New York Liberty vs Connecticut Sun -- Game 3 -- Post-Game Notes and Quotes

Final Score: New York Liberty 66, Connecticut Sun 62
[New York wins series, 2-1]

Game Highlights:

High Points
Liberty: Essence Carson, 15
Sun: Lindsay Whalen, 19

High Rebounds
Liberty: Janel McCarville, 7
Sun: Asjha Jones, 11

High Steals
Liberty: McCarville, Ashley Battle, Lisa Willis, 1
Sun: Kerri Gardin, 2

High Assists
Liberty: Loree Moore, 7
Sun: Tamika Whitmore, 4

Worth Noting:
Sun forward Asjha Jones pulled down a playoff career-best 11 rebounds in the game. She also scored 18 points for her second career playoff double-double. Her first came on August 23, 2007 in a triple-overtime victory over Indiana (20 points, 10 rebounds).

The Sun shot 9-for-9 from the free throw line, marking the first time in franchise playoff history that they have been perfect from the line in a game. The previous record for free throw percentage in a game was .938 (30-of-32) against Washington on Sept. 27, 2004.

New York's Essence Carson scored a career playoff high 15 points in tonight's contest. The rookie had scored five total points in the first two games of the series.

Janelle McCarville blocked four shots, tying a career playoff high for the Liberty center. She previously set the high on 8/28/07 at Detroit.

The 74 field goal attempts by the Sun is the second-most in franchise playoff history. The record is 95, which was set on August 23, 2007 (3OT).

The Liberty's Loree Moore set a career playoff high with seven assists in the game. She had dished out six twice previously.


Connecticut Sun Head Coach Mike Thibault
"First of all I want to congratulate New York. They played terrific when they needed to. Between the two teams we might have set offensive basketball back a little bit, I know we did. We won in turnover, rebounding, free throws, fouls and yet we lost a game because we shoot 34-percent and they shoot 47-percent. We couldn't find a combination for very long that could be on the same page with the basketball. We started out 7-for-9 and then miss 16 in a row. I mean it's hard to fathom."

On the second half:
"We got ourselves back in the game and a chance to win it and Shameka Christon hits her only three of the whole game, when they needed it most. Essence Carson stepped up and played a terrific game. She struggled during the series but she had a terrific second half and probably was the difference in the game."

On the team's shooting effort:
"In the games we've lost during the season, that was our biggest downfall. We weren't consistent shooting the ball. We need somehow to have a cold-blooded knock it down shooter like they do right now. We got great performances for the most part from Asjha and Lindsay. Our bench got out scored 18-9. Some of our wing players didn't make shots at all and it was our struggle in Game 1 and 2."

On team depth:
"I think it's been a strength and a weakness. You can bring in who are defending and hustling. Depth strength also means that you have to have people who you know what you'll get on the offensive end. That's been a weakness of this team. We've tried to camouflage at times. We have had some people carry us on their back a lot of nights. Our post players have been our better outside shooters. I thought form where we started the season we've come along way."

Lindsay Whalen
On difference between this season's first round play off loss and last:
"Anytime you lose, it's always tough. I don't think it ever really changes. They made some big plays down the stretch and we didn't make enough."

On the reasons for the Sun loss:
"Can't really right now except maybe we rushed a few shots, settled for some outside jumpers. We just let it get away from us a little."

On Essence Carson's defense:
"On their pick and rolls they did a pretty good job of showing. Coach T told me to attack more. Probably a couple of different instances, I could have tried to get in the lane a couple of times."

Asjha Jones
On the game:
"New York is a good team. We didn't make the adjustments that we needed. We got shots early on that we didn't get later. We were successful when we were moving the ball on the perimeter early in the game, but when we didn't do that we got in trouble."

On the season:
"We exceeded some people's expectations, but that doesn't help. We always held ourselves to a high standard. We have a lot of guys, rookies, playing out of their natural position this season and developing new skills. We are a team who all want to get better. Everyone has to get better, and we will all take it on ourselves to do that."

