New York Liberty vs Connecticut Sun -- Game 2 -- Post-Game Notes and Quotes

2008 WNBA Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, Game Two

Final Score: Connecticut Sun 73, New York Liberty 70
[Connecticut, 1-1 vs. New York, 1-1]

Game Highlights:

High Points
Liberty: Loree Moore, 16
Sun: Asjha Jones, 16

High Rebounds
Liberty: Cathrine Kraayeveld, Janel McCarville & Erlana Larkins, 5
Sun: Tamika Whitmore, 6

High Steals
Liberty: Moore & McCarville, 2
Sun: Whitmore, 3

High Assists
Liberty: Moore & Kraayeveld, 5
Sun: Lindsay Whalen, 4

Worth Noting:
The 13 3-pointers made by New York in the game is the third-most in WNBA Playoff history and is the fifth time that it has happened. The record is 16, which was set on Sept. 8, 2007, when Phoenix made 16 at Detroit. It was also the most 3's made by a Sun opponent in the Playoffs, eclipsing the previous mark of 10, which was set by Indiana on August 27, 2007 in Indianapolis in overtime.

The six 3's made by the Liberty in the fourth quarter ties for the second-most in a single quarter in WNBA Playoff history. The most made in a quarter is seven, on Sept. 8, 2007, when Phoenix made seven at Detroit, and is the third time that has happened.

New York's Loree Moore made four 3-pointers in the game, tying her for the most made 3's by a Sun opponent in a playoff game. Numerous others have accomplished the feat.

Connecticut's Svetlana Abrosimova had 12 points, her highest offensive output since joining the Sun on August 27th.

Lindsay Whalen became the eighth player to record 100 assists in the Playoffs with her four today. The Sun guard entered tonight's action with 96 career assists in the postseason and finished the game with four for a total of 100. She joins Ticha Penicheiro , Teresa Weatherspoon, Nikki Teasley, Vickie Johnson, Deanna Nolan, Tamecka Dixon and Sheryl Swoops on that list.

The Liberty was just 3-of-5 from the free throw line tonight. The three made set a record for the least amount made by a Sun opponent in a playoff game, eclipsing the mark of six, set by Seattle on Oct. 8, 2004. The five attempts from the line is also a record low for a Sun opponent in the playoffs, besting the seven attempted by Seattle on Oct. 8, 2004.

The 16 offensive rebounds by the Sun is the second-most for the franchise in a single playoff game. The record is 20, set on August 20, 2006 against Washington.

In the fourth quarter, New York scored 18 of their 21 points off of 3-pointers, including making six of their first eight attempts from behind the arch in the frame.

The Sun did not make a field goal from the 3:04 mark in the third quarter to 3:57 in the fourth, a span of 9:07. The drought was bookened by a three from Amber Holt and a layup by Lindsay Whalen. Connecticut missed 11 shots in that span.


Mike Thibault
Opening Statement:
"I guess we didn't like prosperity. It was a heck of a win. It ended up being a lot tougher than it had to be in the fourth quarter. Give New York credit. They made some big shots, but for whatever reason we thought, 'Ah, it worked really well for a couple of quarters, let's do it a different way.' So we did. It wasn't the intention. Given all that, and the mistakes we made, and the way we shot in the second and fourth quarter, to win a playoff game shooting 37 percent means we did a lot of hustle plays. Our offensive rebounds were huge. They kept us alive when we were about dead at the end there. Getting those extra possessions on the floor and the loose balls made a huge difference in pulling out the wins."

Decision behind starting Svetlana Abrosimova:
"I just felt with two rookies on the floor at the start of the game who have been streaky about their shooting, putting Svet on the floor with more experience, and being a three-point shooter would put more pressure on them. I thought she did a good job getting us started. I probably should have run a few more plays for her in the fourth quarter. In hindsight, we'll look at the tape and figure it out. I thought we could have gotten her more involved in the offense and we kind of got away from her in the second half. That's probably on me. I thought it would give us a different look, and that Amber would relax a little bit and play better off the bench, which she did."

Talk about the chess game of adjustments both teams made after Game 1:
"Our biggest adjustment to start the game was the lineup change. We changed up how we played pick-and-rolls a little bit on some players. They adjusted in the second half to that. They got some post-ups, but we also got caught over-helping when we didn't need to down the stretch. Once you have a six or seven point lead, even though they have a mismatch in the post inside of two minutes, it's not a time to leave a three-point shooter to over-help. If they score two, it's not as devastating as giving up a three, because now it cuts down the number of possessions they need to stay in the game. There will be more adjustments by both teams I'm sure after both coaches look at film. A playoff series is a chess match every day. I'm sure Patti will have a couple of things based on what we did and we will make a couple of minor adjustments. It was a great game."

