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March 4, 2020

Gordy Presnell

Jade Loville

Riley Lupfer

A'Shanti Coleman

Ellie Woerner

Braydey Hodgins

Las Vegas, Nevada

Boise State - 80, Fresno State - 76 (OT)

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell and student-athletes A'Shanti Coleman, Braydey Hodgins, Ellie Woerner, Jade Loville and Riley Lupfer.

COACH PRESNELL: First of all, I want to congratulate Fresno State on a great regular season and a great tournament. It was a great game, I thought, and one for our memory banks, that's for sure. I want to congratulate them.

Then I want to thank our administration, our president and our athletic director, Curt Apsey, and our senior women's administrator, Christina Van Tol. So just incredible support.

And I thought it was a great game, and I thought our kids had some adversity. We talked about adversity before the game and how we've gone through it before. And I thought that they just really stepped up.

I'm really proud of A'Shanti for being MVP of the tournament. And I just thought it was a great night and everyone contributed. And it was one for the memory banks for me. I can't tell you how proud I am of our six seniors. And then we had a sophomore, Jade Loville, stepped up tonight and hit big shots down the stretch.


Q. Jade, there was so much talk about all the seniors and veterans and yet a sophomore steps up with huge plays down the stretch. What did it mean to you to have that opportunity and to come through with the game on the line?
JADE LOVILLE: Getting the trust from my coach and teammates is everything. I just wanted to execute for them and step up and let them know that I'm ready. And they've just provided me with so much opportunity. They've helped me in practice finding my shot within our offense. And they've just helped me grow so much as a player, as a person. So it's all them. They put me in this position to step up and I'm so grateful for that.

Q. Coach, the final seconds of the game, the timeout is called, the technical given. Obviously it goes in your favor. What was the explanation that was given to you guys?
COACH PRESNELL: The official said that she positively heard and saw the timeout, and they didn't have any. She was 100 percent sure. When they say 100 percent sure, then they're 100 percent sure. And so we were able to get a chance to get the free throw and get the ball back.

Q. Braydey, you look to your right, you have three senior teammates that you've been through the war with. What's this moment mean to you, and what does this night mean to you?
BRAYDEY HODGINS: It was definitely different not being in control on the bench there for the last eight minutes. Felt like the longest eight minutes of my life. But with all we've been through, I knew they had my back. And they were going to get it done. And that's what I kept reminding T when she was sitting next to me.

These girls would do anything for us, and they wanted it as bad as I did. And A'Shanti and everyone wanted it. And we knew there was nothing getting in between us. Whether it be starters fouling out or anything else they were going to get it done. Jade Loville stepped up huge, and we made amazing plays on defense and offense to get the W.

Q. In these championship games you've had buzzer-beater, you've had a couple that were wider margins. And I think you knew coming in this was going to be a battle. Just for a couple players, just the back-and-forth nature, the lead slipping away in the fourth quarter and being able to in overtime to win it, how were you able to pull this one out.
RILEY LUPFER: I think we came here on Friday. We had this vibe. We didn't really want to talk about it and jinx it. But we kind of had this feeling, like, it was going to be ours again. And I feel like we had this and you saw it during these games. So it gives us composure because I know at the end of the day we're on the same page and you count on each other. And we did that.

Q. What did you guys tell each other after Fresno State had made that 3-pointer to tie the game up at the end of regulation?
ELLIE WOERNER: I think the whole, like, fourth quarter, down the stretch, we just kept saying, we've got this, we've got this. We had confidence in each other and we were composed and we've been in those situations before. So I think having that experience helped us play calm and know that we could still do it. And so just giving each other that confidence was crucial for us.

Q. A'Shanti, Braydey talked about it. What was it like for you fouling out and having to sit there? Couple times you got up, almost seemed like you were trying to be a coach. Not be able to play at that point, how tough was it?
A'SHANTI COLEMAN: It was very tough. When I fouled out I was kind of mad. As soon as I came off I think the tears started rolling down. I knew they would pull it out. You just wish, especially in a tournament game -- they've never seen me cry -- you always want to be on the floor. But I knew they would pull it out.

Q. You guys had a goal when you started the season of wanting desperately to get back to the NCAA Tournament, and there were moments where it seemed maybe it wouldn't come true. And to come through in the title game, what are your thoughts, Braydey?
BRAYDEY HODGINS: We were doubted after we got on a skid. We hit our lowest valley at that point that I've probably had since I've been here. We all came together. Our coaches worked their butts off to get us to the point where we are, and we had to come together and believe in each other more.

There's so many weapons on our team. It took a while to find where everyone fits in. We have scorers and defenders across the board. We probably have so many starters on our team that it just happened that five of them were out there.

So we have such a deep team. And it just took a little bit longer. And so to be able to get here and be up here talking as four-time Mountain West Tournament champion, there's no better way to go out with these girls here.

Q. Coach, obviously this game, a lot of even stats across the board for both teams except for one area obviously and that's 3-point shooting. Your thoughts, particularly in that fourth quarter, on your squad's defensively being able to shut them down from beyond the arc? It was a big, big aspect for your team tonight.
COACH PRESNELL: Yeah, I thought that -- I didn't know how well the 3-point shooting would go, especially in the second half because that's three games in a row and their three guards are so ball dominant for three games in a row and they all played, I don't know, over 100 minutes probably. I thought fatigue would become a factor.

