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March 10, 2017

Steve Fisher

Trey Kell

Malik Pope

Las Vegas, Nevada

Colorado State - 71 San Diego State - 63

COACH STEVE FISHER: Always disappointing when it's over. It's always disappointing when you don't have another game to look forward to. And that's who we are right now. They beat us. We jumped out with that big early lead but I didn't think that they would wave the white flag and surrender. They did what everybody does, they competed and fought and made some big, big plays to come back and earn the victory.

Proud of our team. Disappointed that we're no longer playing.

Q. This is the third time CSU has been able to come back from 13 to beat you guys. Can you talk about what happened in the second half and what was different?
MALIK POPE: They're a good team. They made big shots. We played our defense, contested the big shots. So give them credit where it's due.

Q. How much of a factor was the injury in the second half? When you were out of the game it was a tough stretch for you guys offensively. How much did that come into play?
MALIK POPE: It didn't affect me at all. Injuries happen. You've got to bounce back, play for your teammates. We've got seniors back there. I just had to give them all I had. It's not over until it's over. And the outcome is what it is.

Q. How do you compartmentalize this season? You guys played great in stretches in this tournament; you didn't play so great in some stretches. How do you sort of balance all that out?
TREY KELL: It was a tough year regarding that. Just one of those things, our main thing for us is trying to be more consistent. And we wavered with that this year. If we had been more consistent we'd probably have a little more victories under our belt. But at the end of the day we came to this tournament and believed we could make it to Saturday and we fell a little bit short to a good Colorado State team.

Q. They said they thought you guys would tire because you were playing three games in three days. And he kept telling his guys, They're going to get tired, keep at it. Did you feel the effects of that in the second half?
TREY KELL: To be honest, no. A game like that with what was on the line you don't really focus on the fatigue. Just at the end of the day you're just trying to make plays and help your team win. Obviously it doesn't help playing three games in three days. But that's not an excuse. They just made some big plays.

Q. You just said that you don't have another game to look forward to. Do you not intend to go to a tournament or on the slim chance you get an NIT berth?
COACH STEVE FISHER: I haven't thought about that. We're not going to play in anything other than the NIT, if we get an opportunity, and it probably won't happen. But if it does, then definitely we will play in that.

Q. You had a huge rebound advantage the first half and they had a lot of turnovers, they talked about turning those two things around. Did you see that as the key to what happened or did you see something else out there?
COACH STEVE FISHER: We struggled with consistency all season long. And we've had stretches where we've done different things that have been hurtful to us. And we turned the ball over too much. We had some good shots that we didn't make and they had some hard shots that they did make, and I think that was a huge factor to it, also. When it was a tie game at four or five minutes to go I know they had three three's in that stretch, Clavell, Omogbo, and Paige that were guarded, closely contested. And teams that win make plays like that. Those were not layups. Those were not gimmes, those were not freebies, they made those plays. They beat us up on the boards at their place. In the first half we did a yeoman's work on the boards. For whatever reason we weren't able to get as many in the second half. I think we only had three offensive rebounds in the second half. But they beat us.

The first two games we lost. When you lose the way you did, we say, could have, would have, should have, but tonight they beat us. And I salute them and wish them good luck as they play tomorrow.

Q. In the second half you went with your starters for a while and you had a flow going. And you got into 7, 8, 9 minutes into the half. Talk us through the decision to go to the bench, keep those guys in there. Do you feel like they were just getting too tired?
COACH STEVE FISHER: I think you make decisions -- we've got a lot of guys that can play. And we've never played guys for a long, long, long stretch. We felt like we could add energy and add something when we went to the bench. You play guys -- you can't play guys for 40 minutes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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