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March 5, 2020

Steve Alford

Lindsey Drew

Las Vegas, Nevada

Wyoming - 75, Nevada - 80

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from coach.

STEVE ALFORD: Yeah, Wyoming just very deserving. I thought they got us in just about every phase. They out-rebounded us, they took care of the ball better, they got better shots, they were better defensively tonight. I thought they were the tougher team tonight and that's kind of what happens in tournament play. I thought it was a little fools' gold in the first half. I didn't like how the first half went either. But we got us a 10-point lead. We defended fairly well in the first half. And then we didn't defend very well in the second half and we couldn't make a shot in the second half. Just a lot of uncharacteristic -- I think we had maybe five left-handed shots that weren't shot by Kane. Kane's the only lefty on my team. So we just, uncharacteristic on the shots that we took and got, and a lot of credit goes to Wyoming's defense. They did a great job of defending. And I do, I think in that 40-minute game they were the tougher team and they deserved that win. They did a lot of good things.


Q. Lindsey, so at the end of the game when you guys were down by three you made the smart play and you went for the easy two. Looking back at it do you wish you went for the three?
LINDSEY DREW: Not necessarily. There was only a couple seconds left, so I figured just to stretch out the game as long as possible and we did get a good look at the end.

Q. Obviously, you're the only player out here right now. Were the other players, like Jazz or Jalen or other key players, are they just in a terrible mood? Is that why they didn't come out right now?
LINDSEY DREW: Honestly, I don't know.

STEVE ALFORD: I'm the one that brought him. You want me to bring the whole team out here?

Q. Just a few. I mean --
STEVE ALFORD: No, no. I decide who comes and I said Lindsey Drew came.

Q. Okay. Just wondering what you're feeling right now knowing that you had that one in your hands and it just kind of slipped away.
LINDSEY DREW: Definitely, definitely hurts a lot. Definitely one of the toughest losses obviously because it's the end of my career here. So I know it's -- I'm going to go home and think about it, and it's just going to hurt more, so it is what it is.

Q. Coach, obviously Jalen struggled a little bit tonight. Did you feel like just one of those nights where his shot just wasn't going down or did you feel like maybe he was kind of forcing things a little bit?
STEVE ALFORD: That's hard. We'll have to look at the film and see everything. But I thought Marble did a great job. I thought he did a really good job of defending him. This has been, I think, at least for us, it's been a hard team for to us score on all year. We have had two games with them that were one possession and here's another one that was one possession and a third one went their way. Jalen's been terrific for us all year and it was just a game where he did a great job of getting to the line, he assisted well, he rebounded well, he did a lot of other things, but I thought Marble did a lot of good things to him just to try to make things difficult on him.

Q. Can you run us through the last 20 seconds of the game, the two missed free throws, and then you get the turnover, obviously, which is great, and you had the timeout. In that timeout did you guys say that you were going to go for a quick shot and then settle down defensively after you take the lead or was it to take the last-second shot?
STEVE ALFORD: Yeah, I think -- so much happened in that time, I can't remember. What were we down? Yeah, we were down one, so we just wanted to get a good shot and get a score, so it wasn't necessarily a two or a three. Could have got fouled as well, so we just wanted to do the best we could in that possession of just trying to get the lead. And I'll have to look back. I thought we got a couple good looks late and we just didn't make them. It seems like we got a couple good attempts up in that last 20 seconds and didn't make them. But we got the steal that we needed. We got a big three that we needed to get it to one. Now, you just got to score from that possession. But we were not holding it for one. We wanted the best available shot we could get inside that 20 seconds we were trying to get.

Q. Lindsey, you had the foul trouble there early in the second half. You had to come out of the game. What type of impact did you think that had on your squad as far as keeping up the momentum and sticking with this team?
LINDSEY DREW: Yeah, just kind of threw my momentum off a little bit. But, yeah, especially, you know, I played 30 minutes, so that first half didn't really feel I could get as many rhythm. Obviously wanted to stay in the game and play as much, but just due to the fouls I had to come out. They made the calls. It is what it is.

Q. I know you can't really say, what if? But I got to ask: If Jalen Harris didn't foul out, I mean, what, how much did that hurt you guys?
STEVE ALFORD: Yeah, that's hard. I have no idea. I think he fouled out with two and a half minutes to go. And obviously, he's a big big part of what we are and who we have been all year, so that was tough. But again, I go back to Marble more than anything else. I just thought Marble, we couldn't guard Marble. He had 24 points and he drew eight fouls. I just thought he was the key to the game. I thought for this 40 minutes Marble was the best player on the floor tonight and that's a lot of credit to him. Sometimes you just got to take your hat off to a player that does that. So he drew a lot of fouls, he was a handful for us, but obviously, we would have liked to have had Jalen on court but that's basketball. You only get five and the fouling out, then you just got to make adjustments and go with somebody else.

Q. To follow up on Jalen, he had one of the greatest seasons in Mountain West history. He did not win Player of the Year. How much did that affect him and what was his mindset after he heard he didn't get it?
STEVE ALFORD: I don't think that affected him. Malachi Flynn, they lost one game all year, so Malachi Flynn's very deserving of Player of the Year. Jalen had a fantastic year and he got honored by being First Team and he was honored by Newcomer of the Year. So it was great honors for him to be First Team All Mountain. And then to be Newcomer of the Year in this league, that's a great year. I think all year Malachi and he were 1A, 1B all year. But when somebody goes like 29-1, and you win the league two weeks early by five games, I mean, that's a hard one to compete against. Malachi Flynn's very deserving.

THE MODERATOR: Okay. Thank you for coming down.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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