UI WOMEN'S HOOPS: Post-game quotes

Following Idaho's home victory over New Mexico State, and standing No.3 currently in the Western Athletic Conference standings, head coach Jon Newlee and players Alyssa Charlston, and Yinka Olorunnife addressed questions from the media.


Q: Were you worried about the first five minutes compared to the La. Tech game?

JN: "Yeah. The difference being I thought we were getting quality looks and not making them (today). I thought against La. Tech we were just taking really bad shots when we got in our offensive funk. I thought we were taking good shots. What I was worried about was they'd let it carry over, because it was so in our head how we played offensively. Alyssa (Charlston) came in there and lit a spark under us, man, and kinda got us going and all of a sudden you looked up and there we were, right in the game."

Q: That was really fun for her (Charlston) to have such a fun first half. As a coach you see that in practice, but it must be pretty gratifying to see her put that together in a game.

JN: "Yeah it was. It was really good to see her come out. She was relaxed. She took good shots which has been a problem for her I think, shot selection, and kinda being a little tentative. She just came out strong. She wasn't intimidated. Just came out and played our game, and I think we all caught a glimpse of what she's capable of doing and why I'm so excited for her future as a Vandal, man. I just think the sky's the limit for Alyssa.

Q: Did you think their strategy was to take Yinka (Olorunnife) out and go right at her?

JN: "Absolutely. We've seen a number of teams try to do that to us. We told Yinka you've got be smart with (Tabytha) Wampler, because she'll flail around in there. She tends to pick up those fouls. I told her not to get involved in a shoving match or a match with Wampler because they've been at it now for the last couple of years, I think. They did it, but you know what? That was okay with us if that's what they wanted to do, it take it inside, because they were 15 for 24 from 3 point range against Boise on Thursday. That was all right with us."

Q: Yinka had 16 points and 18 boards. They didn't take her away too much.

JN: "No, they didn't take her out. She took herself out. I think in the first half she was getting to the rim and expecting to be hammered, and she wasn't getting hammered; so she was missing the easy shots; so we told her at halftime 'just finish. Keep your head up. Just finish. If they foul you, they foul you. ' I just think she had a great game. She was a monster on the glass."

Q: 46 rebounds as a team. How does that rank compared to the rest of the season?

JN: "It was great. We told 'em, we've got to win the rebounding battle. Every time we've outrebounded a team we've won the game, and that's a stat I keep preaching to 'em before every game, and we thought as a team we needed to rebound because of their three-point shooting. Long shots, long rebounds. We told our guards to be ready to rebound, and Bianca (Cheever) had 6 rebounds. That might be a career high for her."

Q: You guys remembered how to shoot free throws.

JN: "It was nice. Let me tell you we shot a lot of free throws between Thursday, Friday morning and today. Maybe there is something to that."

Q: Can you step back and give an assessment? It's been a rough week, but you're almost halfway through the conference season. To come back and play this strong against a team that just went down and cleaned out Boise, is that a good sign to you?

N: "Oh yeah. It was great. It was great to be able to put the La. Tech game behind us and come back and play as well as we did. Our challenge is to become more consistent as a team and put a streak together. We had a horrendous game at San Jose, came back and a great game against Boise. Horrendous game La. Tech, great game tonight. What's gonna happen on Wednesday with San Jose coming back? We need to get it going, and get it going in a positive way, I think. That would really get everybody's confidence going and have a good February."

Q: Rachele (Kloke), a quiet 17.

JN: "Yes, yes. I was happy. I think I told the radio guy that I was happy that Rachele saw the flare that I sent up for her after the La. Tech game, because she was missing in action, and it was great to have her back, taking good shots. She worked hard today. I mean, she earned those points. She was really coming hard off screens. Not only getting her shot but getting other people's shots by as hard as she was coming out of our offense, making cuts off the screens that were being set for her. She brought it. She brought it hard tonight, and that's what we need to see."

Q: "What does it mean to you to shoot 35% from the floor which wasn't that great and be outshot 37% to 35% and win going away?

JN: "Well, I think if you look at the shooting percentage; it wasn't great. I think a lot of that had to do with our first 10 minutes. That kinda skewed the percentage a little bit, but I think it's nice to be able to win when you're not just hot…and really filling it up…to be able to kinda be workmanlike with it. I think that's what it was tonight. We just stuck with it, did a great job of attacking the rim, getting to the free throw line and then converting at the free throw line. Getting the O boards and getting some second chances, because obviously we needed them because we weren't making the first for a while there."

Alyssa Charlston:

Q: What a fun game for you…was it like you were actually playing 'real college ball'?

AC: "Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I'm finally starting to click in the system, and it's something I've been working on for a long time, to incorporate the wing position and the post position. I switched midway through the season; so I'm starting to really work my way into the system, and it's a great system."

Q: Do you get the feeling that you take some teams by surprise by being able to shoot the 3 kinda like Yinka takes 'em by surprise?

AC: "Yeah, I think they were pretty surprised, and I think also they were surprised because they probably develop their whole system defending us around our starting five; so I think it's important for other players to be able to step up and to be a threat."

