MADISON, Wis. -
Wisconsin Coach Lisa Stone
On using the entire bench: It's really important. The schedule we've been on, six road games, three games in five days, this was very good. I'm glad we came out with some energy throughout the entire game. Again, our starters did a nice job, our bench did a nice job - they've always done that. This is a good time to get some people some playing time as well, but again, Edwardsville played hard the whole game and I give them a ton of credit for that. It was less about the scoreboard, but the fact that they played very hard. They got some open looks, they continued to play defense, they mixed some things up and that new young coach is going to do a great job. They're going to be a great team in a few years and I wish them nothing but the best.
On having four players in double figures: It was nice to be able to do that and again, to be able to rest our starters with this stretch we've been on, on the front gate of finals week. I thought Taylor Wurtz played a lot of minutes and was a really good ball handler and she broke the press by herself at the end. Again, nice, balanced scoring. We did a better job on the glass than I maybe anticipated at half time. We gave them six offensive boards at the half, but the bottom line is it was a good game; we kept things pretty clean. We had a few turnovers here and there but overall, not bad for our second game in five days.
On having an advantage in shooting percentage: Offensively, we shot 67 percent or something like that in the first half and we shot the ball really well from the perimeter. We need to get our post players involved. Our points in the paint are coming off of dribble penetration from our guards, we're trying to get some touches on the block, trying to get ball reversal, trying to demand a few things and trying to get some touches inside. I thought we did a better job of that and you saw that we had good position on the block. Tara (Steinbauer) had some success on the block, Lin (Zastrow) found some, Anya (Covington) did too. She had a couple offensive fouls, but for the most part, I thought we executed what we were asking our players to do and we give them a ton of credit for that.
SIU Edwardsville Coach Amanda Levens
To start the game the way we did was disappointing. I was more pleased with the second half. We just worked harder. That is something we pride our program on is how hard we work and also hustle. I just didn't feel like that was there the first half.
Do you feel you came out of this with something? Yes, Danielle Bennett, she's a freshman for us, she's been up and down on the year and I think she worked really hard. She was the one player on the floor that gave us some bright spots on offense. She wanted the ball when the shot clock was winding down and she took a lot of shots, which was good because no one else really wanted the ball late in the shot clock. I think for her this was a confidence booster definitely. She shot the ball better than she has in the past and defensively was a lot more solid. It shows the girls that are out (missing Raven Berry and Melia Duncan) how much we need them.
Down late in the game, your players were still hustling and going for loose balls.W e just want them to play with heart. We are developing them as people. We tell them everything they do, do it the best they can. It doesn't matter what the score is - same thing in life and in the classroom. I wish they could have started the game with that same effort.
Did you have problems with the size disadvantage? We played some bigger teams earlier in the season and we just needed to pressure the perimeter more and we just didn't do that in the first half. The one thing you don't want to do when you are already undersized is give up open jump shots and we gave Wisconsin open jump shots and they are very good shooters. They shoot about 44 percent on the year, which is very good for women's basketball. That was one of our goals is to not give them any open looks and they didn't have to even go inside because they were knocking down open shots. They also hurt us a little in transition off the turnovers.