Feb. 20, 2014
Minnesota Head Coach Pam Borton
I'm really proud of our team for everything we have done in the last ten days. We are short-handed and a few of our players have concussions, but we won four in a row coming into today. We faced a tough Purdue team tonight and we were outmatched in a couple of positions today. It felt as though our lack of offensive production, having two players go one-for-eight and the other go one-for-seventeen, affected us negatively tonight. Offensively we never got anything going; we just have to regroup and move on to the next game.
On offensive not being able to hit open shots...
I think in the first half we had a lot of open looks that just didn't fall. I thought we missed some big layups in the first half and the beginning of the second half. We got the ball in deep to Amanda and she wasn't able to finish them. From there, everyone tries to score on their own instead of focusing on passes and getting open looks. Our players were pressing a little bit too hard. I thought in the first half we had more open looks than we did in the second half
On the effect of not having a full bench tonight...
I think it showed tonight because we were going up against a very physical Purdue team. We missed Jackie Johnson tonight in that four position. I think we made a lot of mistakes in that four position that Jackie doesn't usually make. We missed Bre McDaniel's physicality as well especially when you're playing a great team like Purdue.
On Missing Shayne Mullaney...
We missed Shayne and her ability to handle the ball tonight. Shayne is a player who can break someone down off the dribble and take a bit of pressure off of Rachel. I think we have done well considering that we played three of our last four games on the road. The players are playing well and putting in a solid 40 minutes each game. It's a grind now that we're in the end of the Big Ten season. They're tired, but we'll bounce back and we're mature enough that we'll finish the season strong.
On lack of offense tonight...
Coach said that we didn't have the greatest shooting night from some of our players which can hurt our confidence during the game. Purdue put a lot of pressure on us which put us on our heels a little bit tonight. We need to get back to playing team basketball offensively. We need to get the ball inside and be tough on offense.
On driving to the basket recently...
Since Shayne came out, I have been working more to get shots inside the paint. Shayne is a great dribbler and penetrator for us. I'm a strong person and I know I can get to the rim. I can be deceptively fast and catch people off guard. We need someone to take that pressure off of Rachel so I've been working to see the lane more recently.
Purdue Head Coach Sharon Versyp
"We knew this was a really important game for us. It was our last road game. We wanted this one for our seniors. We have been playing some good basketball after KK (Houser's) injury. We have not been able to get out and score well or play defense well. Tonight, I thought we put it all together."
On Dee Dee William's play on Banham...
"We always talk about the job she did on Maya Moore when we went to UConn when Maya was the best in the country. Dee Dee loves the challenge. She did a fantastic job tonight. It was a whole team attack, but she is one of the best defenders."
On playing with the lead...
"I thought they played very well. As a coach, I am never satisfied because I don't want them to be satisfied and look at the scoreboard. Iowa was ahead 18 on us and we came back and won. Anything is possible. I was very pleased with the effort, especially on the defensive end."
Dee Dee Williams
On disrupting Rachel Banham...
"I feel like coach had a great game plan on Banham today. It was basically to play her right hand. She did not look comfortable going left."
On how matching up with Rachel Banham before helped...
"She is a great player. Like I said, we had a good game plan and I thought that was the best way to play defense on her. She really looked uncomfortable."
On playing with the lead...
"I think we can do a better job. We went a stretch of five minutes where we did not score. I thought we did a good job jumping out to a lead, but we need to be better heading into March."
On being able to get production in the paint...
"It was a huge deal for us. Our posts had a great game on the defensive and offensive end. All the guards really stepped up tonight."
Introducing: Gadiva Hubbard
The Viginia native is feeling at home in the Twin Cities during her first summer on campus.
WNBA Update - July 13
Rachel Banham's season is unfortunately done, but the other three Gophers in the league have been making headlines.
Follow the Gophers to the Bahamas
Fan packages are available for travel to the Junkanoo Jam during Thanksgiving week.