March 25, 2012
Minnesota Head Coach Pam Borton
"You obviously need to give Northern Iowa a lot of credit. The first half they played absolutely outstanding. They made a lot of 3's, came out and were extremely tough, bullied us a little bit, but we came out in the second half, which I was really proud of, and switched a flip on. Our team showed a lot of character coming out and playing as far as what we did. It is probably one of the best halves of basketball we played in a really long time on both ends of the floor. For us to shoot 68% in the second half and to defend the way we defended was absolutely outstanding. It was great to see some of our young players have a good tournament here. As a team, we found out where we are. We lost a couple of these games in the non-conference, losing to Denver and Quinnipiac. As a coaching staff we really wanted to find out what type of a team we were and I think we got better and it really propels us into next season. The last 10 games we went 7-3 and that says a lot about our team and the types of kids we have."
On the first half,
"They switched up defenses almost every time down the floor and that mixed us up a little bit. The different looks they gave us defensively really affected us in the first half, but as we got used to it we did a much better job in the second half executing."
On 56 points in the second half,
"We scored in a lot of different ways. Micaella Riche did a great job at scoring some points inside. We hit a couple three's; Rachel did a great job making plays and took it upon herself. Jackie Voigt knocked some key shots down. It was a total team effort and everybody pitched in offensively and knocked shots down. It makes us a tough team to defend."
On sending the seniors out,
"It goes by really, really fast. I still remember when they were freshman. I think we won 20 games their freshman year and coming in and finishing above 500 with 19 wins this year says a lot about what these seniors have done with the program. The last couple years we have dipped down a little bit, but for them to end where they started off says a lot.
Senior Guard Kiara Buford
On playing the last 4 games at home,
"I think its bitter sweet. Like Rachel said, being able to end on a championship is always good for our team and our program. Leaving on good terms with everybody, being happy, I thought that was really good. Letting Nicole get in the game and being able to see her hit a shot, just little things like that mean so much."
On what this win meant for the seniors,
"Just finishing strong, we've put in a lot of work over our four years here. We haven't played this long into a season since we've been here. For us to push it out, play this long, play this well, watch our team come around the corner, it was good to end it that way with all the work we've put in."
On what is next,
"I don't really know yet, but I am pretty well prepared. I graduated last year and just taking it day by day, talking to a couple of people. I want to play overseas next year. I haven't done much since we have still been playing and still being committed to the team. That is what I am going to start to look into."
Freshman Guard Rachel Banham
On what to take from this WBI experience,
"I think it's sweet that we ended on a championship, that's what our seniors needed. It is really good for the program and to end on a winning record is great."
On what was in her mind after half time,
"We need to win, this is our court, and we needed to win it for the seniors especially. Eventually we started playing much better and you could tell that we all wanted it more than they did."
Northern Iowa Head Coach Tanya Warren
"I thought it was an extremely well played game and we played extremely well for a majority of it. You have to tip your hat off to Minnesota; they did a great job of hitting shots the second half. They stepped up and stuck shots. I am extremely proud of the season we've had and how we played."
On the toughness to stop Minnesota in the second half,
"It was really tough. You have to give them credit. I thought their kids coming off their bench who did not stick shots the first half did a great job of stepping up and sticking shots in the second half. You have to give them credit."
On the 3 point shot not falling at the end,
"I honestly think fatigue set in. We have traveled over 7,000 miles in the past 11 days. I think fatigue really set it. We got the same shots in the second half as the first half but they just didn't fall."
On stopping Minnesota when they went up by 10,
"It was tough because not only were they hitting their shots, they were also getting rebound put backs. When you work hard to get a defensive stop and you don't secure it with your rebound, they're able to score and it really defeats you. It was beating us in fascists."
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.