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March 7, 2018

Gordy Presnell

Braydey Hodgins

Shalen Shaw

Las Vegas, Nevada

Boise State - 76, Colorado State - 51

GORDY PRESNELL: Colorado State has had a great season, very formidable opponent. The last six times we played them it's gone down to the last minute or two.

Tonight we just played about as good as we've played all year. And started out really, really slow. I think we were 3 for 16 in the first quarter and then caught fire.

And really proud of our guard line. Braydey got it going and really had an outstanding game. Put pressure on them in the full court offensively. And then Sha took over the boards the second half. And has such unbelievable hands, and just catches everything. And so between the two of them and the rest of our team, it was a great night for the Broncos.

Q. Just looking back at the stats from last season, you got some minutes in the Mountain West Tournament but it wasn't like you were a starter or a major contributor. During that time what have you learned that you applied this season and especially to the tournament?
BRAYDEY HODGINS: Playing behind Yai, she's definitely a championship-caliber player. That just prepared me to come in -- Yai took care of the ball, and learning from her that I need to take care of the ball in order to stay in the game and to get our teammates good possessions, and to give myself good possessions.

Q. What changed offensively the last five games? You were averaging about six points in the game, and the last five you're over 16. What's the difference?
BRAYDEY HODGINS: I think confidence and just staying aggressive, which is what I've been doing my whole life, and I lost that when I got here. Trying to feel it out. And I went with two feet in and able to get a little boost for our team.

Q. How much with defenses, focusing on Riley, how much has that opened things up for you?
BRAYDEY HODGINS: It opens up a lot for us, and teams have realized they can't key on Riley any more. She's a great player and she deserves the respect teams and defenses give her, but we have other weapons that were just waiting to come out.

Q. To have a chance at three titles in four years, what does it mean to be playing on Friday?
SHALEN SHAW: It means everything. To do that in three out of four years is impeccable, and I think our team is in the right mindset to get it done. So it's a big thing for our school and our team.

Q. You guys were down 15-8 or something and you went 27-10 run to bust the game open. That second quarter what did you do that dominated and took control?
SHALEN SHAW: We really keyed in on our defense and focused on getting stops every possession, and those stops turned into our shots, and that's what we did well.

Q. You're the only senior on the team that gets to suit up and be on the court this season. Have you been giving your teammates any advice or pressure to make it happen for you?
SHALEN SHAW: No pressure, not really. I think everybody wants to do it so I don't think I need to apply any pressure. I think the advice that I'm giving is just being out there and playing with them and doing what I do so that they get to do what they do.

Q. You've obviously been on some talented teams in the past, but what distinguishes this one for you?
SHALEN SHAW: I think we have so many different key factors, like Braydey said, you can't stop one of us; you have to stop all of us. That's what's key.

Q. You are 14-2 going back to early January after you lost the two games. What's the difference the past two months and playing now like you thought you would early in the season?
BRAYDEY HODGINS: I think our coach challenged us with toughness and I think we rose to the occasion, and being able to produce down the stretch. It's a grind for everyone, it's not just us that feels the soreness or tiredness and fatigue. And I think being able to grind out games. We've had comeback games, and had adversity and we've been able to fight through that.

Q. What did it mean to have this type of performance on this type of stage where it gets you back to the Mountain West Tournament championship game but closer to the ultimate goal, as well?
BRAYDEY HODGINS: Just feeling the fire. The coaches this week, they've used some things to get under our skin a little bit, and feel the fire for our next opponent and know that we're in first place for a reason and deserve to stay until Saturday.

Q. What was some of the fuel to that fire?
GORDY PRESNELL: We've been identifying adversities. And there's lots of adversities in any game. And last week we played at Wyoming and you have elevation and senior night and championship game, and there were good players coming back.

There's a film of a Navy Seal that we showed them. And every time there's an adversity they say, Good, good. So now all our kids say "good" all the time. They even said it in the game when something went wrong, Good.

Trying to get tougher and more competitive and see if we can grind through this.

Q. You've kind of made this a habit of getting to the Mountain West Tournament title game in your career. Not that you guys ever seemed overwhelmed in this moment, but it seemed like a workmanlike effort for you girls. How was your experience on this stage, how does it help you calm the nerves and go about your business?
SHALEN SHAW: I think it's just keeping everybody level and content and being able to play your game. If we get sped up and start playing other people's style of game then we don't get to do what we do best. And I think slowing it down and doing our thing is really key.

Q. I was asking Braydey, her last five games, what have you seen offensively? She's had at least 24 in two of the last three games. What have you seen offensively from her?
GORDY PRESNELL: I think she's a competitor, and I think she's a bulldog, and she's kind of jumped in with both feet, and was afraid of making turnovers in the past, and I don't think she has that same fear.

And then the whole Riley thing has helped her, too. They really, really -- everyone we play just guards her all over the floor, almost a face guard type thing. And that creates some lanes.

The other thing Braydey has done a nice job for us, the strength of our team is our transition, and she's done a nice job in getting us in transition opportunities.

