UNI Quotebook: Alford, Brunner, Haluska

Northern Iowa continued to rain on Iowa's parade defeating a ranked Hawkeye team for a third consecutive time in Cedar Falls. Tuesday, the Panthers pulled out a 67-63 victory in overtime at the UNI-Dome. Read what Iowa Coach Steve Alford and player Greg Brunner and Adam Haluska said after the heartbreaker in this HN.com premium quotebook.


Opening Statement: Well, it was a really hard-fought game. I though the last minute half of overtime was a huge key. Things were pretty even. We might have been slightly ahead on the backboard. In the last minute forty, they just dominated the glass and they got a lot of extra shots and then obviously made some big plays, hit some key shots that allowed them to get fouled and make free throws. Our kids fought hard, but when it's crunch time like that you've got to be able to make plays. We just didn't make them.


What the status of Jeff and Erek? I have no idea. We'll have to wait until we get back to Iowa City. I don't know.

Jeff was doing a tremendous job on Jacobson. He did a great job on Jacobsen all night. That's one of the tough things in basketball. It's unfortunate. When that happens, you have to have somebody step up. We lost the core of our team, the leader of our team, and we just didn't have anybody step up in his place. That's unfortunate and we'll just have to learn and get better because I just don't know what his situation is going to be for Friday and beyond. It was a tough time for him to get hurt because I did think he was having a good game, especially defensively.

What did Hansen hurt? I don't know about that either. He complained of stomach. I don't know if something happened there. We'll just have to get back to Iowa City with our doctors and find out what's going on.

You play with a small lineup there for quite a while. What was your thinking there? We matched it. We went with our four guard lineup when you make Alex a guard. We were actually bigger going with a small lineup. We're able to match that when teams go to that. I really thought that this game came down to one possession where they get three shots. I don't know any time in the game where we got three shots in one possession. It came down to just going after a couple of loose rebounds that we weren't able to get late in the game that ended up being the difference.

The home team has won the last six meeting in this series. How big is the home court? It's obvious that whoever plays at home has got an advantage. This is a tough game. We've been ranked three times coming up here. They get a very large crowd. They get a very good atmosphere. And they're a very good basketball team. It's a lot different than years ago. This is a team that's a very good basketball team, especially five or six in. This is a very good basketball team that's only going to get better. They've got good experience and very tough kids. And they did a very nice job tonight.

Did they do anything different on Brunner in the second half? What did he have at the half, 16? He finished with 26. They started trapping him. For the most part, we got it out of there. But they did a nice job of trapping him and making somebody else make a shot. You just can't recall too many guys making any shots in the second half that were big shots. That's what we're going to have to find.

Adam struggled tonight. Why do you think he had a tough time getting it going? Well, if he struggled tonight, good luck on Friday. That's something we've just got to work on. This is a very, tough demanding week. Now, with Jeff being questionable, it really puts a lot of pressure on our other guards. Carlton is going to have to be ready. I thought Tony had a really good first half. The second half was very good defensively. He missed some really good shots. Those were good shots and they just didn't go down. But your upperclassmen are the ones, in games like this, have to come in and make plays. We just weren't able to get that done tonight.

When Jeff got fouled earlier, it looked like he landed on his left knee. Was it the same area the second time? I think, and I may be way wrong, but it was his ankle. I think it was his ankle that he kind of turned on that move. We wanted to take him out for a defensive possession, call timeout and then get him back in; let him walk on the sideline and just see if he could go. He said he could go, so we put him back in. The very next play it looked like it was more of the knee thing than it was ankle. But it could have been knee both times.

Did he say something to you? He said he could go. Then, obviously the second time, he couldn't.

How about after the second time? No. He went down and I could tell. He would play on no legs if you'd let him. But he's got to get back and we've got to get some X-rays and just find out what's wrong.

It was a good matchup with him and Jacobson. He and Jacobson both did a good job, They battled and fought each other the whole night. That was a great matchup.

How do you get this team to put this game behind you and get ready for Iowa State on Friday? Well, we've got two days to try to get ready. For a very good, and very athletic and very deep Iowa State team. It's not an easy place to play. We knew this was going to be a difficult week. We came in and fought, but we came up a little short tonight. Npw. We have to see if we can get one on Friday.

Is that game a much bigger necessity to win with the loss tonight? No. They're big no matter what they are. It's December. It's still very early. We were 12-1 last year. So, they're all big. They're not make or brake, but they're all big games. We obviously want to win as many as we can regardless of what happened tonight. If we won tonight, it wasn't going to be any less important on Friday. Friday is a big game because that's our next game.

What makes Coleman so affective? He's really a good player. He's left-handed. He's very quick. He uses his body very well. And he really understands how to make shots. He really dominated the majority of our bigs tonight. He went right at them. He went right at Erek. He went right at Doug. We didn't have much of an answer for him tonight. He was really good.

Mike seemed to do at the end of the game what you wanted him to do a little earlier. Yeah. He's going to be in that situation with the guards that we've got on the bench. If he performs like he did against Valparaiso, those minutes go up. If he doesn't, then somebody is going to get that opportunity. Tony got that opportunity and was much more efficient in the first half. In the second half, Mike was able to do a little more. It's going to be a team, especially in our backcourt, that you've got to produce to stay in those minutes.


What are your thoughts on the game? It was a good game. The ball went in for them at the end. It was a tough situation.

You were feeling it tonight, Huh? I'd rather have zero points and zero rebounds and get that win. It's just hard to swallow.

Can you talk about that last shot in regulation? You had a smile as you were jogging off. I thought it was in. I was cheering like I was and it just bounded out.

When it left your hand, you thought it was in? I thought it was in immediately. I was starting to run to the bench with my hands in the air because I thought that I made it.

What adjustments did they make on you in the second half? They doubled in the first half. In the second half, they just came strong when I got the ball instead of when I made a move. I looked opposite and it was there. We made that pass a lot.

Does it help you out going to Iowa State playing in this tough atmosphere today? The atmosphere was great. The students were really loud. Hilton is a really tough place to play. We're just looking forward to going over there and battling.

What's that like when Jeff has to be on the bench? It hurts the team when your captain is not on the floor. Him and Erek were struggling battling injuries. So…

Was there a point in regulation where you guys thought you could get a little bit of an edge and hold them off? I thought we had them at the end of regulation and Jacobson hit two threes at the end, two key plays. That's a senior stepping up.

How big of a loss was it not to have Jeff on Jacobson? Jeff played outstanding defense on Jake. He frustrated him for the most part of the game.


What did they do defensively on you to get you out of your game? They just did a great job. They were fired up. We tried to get it down low. I really didn't do much offensively. We've got to be fired up. We have to take it at them. Their bigs inside just hurt us all night, and Jacobsen made some unbelievable shots down the stretch.

It seemed like the lane was clogged up. Yeah, both teams did a great job with clogging the lane up. They did a great job of getting it inside. And their bigs did a lot with the ball.

Brunner had some kind of a night. Bru as tremendous for us. He battled and did everything he could to keep us in it.

What went on Jeff went out? He's one guy. He's a big part. He's a senior. He's a leader. But we can't fall apart like that. We've got to stick together. We did for a little bit there. We hung strong. But we just needed to step up and make a play. That's where they came through.

Well, Friday night, they're going to be looking for you in Ames. Yeah. That will be a big one. We've just got to go home, get ready, get prepared and we'll be ready to go.

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