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March 5, 2018

Amanda Levens

Teige Zeller

T. Moe

Las Vegas, Nevada

Nevada - 95, San Diego State - 84 (OT)

AMANDA LEVENS: Well, we knew it would be a tough game just playing them back to back, and it was really a game of runs, and kind of whoever had the lead when time ran out was going to win.

Give San Diego State a lot of credit. Obviously McKynzie Fort is one of the best guards in our conference and someone that can make a play. And they just responded every time we went on a run. We'd get up seven, eight, ten, I think we were even up at 11 at one point and they responded and came back and took the lead. I think they got up by seven or eight.

Just so proud of our team and how resilient they were with a couple minutes left. We still were down six to eight points, and they just kept fighting and found a way to come back, and I thought T. Moe hit some really big shots for us. Then A.J. Cephas in overtime was unbelievable defensively for us off the bench. And so just really proud of our team but also a lot of respect to San Diego State and their players.

Q. T, I'll start with you. I tweeted out, I don't know what "T" stands for, if it stands for tatted or not, but her ink is about as good as her game. Talk about your fourth quarter and overtime explosion, 19 of 29 points. You just kind of hoisted the team on your shoulders offensively and took the game over.
T. MOE: I mean, It really just came down to a gut check. We said as a team that we were going to take this game and that's what it came down to, just us taking the game.

Q. I know you guys opened up really strong, you had the hot hand, and they actually brought their reserves in whether it was a wake-up call for them or whatever the ploy was, but they wreaked a little havoc, caused some turnovers to get themselves back in, they closed the second quarter and third quarter on 7-0 runs. What did they do specifically for either one of you or both of you to disrupt what was going on that maybe caused a gut check overall?
TEIGE ZELLER: I don't know. I would honestly just say what T. Moe said, it was a gut check for us. And they can do what they want to do, but ultimately we have to buckle down and play together and make sure our defense is right, and everything that we've practiced.

Q. Were there certain things, certain flaws that you saw in that fourth quarter, T, where you felt you could take advantage of that you weren't getting in certain spots, certain areas earlier in the game?
T. MOE: I think I was just being more aggressive getting to the free-throw line, driving in more instead of just settling from the outside.

Q. Coach, was there ever a concern when you're sitting there watching, especially in the fourth quarter or closing the third, when San Diego State really stole the momentum? Obviously you're concerned, but did you know what T and your team was capable of turning it back around?
AMANDA LEVENS: Well, I definitely knew what we were capable of. We've been down a lot in the fourth quarter and we've given up leads and things like that and fought back and had chances to win or taken games. We've been in lot of close games in our conference season, but you never know that that's going to happen, and honestly I wasn't sure that it was going to happen.

A lot of thoughts at that point, just like if you're going to be able to come back. I was kind of questioning my time-outs, maybe I should have called one sooner, different things. You can't take things back then, but I was just trying to keep them in a great place and being aggressive offensively, defensively, trying to get them to understand how much we needed to get stops, being down. And I don't think I said anything different to them than I've probably said all year. It just -- you know, it was on them to figure out a way to get it done, and just give them credit, I don't think they were ready to go home yesterday, our team. They said it was gut check and they found a way to get stops and just get it done, and I'm just proud of them for that. Because in those moments, as a coach, there's very little you can do. It's out of our hands. We have to trust all the preparation that we've done all season long.

I told them today, we had our 100th practice yesterday of the season. I was like, you guys know exactly what to do. It's on you to find a way to get it done. And I thought that they did that, especially at the end of regulation. We got a stop twice on the sideline out of bounds, on the baseline out of bounds, and we do those situations and we teach them principles and things and they did a great job and did it perfectly.

Q. Can you guys touch on what you remember specifically or what you took from the halftime speech and then the end of the third quarter, which was really important to sort of spark you guys? Coach said just a little bit, hey, figure it out, but what did you take from whatever it was she said?
T. MOE: Basically that it's on us, and it comes down to our defense. We weren't getting stops and they were going on those runs, so it really just came down to us playing team defense, not fouling, not putting them on the line or giving them easy shots.

Q. Just your thoughts going into tomorrow, huge showdown, especially after what you just did to them and the fact that they did finish as the regular season co-champs. Now it's down here in a sense, in their house.
AMANDA LEVENS: They're a great team. They've had a great conference season. Obviously winning the conference championship, we have a lot of respect for them. They're very athletic, very physical. They're a very explosive team, too. They're somebody that you talk about runs today, they can come out and put together a 20-point run before you bat an eye.

So for us, we need to have a lot of composure to handle when they do things like that, and I think starting strong is going to be really important because I know that they're going to be really motivated after the game at our place. I'm sure they went back and looked at the film, and that wasn't their best basketball in their minds. And like I said, they're a great team, and we just need to come ready to play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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