWN: That's a great question. Not because he's sitting here but Jim Phillips, to me, has a great vision for Northwestern athletics, not just basketball. I think it's a great time to be part of it now.
You saw what football did. You see what Coach Carmody is doing with his program. So many of our sports are national powers across the board. I think it's a great time, I think, to be part of Northwestern. And it's frustrating for me because I'm used to playing in the championship game, playing in the NCAA tournament.
So I've got to find a better way to deal with that. I struggle with that right now. But, more importantly, when you look at our team, it's just been one of those years, so many great things happen.
We hit a shot to beat Purdue, it was so long ago and it was last year, December, but winning out in Michigan and coming back and beating Minnesota with two seconds left on an inbounds play, hitting the shot, the game we did at home defeat Michigan. Those were plays and games, beat DePaul for the first time since DePaul was a Protestant school, I don't know. It's been a while.
Those games, Beth Marshall hitting eight 3s against Arkansas and just sending them home in a game that I thought we were in trouble and really they were in trouble. You're going to remember those things when it's all said and done.
Today is a bump in the road. But the big picture of this program, I think we're on the right track.

Q. You're bringing back so many of your rotation players next year, losing Kristin, how important is that for this experience, for the expression that they're coming in with a winning season rather than the past class that started losing right away?
COACH MCKEOWN: No question, just the atmosphere when we come into our locker room, you come to practice, you're part of something rather than being in a situation where a lot of times it's been when is the last game. Now, they're setting goals higher. And I think Kendall and Dannielle had a great year. Inesha Hale has been hurt a lot. We have to get her going.
I think the players we signed, they're all -- we have a young lady sitting out, Tailor Jones, that played for the University of Florida, played in the NCAA tournament. She energizes practice, and I think she'll be a big piece of what we do next year.

Q. This is kind of a follow-up, but if you had to say one thing that you want to see improve between now and the start of next Big Ten season, what would that be?
COACH MCKEOWN: That's a good question. I think where we broke down as a team, when you really just get technical and just talk about pure basketball and we watch film all night, you're like I can't believe we didn't screen here or do that.
I think offensively we were just limited this year. We have to develop offensively a little bit. We've got to develop more weapons besides Amy. And that caught up with us a little bit down the stretch this year.
I think the biggest thing for us, believe it or not, I've always had a lot of success as the defensive coach, is that we have to get better offensively, as a team, passing, shooting.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

End of FastScripts

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