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March 10, 2015

Desi Culberson

Ahjalee Harvey

Stacie Terry


New Mexico – 57
San Diego State - 56

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by SanDiego State.
Coach, some comments on today's game.
COACH TERRY:  Tough one for us.  I want to credit New Mexico because they played a tough game.  They're a hard team to play because not only are they athletic, they have great shooters, they play extremely hard for 40 minutes.  It's 40 minutes of hellacious basketball.  They're a hard matchup because they play so hard.
I was really proud of our kids because I felt that they matched their intensity.  It wasn't a pretty game I think on either side of the ball.  But the effort, intensity was really fun to watch.
I hate for us to have to end the way we did because we put ourselves in a great position to win this game with our defense.  These kids have been working extremely hard, have battled through injuries, had battled through adversity.
I just hate for us to lose, but proud of the season we've been able to put together.  I thought we got better as the season went on.  We need a couple more weeks, then we'd really be playing our best basketball.
Our senior group with Erimma, Desi and K.J. are going to be missed.  They've put a lot into this program.  I thought they played their hearts out tonight.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  In terms of this being a game of runs, how New Mexico went on one to close the first half, you coming out in the second, back and forth.  What sort of things can coach tell the team at halftime for the way you came out?
DESI CULBERSON:  If you've watched us all year, we normally start the second half off kind of slow.  I think we made a specific effort to not start off as slow as we normally do.  We wanted to punch them in the mouth first, as we did.  I think we could have punched them a little harder.  We wanted to start off faster than we normally have.  I think we were successful in that.
AHJALEE HARVEY:  Obviously with a team like this, they're a great team, they have a great coach.  We knew that it was going to be close.  With the runs they had, there were crucial mistakes we made with turnovers and rebounding.
I think with those mistakes, if we were to eliminate them, it would definitely be a different outcome.

Q.  Can you touch on the last 42 seconds.  What was the game plan?  What went wrong?
DESI CULBERSON:  It couldn't play out any more perfect.  We got a layup as a buzzer beater.  That's basketball at its finest there.  We just got to convert and make it.
AHJALEE HARVEY:  To piggyback on that, I think we executed pretty well, being able to create off of our screens, dishing it out to open players, like Desi just said.  We were just short of a basket.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, ladies.
We'll continue with questions for Coach Terry.

Q.  In your opening statement, a tough way to lose.  What do you tell your players in the locker room after this?
COACH TERRY:  I told them that I was proud of the fight.  I told them in the beginning that we need to have less quit in us today.  They really put out a great effort.
Again, we made mistakes.  I mean, both teams did, to be honest.  We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end against a very good team.  That's all that we were playing for.  We knew it was going to be a dogfight.  We just missed that last shot.
I hate it for them.  I do.  I hate it for them.  We've been in a situation where we've had to struggle and fight this year.  We had a very tough non‑conference schedule.  This league is getting better and better.  Every night you have to bring your best effort.
Again, I thought we grew as a team over this season as the season progressed.  We're playing good basketball right now.  I hope this carries over to next season.

Q.  At the end of the first half you managed to cut it back a little bit, then punched them in the mouth at the start of the second half, as Desi said.  Talk about the first series, how you were able to come back.
COACH TERRY:  We weren't happy going into the locker room.  We felt like we gave them too many transition buckets.  That's what they do.  We knew that.  They did a great job running on us.  I thought they outplayed us in the first half, just played harder than we did.
We had a long conversation about the effort it was going to take for us to get back in this game and win this game.  Like Desi said, we have a tendency to start slow.  They made a concerted effort to come out fast.  We held them to 22 points in the second half, eliminated those transition points.  That gave us a chance to cut into those leads and eventually gave us a chance to win.
I think the key was really the offensive rebounding.  They did a great job on the glass in the second half, gave themselves second and third opportunities to score, which put a lot of pressure on our defense.
We would play pretty good defense for 25 seconds, they get the O board, then we have to guard again.  That's the type of coach Yvonne is.  They play tough.  They're relentless on the boards.  That's what's gotten them the success they've had this year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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