Minnesota Seattl Quotes

Minnesota Lynx 86 - Seattle Storm 81 (ot)
KeyArena; Seattle, WA
June 15, 2005

Minnesota Coach Suzie McConnell Serio:
On the game:
Anytime you win on the road itís a good win. We had so many opportunities to break the game open, but Seattle Ö coming into this game, we knew they kept finding ways to win and thatís what scared me. Every time we didnít capitalize on our opportunities they ended up finding a way to score. Lauren Jackson is good. When you pay so much attention to one player, other players start to step up and thatís what was happening early on. Izzy stepped up early and even Tanisha Wright. It was an interesting game.

On what she said when the Storm went up by eight:
In the timeout, it wasnít about Xs and Os, it was about challenging them to dig deep, be determined and go out and be determined to get defensive stops. We needed to pick up the tempo and be aggressive on the offensive end, to be able to put pressure on the ball, to be able to get out in the passing lanes Ö we really just needed to pick up our energy. Itís a time when you attack their pride so it was just trying to motivate them to come out and dig deep. They fought to the very end. We talk ab ut it coming down to defense and we continued to rebound. Tamika Williams came up with a big steal down the stretch when they tried to go to Lauren Jackson on the pick-and-roll. All the adjustments we made Ö the players listened, they communicated and I was very proud of the defensive effort down the stretch.

On Minnesota's last possession:
It was a credit to their defense. They took away our first and second options and Katie (Smith) found Kristi (Harrower). We got a good look - Kristi can hit that shot, she just didnít shoot the ball well tonight.

On Stacey Lovelace's performance:
I always talk to the team about when I put them into the game, if youíre coming off the bench you have to make it virtually impossible for me to take you off the floor. And thatís exactly what Stacey did tonight Ö and thatís what I told the team in the locker room. She went out there and earned her playing time because of defense, rebounding and just her presence out there. She created a mismatch on the perimeter. She was tremendous.

On Katie Smith's play:
Coaching as long as I have, it doesnít matter, you go to your go-to player because you believe theyíre going to hit the next shot even if theyíve missed three in a row. Katie is a gamer, sheís a clutch player and she came up with some timely baskets. Even if sheís not shooting well, we look for her to make good decisions with the ball.

Minnesota Guard Katie Smith:
On the game:
Personally, I had a lot of good looks in the first half, but just couldnít knock them down. But we hit the shots when we needed to. Stacey came in and played big minutes offensively and defensively. Svet (Abrosimova) started out the game on fire Ö I just think in different periods of the game people came up and did the things we needed to do get it done. Seattle is going to be there in almost every game. Theyíre the champs from last year and they have a target on their back. For us, getting the ĎWí is huge to start this road trip.

On Bird's absence:
Sometimes when somebody is gone you can relax, especially one of their top players. But theyíve won a few games without Sue Ö they have LJ, Betty (Lennox) Ö itís not like they donít have other All-Stars on their team. Tanisha Wright is coming up big and Izzy played well for them tonight. Once you take someone out, it allows someone else to get more touches and more looks. Izzy came out and was killing us and Betty hit a couple big shots at the end. Sometimes itís harder when somebody is out because you donít know who is going to step up. Obviously we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity while she was gone.

On the end of overtime:
It was more we got some good looks and missed a couple of shots there, but you know youíre going to get another look and knock them down and I was able to do that. We got that steal and made two free throws and that put it out of reach. The pressure was on them at that point. You kind of have to forget about all the shots youíve missed before and get yourself ready to go again. I was frustrated that I missed some, but again you have to put it out of your mind. Itís done and over with now. Weíve got Sacramento on Friday Ö a back-to-back coming up. A ĎWí is a ĎWí right now. Itís a long season, but every win counts because thereís so much parity in this league.

Seattle Coach Anne Donovan:
On the difference in overtime:
Free throws. We picked up two quick fouls and they were shooting bonus, really too much of the game. 35 free throws for the game and that just continued in overtime. Defending without fouling is always a goal for us and we sure didnít take care of that. They caught up, making 31 free throws.

On the Storm's energy:
I donít know why we start the game (without energy). It is difficult to get out of the hole but we managed to do. We started off with really low intensity and got behind by quite a bit again. But again we caught up, even by halftime. I thought it was a competitive game and we played with intensity for the most part, but I donít know why we start out that way. It seemed like we were excited to be home at KeyArena but we sure didnít like it to start the game.

On whether inexperience cost the Storm in overtime:
You saw some of that, but we had some of our best players didnít step up in overtime. You canít really blame it on inexperience.

On the Storm's turnovers in overtime:
Probably more fatigue than jitters. We had the ball in peoplesí hands that we wanted it in, but we just didnít convert. Our goal is to at least get to the free-throw line but instead we didnít even get a look at the basket. I felt we had a good opportunity to win it in regulation. We got a good look for Lauren (Jackson) but didnít convert. Then it was just an uphill battle, from the first whistle, first turnover in overtime it was all Minnesota.

On whether this was Iziane Castro Marques' best game:
Absolutely. Izzy plays great defense and always has the toughest match. Tonight it was nice to see her offense really break out. I was pleased for her. That was the one bright spot tonight.

Seattle Forward Lauren Jackson
On the game:
We didnít play great. I donít know how it happened. It was very quick and I thought we had it. I thought we had a pretty good game as far as aggressiveness and playing good defense. There were a lot of calls that were made that probably werenít right. Aside from the fact that we didnít play great basketball and we gave them a win, weíve got to wake up now and weíve got to get better and work on everything. Hopefully we can come back stronger from this. All in all, I think we can learn a lot from this.

On whether the Storm missed Sue Bird and her leadership:
Tonight we missed both. Sue really keeps the team together and she gets the ball going. She knows when momentum is changing, she knows when to go, she knows when to slow down. She knows what plays to run and when. We missed a lot of that out there tonight. Hopefully next game weíll have her back.