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March 9, 2010

Kristen Holt

Kim Mestdagh

Chatilla Van Grinsven


New Mexico – 67
Colorado State - 54

THE MODERATOR: We have Coach Holt and student-athletes. Coach, if you could start off with your general comments object today's game.
COACH HOLT: Well, first of all, I want to say that I'm really proud of our team and how we improved this year. I think these two right here to my left are great examples. I was just telling them last year at this time, Kim was averaging seven and a half points a game and Chatilla was averaging three or four a game. Now for them to -- Kim is a second team all conference player, and Chatilla very well could have made it at some point. She's 11 points a game. Just really proud of the team and the mentality. It's changed on our team.
Yeah, I thought today's game, New Mexico is a very good team. We hung in there, but we just made mistakes and couldn't hit shots at key times there in the second half late. We just kind of ran out of gas.
Give them all the credit, though. They made plays. They hit some threes that we didn't expect them to do. They're a good team.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Kim, when you got hurt early, did it take you a long time to recover?
KIM MESTDAGH: Yeah, I got hit pretty hard in the head, was kind of out of it. But I didn't really feel like -- it's not because I wasn't scoring, I was out of it.
But, I mean, I just tried to focus and forget the pain in my head (laughter). I mean, when I'm playing, most of the time, it's not hard to focus for me, so...

Q. Do you look at this as a transition year? Coach just mentioned a change in mentality, really coming in and challenging a year from now.
KIM MESTDAGH: I don't really want to look at it as a transition year. I mean, every year you got to go full out, like win whatever you can.
But if you look in the end I feel like it might have been a transition year, we changed a lot, our mentality changed. I mean, we did a lot of great things this year.
So in the beginning I didn't look at it as a transition year, but then in the end you had to conclude that it was kind of.

Q. Kim, what makes Amy Beggin so difficult to stop?
KIM MESTDAGH: Oh, wow. She's a great player. She can shoot. She has range. She can go to the basket. She has that pull-up jumper. She's fast. She gets assists. I mean, she's an all-around player. That's always hard to guard.

Q. Why didn't you necessarily key on her in the end? When New Mexico is flailing, they're going to Amy in that type of situation.
KIM MESTDAGH: I think we knew they would go to her, but she just makes the play and she finishes it, so... She's a good player.

Q. Chatilla, when they brought in Kast there at the end of the first half, she gets those blocks, almost standing in place kind of layups because she's so much bigger. How frustrating was that at the end of the half and how much steam did that take away from you?
CHATILLA VAN GRINSVEN: I mean, of course it's kind of hard. But we have other sides to attack. When she's inside, we have to play outside. We just have to attack her if she's going outside and guard her, otherwise we can take our shots. Otherwise we make her move and pass it outside for a three-point shoot like Kim or Bonnie. We have other ways to attack her.
It was a little bit frustrating, but we can learn from it.
THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll dismiss the student-athletes and continue with questions for Coach Holt.

Q. Coach, everybody knows that Amy is going to take over in that situation. Is there anything retrospectively coaching-wise you can do to get the ball out of her hands or is she just that good?
COACH HOLT: Well, I mean, she is a good player and she makes things happen. Obviously she's important to their team 'cause she played for 40 minutes.
I think what happened is we knew she's a key. We know in those situations it's going to her. I think the game at our place was indicative that we switched on everything. She tried to draw a foul on us at home and we were able to keep her from doing that.
I don't think it was we didn't know that and key on that. The problem is, there were so many other kids contributing for them. We got to cover 20. I think that kind of got in our kids' heads as far as, who are we going to stop? I think that may have contributed why we didn't lock down on her.
We tried. It wasn't a case of where we forgot about her. She's not a player that you can forget (smiling).

Q. You talked about running out of gas. It seems like with only nine players, that's something that's happened to you the second half of the season. You get within two and don't score again the rest of the game. If you have two or three more players on your bench, does that maybe not happen, or...
COACH HOLT: You know, I feel like throughout the season we've played with nine, eight, seven players all year. I don't know if it wore on us more towards the end. Let's face it, we faced some really good teams at the end of our conference season. It wasn't like we were playing any teams at the bottom of the league.
I just think that our opponents made plays; we didn't. I think that certainly asking Kim and Chatilla to play hard, hard minutes that they have certainly takes it out of 'em. Then we missed some easy shots. So we had some good looks; didn't put 'em in.
You know, I think that probably we didn't -- especially towards the end of the season, in the tournament here, I didn't feel like our bench gave us a lot of points, they didn't give us some key things defensively, and it required us to keep six players basically in the game for most of the minutes.
I think that certainly probably wore on us a little bit.

Q. There were a lot of missed layups at the end. Is that a sign of fatigue?
COACH HOLT: I mean, I think probably that does contribute. I felt like our kids seemed very hired. It was a tournament game. There's a lot of emotion. That certainly drains you. They gave everything they had.
I was really proud of our effort. I thought the latter half of our season, I couldn't complain about the effort our kids gave. That's something I've been preaching on all year. I knew if we didn't give effort, we weren't going to win many ballgames.
Like I told the players in the locker room at the end of the game, we've got to be efficient, we've got to be able to produce, we've got to be able to hit shots like that. I think just the progress we've made, we're going to progress right into doing that, as well.

Q. You mentioned earlier the mentality change. Do you see this as the year you kind of like maybe a big breakthrough and next year come in and you're going to be competing for the top half of the standings?
COACH HOLT: I know we took a step forward. I think probably not only did our record improve, but I think certainly our attitude, our toughness, our mentality of coming out and giving it everything they have. I think we finally have reached that. And I think that's the one major thing we accomplished this year.
And now we've made that foundation, I think we're adding some really good talent. Hopefully we can take that next step. You know, certainly we were at the bottom of the conference now. The next step we hope would be somewhere in the middle of the conference. If we could jump to the top, this is a great, great conference, and it's not going to be that easy.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.

End of FastScripts

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