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March 5, 2018

Mike Bradbury

Cherise Beynon

Jaisa Nunn

Las Vegas, Nevada

New Mexico - 84, San Jose State - 54

MIKE BRADBURY: I was really proud of our team. I thought we came out from the beginning and played really, really hard. I thought defensively, in the first half, we were probably at our best, and we really rebounded to finish off those possessions. I think that allowed us to get some baskets in transition.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for the student-athletes.

Q. It looked as if the confidence and swag you were playing with, you kind of knew you could control the tempo. I don't know if you thought you could win by 30. You just had a lot of confidence. Why was it important to establish that early and get the right mindset to establish the confidence for the rest of the tournament, to set a tone?
CHERISE BEYNON: So when it comes to tournament time, everybody is at their best, regardless of what ranking you were. We knew coming into tonight both teams are going to play really hard.

Our focus was just to play really hard. We had no idea we were going to win by that much. We knew if we played very hard, executed the plan, we'd be very successful. Throughout the game, we just got more confident. But we tried not to let up. I think that was key in the game tonight.

JAISA NUNN: We just started off, like, really good. What Coach Mike really emphasized in the beginning, he was like, We have to start off hard, play hard throughout the entire game.

Q. It seems whenever you play physical, that's when you're at your best. Would you agree with that assessment?
CHERISE BEYNON: Yeah, I think if we set the tone first, we play really well. If we let them dictate it, it never turns out in our favor.

Q. Offensively, defensively, talk about your team's performance.
CHERISE BEYNON: Like we said, the goal was to play hard tonight. We knew San Jose was a good offensive team. I think we did a good job of guarding them today, not giving them a lot of threes that they usually take. We did have some lapses during the game, but we were able to still minimize their scoring.

Our offense, we were just playing inside-out, trying to get Jais the ball as much as possible. We knew we had the advantage. Just playing great team basketball, getting back to how we know how to play.

Q. Jaisa, how was it in the paint? Was it physical?
JAISA NUNN: It was really physical. Like Cherise said, we had an inside-out game, they were going to me. Everybody would double down on me. All the threes would be wide open. That's how we played, we played inside-out. We got a lot of opportunities, especially when we were driving as well, got a lot of and ones and baskets.

Q. You play Wyoming tomorrow. Talk about that game, what is your mindset going into it?
CHERISE BEYNON: We just got to focus next game. We've had a fast turnaround before. It's late March, so everybody has been playing a lot of games. We just have to remain focused. This will be the third time we have to play them, so we know them well, they know us well. We have to go out, play hard, play the same game we played tonight.

JAISA NUNN: We just have to play harder than them.

Q. Cherise, annual question for you at this time of the year. The pride that you take, your confidence level grows every single year, but coming home, being able to play in front of the home crowd, just knowing the eyes are on you a little bit more, taking that pride to the court.
CHERISE BEYNON: Yeah, it's always great to come back home and play. But coming to the tournament, I don't think of it as Vegas. I think of it as Albuquerque because we have so many fans that come out here, though my family is in the stands as well.

I just go out and play, despite the pressure of it being my hometown, just try to play the best of my ability. It's always great coming back here, like I said. I try not to think about it as much because it's just a game at the end of the day, regardless of who's watching me or not.

Q. I know you don't like to look ahead. You have Wyoming up next. Have you thought about the potential, how great would it be to play her in the tournament, matching up against Paris?
CHERISE BEYNON: I've already played against her twice. I'm not really looking for. I don't know how their game is going to play out, ours. Tomorrow is Wyoming, and that's my focus right now.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies.

Questions for coach.

Q. Coach, as far as setting that tone, establishing the rhythm early on, the dominance, why it's so important not just for this game, to set the tone for the rest of the tournament?
MIKE BRADBURY: We've been focused here the last probably, I don't know, eight to ten games where we're just trying to play well. We went through a stretch where we didn't. We've really not talked about winning and losing, anything like that. We're just trying to play well.

Tonight our focus was to play hard, just be efficient. We've really simplified things.

Q. You got good performances on offense from your starters. It was the bench play in the fourth when you were up by a lot that surprised me. Are we going to see more of that?
MIKE BRADBURY: Yeah, if we have that kind of lead.

Q. Could you speak about Nunn's performance.
MIKE BRADBURY: I mean, Jaisa knows how I feel about her. You guys should by now. She's really talented, all this. I mean, she was really good. She missed six shots from a foot, so...

Hopefully tomorrow she'll be a little more efficient. But, you know, we have to have her, have her in the game, for us to be successful.

Q. Tomorrow you have Wyoming. What is the mindset going into tomorrow's game?
MIKE BRADBURY: I mean, try to win. That's it. We're going to have to play hard. We're going to have to compete. They got the best coach in the league. They got the best player in the league. They shoot the three the best of anybody in the league.

I don't know.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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