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March 7, 2013

Matt Bollant

Ivory Crawford

Amber Moore


Wisconsin – 58
Illinois - 57

THE MODERATOR:  Comments by Coach.
COACH BOLLANT:   Wisconsin became the most aggressive in the second half.  First half I thought we did a great job of weathering the storm with Karisma in foul trouble.  And we just needed to step up and play aggressively in the second half, and we didn't.  I think we got caught up in thinking about the end result and quit playing aggressively and quit attacking and that really hurt us.
We got down 10 the first time we started playing again, and then made a run to take the lead, but just didn't get the stops down the stretch when we had to have it.  And hurting for our team and our staff.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Those last five minutes, what's going through your guys' heads?
IVORY CRAWFORD:  Well, what was actually going through my mind at first was just like, it's okay, we've got five minutes.  You know, take our time, we can actually take them.
And I saw like the scaredness of like the teammates‑‑ I mean the opponents.  And I felt like we, as a team can, like, take this team down.  And like we did and we showed, and proved that, and it's just down the stretch, we made a bad decision.
AMBER MOORE:  I just think we've been in this position before.  We've been down, we've come back, and being in that situation comes with our defense, and we didn't start the second half that way.
And we didn't have the edge we had in the first half.  So the results didn't say what we wanted to say.

Q.  Amber, what did that feel like just making that go‑ahead 3, and what was your thinking for the rest of the game when you made that?
AMBER MOORE:  It was just confidence.  My teammates were getting me the ball and I was knocking down shots.  And it comes from our defense.  We work on defense all the time.  Whether a shot's going in or not, our defense is what gets the game won, and I think me hitting the shots created more confidence for our team.

Q.  As tough a loss as this seems to be from the outside, how do you feel about this?  Can you kind of just express what this feels like?
IVORY CRAWFORD:  It just didn't end how we wanted it.  That's all.  I think it just comes to like learning from our mistakes from the past and just trying to make the adjustment.  Just the scoreboard didn't show what we wanted.
AMBER MOORE:  I think we just have to learn how to keep the edge.  We're a better team when we're on edge and we're being the most aggressive team.  And we're the first one on the floor for loose balls, and we didn't show that in the second half.

Q.  That obviously explains maybe the turnout or the end result perhaps, but I guess I'd like to again ask the question.  Is this as difficult as it gets in terms of losses considering what you guys aspire to in this tournament?  I guess that's what I'm asking.
AMBER MOORE:  It is difficult.  We knew we could make a run in this tournament.  And, I don't know.  We just weren't aggressive in the second half.  And if we learned how to put two halves together, I think we'd be in a better position than we're in now.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Questions for Coach.

Q.  Coach, at the end you had 3.1seconds left and one timeout.  Can you explain why you didn't call that timeout?
COACH BOLLANT:  Yeah.  We had set up a play that we've run every day in practice.  Trying to get something we've run all the time.  And actually I was yelling timeout.  Once we got the ball in to Amber I was yelling, timeout, timeout, timeout, and apparently the refs didn't hear me.

Q.  What do you think went wrong in the entire second half and also basically after Amber Moore made her 3‑pointer, what happened after that point?
COACH BOLLANT:  We haven't been good playing with leads, honestly.  We built a lead playing aggressively and playing hard in the first half, and then we didn't do that in the second half.  We waited until we really got down ten before we started to be the most aggressive team, and that was a struggle.
When Amber hit the three, I felt good about our chances and put ourselves in position to win, and the two fouls that hurt us, the Alexis foul in the press and then the foul with three seconds left put them on the foul line where they were awfully good, 21 for 21.

Q.  What impact did it have on your team for Karisma not to be on the floor as much as she was‑‑
COACH BOLLANT:  Karisma only played 22 minutes.  It was kind of devastating to our team and hurt us.  She just never really got in the flow because of that foul trouble.  So that definitely was something that hurt our team.
I thought we adjusted in the first half and did a really good job in the first half playing without her.  But the second half, we struggled to get in the flow offensively and be able to get the ball inside and get easy baskets, which she normally gets.

Q.  Just what do you think of your NCAA Tournament chances and why do you think your team's deserving of playing in the tournament?
COACH BOLLANT:  I think if you look at our quality wins, that's what they talk about.  Your quality wins is what gets you into the NCAA Tournament.  We have six wins in the top 50.  They're not going to take another team in the NCAA Tournament at large bid that has six top 50 wins.  And to have two top 25 wins with Georgia, Nebraska, I think if they say it's quality wins, then we should have that to be.
Last year the Big Ten got seven teams in.  This year the Big Ten went from six in the RPI to second in the RPI.  Us to finish tied for fifth in the RPI, tied for fifth in the conference, to me, we should be in because of the quality wins.

Q.  Does today's result change your thinking in terms of the NCAA?  Does it make you a little bit more apprehensive?
COACH BOLLANT:  Yeah, it certainly clouds that tremendously.  But again, I don't make those decisions.  Have our team ready to play in the postseason.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

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