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March 7, 2010
Ohio State Â– 66
Iowa - 64
THE MODERATOR: We'll begin with opening comments from Coach Bluder, then we'll go to the student-athletes. Coach.
COACH BLUDER: Congratulate Ohio State on their victory today. Great team. Jantel Lavender is the Player of the Year for a reason, and she showed it tonight with her excellent play, and I feel bad for my team.
I feel like we played hard. We didn't get the victory and it hurts right now, but I think we'll bounce back and be ready for the tournament.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.
Q. Kamille, what did they change defensively, especially after the half?
KAMILLE WAHLIN: You know, Ohio State just has really good defense. I think Shavelle Little has outstanding ball pressure. And they just got in the passing lanes, and they picked up their intensity on D.
Q. Kachine, at the beginning of the game seemed like things kind of started off better for you guys. Can you just talk about I guess your feelings at the beginning of the game, the way it started off?
KACHINE ALEXANDER: The beginning of the game I think we were playing team basketball. We were kind of just hitting most of our shots, making smart shots, getting in the paint, getting easy layups and things like that. I think that contributed to a lot of our easy buckets.
Q. Kachine, after your fourth foul, did you have to alter your game the way you wanted to play?
KACHINE ALEXANDER: I don't know about alter but being smarter with my selections. I think I just had to be a little bit smarter.
Q. Kachine, you guys aren't the biggest team in the world. How difficult was Lavender to contain inside?
KACHINE ALEXANDER: Like Coach said, she's a Big Ten Player of the Year. She's a great player. Like I said, she's pretty big. But we tried to keep the ball out of her hands as much as possible, but she got really good position tonight.
Q. Kamille, on that last shot, it's obviously hard to get a shot 1.9 seconds left, but what were your thoughts about the shot you ended up getting?
KAMILLE WAHLIN: I thought I had a pretty good look. I thought Kelly threw the ball in perfect position. I turned around, I was probably pretty far out on that. Didn't work to my advantage. But I just tried to get a good look and let it go in. Unfortunately it didn't go in.
Q. Did it feel good going off your hands?
KAMILLE WAHLIN: It felt good, but when I saw it in the air, I knew it was off to the right.
Q. For either player, are you surprised that the foul was called with 1.9 seconds to go?
KACHINE ALEXANDER: In those type of situations it's where the whistle is going to blow, sometimes they're not. I wasn't really surprised, neither one, because they were calling it tight throughout the whole game. So it's just the way the whistle blows.
Q. Kamille, you guys feel like your body of work is good enough that the NCAA has to take you guys?
KAMILLE WAHLIN: Yeah, I think so. From what I hear from other people, you know, that we do have a good chance of getting in. So hopefully we proved ourselves in the tournament that we are capable of playing in the NCAA tournament.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies. Questions for Coach Bluder.
Q. Coach, I asked them that because we're so used to NCAA tournaments here with the guys. And towards the end, especially it's let them play. I'm just wondering if you thought maybe they should let them play at the end there.
COACH BLUDER: Obviously I wish she wouldn't have made the call. I think it would have been a great overtime. And it seemed like after that game the way it was going it should have went into overtime.
But, again, we knew it was going to Jantel. Everybody in the place knew it was going there.
So it is what it is.
Q. Coach, you had to feel good getting Prahalis and Lavender both into foul trouble in the first half. What were your thoughts on that?
COACH BLUDER: That was to our advantage. But I don't think we built enough of a lead at halftime, quite honestly. I think we have should have a bigger lead with their two guns on the bench.
Q. You came to town with doubts about where you would go after you leave. You leave pretty much assured that you're going to go to the tournament, yet you feel, you sound like, a little unfulfilled?
COACH BLUDER: Just disappointing. You're in this game. You have a 14-point lead in the second half. I think it was -- 16. And you just feel like -- I feel bad for my kids. I feel like they really deserve this.
And I'm not saying Ohio State didn't deserve it. They certainly did. And they're having that opportunity right now. But it just would have been really, really neat to see our players have this opportunity.
So, yeah, I think we played well here. I think we played well against one of the top teams in the country.
Q. Coach, you just commented about not building up a big enough lead. Had an 11-point lead, then Hill hit a 3, that cut it to 8 before halftime. Your thoughts on that 3-pointer. But also came out and went on an 8-0 run yourself, built up that 16-point lead, but still a lot of time in the game?
COACH BLUDER: There was a lot of time left in the game at that point. We built a 16-point lead when their guns were in. I feel like there was so much time in the first half that we didn't convert on opportunities I thought we could have converted with those two on the bench.
Q. Seemed like early you were able to get a lot of good looks, especially Kelly there with ten quick points. What was working for you guys there?
COACH BLUDER: I thought we executed our offense very well to begin this game. And then the second half I don't think we looked for our pitch opportunities, our penetrate and pitch enough. I thought we were trying to get to the rim a little bit too much.
