Senior Niki Novak and the Aztecs play at Nevada on Saturday.
Feb. 21, 2013
COACH BURNS QUOTES
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State head coach Beth Burns
"It was just a tremendous win for us (Wednesday against Wyoming). Wyoming is a very good team and is still in the hunt to win the league championship. They have a MW Player of the Year candidate inside. We didn't have our `A' game offensively, and (Wyoming) contributed to that. Obviously, their environment is always talked about. We had to play a little bit slower than we would like to, but we gained a lot from it. We made tough plays, made big shots and made free throws down the stretch. So it's one of those games that counts for one just like all the others, but I think it really meant a lot to us from an experience and confidence standpoint. Shifting forward, we are a little concerned about going into Nevada (on Saturday). They're 1-9 (in MW), but Fresno State and us are only teams that have beaten them by double digits. And in the second half against us, it took one of Chelsea Hopkins' triple-double evenings to put them away. They play extremely hard. Then last night, they won at Fresno State. So I can thank them because now I don't have to get (any of my players') attention. We're at a point now with four games to go, where we have to keep a `One game at a time' mindset. We can't make any mistakes. We've been remarkable with our ability to win on the road to this point. We've still got a lot to play for."
On what has been reason behind the team's winning streak:
"It's defending. Players that didn't have key assignments of shutting opposing players down, figured out they better start. But I think the health of Chairese Culberson and Kiyana Stamps has been huge. They get healthier, get fitter. You can't win these games without a spark off the bench, and both of them have been big for us."
On if she's confident the Aztecs will get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament:
"The regular season is critical. We have Nevada and Air Force left, and they're both very low RPI teams. It will depend on how we finish out. I think our (season) sweep of Wyoming is huge. The committee respects Wyoming and how hard it is to play there. In my own opinion, I think we have to win out. If we win out, we have an opportunity (for an automatic bid)."
On if it was important to win a close game:
"I think our games have been pretty competitive. UNLV had a lead at the eight-minute mark of the first half. This league is really competitive. How many teams can be 1-9, lose so many close games, and then come out and beat Fresno State on their home floor? Where it really helped us, is we haven't had many end-of-game situations with the score close. We've had a lot of close games where eventually we get separation, but the last three minutes of this game, we had to execute and make shots. That's what I really liked and that's what we're going to teach off of in film today. The right people did the things we needed them to do. I'm real proud of that."