Minnesota: Post Game Player Interviews

The Iowa State women battled their way through a very physical game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers en route to a 67-57 victory. Rachel Pierson led the way offensively with 14 points, and Lyndsey Medders chipped in with 11. The media had a chance to speak with Megan Ronhovde, Rachel Pierson and Amanda Nisleit after the game.

How physical was this game tonight with Minnesota?

Megan Ronhovde: Going in we knew that Minnesota was a very physical team. We knew from a guard standpoint, they were going to be up denying the ball. There were situations where the ball was dead and they were rubbing up against you trying to make sure you can't get position. Having played them up there last year, we knew what to expect, so I think that was an advantage to us.


Was this the most physical game so far this year for you?

MR: I would definitely say so. Iowa was definitely a physical game because it's always physical, but I think that's just the style of play the Big 10 plays. The men are the same way. I thought everyone came up big giving us some productive minutes.


How do you like playing in physical games?

Rachel Pierson: I enjoy it. I enjoy the physical contact of the game.


Do the wins in the last two games make up for the sluggish play?

MR: I think with any opponent that you play, you will take a win, but obviously we have some work to do. We will get a few days off now for finals and regroup and figure out what we need to get done for St. Louis next week.


How did it feel to make some big contributions in tonight's game?

Amanda Nisleit: It was a lot of fun, especially playing against Minnesota. I am always ready to come out if needed if the post players get in foul trouble.


Do you expect to get a chance to play in a physical game like this?

AN: I am mentally trying to get ready for every game not exactly sure.


Did the officiating affect the momentum in the game at all?

MR: You can't blame a win or loss on the way the referees call the game. It's our responsibility to adjust to the way they are making the calls. We didn't do a very good job of that in the first half. I thought in the second half we adjusted, not allowing them to get easy shots in the post or second opportunities.


How hard was it to sit the last 18 minutes of the first half in foul trouble?

MR: It was brutal. I got a little over anxious. Obviously, this is an exciting game for Amanda, I and Gillian [Bjerke] being from Minnesota. This was a special win for the three of us as well as the rest of the team.


How did it affect your game after getting their post players in very early foul trouble?

RP: It's a rush. It's fun knowing that you do good things and it's not necessarily going to go in the stat book. Drawing fouls aren't going to go in the stat book, but you know that now their big girls are sitting out. We drew a couple charges tonight.


Have you had a game like this with fouls before?

MR: Their game plan knowing that I was very seriously thinking about going there. I know their coaching staff. I know a lot of their players. I think they knew I would be guarding Kelly [Roysland], and I got a little over-zealous and was trying to anticipate and get the steal. While I was on the bench, I thought everyone did a great job of keeping us in the game and keeping the flow going.


Was the focus to stop their guards tonight?

MR: We knew their guard play was very good as well as a couple of their post players. Initially, the game plan was to contain the two guards because they have a really good tandem with Fox and Roysland. We knew the focus was going to be on Kelly [Roysland] because when she is on they are very hard to stop.


Was there any kind of a statement made tonight?

MR: The coaches told us right out of the game that they were going to come in ready to go because they beat a Big 12 team on their home court. I think it says a lot when you go 2-0 against the two teams from the Big 10 in Minnesota and Iowa. When people see this score on the ticker, they are going to notice. It was a statement.



Other game notes:


-Toccara Ross scored only four points tonight ending her streak of consecutive double-figure scoring games at six.


-With her two blocks, Nicky Wieben moved into seventh place on the ISU career chart with 75. She is now 10 shy of Carmen Jasper for sixth on the list.


-Anna Florzak's six points are a career high. Her previous high was three, which she has had on two occasions.


-Heather Ezell's eight rebounds was a career high. She pulled down seven boards in the first game of this season as well as one time last season.


-Iowa State out rebounded Minnesota 46-41, marking the sixth time this season the Cyclones have done so. It was only the second time this season that Minnesota has been out rebounded.


-With the win, Bill Fennelly is now 18-5 against the Big 10 while at Iowa State and 23-9 all time against the league.

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