We weren't getting calls. Sometimes you can draw a foul there, and that wasn't happening. We kept trying to force the issue instead of really trying to hit our outside shooters a little bit better. I think we could have done that better in the second half.
Q. Considering how young your team is, how important is it for you guys to get to this point, played through this, and what will it mean to your team in terms of further post-season play and the future?
COACH BLUDER: We are young. You're right. I don't feel like we're young anymore, because I feel like we played so much this year. But certainly they've not been through this experience. This is the first time most of them have played in a Big Ten tournament. The first time any of them have played in a Big Ten championship.
So it's going to do us a world of wonder for the future. It's just going to do nothing but help us. So if we can get some games in the post-season, that would be even better.
Q. Coach, can you talk about the play of Kelly Krei, not only today but all weekend?
COACH BLUDER: Kelly had a nice weekend for us. And we pride ourselves on being a very, very balanced team, and I thought Kelly just had a little bit different gleam in her eye as far as offense for this weekend.
And that was really nice to see, because I feel like she's so capable and sometimes she just defers to other people because of her personality. That's her nature is that don't bring attention to me.
But this weekend I thought she did a really nice job of trying to set herself for shots and not hesitating to shoot those shots.
Q. And also it seemed like Kamille seemed to hit a big shot whenever you guys needed it. Can you talk about her ability to hit those clutch shots all weekend?
COACH BLUDER: Big 3 again tonight for us. Hits two clutch free throws towards the end for us. Kamille is just an incredibly heady player. Very confident. I feel so confident with her out on the floor with the ball in her hands.
But I think Shavelle Little did a nice job on her. I think anytime Shavelle plays that many minutes defensively, you know that there's a lot of respect for that player she's on.
Q. There were two bang-bang plays early in the second half with the two top point guards, a scramble, fourth foul on Samantha right in front of you, and then she takes a charge on Aleksandra Dobranic right after that. Not to critique the plays, but the swing of which guard ended up with four fouls was pretty big.
COACH BLUDER: It was big. I agree with you. And we were pretty happy with it. We thought it was going to go our way. So it was kind of a little bit of a shock when it went the other way.
Q. Do you take any consolation getting three players in the All-Tournament Team when you haven't done that since '01, had any players on?
COACH BLUDER: I didn't even know that. Yeah, that's tremendous. And I'm happy for all three of those players. I think they're very deserving of it. Actually, that's pretty amazing that we have three on there.
Q. I asked your kids, but are you pretty confident four from the conference will be in the NCAA tournament, Wisconsin and you guys and --
COACH BLUDER: I feel so. I think we'll have four teams in the NCAA tournament. I feel confident that we belong there. It's an obvious that Ohio State is going to be there and Michigan State and Wisconsin having such great RPIs and being in the top 4 in this conference, I think we'll get four in.
Q. What's it like seeing all the good young players? I think all ten players that started tonight will be back next year. A lot of good young players throughout the Big Ten we saw here. Do you feel good about the future of the league?
COACH BLUDER: I think that's spectacular. I wish a couple of Ohio State ones would graduate. That's spectacular and bodes well for our conference.
Q. Coach, can you talk about the perimeter defense overall. Lavender goes 14 for 25. But the rest of their team goes 11 for 37. If you could talk about that and just how that kept you in the game?
COACH BLUDER: We should have spent a little more time around Lavender, huh? She's special. 35 points. We thought we were -- at halftime we had a pretty good game plan to hold her a little bit. And I think even the beginning of the second half we still did a good job.
But you can tell, that's why she's such a great player. When the game's on the line she's going to perform for you. And that's what makes her so special. She's so strong. She's so talented.
She's got beautiful hands. She's just -- in transition they've got some great transition baskets to bring the score close. And you've got a player like Jantel Lavender running the floor like that, that's a special player.
Q. I think the first time, when you played before, Hill was just sort of kind of coming into her own, she has 14 tonight. Does she make them different to defend when she's contributing?
COACH BLUDER: She certainly hurt us in the first half with her 3s and we said the second 3 she made right before halftime was a good momentum for Ohio State, I thought, going into the locker room.
But, yeah, when you add that extra person, I think it makes Ohio State so much more difficult to defend, because you know it's the big 2. But if you can add that third offensive player. I think that's what makes our team good because we don't just rely on two people. If I had two to rely on like that I probably would to do.
Q. You had the timeout with 46 to play and fresh clock, was the intent to go 2 for 1 at that point or just play for the shot?
COACH BLUDER: We thought if we got a quick good shot off the inbound play, we were going to try to get the 2 for 1. But if we didn't get a good shot, we said, Okay, let's run our offense. We actually ran a play at that point to try to get a good shot. Obviously we turned the ball over and didn't get that.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.
End of FastScripts