THRILLER!!

Jeff Horner knocked in the game-winner, and Head Coach Steve Alford got one in Bloomington as the Hawkeyes dumped Indiana, 84-82, Saturday. Read what the hero and the coach said HN.com Basketball Expert Bobby Hansen after the exciting victory.

The following transcript covers the postgame interviews conducted by HN.com Basketball Expert Bobby Hansen on the Hawkeye Radio Network and Learfield Sports:

Inside the locker room with a jubilant Jeff Horner. Jeff, let's fast forward to that last shot. Take me through that. Double-overtime. Clock winding down. What's going through your mind?

Player of the Game, Jeff Horner: We had a chance before, and P took it. I happened to get the offensive rebound. I dribbled out. I saw there was 10 seconds left on the clock. I just figured that I'd go at the basket. I spun in the middle of the lane. Perry wasn't there. He was cutting off my drive. I just went up and banked it in. I had a pretty good look at it.

How satisfying is it to see that ball ripple through the net?

JH: It was awesome. It went through, and actually, Pierre came and jumped on me. I was like, "Get back. Get back." I saw that there was 1.5 seconds left. Luckily, we tipped the ball, and they didn't get a chance to make a play. It felt like we beat them three times today. It felt like we had them beat in both overtimes. It was just an awesome win. Everyone is really happy. \

Was this maybe the best basketball game that you've ever bee involved in?

JH: I'd have to say so. I've been in game winners. But I've never seen the making of shots where we had to go to two overtimes. It was just a dogfight. You've got people playing 49, 50 minutes. It's just amazing how everyone just kept their effort and kept their focus, and we were able to get a win.

Talk about the time out on the floor. It looked like you guys were dead tired. What did it feel like out there?

JH: I was dead tired. I'm sure everyone else was. But, we were keeping our hands up and just trying to do everything on defense that we could to get a stop. Luckily, we came up with enough stops in the end. In that last overtime, everyone went scoreless until there was just a little bit left. You just have to give a lot of credit to everyone that was out on that floor. It was an awesome game.

Talk about the play of Glen Worley. He inbounded the ball to you and then he tapped his chest as if to say, "We've got the most heart out on this basketball floor." Then, he sprinted down to the other end. Did you not what he did right there?

JH: Yeah. I think he hit a shot. You know, he was big for us tonight. He hit a lot of key shots. That one-bounce pull-up that he hit on Moye was bigger than any shot in the game. We made our free throws down the stretch. Glen is a pretty emotional guy. That's what we need out of everyone on our team.

How about you're sophomore partner Greg Brunner? He came up big tonight also?

JH: He came up huge - 23 points and 14 rebounds. I thought he did a really nice job of finishing tonight. That's something that we're going to need him to do because he's going to be a big part of this ballclub. We need that bruiser in there, and that guy that can finish. We don't really have that pounder. We have Erek Hansen on the bench, who is 7-foot. But he's still a little weak in the post. Once he gets some meat on him, he'll be good. Greg is going to be key for us down the stretch. Hopefully, he can keep this play up.

The difference in the game was your ability to play the 2-3 zone effectively and extend it out on the floor to cover the 3-point shooters after they opened up with five out of 10.

JH: Our man-to-man really wasn't working too well. It seemed like we were getting drived and kicked a lot. That's something that we definitely have to work on because we're going to have to play man-to-man on some teams. But we went to that 2-3 zone. Our bumps were pretty good. We got in trouble a couple of times when we doubled down in the post, and they got wide-open threes. But towards the end there, we didn't do that. Klein missed that one. Greg got the rebound. And we were set to go.

Your thoughts on playing Wisconsin?

JH: Wisconsin is a very good team. We almost wish that Northwestern wouldn't have beat them. Now, they're going to come into our building pretty mad. We've got to be ready to go because they're a good ballclub. They're pretty fundamental as a team. We've got to be ready to play with a lot of heart.

Jeff, outstanding game today by you and your teammates. Now, go home and get some rest.

JH: Thanks. I'd just like to thank the Children's Miracle Network back in Iowa City and the Union. We go over to the hospital a lot with John Streif our trainer. We just want to say thanks to them. They're just a big part of what we do.

They're having the dance marathon going on until 7 o'clock tonight. Let's say hello to the people over there and tell them to keep on dancing.

JH: Yeah. Tell them to keep on dancing. Play some music after this win. Hopefully, they can find something to keep dancing to.

HEAD COACH STEVE ALFORD

Steve, where do you start in a basketball game like that. Double overtime, the first one in 10 years for the Hawkeyes. And you come out victorious.

