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MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 11, 2015


Brooke Pahukoa

Gordy Presnell

Shalen Shaw


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Boise State ¬Ė 76
San Jose State - 67


THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Boise State.
Coach, just some thoughts on tonight's game.
COACH PRESNELL:  First I want to congratulate San Jose State on a great tournament run.  I have great respect for them and their coaching staff, the way they handle themselves and the way they play.  They play a unique style of basketball that really gets in your head.
I thought our kids handled themselves.¬† We had a couple points at the beginning of our shoot‑around about having poise and then grinding it out.¬† I thought those were the two key points.¬† I thought we had poise, handled the storm, then hung in there and kind of grinded it out.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  To be able to put together that sort of a game, what did it mean to you as a freshman?
SHALEN SHAW:  It means a lot.  It means I did my job.  I did everything for my team, yeah.

Q.  Playing through injury and toughing things out at the end, what went wrong and what allowed you to get back out on the floor to contribute?
BROOKE PAHUKOA:  I landed funny on my ankle.  It's okay now.  It's a little sore.  It's a little swollen.  I did not want to be out but my team stepped it up big time and had a huge run when I was injured.  It was comforting knowing I could stay out.  I was out for a couple minutes there.  They let me recover and get better before going in.  That was awesome.

Q.  What makes San Jose State such a challenge to defend and what did you do tonight to negate that?
BROOKE PAHUKOA:  San Jose is a really good team.  They like to run the ball.  They like to pressure you.  We're more of a composed halfcourt team.
When we have a point guard like Yaiza who can read the floor really well, it makes it easy for us.
San Jose is always up in your face.¬† You have to grind through their runs they're going to have.¬† Great three‑point shooting team, so that was tough, but...

Q.¬† The three‑pointer you hit, then you had a driving layup, took over there late in the game.
SHALEN SHAW:  I was just looking to score, looking to get ahead for my team, get to the basket.

Q.  When you're running that hot, do you keep asking for the ball?
SHALEN SHAW:  No.
BROOKE PAHUKOA:  She will never do that.  We wish she would, but...
SHALEN SHAW:  I've been trying to do that more, but not usually.

Q.  How about the position you guys are in right now?  At the start of the season you couldn't have asked for anything more.  One win away from an historic moment for Boise State women's basketball.
BROOKE PAHUKOA:  When we started the number one goal we had was finish.  We have this big pyramid.  It says:  Finish on the top.  When we were down during the season, when we lost some games we shouldn't have, it was tough for us.  We knew the final goal was to make it to the championship here and then hopefully make it to the NCAA.  It feels great knowing that number one goal we accomplished.

Q.  Talk about what Sha has brought to the team this year.
BROOKE PAHUKOA:  I mean, if you guys try to think about where she'll be next year or her junior year, you don't know.  You have no idea.  I don't think Coach P knows.  I don't think even Sha knows.  She has all the potential in the world to be the best player this conference has ever seen.  Plus she's pretty cool.
She contributes in so many ways.  She plays every position, wherever we need her.  It's not likely you can get a player like that, that can play point guard, the post and can defend, too, which is huge.

Q.  When you came to Boise State, did you imagine being in a position like this where you have a chance to play for a championship?
SHALEN SHAW:  Of course, I did.  I chose this team for a reason.  That was our plan from the beginning.  That was my plan.  That's basically the reason I came here.  They're a great team and I love my family.

Q.  As far as your goals are concerned, have you put in focus that the men are seeded No.1, now you're in the championship game, how sweet it might be for both of you to pull off a title?  Is there pressure there?
BROOKE PAHUKOA:  I mean, the saying that has been going around is, Why not us?  We're Boise State, too.  We try to focus on our team, what we can accomplish.  We always knew we could.
But we have, the football team is amazing.  Our men's team is amazing.  But we're amazing, too.  We knew that.  We just wanted to show people.
Why not us is kind of a thing.  We try to focus on us, though we're very happy for all of them.
THE MODERATOR:¬† We'll dismiss the student‑athletes at this time.¬† Thank you.
We'll continue with questions for Coach Presnell.

Q.  Obviously huge game for Sha.  Maybe this is her best.  What does she bring to the table?
COACH PRESNELL:  First of all, I don't know how in the world she doesn't make the freshmen team this year.  We certainly nominated her.  She's certainly good enough, that's for sure.
I told her, I kind of drilled her at halftime, They don't have an answer for you.  Hardly anyone does.  There's not 6'1" people that can dribble, shoot the three, guard the post, the perimeter.  She played point guard in high school a little bit.
She's just kind of multidimensional, we place her wherever we want.  Those are hard to find in women's basketball.  There's a little bit more of those in men's basketball that are multidimensional.  On the women's side, you grow up as a post if you're tall.  She's developed her skills and we are fortunate to have her.

Q.  Your thoughts on this moment and the game you will play in two days?
COACH PRESNELL:  We're just excited.  Like Brooke said, we built a pyramid on a retreat up in McCall and the finish was at the top of it.  We've had some ups and downs.  Obviously it's fun to be in this moment.  We've been here before a few years ago.  But it's been a challenging year because of up and down.
But I thought we had the best pieces, but we'll see.  We got another game to go.  We'll see.

Q.  I think about five minutes left, you're trailing by one.  Sha hit a three, a couple big buckets.  What was the difference down the stretch?
COACH PRESNELL:  We were talking about that in the locker room.  A lot of people contributed.  Our kids got going when Camille just murdered the ball on a blocked shot, just hit it.  Everyone kind of got fired up and loosened up a little bit.
Sha, we ran a slip screen for her for that little lob.¬† We thought they were overplaying a little bit.¬† Then she had a wide‑open three she nailed.¬† She kind of got loose and got some rhythm.
We were very, very fortunate to win.  It was a team win, like I said.  I just have great respect for San Jose State in every way from their administrators down to Jamie, who was with me for three years.  Really love them.

Q.  You mentioned San Jose State being a challenge to play against.  What is so difficult about them?
COACH PRESNELL:  They're extremely athletic.  They've committed themselves to shooting the three.  So they're never out of the game.  They focus very much in the backcourt with their defensive pressure.  We felt if we could have poise, we could score in the front court, especially with our post players.
But they're difficult.  They kind of get in your head a little bit.  They switch from the matchup zone to the man.  Kind of get in your head.
Yaiza has played so much basketball all over the world and I thought she handled herself really well, too, with the pressure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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