March 12, 2004
UNLV Head Coach Jay Spoonhour
OPENING STATEMENT "I thought they did things differently than the last two times we played them and it worked and it was good. They ran a weave up front, and ran time and they controlled the tempo and that's the biggest key to playing the game of basketball. They knew that we wanted to speed it uip and they knew that we're a better team if we get to run up and down. They did a very good job. Ritchie McKay is a good coach. You just knew that he was going to do something to mess with us and he did.
"We played poorly. A lot of it had to do with them. It looked pretty bleak there for a while. I didn't know if we were going to get to double digits. But the guys kept fighting and making big shots. Demetrius hit some big shots and that's what you rely on your seniors for...they never quit."
ON PLAYING COLORADO STATE IN THE SEMIFINALS "Nothing in this league surprises me. They were picked to finish third in the league. That's a good team. They have (arguably) the best big man in the league. Any result we would have seen today wouldn't have surprised me. So the match up...they've beaten us once, we've beaten them once. Matt Nelson has killed us numerous times and beat us pretty good last year in the championship game. There isn't enough time to come up with tricky plays. They're going to be difficult. They rebound well and we don't. We'll try to make them run and they'll try to slow us down.
New Mexico Head Coach Ritchie McKay
Thoughts on tonight's game "It was a tough one to lose, UNLV did a good job of making some big plays."
"I was proud of our guys, they did what we asked them to do. We slowed them down, which is something I thought we needed to do."
Thoughts on patient play "We forced them to be patient because we were defending really well."
"UNLV is a team that scores in bunches and we had a real urgency in getting back on defense to avoid transition points."
Thoughts on Javin Tindall's career at New Mexico "We were fortunate enough to sign Javin (Tindall) late because the recruiting process was very down the road when I took the job. To get a point guard with his ability and character was a huge boost to our program and he has had a hand in returning us to the rich tradition New Mexico basketball once had."
UNLV player Demetrius Hunter
On getting open looks "I originally came in the game to play defense and add some defensive energy, but I came in and luckily got a clean look on my first shot. I hit it and on the second one I had a rhythm, and I just shot a natural ball on the third one and they started falling. It just felt good to help the team win."
On confidence "It's just natural. I struggled the whole year, but I have to believe in myself and I never lost confidence in my shot. Even though I missed, I just maintained and kept the same form I've used all year. Luckily today I hit three. I haven't hit three 3-pointers in a while. We won and it was good to be able to contribute."
UNLV player James Peters
On being patient "We're a running team and we were taught in practice to go at a fast pace. They slowed us down and we knew we had to have patience. Our coach taught us well about letting the game flow and we will make better plays. They're a good team, they slowed us down, but we stayed in it."