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March 14, 2013
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Wyoming Â– 60
Colorado State Â– 58
THE MODERATOR:Â We're joined by Wyoming.Â Coach, some comments on tonight's game.
COACH LEGERSKI:Â Well, I think this is everything you expect with Colorado State/Wyoming, to step up and play at this level.Â I thought the intensity was tremendous tonight.Â Colorado State got off to a great start, had us down 14 in the second half.Â It was a situation where all we talk about all year long is winning four minutes at a time.Â We talked about just getting back in the game during those segments.
Then when we tied it up, in fact, went ahead, we talked about we had one four‑minute segment left, we've been here a number of times this year, it's time to make some plays.
Kayla Woodward executed a play, buried a big three, then Chelan Landry got to the basket at the end.Â The player in between both of them, Kaitlyn Mileto, ignited us in that run to be able to get back into the basketball game.
THE MODERATOR:Â We'll take questions for the student‑athletes.
Q.Â Kaitlyn, talk about the mindset of the team down 14 with 14 minutes to go.
KAITLYN MILETO:Â We just talked about sticking together.Â Like Coach said, taking it four minutes at a time.Â We didn't want to rush anything.Â We knew our run would come eventually.Â We just kept fighting and pushing and our run came and we ended up pulling it out.
Q.Â Chelan, that layup, what was going through your head?Â How comfortable were you it was going to go in?
CHELAN LANDRY:Â Well, the play was drawn up for Kaitlyn Mileto.Â We were going to bury them with a three.Â Their guard was guarding her.
I had nothing to do, but I had stopped my dribble, I had to make the layup, get it on the rim so our post could box out and get the rebound.Â That's what I did.
Q.Â Kaitlyn, Marquelle Dent also came in and gave you a spark.Â How important was it for the run you made?
KAITLYN MILETO:Â It was huge.Â She distributes the ball well.Â I think that was the biggest thing for her.Â She came in and distributed it and found the open person.
She definitely gave us that spark of finding the open player.
Q.Â Chelan, did you know you were going up against Heimstra?
CHELAN LANDRY:Â Yes.Â I told Ashley Sickles before we inbounded the ball, Make sure she screened her, No.11.Â She screened her.Â I got around, was looking for Kaitlyn for the draw‑in kick.Â I just scooped and made the layup.
Q.Â Kayla, up‑and‑down game.Â Talk about the last play Joe called for you.
KAYLA WOODWARD: Â Well, that's just what the play is drawn up for.Â I just went off that flare.Â Actually set a great screen.Â We just got to execute it.
Q.Â When you were down 14 points, all of a sudden you get a couple baskets.Â The crowd really pulled you through.Â How big a factor was having so many Wyoming fans there on their feet pulling you through?
KAYLA WOODWARD:Â I just think they really get our momentum up.Â I don't know, they always get us excited.Â We put a lot of emotion in there after they're just screaming.Â It was like we're at our home court.Â They're awesome.
Q.Â You have used the word 'special' a lot this year in describing this team.Â Is there any more victory that signifies that term than what happened tonight?
KAITLYN MILETO:Â You know, we grind things out.Â I think that's what makes us special, is that we are fighting till the end of every single game.
I think going into the next game, we just have to continue to be on that same roll, that same fight in us is still going to be there because we're that team.
We're special.Â That's what we're going to keep playing like.
Q.Â You have relied a lot on Chaundra offensively.Â They did a good job of keeping her down in points.Â How important was it for everybody else to step up that little extra bit?
KAYLA WOODWARD:Â Well, obviously Chaundra helps us so much.Â But when we have other players that can step up and make shots, make some clutch plays, it's great to be able to rely on everyone on the team.
With her rebounds, of course we need those.Â She always contributes in a lot of ways.
Q.Â Chelan, it seemed like you were down by quite a bit.Â Seemed like you were always confident.Â Can you take us into the psyche of the team as you were down that much.
CHELAN LANDRY:Â Yeah, I think we just keep‑‑ as long as we keep picking each other up, we can beat any team anytime.
The only person that's fighting us is ourselves.Â If we get down on ourselves, we would have lost this game.
We kept fighting and kept pushing and in the end we won.
Q. Â What was the message at halftime in the locker room?
CHELAN LANDRY:Â We just talked about knowing our scout, knowing our shooters, knowing when to dig down for the point guards.Â Just knowing our role on the team, like what we do best.
Everybody was trying to help out in the post for our post players.Â We just talked about the things that we were supposed to be doing, and we weren't doing them in the first half.Â In the second half we picked it up.
Q.Â You spent a lot of energy tonight.Â Is that a concern?Â In these tournaments you play a lot of games pretty quick.Â What do you have to do to make sure you have the proper level of energy heading into the next one?
KAITLYN MILETO:Â I think it's about getting some good rest tonight and staying focused.Â We're going to come out with the intensity we need because that's the team we are.
Just staying focused and making sure we get rest tonight.
THE MODERATOR:Â We'll continue with questions for Coach Legerski.
Q.Â Talk about your decision to go with Marquelle, how you feel she responded to that situation.
