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March 11, 2016

Rodney Terry

Marvelle Harris

Karachi Edo

Julien Lewis

Las Vegas, Nevada

Fresno State - 64 Colorado State - 56

THE MODERATOR: Coach, if we can start with you and get your thoughts on tonight's game.

HEAD COACH RODNEY TERRY: Sure. A lot of respect for Coach Eustachy and his program. They've been a program that again as we tried to build this program at Fresno State we really said who can we be like most in this league in terms of being successful. And he came in, he's done a great job in this league, being a defensive-minded coach. He's probably had his best shooting team this year coming in. We knew that we were playing the best shooting team in our league. They were playing their best basketball of the year. We knew we were going to be in a dogfight tonight from start to finish. We had to compete at a very high level for 40 minutes.

Q. What kind of challenge does San Diego State pose?
KARACHI EDO: It's going to be a good game. We always battle with SDSU, I think it's going to be a great turnout.

Q. Happy you get to take on the No. 1 seed to take home the title?
MARVELLE HARRIS: It's not really being happy. I think we're excited to be playing anybody, no matter who it is. They're a great defensive team. We try to pride ourselves on our defense. I think it's going to come down to getting stops and putting the ball in the basket.

Q. Rodney mentioned how good a shooting team Colorado State was. But you held them to some really bad shooting percentages for stretches there. Do you think they were missing shots or what were you doing?
MARVELLE HARRIS: I think we practice taking away the shot. A lot of players when they see the initial hand in their face, it let's them know they're not open anymore. It's getting in there, taking away the initial shot and then sitting down guarding. I think it took away a lot of shots that a lot of teams usually give them.

Q. Any win at this stage is a good win. Are you all thinking we won a game not playing our best, and now you're going to have to play even better tomorrow night?
MARVELLE HARRIS: Yeah, it was a tough one. We didn't play our best basketball, but we know we're capable of playing better. Tomorrow in order to win the game we are going to have to play our best basketball. They're a team who plays great defense. We're going to have to make plays and also stop them. We know they go to the glass hard, block out, stop them from getting second-chance points.

Q. Are you going to have to play better tomorrow night against the Aztecs to win the game?
JULIEN LEWIS: Really, I'm just happy we won today. I'm focusing on the game we won today. I'll be prepared for San Diego State and we'll just be ready to play.

Q. You guys continue to make program history. What does it mean to be a part of something like this?
JULIEN LEWIS: It's special to put the program on the map like this, with these guys and that's really special. We've got a big challenge tomorrow, but we'll be ready for that challenge. We'll come prepared. I know my teammates on the side of me are going to be prepared and I'll be prepared, also. We can't wait to get ready to scout for these guys tonight.

Q. Is it doing things [inaudible] --
MARVELLE HARRIS: Always fun to do things to make history. Do things the program hasn't done for a while. Put the program back out there on a national level. It's always great to give exposure to the program and give exposure to guys and show them we're good players. And there's good teams and good competition. So it's always good.

Q. I know the start was a little bumpy for you tonight. But before the half you hit a couple of 3's. I thought the whole game turned around the first three minutes of the second half and you guys jumped out real quick. What was your mindset coming out of halftime to jump on them like that?
MARVELLE HARRIS: We try to break down the halves in four-minute segments. We wanted to jump out in the first four minutes and make a run. We know if we made a run and sat down and played solid defense we could open the game up. We wanted to jump out on them and get going early and try to put points on the board and lock down defensively and try to stop them.

Q. Seemed like there were more Bulldog fans in the arena tonight. Did you notice that at all? How much would it mean for you to see an even bigger turnout tomorrow?
MARVELLE HARRIS: We noticed all the fans. We could hear them. They're loud. They bring a lot of energy to us. Yeah, we did notice a lot of the fans. And they helped us a lot, when we didn't bring energy to them, they gave us energy, and I think we fed off that and it helped us get going at the end of the first half.

JULIEN LEWIS: We bring energy to ourselves, really. We bring it to ourselves. Not to say -- we're happy the fans are supporting us. But defensively, that's when we bring energy with ourselves with the defense and the intensity we play with. We played good defense and held them to 22 percent.

Q. You were playing really well tonight, how did it feel playing almost a full game tonight? Could you have been on the defensive end as well as the offensive end?
KARACHI EDO: Like I always say, my team asked me to keep on going. Julien was talking in my ear, he was like, You're playing bad right now, and I want to please Julien all the time.

Q. I wanted to ask you about how important it's been this year to get Coach Wainwright back. That was Coach Wainwright defense tonight, 22 percent field goals.
HEAD COACH RODNEY TERRY: I've got a great staff. They do a great job preparing my guys. Coach Wainwright is in charge of defense. He's done a great job all year long getting guys to buy into how important that aspect is. He wears a hat around that says: Defense wins championships. He's sending the message loud and clear to our guys constantly the entire time that he's been here.

Coach Wainwright now, we've won a lot together. I got a chance to learn the business from him many, many years ago in how to build a successful program. And he's a mentor to me, so one that I look up to and have a lot of respect for. And he's brought a lot of respect to our program this year and working with all the players.

Q. How big of a factor is Karachi Edo going to be in the game tomorrow?
HEAD COACH RODNEY TERRY: You know what, man, they've got one of the best front lines in this league, or the best, you need as much size as you can have going against these guys. They make very difficult plays for you offensively, because they don't give you a lot of airspace. They're athletic. We talk about programs you try to model yourself after coming to this league, that was a program that we said, Man, we've got to get some athleticism, some length like those guys, and be able to hopefully guard and play some good defense and put ourselves in position to be competitive in this league.

We need Karachi, we need Cullen to play big for us tomorrow, we need Terrell Carter to come in and play big for us tomorrow. We need all of our front line guys. We have Sam Bittner played the majority of the ballgame the last ballgame for us against those guys, and he was hard-nosed. He did a great job on the glass for us.

Q. Could you maybe expand a little bit on what you just said about modeling yourself after San Diego State. Leon Rice said the same thing at Boise, said we have to become more like them. In what ways did you do that and why did you decide to do that?
HEAD COACH RODNEY TERRY: It's funny, our first year in the league, I said to Coach Fisher, How did you get this thing going the way you did? He said to me, Rodney, you're a lot farther ahead of me than I was at this point in terms of what you're doing because you're getting your kids to play hard. I heard that for so many years the first couple years in this league, Man, your team really plays hard, like we're not very good, but we can just play hard (laughter).

But I think again we've got a chance to recruit some better players, you know what I mean, to be honest with you. In this league, you've got to have really good players to compete at a high level. For us joining the Mountain West Conference, we got a chance to raise our talent level at a quicker pace than we would have, no knock against the Western Athletic Conference, but we were able to get some better players that are high-level players to come be a part of what we're trying to build.

You always look at the established and the top programs in your league. Man, who's the team to beat in this league? Who do we have to try to beat and compete? No question, they were the program that we said, Man, this team has been highly successful in this league. What can we do to be competitive or be on the same footing with these guys? And we had to recruit some athleticism, some length, some guys that can get up and down the floor, and have a defensive mindset like they do, and compete at a very high level.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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