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March 3, 2020

Gordy Presnell

Riley Lupfer

A'Shanti Coleman

Las Vegas, Nevada

Boise State - 79, Wyoming - 71

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Boise State.

COACH PRESNELL: Congratulations to Wyoming on a great season, and they played so hard. And we had a hard time keeping the ball -- they kept driving the ball at the rim, and their post player really established post play early.

I thought we had a great, great second quarter. And our second quarter created some space so they never really -- they came close to recovering that space, but they didn't.

And so proud of our kids. Proud of these two here. And we got great lift off the bench as well. So it's a good night. We've got to do some serious recovery because we've got our hands full tomorrow.

Q. That fourth quarter they kept cutting it to six and you would can get a couple of buckets and they'd get it back to five or six. What was it about your ability to hold them off there down the stretch?
COACH PRESNELL: More than anything we've had our share of failures down a stretch of games, but this group has had a lot more successes down the stretches of a game. And we were in the huddle with three or four minutes, and we were, like, we've got to get this done.

It was real positive and we just went out and executed pretty well and then I thought Braydey was outstanding at the free-throw line, a lot of pressure on when they were trying to closing the gap.

Q. Coach, this will be your fourth trip in a row to the championship game. You saw the Fresno State Bulldogs in 2017, a little bit of a familiar foe. What will you be telling your team tonight?
COACH PRESNELL: Actually, in the morning we'll talk about their ability to get to the rim. They're very highly skilled team. Utti is really great at up-and-unders, and the twins are so good, not just them, but the rest of their guards as well. Hitch drives and running through your shoulder and hip and getting themselves on the line, that's one thing that concerns us.

We still play old-school basketball where we have a bunch of special plays trying to get five people together. And the new style is spreading it out and just attacking your hip and shoulder and trying to get to the free-throw line. We probably score, I don't know, nine points a game, maybe eight points, nine points from the free-throw line. And at our place I think they made 24, 26. And I think tonight they made 24, 26. So we've got to be able to stay in front of them and keep from fouling them.

Q. Riley, similar question for you. Is it going to be any different when you and Braydey lay down your head on your pillow tonight knowing you can make history with 4-for-4 than it has been going into any of the last three title games?
RILEY LUPFER: Yeah, it will be on our mind. Yes, we've been here three times before. But we always know that Fresno is a very good team and there's a reason they're number one.

But at the end of the day, we're just going to enjoy the moment. Four times in a row something special. So just embrace it all. Just to do it with these girls, you can't even put it into words.

Q. Coach talked about how some of the games you let some leads slip away and stuff. What was the difference in the fourth quarter? I was asking Coach, but just being able to hit some big shots and not let it get closer than five or six points. Just seemed like you never panicked, your veteran leadership took over in key spots.
RILEY LUPFER: I feel like at the end of games we know who to give the ball to when they're fouling and that's Braydey Hodgins. But then at the end of games, I feel like Jayde and A'Shanti just kind of play off each other. And you know T is going to set that ball screen and roll and then she's going to get that layup. And I feel like we're just so composed in those times.

Q. A'Shanti, fifth straight 20-point game, only the third Boise State player to ever do that. The game was different today as opposed to the transition game. What was working for?
A'SHANTI COLEMAN: What was working for me? I missed a few shots in the beginning, but I didn't let that get to me. My teammates were encouraging me because sometimes I tend to focus on the shots that I miss. But overall we were just working well with each other, the chemistry. Finding people the shots, like getting Riley shots, Braydey, telling Jayde Chris to take the ball down into the paint because no one can guard her. I believe we all did pretty well.

COACH PRESNELL: I believe A'Shanti scored her thousandth point. And it's pretty remarkable to have three seniors with 1,000 points, and a point guard that's number two in the country assists. Pretty good group.

Q. Gordy, we talked about in the past trying to enjoy this --
COACH PRESNELL: Yeah, I'm not. That's okay.

RILEY LUPFER: All stress.

Q. Maybe it's a question for tomorrow night, but are you just -- being 11-0 with this senior class here at the tournament what you guys are able to do, are you able to appreciate the rarity of what you guys have been able to do here?
COACH PRESNELL: I appreciate them, that's for sure. And they've meant a lot to me to in my career and my life. I love them and I'm getting emotional.

But anyway, we just need to go 40 minutes. They have to hear me yell at them for about 40 more minutes and hopefully we'll have sent them off on a wonderful career.

Q. It's one thing to actually talk about doing something, but it's a very different thing to actually do it. The last time, about a month ago, I guess, maybe a little more than a month ago, you guys said you'd love to have a rematch with Fresno State, and it will come to fruition tomorrow. Why was this team able to make that happen and not just talk about it?
COACH PRESNELL: We got beat by the 11th place team in our league, and -- on a side banker at the buzzer. And we had had an 11-point lead with about 3 minutes to go. And since that moment, we've actually played very good basketball.

And we went down and San Diego State, and A'Shanti hit a buzzer-beater -- and she has played at completely another level. We've kind of have gotten on a roll. Everyone has those hump games, and maybe ours was losing the number 11. And we played pretty well since.

Q. I think you guys were up 17 at one point in that game. To lose the game at home like that, how much did that sting, and how much are you guys looking forward to another chance at playing them?
A'SHANTI COLEMAN: We're definitely looking forward to that second go-around, because we only played them once. I definitely think that we shouldn't have let that slip. So losing that game, it really did hurt us, because there's some things we needed to work on and I think that we'll work on it tomorrow in practice and then scout and film. So I think we'll be able to get it down.

Q. Pretty unusual stat tonight, to see a double-double from Jayde Christopher in assists and rebounds. What does she mean to this team and what does she provide to you guys?
RILEY LUPFER: Big guard. She's strong. She can go get those boards. Are you ever not surprised by Jayde Christopher? Tell me. That would have been cool to get a triple-double, but we are very focussed on guards going in and souping up those defensive rebounds when they have base down there. So it is different for Jayde to get 10 rebounds but not even surprised.

Q. How nice is it to have so many seniors and veterans that have been through the battles and weathered the storms and when the other team's crowd is getting into it and they're making a run, just didn't really seem to faze them; you didn't panic, how much of a benefit this time of year is it to have the seniors and veteran leadership you have?
COACH PRESNELL: There's a camaraderie there. We've been through the wars together. And I've just really enjoyed being in their company. And I'll miss practices and just coming and listening to them talk and joke around. And they're just full of personality. And not only so successful athletically but really successful academically. And just proud to be around them, proud to be their coach.

And one thing's for sure is we get to keep playing. And so it will be fun. Tomorrow will be fun.

Q. They had 50 points in the paint and they only hit one 3. Was that kind of how you expected the game to go or what worked, at least to slow them defensively?
COACH PRESNELL: They tried to establish post play really early. And I thought they did an outstanding job doing it. And then they started driving the ball.

And one of the things that we've done real well through the course of the year and haven't done well at the end is three-quarters of the game we play pretty good defense and everyone attacks the rim. Everyone attacks the right side of the rim or the left side of the rim, depending on what hand they are. And we have not done well with that at the end of games. And that's what's going to happen tomorrow for 40 minutes. So we've got to get ourselves prepared for.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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