COACH LEGERSKI:Â What we know is we played three point guards all year, and each and every one brings something different to the table.Â I thought at that time when we were down that we needed some energy.Â We needed somebody that could push the basketball, get it to the rim and make good decisions.Â And that's Marquelle.
I thought Marquelle gave us a great lift tonight.Â It's what we talk about each and every night, that someone else is going to step up and help this group.Â I thought Marquelle gave us as big a lift as anyone could have tonight with her play.
She got a little exhausted.Â We had to get her out.Â Then down towards the stretch I knew we needed somebody with more experience in Chelan.Â Chelan answered the call.
Q.Â She did that against Seton Hall.Â Were you all right having the ball in her hands in the last 30 seconds?
COACH LEGERSKI:Â We drew it up that way.Â And we talked about getting the ball to Chelan and then having her make a decision.Â They stayed on Kaitlyn.Â Now it was up to Chelan because we knew we were short on the shot clock and she had to get to the basket.
Chelan has the ability to make that finger roll each and every time.Â She had a couple rim out earlier in the game.Â I knew they could at least get to the rim, and she was able to do that tonight.Â Fortunately the ball fell for us.
Sometimes this game is about catching a break here or there, the ball falling one way or the other.Â Chelan got the basket to go.
Q.Â Your team was doing a good job of weathering the storm in the first half.
COACH LEGERSKI:Â It's one of the things we talk about all the time, is you just keep fighting, you keep competing, and you wait for your opportunity to make a run.
You know, we made some mistakes defensively.Â To Colorado State's credit, they made us pay for them.Â I thought they had a couple players really step up big in the first half.Â At halftime what we talked about was getting back to our game plan.
I think the players wanted to win so bad, sometimes you forget about what the plan is, just start running around.Â It looked like we were doing that at times.
As I say, to Colorado State's credit, they made us pay for those mistakes.
Q.Â I wanted to ask you about Kayla.Â She did some things that maybe were uncharacteristic, but then comes in and hits one of the biggest shots of the game.Â Talk about staying with her despite some troubles she had, how that paid off for you when it was needed most.
COACH LEGERSKI:Â Yeah, it's always interesting with Kayla that she plays at such a high level.Â Tonight she shoots a tad under 50% from the field, she's 40% from three, grabs seven rebounds, and we're talking about maybe she wasn't sharp (smiling).Â That shows how good Kayla Woodward is.
What we've learned is Kayla is a prime time player.Â When you need a basket, she's the one to go to.Â I have that much confidence in Kayla.Â You take a look at what she was able to do.Â Boy, she responds each and every night out.Â I can't say enough about her.
But she did hit a big three in that last four‑minute stretch.
Q.Â You talked about CSU's zone defense.Â They come out and play man‑to‑man.Â Was that something you were expecting?Â How much did that change the way you would do things offensively?
COACH LEGERSKI:Â Well, we talked about we knew something different was going to happen.Â As to what, you never know.Â But with the game going on, we feel very comfortable against a zone.Â They took us out of that comfort zone.
They played extremely aggressive.Â They were able to have Heimstra just float.Â She can block shots, get to the ball.Â At times it felt we were playing, say, four on five.Â Then the point guards stepped up, Marquelle hit a shot, Chelan hit a shot.Â They became very aggressive and that helped us out.
We knew we'd see man at a time.Â But it was very difficult to compete against.Â I give credit to the Colorado State staff and players because it was a tremendous game tonight.
Q.Â There's obviously been talk about your struggles in this tournament, yet you find a way to come back and win.Â What does it say about this team's makeup?
COACH LEGERSKI:Â Well, I think when you take a look at tournament play, we tried a little of everything here.Â Sometimes the pressure mounts greater on a group of players that had nothing to do with past history.
They understand how important it is to play well at this time.Â This group has just hung together.Â This is the same team that had a losing record last season.Â Now all of a sudden they got 24 victories on the board this year.Â They started getting more and more confidence through November and December and played extremely well.
So you could just see there wasn't a lot of shake in 'em at the end.Â They weren't going to fall apart.
We talked about that we'll get a chance to get our run, we'll get this crowd energized.Â We mentioned to them right now they're their own worst enemy.Â Come back to play how we want to play, focus on what we're trying to get done, and let's get this crowd into it.Â Sure enough, they were able to do that.Â Boy, then you could see them respond.
When I see Kaitlyn Mileto and she's got her arms raised in the air encouraging our fans to yell, you know how they feel about our fan base.
Q.Â Talk about the opportunity of taking momentum from this game into the next one.
COACH LEGERSKI:Â The big thing, Fresno State is very talented.Â We have a unique situation in the Mountain West this year.Â We have two defending conference champions.
So with Fresno State returning everyone, I'll worry more not physically how we're ready to play tomorrow, but emotionally.Â Not only did we win a hard‑fought game tonight, but it was against your rival.Â We had to come back in the last six minutes from 14 down.
I don't want to be in that situation against Fresno tomorrow.
As I told them, enjoy this one.Â The coaches will go to work here as soon as we get out of here.Â We'll show up tomorrow.Â But it was a big victory tonight for this group.
THE MODERATOR:Â Thank you very much, Coach.
COACH LEGERSKI:Â Thank you, everybody.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports