Jan. 28, 2013
Illinois (11-8, 4-3 Big Ten) 91, Minnesota 86 (13-8, 2-5 Big Ten)
Williams Arena - Minneapolis, Minn.
Minnesota Head Coach Pam Borton
"You have to give Illinois a lot of credit for finishing down the stretch. They did what they had to do to finish. We put a lot of pressure on them three times during the game and they executed better in the end. I thought we got ourselves back in the game after a pretty ugly first half, which allowed us to put ourselves in a position to win the game. We didn't play real smart basketball in the last three minutes; fouls, lane violations, and a lot of little mistakes that we have control over as a team and need to fix."
On the 2-1-2 zone in the last three minutes of the game:
"I think we made it more disruptive than it needed to be because we did a pretty good job of attacking it for most of the game and getting wide open shots. But I don't think offense was our issue; it was our defense. We scored 86 points and I think we fouled on defense and made stupid mistakes. It wasn't anything we did on offense besides not finishing around the rim and scoring in the lane."
On the four game losing streak:
"That's the team; we have to stay together as a team. We have to play better. It's not that we don't have the talent, we just need to know what we're doing and play smarter, more discipline basketball. That starts with getting off to better starts at the beginning of the game to gain some confidence on the floor. We have to take one game at a time and take care of business on Thursday."
On team morale after losing four games:
"I think everyone was pretty upset after the game today. But we've had two of our better practices these past few days and we played two tough road games. Obviously, our home games are an issue. I think our individuals are keeping the team together and we have to get better as a team, but I don't think there's any issue of morale."
On bouncing back from tonight and getting ready for Thursday's game against Michigan:
"It's the next game and you have to show up with your "A" game. You can't play C+ basketball and win in the Big Ten. I think tonight it was a C+ performance at best. We have to get prepared for a very good Michigan team and leave this one behind us so we can get better for Thursday."
Minnesota Guard Rachel Banham
On what allowed her to attack more in the second half:
"I was just being more aggressive in the second half. I was playing too safe in the first, that was just on me."
On what she needs to do to end this losing streak:
"I have to keep getting better and the rest of us have to keep getting better."
On scoring 1,000 points:
"I think it's cool. It would have been better if we won, but we just have to keep going and I have to keep producing."
Minnesota Forward Micaëlla Riché
On what defenses are doing to lower her shooting accuracy:
"Coach always says your opponent knows you better than you know yourself, so I think a lot of teams are just adjusting their defenses accordingly. I just have to collect myself, take my time and make a shot."
On what happened in the last few possessions:
"I don't know. I feel like I went up like I usually would and it just happened to break. I know I got one pass from Leah, it was a wide-open layup and it just went right off the backboard. I felt like it went off my hand fine but it just didn't. There are games like that."
Illinois Head Coach Matt Bollant
"I was really proud of our team. That was a big win for our program. To go on the road and win our first four (road games) says a lot about our resiliency. Especially with Adrienne (GodBold) fouling out. Our kids stepped up and made plays. (Rachel) Banham was unbelievable in making plays to win it, but we made enough plays to get it done. I am proud of Taylor Tuck. She made three-out-of-four (from the free-throw line) and that was huge for us. I was really proud of our team. We had a lot of players step up. For us to have 23 assists and only 15 turnovers is a change for us as well. We got a lot of contributions."
On the effect of the Illini's 2-1-2 defense at the end of the game:
"I think it was a good change of pace because Banham was getting to the rim (in the man-to-man defense). I thought that made someone else have to beat us. It really gave us a lift."
On how the team can play better at home:
"We have to find a way to get it done. We played really well against Purdue. We had a lead against Michigan State and Northwestern. We just have to step up and make plays like we do on the road. We have a very good Iowa team (next), so it is a huge game for us."
On playing in his home state:
"I am from Winona, Minn., and went to Winona State. I grew up a Gophers fan. I followed the teams here and cheered for them, so to get win was special for me."
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Follow the Gophers to the Bahamas
Fan packages are available for travel to the Junkanoo Jam during Thanksgiving week.