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March 8, 2017

Gordy Presnell

Brooke Pahukoa

Riley Lupfer

Las Vegas, Nevada

Boise State - 65 Colorado State - 61

COACH GORDY PRESNELL: I thought it was a great game between two teams that are pretty evenly matched. They've had great games for the last two or three years. And most of the time Colorado State has come out on top in real close games. We split this year. And then this one we thought it would be close, and we didn't play probably as well as we'd have liked in the first half. But the second half I thought we played much more aggressively. I thought we did a good job trying to run motion, instead of trying to run special plays like we did in the first half.

Defensively I thought our coaches did a great job, Cody Butler did a great job doing the scout and getting us ready. And certainly kudos for them, for sure.

Q. Seemed like in the fourth quarter, actually second half, timely shots more than anything. Right at the right moment. Just to stop their momentum, whatever it took. Where does that resiliency come from? And what sort of things were you saying to one another in time outs and the huddle?
RILEY LUPFER: You are who you surround yourself with, and Brooke Pahukoa steps up every night and is greatness. We feed off her. If she feels great, she makes the whole team feel great.

BROOKE PAHUKOA: I think that the special thing about our team is there's not a superstar. We have every single person that can step on the floor and just be a baller and dominate and make plays, and you saw that today. Special moments for Yaiza and Riley, Marijke, Sha. We can't stop -- if you have five players who can score, it's fun.

Q. Was there ever one moment in that fourth quarter where -- it's a rhetorical question -- did you know you were going to win? Of course you had confidence. Was there a point where you felt you had seized the momentum and you were going to win? Was there a play? A shot?
RILEY LUPFER: I think it was our point guard, Yai. If you see her getting in the game and flexing and screaming, you feel like you have the game won. You have the momentum.

BROOKE PAHUKOA: I'd have to agree. When she gets into it and she controls the game it's hard to stop her. This girl over here didn't want to miss. I think she had 15 points in the fourth quarter. You can't stop that.

Q. Can you comment on your team's resiliency and pulling it off once again, and just where it came from, the heart this team has?
COACH GORDY PRESNELL: We had a great start for our season, we went 12-1. Then the wheels fell off a little bit. We got hurt and sick. Sha missed games and Brooke missed games. And we went 3-6, and we have could easily turned it in, but we didn't. And now we've won seven in a row, eight in a row, something like that -- nine in a row and getting to play for a championship. So I think it's a group that is pretty resilient and they feed off each other and they enjoy being together.

Q. Was there just a point where you felt like you weren't going to miss the rest of your shots?
RILEY LUPFER: Oh, yeah. I was behind Yai and I was screaming, Give me the ball. I really don't even remember it. But I guess I was feeling it. When I was screaming at Yai, you know I want the ball.

Q. You hit the game winner. Today you and Yai had some big shots in the final minute, she scored 15 in the fourth quarter. What is it like to put your trust in a freshman like that?
BROOKE PAHUKOA: You don't get to see what she's like in practice every day. I knew the very first day that she's something special. And it's amazing how she's going to have four years here. And she got better and better every day. One of the best players in the conference already as a freshman, so you guys are in for a treat.

Q. What's it mean to be back in the title game again? A couple of years ago you won it. The season started off so hot, and it didn't look so good for a while, but to have another shot to get back to the big dance, how does it feel?
BROOKE PAHUKOA: It feels awesome. I love Boise State. I love being a part of this team. I love my teammates. I love my coaches. This isn't about going and winning a championship. It's about playing one more game with the girls that I love. You're going to make me cry, here, that's what it's about for me. One more possession, one more game I want to be a part of.

Q. To have another chance to play for the title after a couple of years ago, and maybe you guys were top ten in the RPI for a while there and got off to such a hot start. What does it mean to get back to the tournament and achieve your goals?
COACH GORDY PRESNELL: Obviously I'm excited to be the coach and for me and the school. But I'm really excited for them. And they put a lot of time and effort, just like everybody does, but they live their lives right and they're high-value kids. And to see them rewarded for a chance to play for a championship is awesome. It's great to be a part of their lives for a little bit longer.

Q. I'm trying to recollect a couple of years ago, and I believe -- I want to say it was Yai that was up on the dais. She was talking about how her parents at home had to livestream the game, and it was in the middle of the night back there. I'm just curious, I was hoping she would be here to ask her again, if they livestream, if they still do that?
COACH GORDY PRESNELL: They were wearing blue today. They were here. They came over for senior night and they've stayed through the tournament. And I think she's making some wonderful memories for them, that's for sure.

BROOKE PAHUKOA: She has been looking forward to this since her freshman year. And during the tournament her sophomore year, that was her biggest regret that her parents weren't here. They weren't going to miss that again. They've been here, and they've been here about a week before the tournament and about a week after and enjoy Las Vegas.

Q. It was a very emotional game, a lot of back and forth there, especially in the fourth quarter. How do you stay grounded knowing you have a day off before this championship game?
RILEY LUPFER: We just prepare. We don't take the day off. We don't think about we're in Vegas. We're here to win a championship, not enjoy Vegas. We'll spend tomorrow getting ready.

Q. Coach talked about how you and CSU have had kind of a good rivalry going over the last couple of years. Can you talk about what it means to win that season series this year and what it means to you guys to beat a team with the senior duo like Gustavsson and Nystrom?
BROOKE PAHUKOA: Colorado has been a powerhouse in our conference since I've gotten here. And anytime you can steal a win from them it's a good feeling. They have had amazing careers. They have been the best players that I've played against in the game of basketball. So I love playing against the best. And it's a fun rivalry. And they got First Team, I think almost every year they've been here, and much deserved.

They're amazing. Their team is amazing, their coach is amazing. We knew it was going to be a tough one. Colorado is a team you have to play your best game, they won't beat themselves. We knew we had to come out and play our best game.

Q. Back and forth at the end of the basketball game. What was you and your staff's approach from a defensive standpoint, as you were able to get key stops late in the basketball game?
COACH GORDY PRESNELL: Cody does defensive calls, and we went into the game with multiple defenses. We switched up man, zone and middle of possessions. We ran a couple of different multiple presses. And we were trying to keep them off balance. If you let them get in rhythm and feet set and it's over.

They expect good things to happen. And good things happen to them. And they have the ability to hit the dagger three. And tonight Riley and Yaiza hit dagger threes for us. We're fortunate here to be on the podium because of it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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