Postgame Quotes: May 30, 2004

Liberty 68, Lynx 64
Target Center

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Lynx Coach Suzie McConnell Serio
"We talked in the locker room that we had opportunities. We had too many missed uncontested layups — many were wide open — and they had a key offensive rebound off the last free throw that led to the jump ball. It's little lapses like that that we need to eliminate. We needed to work harder on boxing out. But we kept fighting. We were down most of the game and still had a chance to at least tie or win the game at the end."

"They only had six offensive rebounds, but they were crucial ones. We work on, if you give up an offensive rebound, to recover and focus on shooters. Teams capitalize on second and third chances, and New York did that. We cut down on our turnovers tonight. We had 14, but they capitalized on them with 20 points."

"They have so many players that can score. They ran some nice things, and they utilized their personnel well. Baranova was a key for them. She did a lot of good things tonight and made some key baskets. They had great contributions from their bench. They're a team with great balance, inside and out."

"Stacey Lovelace gave us some good minutes off the bench. Amber Jacobs gave us some quality minutes. We started so poorly, it felt like San Antonio all over again. We talk about getting the ball inside. Our guards can't be hesitant with their passes, and need to read the defense better. I thought Tamika did a good job getting position inside, but this is what happens when you have new players. Of the eight that played tonight, five are new. We have to be patient. We will keep working. We will get there."

"It was (Ohlde's) lowest output in the five games she has played. She just needs to continue to work hard to get the ball. She's playing different kinds of players every night. Whether it is a player like Dydek, Baranova or Phillips, they're all different. Teams have seen her on tape now, and know that we run stuff for her. They will try to find ways to limit her effectiveness. She is very talented, and we will continue to give the ball to her. She will make adjustments. Many of her shots tonight were down and out, and most were contested. She'll get there."

Lynx Guard Katie Smith
"It's very tough to lose a game like this. We beat ourselves tonight in a lot of different ways. Defensively, we gave up way too many fast-break baskets in the first half. We can't give them easy opportunities like that, and we have to convert our own."

"Personally, I'm disappointed with the way I played tonight. I have to turn it up a notch, especially on defense. I am very disappointed in how I played."

"We've had our learning experiences — Detroit in the preseason, for example. We're past that now. You have to find ways to get it done. It's time to finish games off and make plays from the get-go, not just at the end."

Lynx Forward Tamika Williams
"I felt like I missed a bunch of big shots, even if it says it's only three. Those are shots I usually make, that I should make."

"It's not about offense. I think our defense can win us games. We have offensive people who can score, but we have to bring our defense every game."

"When you play a team like New York, with tough posts inside and quick guards who swing the ball (and) knock down shots, it's tough to come back on a team like that. They're a veteran team who came out and ran sets. We have to get to that point. Our core hasn't been together like that."

Liberty Coach Richie Adubato
"I thought the key to this win was our defense in the paint. We forced them into a lot of easy misses, and I think our length frustrated them. The last four minutes, though, they really started to get deep into the paint, and that helped get themselves back in the game."

"Any time you force a team into shooting 28 three-pointers, you know you're doing something right on defense. I'll take forcing an opponent to shoot 34 percent any time. With a streaky team like Minnesota, though, they're never out of the game — as you saw tonight. But I'm glad we were able to hit some clutch free throws and seal the victory."

"Shameka Christon didn't play like a rookie tonight. She brings something to the table that we haven't had the last few years — someone who can score and has the height to help out on defense. If she doesn't go 4-for-4 from the line to close the game, we don't win."

"We're a veteran team, so when the going gets tough, we're supposed to be able to execute our offense. Every time Minnesota got close, we were able to execute and make our shots. I hope that's a sign of good things to come."

Liberty Forward Elena Baranova
"Our team defense was excellent tonight. Every game, our goal is to hold our opponent under 40 percent. We're not a good one-on-one defensive team, but when we get deflections and help-side underneath, we really cause the other team problems. I really had a tough time playing defense on Ohlde tonight. She's a very smart player who managed to get her shot off against me. I was lucky she missed some easy shots."

"It's great to have a deep bench like I think we have this season. It helps some of us older players know that we don't have to play the whole game. We have people who can come in and keep us fresh."

Liberty Center Tari Phillips
"The Lynx are a very deep team. They might have the best collection of rookies out of any team in the league. But I like our rookies, too. I think this game shows just how deep the league has gotten overall. It was a battle. When you have two teams with as many offensive weapons as we each have, you know that no lead is safe."

"The Lynx are probably one of the scrappiest teams we play. They get the loose balls, they get the offensive rebounds... They just never give up going after the ball. I feel fortunate that we had enough to hold on to this victory."

"Our focus is the same as it is every year with this team. We intend to win the Eastern Conference and make it back to the Finals. I think this season we have a good mix of veterans and young players, that all the pieces are there. It's just a matter of teaching the younger players how to win."