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March 14, 2014

Sam Martin

Gritt Ryder

Ryun Williams


Colorado State – 95
Wyoming – 92

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Colorado State.  Coach, if you could start with a few opening remarks about today's game.
COACH WILLIAMS:  Great college basketball game.  I just think you saw two teams that didn't want to lose.  There was obviously added intensity when it's a rival game.  The border war knows no boundaries or borders, obviously.
It came down to kids making plays at the end of the game.  Wyoming, they made a lot of big shots.  Our kids made a lot of big shots.  You just saw a lot of courageous student‑athletes out there tonight.
Fun to be part of it.  Proud to be part of it.  We respect the heck out of Wyoming.  We're happy with the win.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Gritt, you kept going for layups at the start of each overtime period.  Was that something you saw or a determination on your part that you were going to make sure you got the first bucket?
GRITT RYDER:  I didn't think about it like, Oh, we need to get the first bucket.  It was just what opened up.  We played that play throughout the year and it seems to work pretty well so we just kept going to it.

Q.  Sam, what went through your mind when you finally won it?
SAM MARTIN:  It was definitely a rollercoaster of emotions.  But extremely happy.  I was extremely happy.  I mean, what a great win by our team.  We found a way to win.  It was a hard‑fought game by both teams.
We're going to the championship game.  Nothing gets better than that, so...

Q.  Sam, 11‑12 for you from the free‑throw line.  Picturing that moment do you think helps you stay calm and make those?
SAM MARTIN:  I think so.  I mean, coach always says, Be a winner, make 'em pay.  Just got to step up to the line and shoot with conviction.  That's kind of what I think our team did tonight.
So we made the free throws when they counted.  I think that was huge for us.

Q.  Gritt, you just find a win.  You took that to the extreme today.  Where do you think that comes from, the ability to, no matter what the circumstance, be able to pull it out in the end?
GRITT RYDER:  Honestly I think it's because we love each other.  We play for each other.  We just want to win.  We want to play for CSU.  I think that's what like showed up towards the end where we kept making plays when it counted the most.  I think we did that for each other and the program.

Q.  Given the way this game went, how tough would it have been to have not come out on top?
SAM MARTIN:  That would have been a heartbreaker, I think.  We have the rivalry.  It's the semifinals.  It definitely would have been hard for our team.  You know, that didn't happen, so we're not going to worry about that (laughter).

Q.  With so many people fouling out, you had a lot of players that rarely play that came in and made some clutch plays down the stretch for you.  What was that like?  Did you have faith in those players?  Were you a little bit nervous about what might happen?
SAM MARTIN:  No, I had complete faith in them.  Hayley came in and made some huge rebounds, some huge defensive plays.  Then Hanne came in with the first two free throws of her career.  I think that just shows what Gritt says, we're playing for each other, we're playing for this school, we're going to do whatever it takes to win as a team.
It was a whole team, it always is.  But today everyone contributed in some way.  I think that was a huge part.
It's because we get along and love each other, we believe in each other.

Q.  Sam, you played 48 minutes, then obviously you turn around tomorrow and play another game.  I assume the tournament atmosphere and everything, you're not going to worry about being tired tomorrow.
SAM MARTIN:  No, take an ice bath tonight.  In the morning we're ready to go.  It's the championship game, so we'll be there.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll continue with questions for coach.

Q.  What were you thinking as you went into the third overtime, you're losing starters right and left to foul trouble, pulling people off the bench?
COACH WILLIAMS:  I can't tell you what I was thinking (smiling).
Yeah, those are situations that you really don't practice throughout the year.  We had a lineup out there.  I got a card that I carry, we have some concepts and actions that we think maybe can get us a good shot.  With the personnel we had out there, she doesn't know where to go on that one.
It was kids making plays.  That's what we told our kids in the timeout.  Go play basketball.  After every overtime, go play basketball, go make plays, go have some fun with this thing.
Apparently we love each other, and that's a good thing.  I don't know if I've ever been part of a game quite like that.  To come out on top, obviously we feel very, very fortunate.

Q.  Being that you split the border war series each at home during the regular season, what was it like getting a post‑season tiebreaker on a neutral site?
COACH WILLIAMS:  It's always good to beat Wyoming for a lot of reasons.  It is the border war, but also because it's a really good basketball program and they've got really good coaches and really good players.
It's great that we're moving on.  We earned it because we beat a really good team.  Wyoming ended our season last year.  It was 60‑58, we were having a little different press conference last year at this time.
It was a good win for a lot of reasons.

Q.  You got the chance between games to go back and watch your daughter play a pretty critical playoff game.  What was that like?  How worried were you about that detracting from preparation?
COACH WILLIAMS:  Probably prepared me well for this game.  I didn't know it was going to be triple overtime.  Being a parent and watching your daughter play in a state semi, it's probably a little more stressful than today.
I was ready for this, folks.  What a neat opportunity that was for our family.  When you're a basketball family, you have a daughter playing high school basketball, they're in the state semis, I do work for the best boss in the business who understands priorities and made a really neat thing for our family happen.
We should have probably brought some players back with us on that plane.  We needed them with everybody fouling out (smiling).

Q.  Seemed like every time Wyoming would answer, you were able to stay calm.  Your presence rubbed off on your players.
COACH WILLIAMS:  I was calm.  I couldn't move.
No, we've said it all year long, right, that the big strength of this basketball team is its poise, its composure.  They go out and they compete.  They find a way.  I feel silly that we say that after almost every close win.  That's what this group is all about.  I think they do trust each other.  That brings a poise and a calm to that huddle.
So when you can put a lot of bullets out there, a lot of trustworthy teammates, they do have a great team belief.  I think that showed up.  When Hanne stepped up and made those free throws, I don't know if you're going to ask that question, that was big‑time.  Those were Hanne's first two free throws of her career.  She was doing jumping jacks behind the bench.
Those are tough situations for players.  They don't play a lot of minutes.  They've got to come in in crucial situations and perform.
She was a rockstar for those two free throws.  She had great, great confidence.  They practice hard every day.  They prepare themselves for that moment.  So no surprise that those babies went in.

Q.  Sam has waited a long time for this, probably has a different perspective than the younger players in your rotation.  What will you tell them about the opportunity they have tomorrow?
COACH WILLIAMS:  It's a once‑in‑a‑lifetime opportunity.  As a basketball team, we've been through a lot.  It's a grind.  These seasons are a grind.  To get to this stage and to have that opportunity, just make the most of it.  Let's go have some fun with this thing.  Let's see what we can do.
We should play relaxed tomorrow.  I think sometimes as a 1 seed, it's tough to get here, tough to get to this spot, especially going through a great Utah State team, then a border war rivalry game.  You get to the finals, I think our kids sense a relief, perhaps.  It means a lot to that locker room.
Especially kids like Sam, Hayley, they've been program warriors.  They've been through the ups and downs of the last four years, what that program's gone through.  For them to be a part of this, to really help turn this thing, to have a huge responsibility in helping turn this thing, there's no better feeling.
I'm so happy for our group.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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