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March 9, 2015

Jane Albright

Emily Burns

Mimi Mungedi


San Diego State – 70
Nevada - 48

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Nevada.
Coach, if we can start with you, just some general thoughts on today's game.
COACH ALBRIGHT:  Well, I would like to congratulate SanDiego State on their win.  I think that they had a tremendous day today.
They took advantage of some things, really are a much, much improved ball team from last year.  So just congratulations to them.
We're a team that last year we had three guards, and we don't have any of them now.  T Moe, our kid that got the Player of the Week, tore her ACL and hasn't play since.
We didn't have any guards that had any experience.  When you have 24 turnovers...  The other night, their pressure didn't bother us.
Emily was a post.  We asked her to go to guard this year to give us some experience in that spot.  I'm really proud of her.  She had seven assists today she's a character kid, your leader, your everything.
I think we're statistically the best offensive rebounding team in the league, at least up near the top, and we had zero at halftime.  They're in the other locker room talking about they've got to get those rebounds.
We didn't play well today.  We know that we didn't.  I'm disappointed in how we played, but I'm not disappointed in this group.  There's a huge difference in that.
We've had a lot of things go wrong this year with injuries and that type of thing.  They never turned upon each other, pointed fingers.  Their character is impeccable.  They're great student‑athletes.
It was certainly not the way we wanted to end, particularly after having such a good outing for Senior Night.  I thought we out‑rebounded them.  We did all the stuff we didn't do today.
But give them credit that they scored 26 points off of our turnovers.  They out‑rebounded us.  Their points in the paint were a lot.
Mimi, congratulations to her.  We're really proud.  The Mountain West, there's been a big difference between the WAC and the Mountain West.  All the players put in a lot of work.  Certainly y'all didn't see Mimi her freshman year.  She's really come a long way.  She'll be the first all‑conference player we have.  I'm really, really proud of her.
Camille Williams is her position coach.  She worked and worked.  You can't imagine the hours those two put in.  Really, really proud of her.  Defensive player of the year.  Proud of you, Mimi.
I'm not at all worried about the rest of the senior class.  They're going to be great people.  If sports truly is the reason, you get your education paid for, you learn leadership and relationships, they're a group as good as any group I've had in 31 years.
On the basketball court, we turned the ball over, didn't play well today.  I told them, some wise person sometime, I don't know when, I must have learned this when I was in my 20s, they said it was the journey, not the destination.  The destination today for all of us was very disappointing.  We usually represent our school a lot better than we did today.
The journey with these seniors was tremendous.  The relationships they formed, how they represent the university, I'm proud of.  You have to separate that from today.  There is no excuse for today.  It all comes back to me.  Must not have prepared them.
That's pretty much a long opening statement, but that's all I've got to say.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Emily, coach said the pressure didn't bother you guys just last week when you beat SanDiego State.  You played a close first half.  Second half, scored the first couple of buckets, tied the game.  What happened after that?
EMILY BURNS:  It definitely wasn't our team chemistry.  I think all season long through the tough times and good times we've stuck together.
SanDiego State, they upped their defense a lot.  They put the pressure on us, their hands were everywhere.  It was us not handling the pressure very well.
Wish we could have learned our lesson a little bit earlier, but we didn't adjust well enough.

Q.  Mimi, you had a solid first half to keep your team in it.  The second half they put the clamps on you.  Talk about the job they did on you in the second half to sort of shut things down.
MIMI MUNGEDI:  They just doubled me all the time, and it was pretty hard for me to get open.  So I did what I could.  They were really, really pressuring me, so...
COACH ALBRIGHT:  That's where our guards have to step up.  A lot of times we didn't.  We turned the ball over before we even tried to do that.
We had a lot of assists to her.  Guards can usually shoot the ball better and make some shots and get to the free‑throw line.  Today, what, we were‑‑ well, we did get to the free‑throw line there better.
Yeah, there's only so much you can do in there.

Q.  Emily, how are you feeling and what happened on that play where you got hurt?
EMILY BURNS:  I was going for the ball.  I'm not really sure what I hit.  I hit the middle of my shin.  Just from there it instantly was pain down my entire leg, so...
I'm doing better now.  It still really hurts.  They took me back, got some x‑rays on it.  Bruise, not a fracture.

Q.  Emily, I know it's tough to talk about right now, but how much will you embrace and cherish being able to play four years of college basketball for your hometown university?
EMILY BURNS:  It's probably going to be the best experience I have in my life, being able to stay home with my parents, my family, people all over town that I've known since high school.
It's something I cherish a lot, knowing that people I've known my whole life were able to come and support me at games.  They grew to love everyone else on the team as much as I did.  I appreciate it so much.  I don't think I'll be able to experience something like this ever again.

Q.  Emily, how challenging was this season?
EMILY BURNS:  It was probably, of my four years, the most challenging.  I think as a team, though, we handled it really well.  We never gave up.  I think you could see that in our games.  Even when we were down by a bit, we never turned on each other.
It was we're a team, and if we're going to win, we're going to win as a team, if we're going to lose, we're going to lose as a team.