Q: You were also a factor on the boards, too. Six rebounds from the wing and whatever else position.

AC: "I was more rebound minded in high school. I was hoping that would carry over in college. It didn't at first. Obviously college is such a different game. It's way more physical; so I'm still getting adjusted to the physicality and just making sure that when I'm going into the game I have the mindset of a tough rebounder."

Q: Is there a point…I know in high school you have a lot of big games, obviously. That's why you're playing in college, but this is really the first time you've played a lot of minutes and really had an impact. Was there a point in that first half where you were like, "I'm having a really good game." Did that cross your mind?

AC: "It does. Hitting the first few shots, it really boosts your confidence, and it reminds me of how I was able to lead my team in high school, and in this situation I don't have to lead my team because there are so many other threats on the floor with me. When I have a good game I can still have the reliance. Even if I'm having a slump I have all these other players around me that are gonna be playing better than me, shooting better than me."

Q: Anything particular stand out, a highlight, tonight for you?

AC: "As far as my play or the team?" Yeah . "I'd say I got some really nice passes on ball rotation, reversing the ball way quicker than we normally do. It's just like, I'm popping harder because I want that open three, and when the guards can get that ball for me quickly that's huge."

Q: Coming off the loss against La. Tech, how big is that to come out and get this win tonight?

AC: "It's huge. We really had to bounce back to stay up high in the conference, and then we have to stay as a competitive member. It was something for our confidence, too. Coach was talking about how we have to believe in ourselves, and this was a game that showed us that if we believe in ourselves we're as good as any other team in this conference if we play to our capabilities."

Yinka Olorunnife:

Q: My first question: It was obvious…that they were trying to take you out. They wanted to get you in trouble. They wanted to come right at you. They wanted to take you out of the offensive rotation. How satisfying was it to come through that physical a game and wind up with the numbers you did?"

YO: "I feel like this season a lot of teams have been coming at me, I suppose especially because I am at lot of times very undersized, and that's an advantage for them in the post game; so their physicality wasn't anything new. I expected it; so I have to find a way to work around it and to just stay focused and play my game. It was nice knowing that was their game plan, but it kinda backfired because their post got into foul trouble and we able to execute and get those boards like we needed. It was nice. It was satisfying. "

Q: Speaking about your game: Has your game changed this year with the supporting group that you have here now?

YO: "It has. It really has. We have a lot of really good…for me anyway. What I worked on over the summer was my shooting. For me to get a great shot off you need good passes. They get open, and I think our guards, the guards we have coming in, they're very great passers and know how to pass right on the spot. Ganeaya (Rogers) is a very great passer. Alyssa (Charlston), when she drives and sees the open man, she's very good. It's very beneficial."

Q: The team tonight had 46 rebounds. Sometimes I think in the past you might have felt it was up to you to get every rebound possible. Do you still have that feeling?

YO: "No, I don't have that feeling because we have more height this year, and everyone else is more eager to get those balls, but at the same time I'm not gonna rely on like, 'Well, I have help so they can probably do it.' I'm never thinking like that. In my head, I'm getting after every board regardless of if I have help or not. It is nice having other people who can do the work down there, but at the same time I'm never taking a step back."

Q: Ten minutes into the game you had 10 or 11 rebounds already. Did you realize that?

YO: "At halftime I did. At halftime I did because coach was saying we were doing really well on the boards, and I thought, 'I have a lot.' Going into the second half I was, like, I've got to put out the same effort like I did first half."

Q: What makes you such a great rebounder in your eyes?

YO: "In my eyes I just really want that ball. When I see the shot go off, miss or make, my eyes are just on that ball, and regardless of where it goes I just get after it. If I get it or don't get it I'm just always somewhat down there trying to get the rebound."

Q: Do you try to judge, do some quick mental calculations, on where the ball is and how it's coming.

YO: "Yes, like three pointers mean long rebounds; so I'm not gonna sit underneath the basket because that's nothing. Depending on where the shot's coming from, if it comes from one side 70% of the rebounds are going to go to the opposite side; so I'm gonna go to the opposite; so I kinda just read where the shot's going off."

Q: You guys got off to a slow start offensively. Were you thinking, "What is going on?"

YO: "I think apart from the Boise game, the past few games I think slow starts have happened because of low energy. We've come out kinda just playing the game, not really fired up. Like Boise, we're fired up. We had energy because it's Boise. When we have that kind of energy we come out great, and we need to come out with that energy ever single game like we're playing Boise State every single game. We need to come out like that. Some games we're just kinda like, 'Okay, it's another game.' That's why we always have slow starts, because of the energy, but we start getting going and start hitting shots then people start to get fired up. That's when the energy starts and that's when we start playing better."

Q: The fans would like you start better sooner. They have to listen to the band singing.

YO: "I noticed that today. The score was like 0-7, and it was 'The band is still singing. I think it's because it we haven't scored. Come on!"

Q: There was a media time out and after the time out they continued.

YO: "I noticed that. They do it until you score. Today it was good maybe like seven minutes they were singing. They were out of breath."

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