Feb. 13, 2012
Minnesota Head Coach Pam Borton
“Well, this is a great win. I think playing in Williams Arena brings a little magic to our team, and a little bit of energy. We’re playing very well at home, and hopefully after Thursday’s game we can take a little bit of magic with us on the road. I was very pleased with our effort tonight as a collective group. We got ourselves back in the rebounding column, we haven’t been rebounding very well the past five games and I thought we redeemed ourselves tonight. That was a big key in beating Nebraska tonight – getting on the boards, we are a great rebounding team, and I thought we did an outstanding job with that. It was a great collective group, we stayed in our attacking mode, especially in the second half. This was a great win for us and I’m really proud of the team for bouncing back after the other night.”
On Brianna Mastey’s play tonight as a starter
“I felt like we needed to make a change. I think we got off to a poor start at Iowa, and I think it really affected us throughout the game. Bri brings us rebounding, and I think that’s been something we’ve needed to get back to in the last five games. Rachel [Banham]’s been averaging about seven rebounds a game, her rebounds have gone down a couple in the last couple of games, but she’s been doing a lot for us. We’re trying to find other ways to get our boards and be a good rebounding team, because that’s what you have to do.”
On the Gophers’ defensive effort tonight
“I thought we were a little more aggressive, I thought we were a little more in the lanes. We can still get more tips and deflections throughout the game and we are a little too cautious on the wings sometimes, but we’ll take it. There’s always room for improvement, and we need to get practice tomorrow and get better. We’ll continue getting better.”
On Jackie Voigt’s recovery from a concussion
“I think that’s been an issue for us on the road. For us to be successful on the road, you need your veterans to step up and play well. We’ve missed Jackie for the last five or six games. It feels like she’s been out a long time for a lot of different reasons, and her leadership and everything she does for us on the floor – we’ll be that much better when she gets back. I think we were expecting her to play. She’s made a great recovery, but has not passed the test up until this morning to get cleared to play. She’s been doing some non-contact in practice and she feels great, but with the NCAA rules, she’s got to pass the test. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hopefully we’ll have her back on Thursday."
Senior Guard Kiara Buford
On the difference this time in comparison to Penn State
“I think just finishing the game off strong. We did a good job fighting adversity when they made plays, we handled it better than we did at the Penn State game down the stretch, and getting rebounds. Bri got a great rebound for us at the end and I think those few plays were the difference for us.”
On if it helped that a player like Bri has a sense of urgency in this last stretch of games
“I can definitely feel her experience out there, she feels like the senior on the floor. Playing out there I know her well and I think there is a lot of trust there.”
Freshman Guard Rachel Banham
On the impact from everyone
“Everyone stepped up and made shots, from Bri to Kiana, everyone was making plays”
On how is it when other players step up and not rely so much on her and Kiara
“It’s much easier on me and also on Kiara when people do things. It’s not as much pressure and I think when we do that, that’s usually when we win. …when everyone is stepping up and doing things, that’s when we win games.”
Nebraska Head Coach Connie Yuri
“That was obviously a game of runs. Down the stretch, with the game on the line, Minnesota made plays and we did not. Minnesota made free-throws and we had three offensive rebounds in the last three minutes of the game and could not cash in on them. Minnesota cashed in on their opportunities. The possessions favored them in the area of rebounding. We are a very erratic team and that is probable because of our youth.”
On changes between the teams’ first meeting and the second this season
“They are good on their home court. We expected a tough game. You look at what they have done, they beat Ohio State here and they probably should have beaten Penn State here. They are a better transition team at home, we noticed that, but we did not do a good job of stopping them. At home they play with a little different aggressiveness.”
On offensive attitude
“We were highly unaggressive. In the last 15 minutes of the game we played very passive. We just wanted to pass the ball around the perimeter. Finally, we decided we would get in the lane and attack. The reason we did not shoot very many free-throws is because we were not attacking.”
On Lots of three-point shooting
“We do not have much of an inside game, that is the issue that we have. We are a team that relies a lot on shooting the three and that is who we are. We are not a team that has played with a good inside game all year.”
WNBA at the Break
Three pro Gophers will get some rest, and Lindsay Whalen will go for another gold medal in Rio.
Introducing: Taiye Bello
The freshman from Michigan has enjoyed her summer in another of the Great Lakes states.
Introducing: Gadiva Hubbard
The Viginia native is feeling at home in the Twin Cities during her first summer on campus.