SA: Bobby, I saw John Luskowski, who is a former player here before me. He asked me before the game today, "What's your most memorable moment." Obviously, you have a lot of memorable moments when you play somewhere. But I told him the Marquette game because it was triple overtime. The winner goes to New York for the Final Four of the NIT. The loser goes home. There was a lot of drama. There was incredible shot making. Coaches were going back and forth. Now, you have a game like this where you have a double overtime where kids are just making plays after plays after plays. It was just phenominal.

I was just glad we were able to get it. Our guys have been through a lot, Bobby. Nobody understands what they've been through for two years. They've been hearing how proud we are of their effort, but getting some losses along the way. And they really needed to get a win like this.

Coach, take us inside the huddle at the end of regulation, the end of the first overtime and then the last time with about a minute to go in the second overtime.

SA: We thought that 15 seconds was too much time to come out and foul. It's too risky to say, "Let's foul with five on the clock." Had there only been five seconds, we'd have probably fouled. Having 15 seconds on the clock, we wanted to switch five ways and guard the 3-point line. Don't give them an easy one. We did a great job. The problem was that they went to take a two, and we fouled him. We should have just let him shoot that. But we make a tough play, we foul them, and then we're just yelling, "Block out. Block out." Bracey, as good as he is, that's a hard shot to miss it the right way to get a tip in. That's very deflating.

Then we run into tough luck with Wright hitting the deep three when we switch out just a little bit slow. But it's still a 24-, 25-foot shot that he makes. What can you say about our guys? They're were about four or five different cases where they could have quit, Bobby. They didn't do it. For that, I'm very proud of them.

Coach, you went to the 2-3 zone after starting out man-to-man. They were 5-10 3-point shooting. Then, I think, they missed their next seven.

SA: Well, we actually went zone...and we were going to play a little bit of it tonight. But, we went to the zone just to protect Pierre. He got two quick fouls. We learned some lessons in the Michigan State game. If we take him out, we run the risk of having some serious runs thrown at us.

We just decided as a staff to throw the zone out there. We went with it in the second half because I didn't think they handled it very well in the first half. Fortunately, it did some good things against them.

One of the things that you talked with Gary (Dolphin) about in the pregame was the points in the paint. You thought you could dominate in the paint. And you did that tonight.

SA: I thought we could still go at them. And I still do. I think we still can do that because Glen and Bru...in particular, Bru. Glen is still much better on the perimeter than he is on the inside. He makes two threes for us tonight that were really big on screen and react moves. But Bru can be a handful in there. Bru really did some nice things inside.

Coach, when you look at that stat sheet, the most amazing stat is the amount of minutes played by your starting five.

SA: (Laughing. No, cracking up) I don't know if I've ever seen that before, Bobby. The fewest amount of minutes were out of Brunner with 45. Then, you've got 47, 47, 49 and 49. There were a lot of minutes there. I just want my bench to relax. We've got a lot inexperience now on our bench. Guys haven't played a lot of minutes in a lot of games. We just got in a pretty good rhythm. I kept asking the guys if they needed blows. They wanted to stay in there. And then we've got teh 8-minute mark. The one thing that I told them, Bobby, we had two timeouts left plus two medias left. "Let's break it down into two-minute games. I'll call timeout at 6. You'll get a media at 4. I'll take another timeout at 2." It did work out well for us. But then when you get into overtime, in those 5-minute games, you've only got one timeout. That makes it a little bit tougher.

You wanted to get a splint on the road here, at least. You certainly achieved that goal.

SA: Yeah. We did. It gets us to 5-4. It gets us to plus one. That meaning that we have more road wins than home losses. So, we got our hands full. We're going to enjoy this one. We're going to have a nice plane trip back and enjoy it tomorrow. But come Monday, we got to get our sights set on to big games. One, a team that already beaten us. And a Wisconsin team that got beat tonight that I'm sure is going to be pretty angry coming into Carver on Wednesday.

Coach, final question. Your thoughts on Jeff Horner?

SA: As you know, he's a fierce competitor. And he didn't get the number of shots that he's got to get. But, I thought in the second half, he neared a triple-double. He had 10 rebounds, 17 points, six assists, plays 50 minutes, and only has two turnovers. He is a phenominal player that keeps getting better and better. Those guys are special that can make game winners. He made a big one tonight.

Coach, congratulations. You came home and gave them one.

SA: Yeah. (Laughing) It's been since 1987 since I won in this building. So, it feels good to get one.


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