Minnesota: Bill Fennelly Post Game

The Cyclone women won a hard fought game against Minnesota on Saturday night, 67-57, behind a strong post performance. The team now has a few days off to prepare for finals before playing St. Louis next Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena. Here's what Head Coach Bill Fennelly had to say after the game.

Bill Fennelly: I was really proud of the effort of our team. Obviously, when you look at the numbers there probably wasn't one person that had a great individual game, but this was one of those team efforts where the players picked up for each other. We beat a good team and had a great crowd. What I told them after the game was that this is a time that they need to appreciate their family, friends and fans. We are 7-1 and beat a good Minnesota team. It was tough at times, but we found a way to win the game. I thought we defended great.


Did you feel like you were able to beat them at their game tonight?

BF: That's something that we wanted to do. They average about 25 free throws a game and we don't foul people. If you keep them off the offensive boards, you've got a chance. If you look at our stats over the last 12 years, we like to make more free throws than our opponent shoots. For the most part we were very good at it.


Did you feel that defensively you were wearing them down?

BF: I thought defensively we were grinding out pretty good. I think the thing that helped in the second half was the Megan was very fresh. Amanda Nisleit gave us some good minutes off the bench. I really tried hard to get all the Minnesota kids in to the game, and Gillian even got us three points tonight.


Talk about Amanda Nisleit a little bit.

BF: Amanda is someone that really does all the little dirty-work things. She is undersized. You ask her to do things and she does them. She didn't get in to the game on Wednesday, but she came ready to play tonight. She got a couple big rebounds and a couple baskets. We talk so much about winning the in-state games here, but for those kids that come from Minnesota this was that kind of game.


Did you think you would have foul problems tonight?
I really did. When Megan got those two quick ones right off the bat, I knew that everyone better be engaged because they are all going to get in. The other problem is that we have the two foul rule, and the thing that you worry about is that when Megan sat for 18 minutes and through halftime, would she be ready to play the game.


Talk about Rachel Pierson's development.

BF: Rachel is someone that has a lot of potential to be a great low post player. She is physical and strong. She played 30 minutes tonight, which probably over-extended her. She finishes around the basket. Defensively, I thought she did a decent job tonight. She is someone that is going to change our team. We have a lot of depth in the post now, and they are all very different.


How did the team do overall tonight?
I grade on a curve. I will give them an A. If you watch the game and look at the stats, it was not the most aesthetic thing you have ever seen. There are so many times that the players are so consumed by what they did wrong, but they found a way to win the game in front of their fans and on TV. We have to get better, but right now we are not going to worry about it.

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