But also I give credit to our players for defending. And I thought they did an outstanding job, especially in the second half, of just kind of staying in front. And you want to -- they're so quick, and you want to back off a little bit but you can't. And so I was really proud of them.

Q. Last couple days you've been asked what would it mean to win four and you said we'll talk about it when we do it; we haven't won it yet. To be sitting here for the seniors, to be 12-0 in the tournament, to know exactly what's happening, who is cutting down the net and in what order because you've done it so much, what's the feeling to know you'll forever be 12-0 in this tournament and tell your grandkids what you did some day?
RILEY LUPFER: Something you can't ever take away. It's something that I wish could last forever. I love these girls. They're my sisters. I love them to death. The coaching staff, they deserve it. Without them we wouldn't be here.

It's such a great feeling. This three days just take it one moment at a time because as seniors we wish we could stay forever. It's like enjoying the little things, recovery, every little moment together. So to finally be sitting here, I never want this feeling to go away.

Q. Braydey, you talked about how there was so much depth on this team and how there's so many veteran players and everybody in the conference talks about the depth you guys utilize night in, night out. What was it to see that tonight with 30 bench points in a high intensity game like this?
BRAYDEY HODGINS: I think we displayed it all year. It can be anyone's night, kind of the same thing we were in last year. But last year we had a little bit more consistency, I guess you could say.

We have players coming off the bench that are scorers and that helps us tremendously, and be able to -- it gives you that grace period; well, if I'm not having a good night I know Jade will step up, I know Ellie will step up. And I know other people have my back, so it gives you a sense of calmness.

And that's something we had to utilize down the stretch of the season. There was no reason really for any of us to fatigue out. We have players who can play and we played them.

Q. Jade, what did it mean to you to have such a big performance off the bench tonight?
JADE LOVILLE: I was just telling Braydey I just did my part. They've done so much, these seniors. I mean, they've left a legacy that is so spectacular. So I just wanted to do my part. I didn't want to let them down. I didn't want to let my coaches down. And I'm just so happy. I'm so happy that it all fell into place.

Q. You talk about the depth of the team. Braydey, when you and A'Shanti both fall out, I know you've got a lot of depth, but how much does that help you going forward confidence-wise when your team knows you two can be missing and you still can win a game like this?
BRAYDEY HODGINS: It helps tremendously. From this point on and for the last three days it's win and advance. We know we have a lot of special weapons and a lot of cards we can play on any given night. It was comforting on the bench, knowing that -- I mean, there was nothing I could do there. All I could do was talk to T and tell them, they've got this; they got this. They're going to get a board and get a stop.

And to be able to trust them like that is something super special. And like Riley said, we're sisters and we've been through the highs and lows. And it's super awesome to have these people to lean on in times like that.

Q. [Inaudible]?
BRAYDEY HODGINS: I would say for sure we're always going to look back on this night as something special. Like I keep saying over and over, we have weapons. And so I think this brings extra confidence to the players on the bench. And then also takes a little load off the starters that we don't have to do it all. We have people who have our back and do a spectacular job at that.

Q. Coach said on the floor his two main goals is to not fall off the ladder or cut himself with the scissors. For those who haven't ever had that opportunity, what's it like seeing your teammates cutting down the nets? You guys are getting pretty used to that.
ELLIE WOERNER: It's indescribable, the feeling. And the best part is doing it with these girls, especially us seniors who have gotten to do it. When you hold the net looking back at each other, just knowing how much love we have for each other and how hard we've worked to get here, you can't even describe it.

Q. Coach, winning in Vegas is something -- you've just become accustomed to it. I think you make a lot of visitors to the city jealous because you win so much. What's the secret and just what changes for your team when you guys get to this tournament?
COACH PRESNELL: I think we've had, for a number of years really good culture, and we've had leaders that passed down the way we do things to the next person. And these guys had -- Brooke Pahukoa and Chaita (phonetic), and Brooke Pahukoa and Chaita had Deanna Weaver, and the way we do things in the weight room and how we handle ourselves on the road and the way we do things in the classroom in a certain way. And they pass it down to the next group.

They're an amazing, amazing group. And I just can't say enough good stuff about them because they mean so much to me personally. And what they've done for our program and for each other and for the university is really pretty remarkable.

The seniors had eight chances to win a championship and they won six of them in their careers. That's pretty good.

Q. Ellie, I was going to ask you, you left a starting role at Portland State -- Portland -- and were the leading scorer to play a limited but vital role as we saw tonight. What made that choice worth it?
ELLIE WOERNER: I think I played a lot of different roles over my few years here playing. And I just did my best to embrace whatever role I was in and do whatever I could to help the team.

And like Braydey has said, every night someone else can step up. And I think just staying ready -- and these girls and my coaches and everybody just supported me the whole way in whatever role I was in and gave me confidence in if I'm open, shoot it. And I think all the confidence that they gave me I was able to have tonight.


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