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March 10, 2016

Rodney Terry

Marvelle Harris

Cezar Guerrero

Julien Lewis

Las Vegas, Nevada

Fresno State - 95 UNLV - 82

THE MODERATOR: Coach, if we can start with you, just some thoughts on today's game.

HEAD COACH RODNEY TERRY: Well, we said going into this game we knew it wasn't going to be easy. You have to play with unbelievable determination and a lot of urgency. We knew we were going to be playing a very talented team. Coach Simon has done a great job on a difficult situation. He's done a great job with this group and we knew he was going to have this group ready to play at a very high level and ready to compete for 40 minutes.

Q. How did the hot start, I think it was 8 for 8 to start out the game, how did that put you into more of an at-ease mode or did it?
CEZAR GUERRERO: Well, just going into the game we practiced so much. And we're a very confident group. So we felt confident going into the game. But overall we're lucky that shots went in for us. But we practiced. And we're kind of happy that we did.

MARVELLE HARRIS: Like Cezar was saying, we're a confident group, so we expect to make them. And today that's what was happening.

Q. You knew they would give a great effort but you also knew they played 55 minutes last night. Was there a mindset that if we keep pushing 30, 35 minutes in you might see the wall was hit and you can explode and you can increase that lead late?
MARVELLE HARRIS: We knew they had played a triple-overtime game. And one of our strengths is getting out and running. So that's what we wanted to do, and by doing that we thought we could get into their bench and they didn't really have a deep bench because of certain things that happened. So I think we used that to our advantage.

Q. Again, your hot streak is continuing, the past three or four games. And anything different that you've been doing?
JULIEN LEWIS: No, not really. I've just been shooting the ball and working on shots. Coach always makes us work on our shots every day and before practice. And I've been doing it at a high level. And my team on the side of me has been doing the same thing with me. And I think we've all been confident. And the hot steak has been going through these guys, too. So I feel confident out there.

Q. What about Terrell Carter's impact today? What kind of difference did he make out on the floor?
MARVELLE HARRIS: He's a big body, he can get things into the paint. And by him getting to Zimmerman, and dealing with that big post presence it got to him and got him tired and opened up the lane and he did a great job. He finished at a high level. So he gave us a great effort today.

Q. Do you think it's good for the team in the long run -- I'm talking about maybe the next couple of days -- for them to be able to close out a game, although you did come back in, but you had four fouls and you missed some key moments? Do you think that's good for the rest of the team to maintain and expand the lead when you're on the bench?
MARVELLE HARRIS: Yeah, it's a team sport. Everyone on this team is confident. They don't just look for me to score and do everything. We have Julien, he's knocking down shots. Cezar is running the team. Terrell is a big presence, Karachi, Cullen. So everybody is doing their job. So when one guy goes down, we all step up as a group and that's what they showed today.

Q. Does it feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders? I know it's tough to beat a team three times in a season, how tough was that and playing them at home again?
JULIEN LEWIS: Well, that's pretty hard playing a team three times in a row, and they know what we're doing and we know what they're doing. It all comes down to really just defense. The offense doesn't really matter. You're paying attention to the details, what they're doing each and every day, and that's what we did today. We sat down and guarded at a high level and we got a couple of turnovers, and I think we played very, very high today.

CEZAR GUERRERO: I think going in, we already had to face, a couple of years ago we had Air Force three times, as well, and it was a difficult game that we had to go through. You know, Air Force is a really tough team. But we kind of looked at it the same as UNLV. They're a very talented group. They've got people who can score at a high level with Zimmerman and McCaw and all the rest of the guys.

But for the most part we had to buckle down and get stops on the defensive end because they were making shots and getting runs on us, as well. So for the most part we buckled down a little bit. Coach Terry calmed us down. And he told us to regroup and restart and just regroup and go out and win the game in crunch time. So that's what it was.

Q. Coach, knowing how shorthanded UNLV was, particularly down low, can you talk about the strategy and how you were able to exploit that tonight?
HEAD COACH RODNEY TERRY: We've been in that same position at some point during conference late as well. Anytime you have that sometimes it sounds really easy to do, but sometimes it's a very difficult task to do when it's something you don't have as your identity in terms of, Hey, we're going to come down every time and try to throw a ball inside. We played a lot this year through our guards, and our big guys have been serviceable for us in terms of screening, rolling, and when called upon to score at times they've been able to do that for us.

We knew we had an advantage inside, almost to a fault sometimes. Guys was trying to do too much early. And I thought in the second half we did a much better job of executing the things we wanted to get done and we did them on our terms.

Q. Obviously you knew they played 55 and you knew they'd come out fired up. Was it your hope you could extend it after 30, 35 and see the little presence of wilting there and you could do what you did and extend it?
HEAD COACH RODNEY TERRY: I look at it the other way around a little bit, too. If we're in a triple-overtime game, we're young bodies right now, we can run all day. So it's mind over matter this time of year. And everybody's tired. Everybody is a little nicked up.

We knew they had a very taxing game the day before. We needed to get into their bench, play fast, we needed to have a good pace of play, we were the rested team, we knew that. But again, it wasn't something that was going to determine the outcome of this game. You had to come out and earn this win on the road against a very talented team that we knew could make runs and they have a lot of pride. These guys are at home, they're going play hard, they're going to keep coming the whole time. And three overtimes, again, you can run all day. If these guys had to go play again tomorrow, they could go play tomorrow.

This time of year so much is mind over matter. Again, we like to take a lot of pride in being a well-conditioned team ourselves. You have to bounce back. This time of year is recovery. Understand how you have to take care of your body and on to the next one quickly.

Q. Was that your game plan tonight to use Terrell Carter's strength against Zimmerman in the post?
HEAD COACH RODNEY TERRY: Terrell had one of his better ballgames. The last time we played UNLV in the double-overtime game at home I think he had 14 and 8 at home.

We definitely knew we needed his presence inside against Zimmerman. He's a tough matchup. He's a good player. And so we needed some presence. And I thought Terrell did a good job of coming in and bringing that for us on both ends of the floor.

Q. When Zimmerman went to the bench Karachi took over, was that the plan?
HEAD COACH RODNEY TERRY: We tried to get Karachi going early, and we weren't able to. As the game went along he really settled in and did the simple things that we needed him to do, screens, rolls, play off of guys, finish. I thought he did a good job of that for us in the second half.

Q. Is there something that you've seen in the last couple of weeks in Julien Lewis? We know he's a good player, he's had strengths all year, but certainly three-point shooting hasn't been one of them. What's happened to him the last couple of weeks?
HEAD COACH RODNEY TERRY: Our guys put a lot of time into their shooting. They're shooting game shots. When it comes to carry over to the games, our guys are shooting at that same pace. And Julien's really, over the course of the past month, has really put more of an emphasis on game speed with his shooting. I think he's carried that over into the game at a very high level. He's playing at a very high level right now for us. He's playing a lot like we thought he would play from the time we got him transferred from Texas.

Again, being an older player, understanding what this time of year is all about, the urgency you have to play with right now. I think that's what he's doing. I think he's getting lost defensively, to be honest with you, and I think his offense has come a lot easier because of that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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