Feb. 22, 2012
New Mexico Lobos vs. Colorado State Rams
Coach and Player Quotes
Head Coach Yvonne Sanchez
On overall game
"It was unbelievable. We started a big lineup. We had to do that with Lauren Taylor out. When she is cleared to play, that would be great. We had Jourdan Erskine, Porche Torrance, Chinyere Nnaji start. We had 17 offensive rebounds. I think we matched their big lineup very well. I think defensively, we held them to 34 percent shooting and 21 percent from the three. They were three for four from the three so that did not hurt us. I thought they did a terrific job."
"We were dribbling out of bounds. We were doing a lot of silly things. We were fortunate to have 22 turnovers and still be able to win this game. Some of the things we did well in the execution of the game were terrific. We can't give them that many points or second-chance opportunities with 22 turnovers. We did have 17 offensive rebounds so it kind of negated it a little bit but it is too many turnovers."
On winning the game
"I told the team in the locker room, 'the staff is incredible'. What my staff does is absolutely outstanding. They continued to not get down either. They continued to work their tail off in breakdowns, in scouting reports, and in film session. It is kind of a relief for me that the staff gets rewarded, the team gets rewarded, and the fans get rewarded. For me, that is really important. This was a big help."
"With Lauren Taylor out, I had to preserve the guard rotation. We had to pull Jayme Jackson off the bench, even though she played 30 minutes. In doing so, we started Porche Torrance at 3, Jourdan Erskine at 4, and Chinyere Nnaji at the 5. It gives us a bigger lineup and those guys really went to work on the boards. I thought that was the difference. Jayme Jackson went in there and I know she was 0-6 for shooting but she had 7 rebounds and 3 steals. I thought she played great out there. When our guards are rebounding well, it gives us a great opportunity to win basketball games."
On moving quick down the court
"Even with a guard down, we just wanted to push the ball down the floor. When the first big guard or the big player that is down there, they occupy that block. Usually it was one of the post players, but Porche Torrance was normally down there. She occupied the block. Chinyere Nnaji or Jourdan Erskine would do the same if Porche Torrance was not down there. I think we took advantage of that really well. They were doubling post to post. We doubled on the weak side. We got a couple of layups off that. I could not be more proud of the team. They never quit. They never give up. There has been some times where we have to sit and talk about how close we have come. We are right there and this is going to happen for us. Well, it did happen for us tonight and it was terrific."
On post players
"We ran a couple of different plays. We ran a four out offense. We also ran four away which is where Porche Torrance is away from the ball. We try to get girls through the slips to the open block. We got a little stagnant doing that. We went back to four out with two post players ball-side. We were trying to get the ball inside and get the bucket. It worked out for us today."
On beating Colorado State
"Colorado State has beaten Boise State, TCU, and Wyoming. They have beaten a lot of teams. They were second in conference. They are a team that we can possibly face in the Mountain West Tournament in the first round. That is still far away. It goes to show the kids just keep fighting and keep climbing. They did a terrific job."
On getting the momentum for other games
"I think every game, even when we lose is that way. I thought the UNLV game was like that. We lost by five and we did a lot of good things well. I thought then that this game might get the ball rolling. I told the team we are right there. We stay positive and we end up beating Colorado State at home. This is what we worked for."
On four players scoring 10 points
"Nikki Nelson and Jourdan Erskine had 10 points. Caroline Durbin had 16 points and Porche Torrance had 12 points. It really balanced the game. We look for a couple of things in our four-out play and the way we played as a team was outstanding. They found each other. They pushed through it. They pushed hard. I thought the key was Caroline Durbin getting loose on a couple of threes. The first half when we ran two-up. She had a terrific shot causing us to go up. I thought that was the difference in the game. I thought Caroline Durbin hitting that three. We went into halftime with a two point lead. I thought that was the difference."
On Nikki Nelson
"Nikki Nelson is a smart player. She has a great three-point shot. I do not think she looks for it enough. Everyone is trying to get on Porche Torrance and our bigs, Jourdan Erskine and Caroline Durbin. It leaves Nikki Nelson open and she just buried it. It was a terrific game on her part. It was a terrific game on her part in terms running the point guard and getting the team going. She really did a nice job of that."
On physical game
"I thought the game was physical. I did not see them being dirty. I just saw them playing hard and they always do. I may have missed a few things. It was like going to Wyoming and beating them. Wyoming is an extremely physical team. We always fought back. We never backed down. I thought tonight was the same things. They tried to post and re-post. Sometimes there was Caroline Durbin on Sam Martin. We battled and battled. I like that grittiness from our team."
On the guard play getting the flow of the offense going...
"We felt like we could run on them a little bit, Nikki did a great job of pushing the ball up the floor, and we were just really executing pretty well at the beginning. The posts did a good job of setting the screens and posting hard and so, that contributed to good guard play I think."
On CSU making just six second-half shots and UNM's defensive effort...
"It was great in the second half. We held them under our defensive goal which was great. The second half I felt like we really boxed out better, didn't give them second chance points, and I thought we talked a lot better. Our goal was 55."
On the physicality of the game...
"Yeah they're a physical team, but a lot of teams in the conference are physical like that, and we've got to play physical right back with them. I think we did a good job of responding to that tonight."
On the game being a motivator to play with the best teams in the conference...
"Definitely, I think they're second in the conference right now, you know we could end up playing them in the tournament in a couple of weeks so, we know we can play against anyone and win."
On CSU's late game run...
"Yeah, we got a little nervous I thought - I got a little nervous. They started playing pretty good defense, switching all of our screens, we couldn't get some of the things that we'd been getting earlier in the game. They did a good job on offense getting that run, but we knew we had to stay with it, and it started on defense - getting a stop, that's how we were going to win."
On the team's confidence building...
"Yeah we are getting more confident. Everyone can read each other a lot better now at this point in the season. I think we're finding what works and what doesn't. Our defense is getting better talking-wise, and I think we're improving right at the right time, right at the end, with the conference tournament coming up."
On her aggressiveness at the point guard position...
"Yeah, coach wanted us to push the ball a little bit and, like Caroline said, we felt that we could run a little bit. Because the defense isn't set up when you transition, it gives the offense a little bit of a heads up on scoring and everything so we were trying to capitalize on that this game, and it really worked for us."
On Lauren Taylor being out and Nikki looking to step up her offense...
"Yeah we do miss Lauren a lot, she has an incredible three-point shot. Everyone has been telling me to shoot more so, I'm trying to do that."
On her 4-for-4 free-throw effort...
"Yeah, it is a little nerve-wracking but you try to put that aside and, I said a little prayer and gathered myself and, you know, we practice free-throws all the time so it's nice when you can actually get in to a game and be prepared for situations like that."
On the strength of the post players...
"Yeah our posts battled tonight, they did such a great job, it was awesome. We really worked on boxing out, it's something that the assistant coaches have really been hounding us on all week, so it's nice that our posts could actually turn that over and do that in a game, so I'm very proud of them."
On the excitement of a win at home...
"It's SO exciting, it's amazing when you get a win! It feels really good. We were all super excited, we were all celebrating in the locker room, we're really excited for Saturday too."
On the upcoming tournament scenario...
"It looks like we're going to play CSU or UNLV, so we need to make sure that we finish out strong. We're going to be ready for either team."
On Saturday being Senior Night...
"It's always sad, you know, you don't really think it'll happen because, well, I've been here awhile. But it's finally here and, I'm looking forward to it. I think everyone is ready and, like Caroline said, I think everyone is peaking right now and so as a team I think we're going to come out strong and have a really good game. I'm excited, I really am."