STEVE ALFORD QUOTES
Opening Statement: We did a lot of good things in the first 34 minutes. We just didn't finish. It was very similar to the Arizona State game minus the start. We started this game better. We held them to 35 percent shooting. The board play got away from us late in the game. We thought was going to be an issue this year. We got pounded on the glass. And then it's really hard when you get beat 21-5 on the free throw line. Those are going to be hard things for us to overcome. We hold them to 17 field goals, which should be enough to get you a win. We just couldn't make enough plays offensively down the stretch. Then, we just kept putting them at the free throw line late in the game.
Can you talk about Coleman's play down the stretch?
Well, he was, no question, the best player on the floor. Eric has had a tremendous career and he's killed us. We've had no answer for him the three times that he's played us. He's had incredible nights and 21 and 15 is an incredible night's work. We absolutely had no answer for him. Brooks did a nice job. He didn't make a lot of shots, but he did a nice job of just quarterbacking his team.
Can you talk about Tony's shot at the end? Is that what you wanted?
No, we went the wrong direction. We were out of timeouts. We had to call all of our timeouts to try to stop the run. That didn't work and then we go the wrong direction. Now, we get the ball in Justin's hands who hadn't been in the game much instead of going to Adam's side to make the play. We're just very inexperienced with late-game situations. We've just got to keep plugging away and working at it. Tyler did some good things. He kind of ran out of gas at the end.
Was your defense causing the fouling?
Boy, I don't know. Both teams played aggressive man-to-man defense. You know, we're in our own building and they shoot 29 free throws and we shoot seven. That one is a hard one to figure out.
Do you feel like your offense was aggressive enough to draw fouls?
Well, we thought. We tried to attack the paint. We got beat in the paint 28-18. Probably a lot of that was late in the game put backs by them. We'll have to look at the tape and just see. And then with communications with the officials, we've got to work on our verticality post game because it's obviously not where it should be.
Could you talk about the job Josten did on Haluska?
He did a terrific job. He came in with the mindset that he was going to shut own Adam, and he did a phenomenal job. That obviously was the game plan. It worked for them. Anytime you can come into somebody else's building and take their leading scorer, best player, and hold him under 10 points, that's a good job. You have to take your hat off to him.
Did you say anything to Seth after the game? He seemed pretty distraught.
We've got a lot of guy's hurting. Seth is starting come back around again lately. I liked his aggressiveness. Thirteen shots right now in his career are probably too many. I like his aggressiveness, but it's not all his fault. For some reason, that's who we went to. Guys that are supposed to be making plays ended up giving it to Seth with late clock. Seth gave us really good energy on the offensive end. Those bigs just have to keep maturing defensively. We're still not guarding the way we've got to guard on the interior.
What do you think this team has to work on with Iowa State coming in on Friday?
Well, it's a similar kind of offense that we've got to guard. (Iowa State) is a little bit more athletic and not quite as experienced as Northern Iowa. But now the streak is over. We had a really good run in here. Now, people think they can win in here. Now, it's our job as a team to start a new streak. That's got to start Friday. We've got to learn from this and move in very quickly because we're going to have an energized team coming at us on Friday.
Did you sense any sort of tightness with your team during the run?
That's hard. It's obvious that there was tightness. We kept calling timeouts to get them to calm down and make plays and not play not to lose but play to win. There were a lot of new guys out there. Tyler was pretty much spent. The job Jared did on Adam had Adam convinced that it was going to be hard for him to make the plays. So, now you've got to try to find that third scorer. I don't know if we've got that yet.
It seemed like Freeman did a good defensive job on McKowen.
Yeah, until late. We knew with Brooks that we wanted to keep pressure on him, but you're not going to steal it from Brooks. You've got to keep him in front of you and just make him work. We did a really good job until we got up 12 and then all of a sudden we want to gamble. We fouled him a couple of times. We gambled and let him go by us and now it's a five on four situation. Those are things we've got to learn. There are reasons why you got up 12. Don't start doing something different now.
Were you designing plays to get Haluska the ball at the end of the game?
Oh yeah, there's no question. We're trying everything we can. On the other side, they're trying everything they can to keep that away from him. They did a good job with that. I would assume we weren't screening very well in this game, and we're going to have to really work on our screen game.
Mike only played two minutes in the second half. Did he just not get in the flow?
I didn't feel like in the first half that he was in the flow. We put him in in the second half and he's not in four seconds and he's taking a tough shot. I don't think that he's ready to do that. So, I guess until he can convince me that he can play expanded minutes then we've just got to keep looking at other combinations.
Enemy Territory: A large number of Northern Iowa fans converged on Carver-Hawkeye Tuesday night. It's a good thing because there already were a lot of empty seats.
UNI set up a student section under the basket on the north end. There were probably 50 visitors in that section. The Iowa student section looked great.
Inside Scoop: Much was made about the interior match-up leading up to this game. Even Iowa coach Steve Alford was concerned with the inside battle between UNI's Grant Stout and Eric Coleman and Iowa's Seth Gorney and Kurt Looby.
Stout played just seven first-half minutes after picking up his second foul. He was held scoreless. Looby picked up his second early and played just six minutes before the break and also did not score.
Coleman netted seven by the intermission, but Gorney neutralized that by dropping in six in the opening 20 minutes. That helped Iowa build a 10-point halftime lead.
But when UNI overcame a 13-point deficit with 6:51 left in the game to win its first-ever game in Carver-Hawkeye, Coleman and Stout were at the center of the comeback.
Coleman finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds, while Stout bounced back with 12 points and seven boards. Looby went scoreless and Gorney finished with eight points, but only two in the second half. Gorney managed nine caroms and Looby snared four. Cyrus Tate suffered through a rough night with two and four.
Tip-Ins: Northern Iowa outrebounded Iowa, 26-14 in the second half…UNI finished 21 of 29 from the line, while Iowa made 5 of 7. Coleman was 9 of 11 from the charity stripe…After shooting just 23.8 percent in the first half, UNI connected on 44.4 percent in the final 20 minutes. As a result, the Panthers outscored the home team, 39-27, after the intermission…UNI ended Iowa's 21-game home winning steak, which was the third longest in the country heading into last night. The Hawkeyes had won the previous 20 meetings with the Panthers in Iowa City, including all nine played in Carver-Hawkeye. The loss also ended a streak of 26 consecutive Iowa home wins against non-conference opponents…Iowa picked up six team fouls in the first 4:93 of the game. The Panthers picked up their first at the 14:36 mark…Iowa took its first lead of the game at 6-5 when Haluska stripped the ball and went coast-to-coast for a layup at the 12:49 of the first half…Henderson first entered the game at the 12:17 mark of the first half…McKowen didn't score until hitting two free throws with 4:05 remaining before the intermission…Smith and Freeman combined for 20 of Iowa's 28 first-half points on 8 of 12 shooting from the floor. Gorney netted six…Johnson picked up two fouls in the first three minutes of the game and sat the rest of the half.