Post Game Quotes: (RV/RV) New Mexico 66, Wyoming 61 (OT)
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/06/2014

Coach Neal Post Game Quotes
NM vs Wyoming
February 5, 2014
Albuquerque, NM



Opening Statement:

“Well, the bi-week is coming at a good time. We had a few tired guys. Alex is slowly getting back into it and I thought he was outstanding tonight. You have to give Wyoming credit. They did what they wanted to do. They slowed the tempo down. We really couldn’t get the tempo sped up the way we wanted. We didn’t push it like we wanted to. I don’t know if the guys overlooked it because Adams didn’t play and Coach Shyatt wasn’t here. But, you have to give their coaches and their guys some credit. They played really well and took us to the wire. I’ve said it before though, a one-point win is a blowout in my book. We’re 18-4, 9-1, and the break couldn’t come at a better time.”

Last time you guys played Wyoming it went into OT as well. What is it about this Wyoming team that they’re able to keep up?

 “It’s just a weird match-up for us. It has been this way for a long time now. We have just been fortunate to come out ahead in a lot of them. I’m just proud of my guys for the way they hung in there. We just couldn’t get anything going tonight.”

Kendall had a pretty poor shooting night, but you still gave him the ball in the end. Is Kendall the go-to guy down the stretch?

 “Well, Cam had a lay-up dunk. Deshawn had an out of time out dunk. But, I mean even when Kendall has a bad game, look at the free throws he made late. He’s always making big plays and you can’t play great every game.”

Nance’s dunks we’re all on the same play. Did you guys adjust something for that?

 “Well we just had to adjust our pick and roll coverage. We worked on that this week, but we couldn’t get it stick. The game is a chess match and you have to make adjustments.”

How big is it that your team is able to close out games?

 “It’s big because that’s how we’ve been able to win games on the road.”

Thoughts on what happened around the rest of the conference tonight (San Diego & Boise State):

 “This journey for the championship is a thousand miles and it starts with one step. We’re taking it step by step and our next step is Boise.”

Hugh Greenwood

On what makes games versus Wyoming so difficult…

“I think we’ve been … since I’ve been here, we’ve gone into overtime with them three times, and it’s always been a close game. It’s a credit to them: they find ways to stick with it. They slow it down, definitely. But they hit shots. The games we’ve gone into overtime, they’ve just hit though shots and kept it competitive. But credit to us. Five minutes into overtime, we call it winning time and we were able to convert down the stretch.”

On what is it about the team that helps them during “winning time”…

I think what championships teams, that’s what they do. When it’s a close game, you’ve got to separate yourselves from the rest. We’ve been able to do it the past couple of years. Definitely last year was when our strength of schedule was so tough we found ourselves in five-point games just about every single night. Even the other night, against San Jose, that’s the last time I think that I remember a blowout like that. When it’s conference time, it’s always going to be a grind. And that’s what … We’ve been able to separate ourselves with five minutes left.

 On the turnovers…

 “From going to break the school record and having three turnovers last week to having three turnovers in the first minute, I reckon, tonight. That’s what happens. It’s adversity. Credit to us. We turned it around in the second half, took care of the ball, executed a lot better in the second half. These things happen. We’ve been playing really, really well as a team. Coaching staff has been great. You’re going to have bumps in the road, and to be able to overcome them is what’s important and we were able to do that in the second half.”