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March 12, 2019

Gordy Presnell

Joyce Harrell

Marta Hermida

Las Vegas, Nevada

Boise State - 89, Fresno State - 77

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell and student-athletes Joyce Harrell and Marta Hermida. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH PRESNELL: I thought Fresno State played a great game. And I thought especially in the first half they controlled pace a little bit and pushed it. And I thought it was a pretty well-played game overall.

Really proud of 25 assists and nine turnovers. That's really -- 31 baskets on 25 assists is really outstanding on our kids' part.

But it was a great game. I knew it was going to be a great game. They've got shooters, and just proud of the victory, and we get to advance.


Q. Yesterday we asked you about Braydey scoring 37, and now the next night you have somebody score 30. What can you say about what Marta did tonight?
COACH PRESNELL: It was just outstanding. She kind of controlled the boards down the stretch of the game in the fourth quarter. And I don't know why she messed up on two assists of having a triple-double but I thought her play overall -- it hurt us when she got in foul trouble and had to come out. But she just picked up where she left off and just had an outstanding game. And she's had a good run here down the stretch of her senior year, that's for sure.

Q. The stat, I think you guys are tied with 10 different players that led you in scoring or tied for it at some point in the season. But to have somebody score 37 and the next night have somebody else be able to score 30 and neither one is Riley, what does it say about your team and the depth that you have, and it can be anybody on a given night?
COACH PRESNELL: A couple things, one, it says that our kids are pretty unselfish. And someone that's not feeling as much isn't just going to jacking stuff up. We're going to find the open person and find the person hitting. And our kids did that for Marta tonight. And she delivered big time.

Q. To get back to the Mountain West championship game for the third straight year, it's obviously something that's not easy to do. What is it about your team that continues to handle this big stage? And how proud are you of your program to get back to this thing for a third straight year?
COACH PRESNELL: These two right here, with the two league championship games, it will be their fifth league championship tomorrow. And just real excited for them and what they've done for our program and what they've done for our university in terms of who they are and the character that they have and then the way they play. Just really proud of them. And they certainly, when they're done here, leave a legacy, that's for sure.

Q. How confident are you in your group that they'll figure it out, too? You were tied at 36 at halftime but you look, in terms of teamwork and chemistry, 31 made field goals, you assisted on 25 of them tonight. That's obviously a pretty impressive number.
COACH PRESNELL: We have pretty good guards that you can spread and space the floor. When we space the floor, then we can get some pick-and-roll action going. And we run really simple, easy stuff. But they run it well and they know it and they communicate very well.

Q. Marta, what was working well for you tonight?
MARTA HERMIDA: My teammates saw me open and I was, like, just shoot it. That's the only way you can help your team. And I think they did a great job finding me, and I just have to shoot. That's the easiest part.

They find me wide open. This girl gives me, like, I don't know how many 3s every game. Jayde Christopher gave me really good passes, too. I did the easy part. Like, what they did, like (indiscernible) gets the screen for the open player, and then Jayde Christopher gives you the ball. So, yeah, I did the easiest part.

Q. How does it feel, Marta, to be a senior in the Mountain West Tournament and score a career-high 30 points? That's pretty cool.
MARTA HERMIDA: Yeah, it's pretty cool, but the coolest part is tomorrow I play a final here. That's the best part of it.

Q. Joyce, you had the running floater at the end of the shot clock, I don't know if you saw your coach, but he did kind of a flex or a fist pump? I'm not sure what it was, Gordy (laughter).
COACH PRESNELL: That was a game-changer, yeah, the running -- we practice that all the time. We don't ever practice that.

Q. Joyce, to have a shot like that, which basically put the game out of reach there, how big was that? And for you to just contribute and get your team into the finals?
JOYCE HARRELL: It was a really big shot. I would call it, like, my H-O-R-S-E shot. It's one of those shots you use when you play H-O-R-S-E. It was good. It was a game-changer, helped the team close it out. We really needed it and I just wanted to be that person that I could be there for my team when they trust me.

Q. The stats are getting a little bit crazy for me with this team. Braydey is the number one scorer, single game scorer in Mountain West history now, and you are now tied for No. 3. How do you explain the scoring ability of this team and why it seems to work so well?
MARTA HERMIDA: I feel like we know that we have really, really good players. And we don't know who is going to step up, but we know somebody is going to step up. The best part of this team is that we can recognize every single game who is that person.

Yesterday Braydey had a great, great game. And today they found me. But tomorrow, let's see who it is. And that's the best part. We play all together. We know who we have to give the ball to and that's the best part.

Q. Marta kind of touched on it right there, Coach. How do you feel it out? Braydey goes for 37 yesterday. Obviously you probably wanted to get Marta some shots after she scored 11 in the first quarter alone. But how do you feel out the hot hand when you guys are so balanced?
COACH PRESNELL: You know, I think our kids just find each other. And we usually try to start with motion, our games, we try to start with some motion and then kind of do some reading on how they're going to handle screening and switching and then we'll get into our specials and we'll call some specials for kids.

Q. To win and know you're still playing, a loss and your season may be over. Obviously I guess you have the NIT locked up, but how do you look at just wanting to win, advance and get back to the tournament and just knowing that every game you never know what could be the future for you guys?
JOYCE HARRELL: We set this goal early in July of our team wanting to win and going back to the tournament, knowing that it's right there in front of us; and it's on us, if we're going to get there or not is something that we know we can control and we can do this.

MARTA HERMIDA: For sure it's a big game. Like every single time it can be your last game but instead of thinking it's my last game, I'm thinking I have one more chance to enjoy, with these players, with these coaches. And that's all. I just want to enjoy playing with them.

Q. You've played in this game back-to-back years. You'll play in it again tomorrow. How do you handle the emotions? What's it like going to bed at night tonight? What's it like waking up in the morning, and how eager are you to hear that horn go off at whatever it is 7:00 in the morning so you can hit the floor?
JOYCE HARRELL: I'm excited, honestly. It's something that we dreamed of. We set this goal. But you also have to be mentally tough. This is our third game in three days. We can't let the fatigue affect us. And so knowing we have to go out there and compete, it's exciting to do and knowing at the end of the game it's going to be for a championship. You wake up for that in the morning; you don't need to set an alarm.

MARTA HERMIDA: Same. I feel like I'm a very nervous person. I get nervous, I get excited for the game. I look at my team and I say I have the best team here. I know it's going to be a great day tomorrow; and, yeah, I'm trusting all my teammates and I know it's going to be good if we play together.

Q. Coach, second game in a row you're in a battle late in the game, and just the whole game. And every time you thought you'd get up by 12 or whatever they'd make a run. What is it about this team and your leaders and your veterans on this team that you just don't panic? It seems like every time you needed a shot Riley would hit a big shot that would make a one-point lead back to three or three to five. What is it about this team where it doesn't seem like no matter the situation, the pressure or whatever, you guys just don't panic?
COACH PRESNELL: We don't have very many players that have basketball anxiety. And we have a number of players that are willing to take that last shot and be the hero or the G.O.A.T. or whatever you call it. And that isn't a problem for them. We do need to sometimes raise our level of play and we found that out today. They came right after us.

So with that being said, tomorrow -- like I said yesterday, I think in the press conference, everyone, when you get to this stage, tries their hardest. It sounds so cheesy, but they do. They try their hardest. And it creates more pace, more physicality. And you gotta adjust to it as soon as you can.


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