Q. You probably hear about this, but it's hard to beat a team three times, how did you adjust your game plan to attack the third time around?
GORDY PRESNELL: That was one of the adversities today that they had to say "good" to. I told them, They're thinking it's hard to beat a team three times. They all say, Good.

I have been on the other side of that. And I don't know if I've ever won a game that someone has beat us twice badly in the same season.

We knew it was going to be really tough. Colorado State is so well-coached and they're playing at a high level, and they have great tradition. They're the bar of this league. And so we knew it was going to be difficult. But I thought we played together and everyone I put in there contributed and I thought our guard line was terrific.

Q. What type of unique challenges does Coach Williams present for you from CSU?
GORDY PRESNELL: Defensively they switch everything, which makes it difficult for Riley to get shots off. And that's hard.

Over the course of the year have tried to identify mismatches or matchups that we want and so we'll run our offense into a switch and then make an attack. So that's kind of what we tried to do.

He's a terrific coach. He's terrific at the defense that they run. The switching is really difficult with our length. They're really building something. They lost two of the best players to ever play in this league last year. And here they are 20-plus wins. They've got a great program.

Q. If teams are going to keep eying Riley as much as they do, it's an obvious answer, but to get this kind of offensive production from Braydey, how much more dangerous and better does it make your team?
GORDY PRESNELL: It's interesting, we don't really have a traditional point guard, and losing Marijke, we lost our traditional post player. We run interchangeable parts. We're really fortunate that Sha Shaw can play five different positions. We've been real successful when teams press us because she can handle the ball and her matchup can't.

We've been real fortunate that we've been able to have interchangeable parts this year. Next year I think we'll be more of a traditional post player because Marijke will be back. It's been a learning experience for me, that's for sure. I've never run so much 1-4 high stuff. I've always been real traditional.

Q. You guys put up 76 points on CSU, which is the most they've given up to any conference opponent this year. You had 42 points in the paint. How are you able to get in that position?
GORDY PRESNELL: We got a lot of transition opportunities. We call it penetration, two ways; post entry and the penetration is ball, dribble drive. And so we got a lot of post penetration through Sha, and that created some opportunities in the paint. She doesn't come along very often, someone that can do all that stuff. And people don't realize the hands, you can throw anything to her, she can catch it. And she's an outstanding passer.

Pretty blessed to have her in the program and in my life the last four years.

Q. You've been awfully dominant in the second half of these two Mountain West tournament games. Why do you think they've been so comfortable and dominant in the second half?
GORDY PRESNELL: Our kids are real receptive to adversity right now. Before Christmas we weren't, we were 5-5, and lost four games with double-digit leads in the fourth quarter.

And so they have gotten after it and gotten tougher, and believed in each other. And we've had some really outstanding assistant coaches, Cody Butler and Cariann Ramirez and Heather Sower have done an outstanding job with them.

I was telling them in the locker room afterwards, we've got one more game to see if we can get this done. But the feeling that they have for one another doesn't come around. I've had 31 teams and it's a rare group.

Q. Having this past championship game history down here in Las Vegas, how valuable will that be?
GORDY PRESNELL: I hope it's valuable. We've had a good run here the last few years. But last year we had Brooke and Yai and the year before that we had Deanna Weaver. So this is a whole new group with that.

Obviously if we can shoot as well as we shot today we'll be formidable. Boy, Wyoming is good, Nevada is good. We'll just watch tonight and see what happens. And hopefully our experience helps. I know neither one of those teams have been to this game. It can't hurt us.

Q. Having a chance to win your third title in four years, what does it say about the program and where you're at right now that you're back here again the third time in four years having a chance to cut down the nets?
GORDY PRESNELL: Boise State is a great place, and every sport wins. And it's just a great place. It's a great place to be. And so when I got the opportunity to coach at Boise State I jumped at it. And my wife jumped at it. And it's been just an honor the last 13 years to be here. So it's just kind of the bar that we have here. Football sets a really high bar. But all our sports do really well. It's just a great place.

Q. When you first got into this league there are a lot of heavy hitters in this league. So how hard is it to get to this point, to beat a team that has been in this championship game in three out of the last four years? And I guess how appreciative are you of this opportunity once again to get here?
GORDY PRESNELL: You know, I think Leon got last, I think we might have got last the first year, and I've had three losing seasons in my 31 years, and they were the first two or three years in this league. It was a big adjustment going from the WAC to here, and the travel and the sites that you play at and the quality of the coaches.

So we've just kind of brick by brick tried to get a little bit better every year and build a culture and tradition that Boise State could be proud of and that we could be proud of. We're still a work in progress, but I am proud of this group, especially losing an All-Conference post player at 6-3. And we're pretty short. And still getting an opportunity, anyway, to play for a championship.

Lastly, I'll also say that I'm really proud of our regular season championship last Friday night in Wyoming. That was a grind and you're gone every week, and we had never won one -- we won a couple when I first got here in the WAC. But I'm really proud of that. I know it doesn't get you anywhere, but it's a sign of the perseverance and the wear and tear and believe in each other and making things happen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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