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March 10, 2015

Miquelle Askew

Gordy Presnell

Yaiza Rodriguez


Boise State – 64
UNLV - 46

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Boise State.
Coach, just some general thoughts on today's game.
COACH PRESNELL:  I was really proud of our players.  I thought they were physical and aggressive.  I thought they did a great job of rebounding the ball.  When we played them and got beat in Boise, they were very physical rebounding the ball against us and we really struggled.  I was really pleased with that.
I thought our coaches, Coach Sower did the scout and Coach Smallwood with our different defenses for Miller, I thought, was outstanding.
It was a great team win for us.  It's a great win because it's our 20th win of the season.  We're excited to win and advance.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  The rebounding, how big of a focus was that for you?
MIQUELLE ASKEW:  It was huge.  We've been talking about that for the last week.  It was on the scouting report.  We've been practicing it.  It was a huge key to this game.

Q.  How did it feel to put together a game like that in this tournament?  How big was it for you to win this game and get rolling?
YAIZA RODRIGUEZ:  I think it was a great game.  Last year we came here, were expecting to win.  We had only the first game.
So I think we change our minds this year.  Right now as a team, we know exactly what we want.  We want to leave Friday with the championship, so...

Q.  The defensive effort as a whole for this team today seemed like it was good, even when you were struggling to get baskets offensively.
YAIZA RODRIGUEZ:  Well, in defense, it's one thing that the team has been struggling a little bit.  But it's the championship tournament, so we want to win.
So we're going to do whatever it takes to win.  I think, like, everyone's going to help each other.  In defense, we know exactly what we need to do now.
I know, like, I'm going to have help from my teammates.  So defense is going to be the most important thing for our team to win a championship.

Q.  What can you say about your team when they don't shoot particularly well?
MIQUELLE ASKEW:  Because we all rebound.  We've been working on defense.  We know where we're supposed to be.  We're trying to do the right thing.
It doesn't necessarily take everyone to be 20‑point scorers, as long as we all play together and play well.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, ladies.
We'll continue questions for Coach Presnell.

Q.  When you look at Yaiza's stat line, flirting with a triple‑double the whole night, to have that from a girl that is 5'5", impressive?
COACH PRESNELL:  Yeah, she's done a nice job in her career here.  She was freshman of the year last year in our conference.  She's played so much tournament international basketball.  She's been on the Spanish 16, 17, 18, last year on the 20.  In the summertime she's playing a lot of basketball at a very high level.
Tonight I wasn't surprised, but I was excited for her.  The eight rebounds, we've already given her a bad time about that.  She's very clever.  If you don't pursue the ball, she'll get it.  She'll get the ones that don't come right to you.

Q.  The defensive effort, there were stretches where the offense couldn't seem to buy a bucket.  What worked so well tonight for you?
COACH PRESNELL:  I think the last three or four minutes of the first half, we got some confidence.  The hoop had really shrunk on us.  We created some separation.
Defensively I thought then we kind of settled down.  We've had such a point of emphasis in the first five minutes of second halves that we've played poorly all year.  I thought defensively our kids knew what they did.  We switched it up, we went from zone to man at the beginning of the second half to try to get them more active.  Obviously had to keep your hand up on Miller.  We ran about three different defenses the whole second half.

Q.  It seems like every team has played zone against UNLV.  You mentioned going to man.  Do you think you confused them when you did that?
COACH PRESNELL:  I don't know.  It was more I think about us, just getting us active in the first of the second half.  We had to know where Miller was all the time.  I'm going to get her name wrong, but Cesarz tore us up up in Boise.  That's kind of why we wanted to play zone in the first half.  That put her in the high post area rather than running a pick and pop on the wing and killing us.

Q.  The rebounding again, more thoughts on how well the team rebounded today.
COACH PRESNELL:  Camille was a huge factor, had 12 boards.  We don't have very many people like her in Boise, 6'4", 6'5", that play around the rim.  I thought she was aggressive.  She's one of the kids we know before the game even starts she's going to give us everything she has.  So I thought she was a huge factor.
Then obviously you're not always counting on your point guard to get eight rebounds.  It was a point of emphasis but she still got them.

Q.  For the team to be in this position going to the semifinal, the last two years have been tough, to get this thing going a bit...
COACH PRESNELL:  Tomorrow will be an interesting game.  Jamie Craighead, the San Jose coach, was my assistant coach for three years.  It will be interesting playing against her.
We split this year.  When they beat us, they beat us good, it was hard to shake her hand afterwards.
But I'm excited for her.  She's a wonderful person.  Hopefully we'll be ready to play tomorrow because they're playing at a real high level right now, especially running the ball, then shooting the three.  It's pretty awesome what they're doing.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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