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March 2, 2020

Gordy Presnell

Jayde Christopher

A'Shanti Coleman

Las Vegas, Nevada

Boise State - 73, Air Force - 50

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Boise State. Coach, start with you, just some thoughts on the game?

COACH PRESNELL: I thought it was a good game for us. They've done a magnificent job, Coach Gobrecht has. And it was a great finish. But we thought that it was their fourth game in eight days, and that we would just really push the tempo as much as we could and try to wear them down a little bit.

And so we transitioned at every single opportunity. And these two here, Jayde and A'Shanti, are terrific at transition. And Jayde will find you if you're open. And A'Shanti can finish -- except that one basket, holy cow.

But, anyway, it was a good night for us. And Air Force, they get all those kids back next year and they finished winning six of nine. And they really did a nice job.

Q. Air Force coach was in here and she said maybe she thought during the regular season at times you guys were just bored, waiting for the tournament to start, and that she expects you guys, she'd be surprised if you didn't win the tournament; you guys kind of turning it on at the right time. Is there a new mindset or new sense of urgency once you're down here in Las Vegas to kind of turn things up a notch?
A'SHANTI COLEMAN: Well, I definitely think we are definitely at our peak playing-wise. It is a little bit sense of urgency, but coming into the tournament we kind of have a cool mind about it because we have a bunch of people on this team that are pretty experienced, so we don't let that get to us. I think we're doing pretty well. I think the tournament could be ours, yeah.

Q. Could you guys talk about the ball movement that you guys had tonight with 20 assists?
JAYDE CHRISTOPHER: I think just being able to work the ball around and get other people involved is most important. I would say it makes the game more fun to watch and be in the game to work the ball around. So, yeah, I guess that's where the 20 assists came.

Q. The 19-2 run there in the second quarter, you guys were only up by one; it was kind of a back-and-forth game. And then you kind of blew it open there in the second quarter. What was the difference during that time?
COACH PRESNELL: I think we got the ball in the middle of the floor, and Jayde made some plays. I thought Riley hit some big shots. A'Shanti finished. A'Shanti got off to a great start. And we just kind of got on a roll.

But, also, I go back to they've played a lot of basketball in the last week and we haven't. I don't know if the bye at the end of the year is good or bad. I'm a pessimist, so I thought it was horrible. But when we got to play a team that had played four games in eight days, I think it was really helpful.

Q. Jayde, I think you probably knew coming in that you were right there with the Mountain West single season assist record, but to get it tonight on a big stage in the Mountain West Tournament, how did that feel?
JAYDE CHRISTOPHER: I'm excited, but not complacent. I want to continue to keep going. I mean, we still have two games and hopefully some more to play. But I'm going to continue to dish out like I do and just play basketball, I guess, yeah.

Q. Gordy, you smiled when I was referencing the Air Force coach comments. But did you get any sense with what you guys had accomplished at any point in the middle of the conference play, it was like the dog days of August or anything? It was just wanted to get to this tournament and kind of get to this point?
COACH PRESNELL: Yeah, it's not been a smooth-sailing year and we probably overscheduled a bit before Christmas. But A'Shanti, especially, had a big basket to win a game for us at San Diego State and has been really playing at a pretty high level. And it's been -- we're just starting to play a little bit better and a little bit faster.

And I think there's a sense of urgency, like the question you had with six seniors. And so they want to do something that no other team has done in this conference. And so we got through the first one and we're 33 percent there. Now we have a great opponent tomorrow night.

Q. What can you say about your defense tonight having them commit 22 turnovers and making the most out of that and scoring 23 points?
A'SHANTI COLEMAN: Well, just from the start, our coaches said this team is going to look to -- they've got a bunch of players on the team that score. We had to pick up defensively just so they didn't get hot.

COACH PRESNELL: I think our assistant coaches, Caiann Ramirez and Heather Sower, have done an outstanding job since the middle of the year with our defense. Since Cariann became a full-time assistant I think we've never lost in this tournament. So they both were outstanding in the game planning of it and we just went into it. We're going to defend like crazy and switch like crazy and then transition as much as we could.

Q. We've seen over the years, Riley Lupfer was the MVP two seasons ago, Braydey scores a tournament-high 37 last year. And A'Shanti gets a career high in this game. Jayde sets the assist record. What is it about this group that's made them so talented and so well rounded?
COACH PRESNELL: I think they've all sacrificed their own personal, maybe, stats for each other. And they've all bought into the culture that we have. And they're all a big, big part of it. They're unselfish and they're fun to be around and they're good people and they've just done a wonderful job representing Boise State and they just get along. They fit.

And it doesn't happen very often in coaching that you get to coach a group like this for as long as I've coached them because even A'Shanti has been here four years. She redshirted her first year. But they're just wonderful people.

Q. You guys obviously started your careers elsewhere. You come here, and here you are seniors sitting up here, two wins from another Mountain West title. What's it been like, I guess, just to this point of the ride? And how motivated are you guys to win a couple more games here and finish this out?
JAYDE CHRISTOPHER: Very motivated for sure. We have a really good -- I have really great teammates, really great coaches. So being able to play alongside and underneath a great staff is just really fun. And it just makes basketball a lot more easy, I would say.


Q. A'Shanti, I don't know if you realize but you got to be part of Jayde's history today, while making history for yourself as well. Was the game plan today to really stretch the floor and run against this team?
A'SHANTI COLEMAN: Yeah, I believe so. I mean that's one of our strengths with our playing style. Everyone runs their lanes, two guards leak out, posts run the floor. We have a point guard that's leaking the pass. I think that was definitely part of our game plan.

Q. Coach, I know back in Boise you were asked about A'Shanti the other day, but fourth straight game with 20-plus points, I think that's only happened seven times in school history where a player has had four straight 20-plus games. This run she's on down the stretch here, what's this meant to the team?
COACH PRESNELL: It's raised us to another level because now people gotta worry about slacking off Riley to take care of A'Shanti. And we stretch the floor so well when she runs down the middle of it. And Mallory even fits pretty well with A'Shanti because Mallory can hit the 3. So it's been pretty fun to see this. I hope it keeps going. And hopefully we can have another good game tomorrow night.

Q. During the regular season, you guys have a couple days, sometimes up to a week, to scout out a team and prepare. But in the tournament now that you guys have won you have a quick turnaround where you play one of two possible opponents the very next day. How is that different in terms of preparation?
COACH PRESNELL: Sure. We kind of have an idea and we divide up our staff with scouts and then one of them does personnel and one of them does like defense and I kind of do the offensive part of it. We kind of come together. And I don't know who will play tomorrow but the scouts are both prepared already and we'll go over it with the team. I don't know if we'll watch film tonight with the team. But like last night we did. And tomorrow we'll have practice and watch film again and get ourselves ready and just kind of go through the same routine, the same food, every single time. (Laughter).

A'SHANTI COLEMAN: String beans.

COACH PRESNELL: Same breakfast and same dinner. Don't want to get out of whack.

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