SDSU Women's Basketball Press Conference Quotes

Jan. 15, 2013

SAN DIEGO -

San Diego State head coach Beth Burns

Opening statement:
"Really these next 30 hours in San Diego are as good as it gets. When you get into league, there is nothing more fun than rivalries. And something about Aztecs-Rebels, UNLV vs. SDSU, just makes it ratchet it up. There's no question I thought they were our two best games of the season a year ago. They were just great games. The level of intensity was remarkable. I think it helps us that we have a pretty prominent player on our team, Chelsea Hopkins, who is from Las Vegas. So it adds a little bit more to the intrigue. Last year was the first time she played at home, and for the first five minutes of the game, she was the best player for both teams, as she was pretty excited to be playing at home. Then she got her groove on and got it going. So I expect great battles in Viejas (Arena), and I expect a great battle in Las Vegas. It's going to be a great ball game. We're going to be ready to go."

Why has this become a rivalry?
"The thing about our league is coaches really like and respect each other for the most part, which is really rare for most leagues. You don't lose friends over games, you lose friends over recruiting. Really in the Mountain West, we rarely recruit against anybody else except (UNLV). I think it's because everybody knows everybody. We both recruit well and we both have good players. I think that's part of it, and the proximity between the two schools. It's a fun, fun environment. It's a big game."

Why have you had so much success against UNLV?
"Well, I think our players like going to Las Vegas. When you look at some of the stops that we make, we're pretty excited when we get to make the little short one over to Las Vegas. I think we really get excited to compete. It's a different kind of team. We play a similar style. It's going to have a tempo. Everybody we play tries to take us out of tempo, and this game, they're just out there playing. We've been really fortunate because we've had a lot of close (wins)."

How did the team handle its first road test in altitude and how will you handle the quick turnaround?
"On our side, it's so rare to get any kind of exposure, so you take the Sunday T.V. game. But the down side is you have three games in seven days. I was really, really pleased. I said last week we had to shake some things up. We had to start guarding people. We really came out with great intensity. We really gutted it out."

What was the difference for you defensively against Colorado State compared to Fresno State?
"For one, it was the difference in the two teams. Fresno State and Wyoming were the two teams that looked a little better than everybody else in terms of the amount of parts that they have. With that said, we really focused in on defense. That's all we've done (in practice) since playing Fresno State. All we play against is sagging zones and things like that. So we just focused on (defense). Defense has not been real important to (the players). Hopefully they can figure out our offense isn't going to be good enough to carry us in league when we can't make some easy points. To everybody's credit, they all did their part."