University of Iowa Basketball Media Conference

Lisa Bluder

Women's Basketball

Iowa - 79, Drake - 66

LISA BLUDER: You know, it feels good. I think we've had a really good non-conference season, to go 12-1, our one loss being by one point to a top-15 team in America, state champs. We're happy about that.

I thought our first half was really, really good. I thought our second half was good enough to hang on to win. We didn't play our best basketball in the second half, but at the same time we're going to enjoy what we did in the first half. We built a significant enough of a lead there that we could hang on.Obviously our box-outs were atrocious. Besides those, our defense was really good. But we have to cure that problem. We must. We held them tremendously in field goal percentage.

Makenzie I thought really got us going, especially in the first half. Tied her career high with five threes made. Megan has her 12th double-double, which is pretty amazing. Good first half, like I said.

Q. This game sort of got out of hand in the second quarter. What were you doing well? What got you the lead there?

LISA BLUDER: We shot the ball really well. We shot the ball extremely well from three-point range, if I remember right. 5-6 from three-point range in the second quarter.I thought that second quarter was as good of basketball as we played this year. I thought we got our transition game going. Defensively, again, I thought we were contesting shots.Not happy with the box-outs, but I thought we were getting out and contesting. They put up 39 threes. That's a whole bunch of threes.

Sometimes those threes, the long rebounds, they are harder to box-out. I'm not going to make an excuse for us. We need to do the job there.

Q. The first two down early for Alexis, with her and Makenzie absorbing a lot, how big was it for those two in particular to start off strong?

LISA BLUDER: Lexi is our second leading scorer on our team right now. She's a good player. Makenzie, you've seen it from her all year.It's not surprising. They're just going to have to play more a extended minutes. Amanda is going to have to play more extended minutes. I know they can do the job. It's just that, you know, we don't have that breathing room any more of depth.Tania as a point guard... Mak can play point guard, Kathleen can play point guard, Lexi can play point guard.

Q. Coach, you were concerned about their three-point shooting coming into the game. Was a lot of it your contesting those shots? What was it?

LISA BLUDER: I hope we contested them and got out there, made them rush them or have a hand in the face, something like that. I'll have to watch the film to know for sure.I feel like we were moving well with the pass, arriving with the ball, which is what you want to do with a zone. I feel like we did a pretty good job of contesting shots.

Q. Twenty-five assists for you guys tonight. It seems like even if it's going into the post, there's no dribbling to be done for this team before the shot goes up. How important is getting your work done before the catch?

LISA BLUDER: Yeah, establishing good footwork, getting yourself set up for that shot beforehand I think is critical. Megan positions herself. Our guards have got to do a good job of reading the defense so they can deliver the appropriate pass to the right side.But, you know, we try to tell our posts, You don't need to dribble the ball. We don't want them to dribble the ball. It's kind of been hammered home quite a bit, not to do that.

Q. Coach, you said before you knew Tania was going to come back in the first place, you scheduled up non-conference. Did you think you would be 12-1 at this point?

LISA BLUDER: We didn't know when Tania was going to be back. That's what I was thinking when we scheduled like this, when Tania was out. Terrible timing on that.It's ironic. We thought we were going to have Tania back by Christmas, now at Christmas we lose her. That's an eerie, strange thing.You always are optimistic, hoping you're going to be 12-1 at this point. We knew the Florida State game was definitely going to be a challenge. We knew Iowa State there was definitely going to be a challenge. We thought the rest of our games were very winnable.I'm really happy that we are 12-1. These guys have worked really hard.

Q. What is the timeline on the holiday break? Is everybody scattered tonight?

LISA BLUDER: The 26th in the afternoon we'll resume. Practice the 26th, 27th, then we'll drive to Madison after that.

Q. Coach, everyone is aware of the Drake-Iowa connections in this game. How nice was that presentation before the game?

LISA BLUDER: Yeah, one of those things that really worked out nicely to do it while Drake was here. That was her playing career, eight years of her coaching career were there.I'm glad that Drake was able to just be a part of it. I think that was very fitting.

Q. Coach, you've been an undisputed state champ here before with Iowa. What does it mean to be right back on it again, be on top of the in-state series?

LISA BLUDER: Yeah, it's important for recruiting, it's important for state pride. You want your Hawk fans to really get behind your team. I think this is another reason why they should get behind this team, because we are the best team in the state this year.

Does it mean we're going to make the NCAA tournament at the end of the year? No. We still have a lot of work to do. It certainly is a fun way to start.

Q. Is there one particular win that means more to you than another?

LISA BLUDER: Really the Iowa State game. Just winning over there, since it's been a long time since we won there. That was a really special game.Thanks, you guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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