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March 14, 2009

Steve Fisher

Lorrenzo Wade


Utah – 52
San Diego State - 50

THE MODERATOR: Student-athletes for San Diego State are Lorrenzo Wade and Kyle Spain, and coach Steve Fisher. We'll start with some opening comments on the game from you, Coach Fisher.
COACH FISHER: Immense disappointment. Great pride in our team. We with all our heart believed we would be the team celebrating on the court. When you're not, it hurts.
We competed till the very last possession and weren't quite able to make a play to win the game. Congrats to Utah. We will go home and talk about what we maybe could have done.
But I'm extremely proud of this group of players, led by our five seniors, and led by the two guys who are here.
THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll open it up to questions for the student-athletes.

Q. When you get in a game like that where it's pretty low scoring at the half, do things get a little tighter, a little less margin for error?
LORRENZO WADE: Somewhat. But going in at halftime, we had the lead. I believe we were up two points. It was 20-18 our way. We came out in the second half, and they came out, I felt, just with a little more fire in the first three minutes of the second half. We were playing catch-up the rest of the game.
I believe my teammates especially did a really good job of staying in there, fighting hard, not letting the lead grow from six points to, you know, something different.
But, yeah, when it's a low-scoring game, every possession counts.

Q. Can you talk about what Utah did after having two brilliant performances in the quarterfinals and semifinals to kind of bother you?
LORRENZO WADE: You know, my shots just weren't falling down. They were the same shots I was shooting in the past two games. Just couldn't get 'em to, you know, go down.
They guarded well. I don't think they did anything differently. I think the game changes a little bit with a big man like Luke Nevill in the post. But other than that I just think the shots weren't going in the basket.

Q. How did you envision this game being played out? Could you see yourself at the end of the game seeing yourself holding up the trophy?
LORRENZO WADE: Coming into a championship game, you know, I was up for a little while last night, it was tough to sleep because of anticipation, thinking about how it would feel to win.
I didn't feel like the game was slipping away because I felt like, you know, we fought back. Every time they scored, you know, we came down and made something happen for ourselves. And then at the end of the game, with Richie, the way he was knocking down jump shots, we still had a chance to win the game. Lawrence misses the back end of a set of free throws. We come down and unfortunately we had a turnover.
I mean, I believe we played well as a team. The thing that got us the most was free throws. I believe they were 20 for 27. We were 5 for 8 for the game. Other than that, we were pretty much ahead in most statistical categories: rebounding, field goal percentage. I think we had two more turnovers than they did. But that was the deciding factor in the game, getting to the line, easy points.

Q. The three times you played these guys, was there something different you saw tonight or was there a player from Utah that you thought contributed more tonight?
LORRENZO WADE: Really, there's nothing different. Once again, I'll go back to the fact that, you know, it was free throw shooting. They were the same basketball team we played at our place, the same basketball team we played at their place. They actually didn't shoot the ball from three as well as we expected them to tonight.
But, again, I'll go back to the fact that they got to the line more than we did.

Q. You said you stayed up last night. Is there a point where maybe you feel you overthought the game, thinking about it too much, as opposed to just going out there and playing it?
LORRENZO WADE: No, it has nothing to do with thinking about it. I was talking to my teammates about it on the bus ride. It was kind of like a kid knowing that they're going to Disneyland the next day. You're trying to go to sleep. You're laying there with your eyes closed. But, you know, you just can't fall asleep. Your mind is going a hundred miles a minute.
I tried not to think about the game. But, you know, this is my first time in the Mountain West Conference championship, so it was hard to stop thinking about it. But I don't think I overthought the game in any way.
THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll dismiss the student-athletes. Thank you, men. We'll open it up to questions for Coach Fisher.

Q. Utah's first couple minutes of the second half seemed like they lit a fire under them, specifically Carlon Brown early. Do you feel that kind of got them going?
COACH FISHER: That created the separation that we never were able to overcome. I believe they scored the last six points of the first half and the first eight points of the second half. We talk about this is a game of runs, and you cannot allow a good team to have a 14-0 run on you. If it wasn't that, it was very close to that.
And the two baskets they got early, I think the first two were layups, the other two from free throws, too easy. We got caught on a little bit of a back screen, and Brown got a layup. We were a little sluggish on one dribble drive. It can happen in an instant. It can happen just like it did. Bang, bang, bang, three possessions, six points, 14 points down.

Q. What do you think about tomorrow?
COACH FISHER: I think that I'm - and I'm a good Catholic - I'm going to light two candles instead of one tomorrow when I go to church. But it won't be hypocritical, because I always go, because I always light at least one. I'll put an extra dollar in and light two candles.
I don't know. We got a good team. I think we would represent our league and ourselves well if we got in. But, you know, I don't know. I don't know what will happen. I'm hoping and praying that we do. But the only sure way would be to do what Utah did, and that was win. And we weren't quite up to the task today to do that.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

End of FastScripts

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