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Dec. 29, 2013
Head Coach Coquese Washington
Q: Hartford played you guys pretty tough in the first half. What was the key to pulling away?
A: I think the key was our defense. We got a couple stretches where we played pretty good defense, we either got turnovers or got them to miss shots. We were able to get out and convert at the other end, whether it was in the half court or transition. Basketball is a game of runs. In order for us to get runs, we have to get stops defensively. I thought the first half we didn't do a good enough job of defending, keeping the ball in front, help rotation; a lot of things that we were sloppy in at the defensive end. The second half, I thought we had a couple spurts where we defended very well. I thought we did a good job on the boards as well.
Q: Is there anything that you are concerned about after today?
A: No, I wasn't concerned. We had 11 turnovers, one of our lowest outputs of the season. We didn't give up many offensive boards; I think they only had six offensive rebounds, again, one of our lowest outputs of the season, even against other teams where we had a size advantage. I thought we did a lot of things very, very well. I thought we could've had more points if we made more second chance shots. I thought we got a lot of shots around the basket that didn't fall. We missed quite a few layups and shots in the paint. I think if we made those, we could've had 10 or 12 more points. That's par for the course. Like Maggie said, I thought we got some really good contributions off our bench. I thought we were able to play some different lineups and still were able to be productive. I think offensively, as Maggie said, we're continuing to gel and get contributions from a lot of people. I was relatively pleased with the production and the way the game went.
Q: Do you see Maggie as a really tough player?
A: Yeah, the rules emphasis seemed to not really be at play today. I thought they were pretty physical with her off the ball today. I thought there was a lot of contact off the ball. To Maggie's credit, she just kept playing, she didn't get fazed by it. She worked to get different shots. She went to her pull-up a little more and got herself going.
Q: What are going to stress this week as you go into Big Ten play?
A: Well, we're in Big Ten play. The thing about Big Ten play is there are a lot of different styles that we're going to see. There are a lot of new coaches in the conference that play relatively different ways. Some play faster, some play slower. Some are more defensive minded. For us, it's going to be a matter of focus and discipline to execute the game plan that we need to do on a nightly basis. We're going to focus on Iowa first and try to go into Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which is a tough place to play, and get a win.
Q: You each had a good half. Ariel had the first half and Maggie, you took over in the second half. Ariel, what was the key to getting off to a good start in the first half?
A: I feel like that's kind of what our team does. Anyone on our team has the ability to score points. I think it just happened in that first half that I was able to get some points and then Maggie took over in the second half.
Q: Are you ready for the next part of the season?
A: Yes, definitely. We're very excited for Big Ten play. It's something to look forward to. It's our last go around. We're excited to get into that part of our season.
Q: Can you talk about how you guys had a lot of people score today?
A: We're getting great contributions from our bench. I think our starting five is continuing to gel every game. T (Dara Taylor) played well, Ariel played well. We're getting a lot of contributions from a lot of people.