It seemed like forever before you scored at one point:
"It was forever. It didn't just seem like forever. It was forever. We've had cold stretches like that. I thought we hurried. We had some turnovers that were crucial. We had gone a long stretch without any, then we had a couple of really bad ones in a row there. Lindsay gets called for an offensive foul, we took an ill-advised three at one point, we missed three point blank lay-ups on offensive rebounds that I was pretty sure we got fouled on one of them…I had a pretty good view of it, but I guess these glasses don't work very well. But you've got to make them regardless, in traffic. Playoff games are going to be more physical, you're going to have contact inside so you have to finish."

Why the ups and downs?
"I can't answer that. If I could answer that, I would sell that and make a lot more money. I'd give up coaching and sell it to everyone in the world."

New York's three-point shooting:
"They have really great three-point shooters. Why we would leave Kraayeveld open a couple of times in a row is beyond me. That one baffles me. It will be an interesting film session tomorrow."

Lindsay Whalen
On almost letting this game slip away:
"You don't want to let that happen, but we did, but we won. Whit, Asjha and Svet, they were in there fighting for the ball, it wasn't for a lack of hustle. They are shooting the ball great, we have got to get closer and make it harder for them."

Svetlana Abrosimova
On the comeback from New York and what the Liberty's mindset is for Game 3:
"I guess we lost our focus a little bit. I don't care about them. We have to fix a couple of things and play great basketball for 40 minutes, not 30 minutes."

"I felt the last game we lost was because we didn't start the game well. We were letting them attack us. I took that personally. New York is going to have their runs they are a good team and they did have their runs. There is a reason they are in the playoffs."

On the Sun's mindset for Game 3:
"The last game in New York, they were a step faster, they were beating us to the ball, we just have to win."

Tamika Whitmore
On New York's late run:
"We won, I'm happy. I thought late in the third and fourth it got away from us. We probably went to help to soon. Our mistakes are very correctable."

On the final score:
"Excited they almost pulled it out. We're not worried about them. We are worried about what we have to do to win on Monday. It's two out of three. We fight another day."

Asjha Jones
What does the Sun need to learn from this?
"I think our team needs to learn that we have to play with energy throughout four quarters against a great team. The moment we have lapses, that's when we fall apart. We're very capable of playing at that high level, and we need to maintain that throughout 40 minutes."

How much did Svetlana starting change the game? "I think we came out with more energy. Svetlana kind of set the tone for the team. She came out, she was great."

New York Liberty Quotes

Head Coach Pat Coyle
Opening statement:
"First off, I thought Connecticut did a terrific job tonight. Their backs were up against the wall, and they did what they needed to do to win. As far as New York is concerned, I thought there were a couple of stretches where we did not play New York Liberty basketball and we made a valiant comeback and had a chance to win it and that's all you ask for. I guarantee you that Monday night, we will be a different team."

Does last year's series with Detroit come to mind right now?
"No not at all. Last year was last year. That is not the thought process whatsoever."

Difference in the mindset from the first game to the second?
"I just thought they got every loose ball. And I thought they did a much better job on the glass than we did. They shot the ball from the free throw line much better than we did. Twenty-one more free throws, there you go, you lose by three. But you know, I can't say that because I don't make enough money to get fined in this league."

How is Janel McCarville?
"She's fine."

Cathrine Kraayeveld
"If we would have played our game in the first half, it wouldn't have even been a game at the end, but that's sports for you. You just have to continue to fight and do the best you can to get back in the game. We did that, we put ourselves in a position to win."

On what they were doing to her, as she didn't score until the fourth quarter:
"I don't think they did anything special. I just think we needed to continue to make the extra pas and just continue to run through our stuff. We know how they are going to defend us, so it's just a matter of not trying to force anything."

On the Sun's quick start tonight making their first six shots and taking an 18-7 lead:
"They a good team and they're not going to roll over and let us beat up on them. We knew they were going to come out strong and we had to be able to counter that and even more, we have to be the aggressors and come out more intense in those first few minutes."

Loree Moore
On how tough it is to battle all the way back, but still come up short:
"Yea. We had open looks, we just didn't knock them down, but I think this game gives up some opportunity to fix some things. We king of got off to a bad start and that was the biggest thing that hurt us. We let them get in their rhythm. We let Whalen do what she does, Asjha Jones got some good buckets, we controlled Whitmore a little bit more than those two, so I think we need to pay attention to Whalen and Asjha.

On why the Sun got off to such a great start tonight:
"Transition. They were getting back. Abrosimova was getting easy baskets. Whalen was pushing the tempo and getting herself open. They just got in a rhythm early and we couldn't get in our rhythm and that hurt us. We finally calmed down and got in our tempo, but we didn't get the win."

On if they get any momentum by coming back from a 15-point deficit even in the loss:
"We have been in this position before. We were down 18 to Detroit and we came back and won that game. The game is about stops and runs and we made our stop and we made our run, but what can you do, just give them this game and go from there."