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March 8, 2016

Gordy Presnell

Brooke Pahukoa

Shalen Shaw

Las Vegas, Nevada

UNLV - 71 Boise State - 65

THE MODERATOR: Coach, get your thoughts on tonight's game.

HEAD COACH GORDY PRESNELL: Congratulations to UNLV, they were the aggressor and took it right to us in the beginning. I was concerned in the beginning, they were a very good rebounding team and they kind of took it to us that first quarter rebounding. And then I think we kind of settled in. But just struggled. The rim kind of shrunk on us, and really struggled shooting. And that's one of our strengths.

So like I said, congratulations to them, they did a nice job and obviously they get to advance.

Q. What is it about this matchup? The last time you played UNLV you put up a lot of 3's. There were 42 today. What is it about the matchup that pushed that?
HEAD COACH GORDY PRESNELL: The three-point attempts, that is on me. They were wide open and we have such good shooters. And I kept thinking that we were going to find our rhythm. Because we shoot about 35 percent, I think, from three, which is over 50, if you add the extra point. And so we just kept calling them pick and pop. And it just didn't work out tonight.

We'll learn from it and grow from it. The whole last part of the game we have all five kids coming back. It's hard for us. We had a good run here last year, and expected to come in and have a good run again. It's hard when you're the one wearing white and you lose, because you're supposed to win, and we understood that.

UNLV played well and they made a couple of plays. The Brooke Johnson kid was fantastic, she hit a dagger three that brought rain a little bit from the corner that hurt us. We had it down to two or something like that. I thought she hit kind of a dagger. And then there was a three-pointer right at the end, I don't know if it was Callaway or somebody that really hurt us, too.

Q. There was a play I think that Marta and Dakota Gonzalez kind of got mixed up. I'm not sure what happened, I'm not necessarily questioning. I know the ref had said there was a warning given. But was there a sign that some frustration was setting in at that point with the team, and they were a little overly aggressive? I'm not sure what took place.
HEAD COACH GORDY PRESNELL: Yeah, I think Marta voiced some frustration and the official was reacting to that. And obviously she shouldn't. The part I was getting on him about a little bit was she speaks Spanish, and she doesn't speak English, so there's no way he understood what she was saying. But she still shouldn't have said what she was saying, but there was no way he could figure out what it was because she rarely speaks English.

BROOKE PAHUKOA: She plays with a lot of heart. I don't know what she says half the time. She's all in for Boise State. She thought she didn't touch the ball last, and it should have been our ball, and that would have been a big game change for us.

Q. Do you feel like maybe you dug too big a hole, you're down to 16, you're able to cut it down to one on your free throws? Do you feel like you exerted all your effort there or what was that like being so close and being on the wrong side of it?
BROOKE PAHUKOA: Yeah, we fought hard to come back, and that's what we're going to take from this game. If we would have matched their physicality a little earlier we might have been able to pull out a win, and that hurts a little bit. My freshman year we lost our first game here, my sophomore year we came back and won it. This year we lost our first game, so I'm coming back hungry next year and hopefully it turns out differently.

Q. I know you touched upon in terms of how well UNLV played and the fact that they played well against you down here. But up at Boise you guys played well and pulled away. What was the difference for you as far as that you saw the game there and the game here that you were able to handle the situation?
SHALEN SHAW: I think the difference was we were more aggressive. We wanted the ball more and the hoop was a lot bigger for us.

Q. There's been talk about your physicality and rebounding. What was it like down there and how long did it take your team to get acclimated to it and rise up and match that today?
SHALEN SHAW: It took us until about the end of the second quarter, which was way too long. We should have known that they were going to be aggressive on the rebounding. We knew that from the start. And we were late to react to it and not crashing to the boards. It was tough getting rebounds.

Q. Part of their game plan was to try to neutralize Miquelle. Not having her in, what difference did that make?
HEAD COACH GORDY PRESNELL: We couldn't get her going. She picked up an early foul and probably got a little tentative. The pick and pops and some of those are on me. And that hurt us because we only went to the free throw line five or six times. That's not an officiating thing, that's totally on us, we didn't make it to the rim. But once again they were so wide open and we hit those usually. Just one of the things, and the rim shrunk on us, and we'll learn from it and grow from it and so will I and we'll be back.

Q. You talked about wanting to get Yai more involved offensively. I know it's one game. How much was it to see her kind of be a little more confident and aggressive shooting the ball in this game, and obviously it seemed to help?
HEAD COACH GORDY PRESNELL: I think when she's kind of got it together she's one of the premiere point guards in our league, and she proved that last year in this tournament. She had 9 assists tonight and set a school record for assists. She's a wonderful player and we're fortunate to have her another year. And she'll grow and get better, too.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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