New York Liberty Quotes

Head Coach Pat Coyle
On the game:
"I thought it was an unbelievable team effort. With such a young team it could have been easy to fold out tents. We played really well for three quarters and then when they came back and got the lead it would have been easy for us to fold but we didn't. We took another step forward tonight. This journey that we're on isn't finished yet. I think that were all disappointed with not the way we finished the game, but the way we started the game. Tonight we came in real focused and understanding what we needed to do."

On the play of Essence Carson:
"She was terrific tonight. I talked with her after shoot around and I said you have the biggest job tonight. You have to guard Lindsay Whalen. You have to make her life miserable. I think Whalen is such a great player and should be the MVP of this league. The one thing I did tell her was I wanted her to be aggressive. I didn't want jump shots and take it to the rim. Thankfully, I think she heard what I said."

Janel McCarville
On this franchise going back to the Eastern Finals for the first time since 2004:
"It's big for this team. I think this organization and the players here have worked hard for it and we deserve to be there. We played our hearts our tonight."

On closing out the first quarter with a 10-2 run to erase the early deficit:
"We made it a point that we didn't want to get down early. It think that was the key in the first two games, whoever jumped out to that lead was able to sustain it and pull away for the victory."

On the huge second half by Essence Carson, who was 6 for 6 from the floor in the half:
"Essence was huge. I don't think we would have won this game without her. We waited for her to step up all year and she picked a great game to come out and give everything. She did everything that she needed to do in this game."

Shameka Christon
On this franchise going back to the Eastern Finals for the first time since 2004:
"It's very big for us. To me, Connecticut, I feel like in my own words, we just beat The Fantastic Four, Lindsay Whalen, Tamika Whitmore, Asjha Jones and Mike Thibault. They are great, I have so much respect for them, but for my team to come in here and execute and play the way we did and get the win, I can't even explain the emotions right now."

On how she got open on the big 3-point shot late:
"I want to give credit to my post players for screening. I expected them to play me on the 3-point line, I expect every team to. When I get a slight opening, I'm gonna shoot it. I had two screens from McCarville and Kraayeveld on Gardin on that shot."

On the huge second half by Essence Carson, who was 6 for 6 from the floor in the half:
"She did absolutely great. As soon as I came in the locker room, I said "Who is the rookie?, and everybody yelled not Essence." She stepped up huge for us tonight and that is what great players do."

Loree Moore
On beating a team that was 12-3 in the playoffs at home:
"We felt the stinger from them in game two. We knew we had to come prepared to play them. We knew they would come out with the same fight, the same intensity and the crowd behind them with Whalen and the big three. We did our job, we finished it out."

On closing closing out the first quarter with a 10-2 run to erase the early deficit:
"It was very important. I think that showed us that we fought back and did everything we needed to do go get the momentum for ourselves and we knew we would eventually make a run throughout the course of the game. It was good to take the lead at the end of the quarter, that was our main focus."

Essence Carson
On guarding Lindsay Whalen:
"I was very accepting of the job. It's definitely a staple to my game, defense. I wanted to guard her."

On if her teammates told her about last season's playoff loss to Detroit:
"No, they didn't talk to me individually but I could hear it around the locker room. I watched the Liberty quite a bit being in New Jersey and the NY being the home team."

On being aggressive offensively:
"I knew on the offensive end, to be successful we had to all be threats out there. I knew I couldn't be the weak link tonight."

On playing in Connecticut as a professional:
"As far as playing Connecticut, I am used to the atmosphere playing in the Big East. I learned to love it."

On hitting a crucial three pointer when she was instructed by Coach not to settle for jump shots:
"I took it as just don't settle. I just had the open three in the corner. We take them all the time in practice. I knew I had to keep my composure and take the shot."

On blocking Lindsay Whalen's final drive:
"I consider myself sort of long. I have that advantage on a lot of guards. I knew someone had to get a piece of that ball or it was going in because she's a big time player."