Kansas vs. Northern Iowa Postgame Quotes

March 16, 2006

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Kansas Postgame Quotes
Kansas 59, Northern Iowa 49
March 16, 2006

Head Coach Bonnie Henrickson
On Senior Forward Crystal Kemp:
“I thought Crystal (Kemp) was aggressive and did a great job to try and force some tough passes. Crystal was smart in respecting Cassie’s (Hager) length and her ability to block shots. I’m proud of her confidence to try to turn the corner and get past her for a lay up.

On Senior Guard Kaylee Brown:
“She was battling on the floor and going for lose balls. That is how she got hit with a knee or an elbow. We got big minutes for her in the second half. We realized that if Crystal was going to struggle that we might have a mismatch, but Kaylee was able to knock it down deep, it has been a while.”

On moving the Mississippi game to Sunday:
“It is actually good because it gives us two days instead of one day. Ole Miss is tremendously athletic. I think they have the only 5-9 point guard in the country who averages a double-double. They have speed at every position. They play a different style than we faced here tonight. We have two days, the kids should be ready, the staff is excited. If everyone brings two of their closest friends we should have it rocking in here (Allen Fieldhouse).”

Senior Forward Crystal Kemp
On the game:

“We got a win so I am very excited about that. It was kind of shaky there at first and we had some mental lapses but we were able to fight and stay poised and win today. (We didn’t do) anything different; just worked harder probably. We really wanted to get another opportunity to play in the Fieldhouse and have our fans behind us to give us a little bit more momentum. I am very excited about being able to play at home again. It is important to get our fans back here one more time and hopefully leave here on a good note.”

On the play of Cassie Hager:
“I just let her know that I wasn’t scared to shoot. I shot 21 times. It is always nice to go up against size like that.”

On playing Mississippi:
“Coach has said that they are very athletic. They get up and trap and are very aggressive with full court presses and things like that.”

On the tone of the game:
“A first you have to kind of play with the referees and see what you are able to do. After we figured it out, we were all able to go in there and get some good shots.”

On being selected to play in the WNIT:
“We just had to sit and wait and see how everyone else did. Luckily, we were able to play into the tournament. Being able to have it at home was the best thing. We didn’t want to come in here on our home court and lose, so we just wanted to come in here and win today.”

Senior Guard Erica Hallman
On the play of freshman Marija Zinic:

“Marija (Zinic) came in a stepped up and gave us some great buckets. I think she went 5-for-10. She came in and gave us a couple buckets, cut off the double (team) on Crystal (Kemp) and made her free throws. That is definitely big. It should give her confidence for our next game and for next season.”

On playing in the postseason:
“It’s just like any other game. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to play back here at home where we are 15-4. We had a pretty decent crowd. It was a hard fought game but I think we pulled away in the end, with our conditioning, and executing on offense and getting some stops.”

On what the team did to prepare for the game:
“We haven’t done anything special. We did what we have been doing all year. I think that we came in with better focus and concentration and executed Coach Bonnie’s game plan.”

On how the team played at the end of the game:
“Down the stretch we got stops and then scored and they didn’t. She (Bonnie Henrickson) told us to take the fight out of them when it was 41-41 and we just didn’t look back. We got stops and went down to the other end and scored.”

Freshman Forward Marija Zinic
On her ability to contribute:

“They (Northern Iowa) doubled Crystal (Kemp) the whole time. Basically, I was wide open. I was just trying to find a way to make the wide open shots. She (Crystal) did a great job finding me and passing me the ball.”

Freshman Guard Ivana Catic
On KU’s hopes to finish the season strong:

“I thought the way that we started the season we had momentum but unfortunately we lost it. I thought we could have made the big step to the NCAA Tournament but this is a great chance to prove some things to ourselves and to other people.”

On the play of Marija Zinic:
“I think she has gotten more comfortable with the language and just her understanding of the game has become so much better. She (Marija) has talked to Crystal (Kemp) a lot and she always asks questions and pays attention in practice. I think that she has improved a lot.”

Northern Iowa Quotes
Northern Iowa Head Coach Tony DiCecco
On the game:

“It was an honor to play in the WNIT and it was a great thrill for us to play against a very good Kansas team. I thought that we played very well to start the second half. We tell our kids when you get to the six minute mark of a close ball game, it’s the time that is probably going to determine the game. (Crystal) Kemp hit some big shots and Kansas stepped up in that situation. It was a great college game. I thought that both teams played very well. They had a little run where they scored on three out of five possessions and did a great job of holding us.”

On the second half:
“I was really pleased with how we came out of the locker room. We did a great job moving the basketball and hit some big shots inside and outside. I don’t know if we got tired or they (Kansas) stepped up, but their pressure on the perimeter was a little bit better. We were stopping them when we built up a five or six point lead and then we went cold. They really took advantage of that.”

On Crystal Kemp and Marija Zinic:
“(Marija) Zinic was better than what we thought. She did a very nice job of using her body. (Crystal) Kemp is a good player, there is no question about that. The things that everybody said about her are true. I thought that Zinic did a good job and stepped up, which was the difference in the game.”

Senior Center Cassie Hager
On the second half:

“We were very excited when we made that run. After that, we went cold and couldn’t buy a shot for a while. We got great looks and opportunities inside. Speaking for myself, I just didn’t finish like I should have.”

On the end of her career:
“I was given a great opportunity at Northern Iowa. I was able to step in at the end of my sophomore year and contribute to the team. I was able to become a go-to-player and leader on the team. I am thankful for everything that I have been given.”