Minnesota Washington Quotes

WNBA Post-Game Quotes
Minnesota vs. Washington
June 11, 2005 @ Target Center

Washington 60

Minnesota Coach Suzie McConnell Serio:
"Players did a great job in the second half of making adjustments and taking away the option they were looking for. They obviously hit some '3's, but I think that was the difference in the game... That's what we talked about going into this game: Defense was going to be the key. Not allowing Temeka Johnson to pick apart our defense, and being able to defend the screens on the ball. That was an area of concern going into tonight's game because of how efficient they were the first time we played them."

"The versatility of Stacey Lovelace is the difference. At 6-4, she's been our first guard off the bench. Last year, she played nothing but post for us, but with the rotation of Nicole, Vanessa and Tamika in practice, Stacey plays on the perimeter a lot. But I told her going into the second half she was going to be the first post option for us off the bench. When we put her in she ended up playing the center in the zone, and she did a great job. She extends the defense with her offensive game. She's a good three-point shooter and she opens things up. She has that scoring mentality, and finds a way to get her shot off. She was definitely a spark off the bench in the second half."

"This win was very important for us just as far as feeling good heading into this road trip. This team is excited. They're confident right now. The chemistry has improved tremendously since the first game of the season with the time these players have been able to spend together. Katie Smith has been phenomenal. She's playing very well right now and shooting the ball well. Svetlana has been a difference-maker. Tamika Williams has been a spark off the bench for us. She plays with a lot of energy and plays very aggressively."

"Our point guards stepped up and handled the ball very well. They made great decisions tonight and they defended very well -- something we didn't do so well the last time we played Washington... It was a great win all around. I told this team that in the three years I've been here, that was probably the best half we've ever played as far as being unselfish and making the extra pass. They had fun out there... When we are sharing the basketball and have balanced scoring, we're a very good team."

"Obviously, Katie Smith always has the green light to shoot the '3'. Stacey Lovelace is a very good three-point shooter, as is Amber Jacobs. It's something our guards have the green light to do, especially on kickouts. If they're going to double-team our posts, we've got to make them pay. If we're going 1-for-8, obviously we'd need to make an adjustment. We talk about not settling for the three-point shot. We want to have a balance and be able to go inside. But tonight players were shooting the ball well, we were finding people and players were knocking down their shots. Katie sets the tone a lot of the time. When she's hitting, she takes the pressure off everybody else and they can just relax and shoot the ball with confidence."

Minnesota Guard Katie Smith:
"Defensively, we were able to slow their momentum by taking away what they wanted and just rebounding the basketball. And we got good looks on the other end. We were really unselfish, and people were able to knock down shots. I think from start to finish, we found open players. We were able to penetrate and kick. Our big girls were in there working. Everybody contributed tonight. Everybody did their thing on offense, but also defensively we were really able to communicate in that zone and rebound out of it."

"We attacked but took what they gave us. Svet did a nice job of drawing people, finding people. We made shots, but also defensively we gave them one shot and made them settle for jumpers in the zone and we were able to rebound and take it back down the other end."

"Obviously, we wanted a little bit of payback. They got us down at Washington, and we weren't real pleased with how we ended that game. If you take three or four minutes away from that ballgame, we had the lead the whole game. We let that one slip away... I think every win is going to be important down the stretch, because this league is so tight."

Minnesota Forward Tamika Williams:
"I think [the difference] was our defense, going into zone. We just tried to slow them down, make them take outside shots and give them one shot. In the first half when we did go zone, two times we gave them second shots."

"The first time against Washington we lost, and Temeka Johnson really took it to the rim. But AJ and Kristi gave her some of her own medicine today, taking her and finishing. Even when it was physical in there, they were finishing and finding people, and it really opened things up. They had to help and we had a lot of open '3's. I think our penetration won the game on offense. Sharing the ball, making the extra pass -- that's the team that got us to the playoffs the last two years."

Washington Coach Richie Adubato:
(on the second half) "I think a little bit of (fatigue), and they also got red-hot. We made a little run, got it down to 12, and it looked like we had a little chance -- and then they buried two '3's. They really executed their offense well and pounded us on the boards. They're big anyway, but they pounded us on the boards -- and with three or four days rest, they had a lot of energy. We were down a little bit and then they knocked our eyes out with those '3's, and that combination is very rough. We got it back with 3:15 on the clock and then we got it back to 10, and then Abrosimova and Smith hit the '3's. Next thing we know, it's up to 18 and that's it."

"They were on fire. They shot the ball very well and played very aggressive. The offensive rebounds that they got inside gave them more opportunities to shoot. They really did a great job of penetrating and kicking the ball back out and burying shots. They played very well."

Washington Guard Alana Beard:
"I thought we did a pretty good job defensively in the first half, but we let them push the ball and get some open three-pointers in the second half. That gave them the momentum, and they used it to build up a good lead. The first five minutes of each half is always so important, and Minnesota took control of the game in the first five minutes of the second half."

"They did a great job of getting Katie Smith the ball tonight. She is a great player and all it takes is some good looks to get her going. Credit Minnesota for providing her those looks, and give Katie credit for knocking down the shots when she got them."

"We wanted to come here and follow up last night's win over Seattle with a strong effort tonight. We did not execute the way we needed to tonight to come away with a victory. Back-to-back games are a part of this league. You need to play hard and execute every night to succeed in this league. We just did not do that tonight."

Washington Guard Coco Miller:
"I just want to come off the bench and provide some instant energy to my team both on offense and defense. I felt comfortable right away and hit some shots in the first half... You try not to let fouls affect your play, but it is tough to get into a good rhythm when you are going back and forth to the bench because of foul trouble. You just have to play through it and do the best you can."

"We struggled with Minnesota's zone when they went to it in the second half. They executed well on both the offensive and defensive ends early in the second half, which propelled them to a good lead and helped them get control of the momentum of the game."