Q.  Mimi, reflect on the senior year, the growth you had on the basketball court, what it meant to you go out playing like you played.
MIMI MUNGEDI:  It means a lot.  Like I said, it's all thanks to coach Jane, coach Camille gave me all the stuff.  They gave me all that opportunity.  I took advantage of it.  I did what I could out of it.  I'm kind of sad my last game was like this.
I will forever be grateful to Nevada, that's for sure.  Wherever I'm going to go, I'm going to be walking with my Nevada gear.  Real thankful with that.
COACH ALBRIGHT:  In November, when we had the Mountain West Media Day, I never remember in my whole coaching career let a team talk about a championship.  They did.  That's the disappointment we have.  They worked all summer expecting to do that.
T Moe gets the triple‑double, player of the week, all that.  We were sitting pretty high, played BYU.  In the championship game of their conference tomorrow.  Two‑point game.  Then Emily goes down right after that.  Her senior year, she's out for almost eight weeks.  Can't walk, can't practice, can't do anything.  Had surgery.  The fact she even tried to come back is amazing to me.
It's two of our three captains out.  Again, that's the stuff you can't control.  I'm not whining, I'm just telling you facts.  I love this team.  I love their perseverance.  They stand for every good thing about sports.
It's really disappointing.  It was very hard on all of us, but we're proud of them.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll dismiss the student‑athletes at this time.  Thank you, ladies.
We'll continue with questions for Coach Albright.

Q.  Talk about what this class has meant to this program.
COACH ALBRIGHT:  Well, it's the class that got us from the WAC to the Mountain West.  It's a class that helped us come in third last year, a class I had zero trouble with.
I mean, they come in every day.  They work hard.  The improvement that they had.  They put their heart and soul into everything.
They're all above a 3.0.  They're all basically brilliant.  Got two engineers in the group.  Emily will be a P.T.   Aja, she'll do anything, might be the mayor of Reno.  Then Kayla joined us.  She's going to represent our conference and our school, so you want to be a coach.  That program, they only take 50 people, she's one of them.
That's why it's so disappointing that the year ended up like it did.  In a perfect world, when you work hard, you want the good guys to finish.  They're all good gals, good women.  They wear white, the white hats.
Maybe one of them might have been late once.  I don't even remember if that happened.  We just had them all playing out of position.  We looked up one time, had four posts on the floor.  It just wasn't the basketball team we wanted, but the stuff that they could control they certainly did.
Mariah was actually pre‑season freshman of the year.  She tore her ACL, too.  She was another point guard.  Kelsey wasn't even a point guard.  We recruited her as a two guard.
It is what it is.  You control what you can control.  But I'm really, really proud of them, all that they represent.  I'm very disappointed in today.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that today doesn't matter.  Today does matter.  The last four games we've been a really good basketball team, and today we weren't.  They out‑hustled us.  They looked like they wanted it more than we did.  There were no adjustments made.
You look at the offensive boards and you can tell.  We don't win when we don't rebound.  But, again, give them credit.  I don't want you to‑‑ I know I'm a basketball coach.  I know that winning is really what we try to do.  Believe it or not, we strive to do that.  We fell a lot short today.

Q.  You said you had four players playing out of position at one point.  Every player has a role on the court.  At times, even if they're taking over a different position, their role stays the same.  In your situation, having to adjust so much, did it also take them out of their role, not just their position?
COACH ALBRIGHT:  Yes, it totally did.  I mean, it was like playing fruit basket turnover against one of the quickest teams in our league.
Again, at home, people are always quicker at home.  That's a basketball fact.  People that press, teams that press, on the road, this is kind of neutral ground, but we didn't handle the ball.  Our guards had handled it so well Friday night.  They handled it so well.
When you have to handle the ball against a press...  The most interesting stat of the game was we shot the ball 49% and lost by 22 points.  How does that happen?  See how many possessions we got?  Does that say 37?  I feel like my eyes are...  I don't know that we played a game with 37 shots.  We have to get 60 to win, to have a chance.
It's not the first time we've turned it over.  You know, that's where, again, Danika and Arie, they're gone.  T Moe was our other point guard.  Nobody played at guard last year.  I bet Danika played 36 minutes a game.  Arie and T Moe, I didn't ever take them out.
We should have had the experience by today to handle it.  But Nyasha has not even practiced the three spot until two weeks ago.  Julia the same thing.  That happened when we had to dismiss someone from the team, a point guard, our backup point guard.
Whatever we told them.  We had a joke we were going to put Mimi at point guard, but we never had to do that.
Thanks to all you.  You have a classy staff.  We're really very proud to be in the Mountain West.  Sorry we didn't represent like we wanted to today for our university.  They really are very good to us.  We have a great athletic director.  Rhonda is here.  They support us, give us what we need.  Ultimately we'll keep working and see if we can represent better next year.
I do appreciate the fact that the men's tournament and the women's tournament is together, and y'all treat it very, very good.  Really, really classy conference.
I'll speak for all of us and tell you how much we appreciate your behind‑the‑scenes work.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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