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March 13, 2015

Brooke Pahukoa

Gordy Presnell

Yaiza Rodriguez


Boise State – 66
New Mexico - 60

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Boise State.
Coach, some thoughts on today's game.
COACH PRESNELL:  First I'll say to New Mexico congratulations on a great year.  I think they won 15 of their last 17 games, had really improved defensively, have a lot of talent.  I know they'll be back next year.
Real excited for our group.  It's been a long few years.  I want to thank our administration for seeing us through some pretty rough points, pretty rough times.
Excited to get to this moment in our fourth year in the Mountain West.
I thought Yaiza was terrific.  She kept calling the same pick'n roll over and over and over.  Brooke has been all in.  It's been a great run.  They're Boise State believers, both of them, and we're excited about the win.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll now take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Talk about what this win means to you.
YAIZA RODRIGUEZ:  I mean, it's really hard to be here.  I don't know, I was thinking about my parents, that they cannot be here watching me.  They need to wake up at 5:00 in the morning and watch my game online.
About the team, we worked so hard to get this win and we got it, so...  I was just happy for my teammates, too.

Q.  Thoughts on being able to win this game.  It was kind of like a road game for you.  Whenever New Mexico made a run, you had an answer.
BROOKE PAHUKOA:  Yeah, I mean, they had an amazing crowd.  Even when we're at home for them, it's crazy.  They definitely are good enough to have that many fans, so it was a fun atmosphere to play in.
I thank the New Mexico fans for coming, it was awesome.  There's not many chances we get to play in front of that many people.
It was a special opportunity.  I mean, we were playing our best basketball.  This was probably the best game we've had as a team.  That's what you want at the end of the year is have that championship game be your best game.

Q.  At what point did you feel comfortable the game was over?
BROOKE PAHUKOA:  Never.  New Mexico is way too good to ever think that.  With 10 seconds left...
With a team like that that does not give up, plays aggressively, you can't think that.

Q.  The other day you said your plan was to leave on Friday with the championship.  You made that happen.  You got really emotional at the end there.  What's going through your head as you hit the floor?
YAIZA RODRIGUEZ:  My friends, the first thing.  I want to call them, but they're sleeping right now, so I don't think I can do it.
Then my teammates.  When we lost in New Mexico, we had a team meeting.  I think after that meeting everything change.  Now we're here.  Yeah, we are leaving to Boise with the championship, so...

Q.  Whether it's men, women, you see that picture climbing the ladder, cutting down the nets.  What was that moment like?
YAIZA RODRIGUEZ:  I told Sha, Sha, I never do this.  How I have to do this?  Tell me.
Because in Europe usually you cut all the net and you take it.  That's why with the championship, I like, Sha, help me.  Help me.  We were fine.
BROOKE PAHUKOA:  It was an awesome feeling, having your friends and family down at the bottom watching you, your teammates who you had 6:00 a.m. workouts with, fought all summer to get through horrible workouts, that song.  Just to be able to be with everyone you love, representing a university who you have so much passion for.  It was awesome.  Probably the best feeling I've ever had.

Q.  This season as a whole, this team has talked a lot about a lot of ups and downs.  Looking at it in hindsight, how wild of a ride has it been for you?
BROOKE PAHUKOA:  Like I said early on, there were a couple games where we lost in the season where it's still haunting us a little bit.  That number one goal on the top of our pyramid that Coach P has talked about, too, is finish.  It feels so good to finish.  That was our number one goal.  You have to giveandtake.  Part of the game is losing some games you shouldn't have.  Happy we won the one that counts, so...
THE MODERATOR:  We'll dismiss the student‑athletes at this time.  Thank you, ladies.
We'll continue with questions for Coach Presnell.

Q.  You mentioned there's been ups and downs a lot this year.  To be able to put it all together at the end has to be rewarding.
COACH PRESNELL:  I'm really proud of them.  We haven't done very much grinding out.  We kind of made that a point of emphasis.  We did have a team meeting down at New Mexico after we played pretty flat.
We had a little more urgency the rest of the year.  I didn't know what would happen.  We were ahead all but 14 seconds at Fresno State last week.  They got right back up and got going.
I'm really proud of them.  They're a great group to coach.  You never have to worry about anything on Sunday morning, somebody doing something stupid.  They're really great people.  I can't tell you how happy I am for them.

Q.  Ever since you won the WAC back in '07, to go through a lot of things out of your control, injuries, things like that, to be able to do this here today for you and the program, what has that meant?
COACH PRESNELL:  I have the administration to thank, too.  They hung in there with us.  We had 21 knee surgeries.  Sometimes kind of felt the depth a little bit.  I was always encouraged by my superiors, always believed in me.  So I'm very appreciative to Christina Van Tol and Mark Coyle.
It's a great feeling to get to this point when someone believes in you, then you do.
We're thrilled to be in the Mountain West Conference, and we're thrilled to be a part of Boise State.

Q.  During timeouts, what was your group like, especially as New Mexico cut that deficit?
COACH PRESNELL:  We were trying to manage substitution with all the foul issues.  D hasn't played trail post but four or five minutes the whole season.  We had that going.  We had a protocol.  I go in and talk, then Cody is going to talk about the next out‑of‑bounds play, Sunny is going to talk about the next play.  We have an order about how we do it, be businesslike, give them a straight feel instead of being real emotional.
They respond to that.  Yeah, we just kind of grinded it out and never stopped believing.
You know, we let them get it down to five, but never let them get all the way back into it.  I was really proud of them.

Q.  Going to the NCAA tournament, it has to be a dream come true.  How far has the program come?  What was the difference this year, besides staying healthy?
COACH PRESNELL:  I don't want to sound like bragging, but I think we have some really good pieces.  We hadn't put it together.  We finally put it together.  Camille Redmon is out there six foot that plays around the rim.  Deanna Weaver, she struggled a little bit today, but she's done a lot for our program.  She's a tremendous athlete.
Brooke Pahukoa, my assistant did some great recruiting.  She's Miss Washington basketball.
We had some really good pieces.  We came out of getting embarrassed pretty good down in Albuquerque and have played pretty well since.

Q.  Yaiza's play late in the season, had to take a bit of a different role, coming off the bench, how did she handle that?
COACH PRESNELL:  Yaiza has done a nice job.  She had some adversity early in the season.  Probably lost a starting spot to Tonishia until about mid‑season, then kind of won over it and has run with it.
She's played so much basketball.  The whole tournament atmosphere is a big deal to her.  She's played in three World Championships and two European Championships for Spain.  She's really fired up when there's any kind of tournament.  If we were in a Thanksgiving tournament, she'd be fired up.  She's done a really nice job for us.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, coach.

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