Postgame Quotes: June 5, 2004

Lynx 76, Mercury 68
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Lynx Coach Suzie McConnell Serio
"Tamika Williams was huge. She came out right from the start being aggressive offensively, defensively and rebounding. She played like the Tamika Williams from the postseason and the end of last regular season. It's an ongoing thing with her to get her to be aggressive — to look for her shot and demand the ball. Last game, she was 2-for-2, tonight she was 7-for-7. She's taking high-percentage shots. She's something that this team needs. Our inside game was a factor night."

"This is the most aggressive Tamika Williams has been so far. She anticipated well, and was hungry on the boards. She set a goal before the game to get 10 rebounds. That is the first thing she looks at on the stat sheet. She doesn't care about scoring. She knows that rebounding is a key to this team's success. She works so hard. Her stat sheet isn't always that impressive, but what she brings to this team doesn't compare with a lot of others in terms of defensive presence. She is a leader and communicates well. She sets so many screens and gets teammates open. She does so many little things to make the team successful."

"I was proud of our effort in the second half. Being down 12 at the half, the team could've easily folded up. I thought we almost fell apart at the end of the first half. We talked in the locker room about taking one possession at a time. In the second half we were efficient, and executed much better and made better reads."

"They are a team that relies heavily on the three-point shot, and we held them to 1-of-10. The only one that they made was the first shot by DeForge, and she only got that look because of our miscue."

"We didn't want (Taurasi) to get going early. Katie Smith is our best defender. We wanted to challenge her. We know that they like to have Taurasi post up guards, and we knew that Katie would be able to handle the physical nature of posting up. We did a good job switching off screens. We know that she has the green light to shoot 'threes'. We could tell that she is deadly from watching them on tape."

Lynx Guard Katie Smith
"The first half, we turned the ball over a little bit and didn't make shots. But the second half, we set good picks and took the ball back. We got them to commit early fouls, and then we got to the line. I think this game is important, but every game is. But to get two in a row puts us in a good standing. Everyone has a few losses now, and at this point, every game is important."

"(Taurasi) is a big guard. She handles the ball well and posts up. She is going to be really good."

Lynx Forward Tamika Williams
"I didn't have a great rebounding game, but we did a great job of rebounding as a team. Any night, I can get thrown anything (for a role). I think it's important we execute our offense. Last game, we gave up too many offensive rebounds, but we kept them to one shot tonight. We ran our offense, and everybody showed up."

Lynx Guard Teresa Edwards
"Ohlde and Tamika made good decisions and got the boards. Ohlde sometimes needs to be triple-teamed... This is the first time we've put a solid 20 minutes together. That's what Suzie has been begging for, but she wants 40 of them."

Mercury Coach Carrie Graf
"Give credit to Minnesota. We played a great first half, they played a great second half. They came out with more urgency, and they absolutely smashed us on the boards tonight. I think their effort on the glass really impacted the game... It's something we've got to address as a team. We need more people crashing the glass."

"We went away from what was working for us. Minnesota picked up the defensive intensity, and we went away from what was working. We stopped moving the ball, we stopped throwing it inside. It was a story of two halves. We didn't do what we did in the first half well, and Minnesota did much better in the second half than they did in the first... Unfortunately for our team, we haven't been able to be persistent in stringing it together for 40 minutes on the road in the last couple of games."

"Katie Smith is a world-class player. She's a cagey, physical veteran. She knows how to use her body. She knows how to get calls from the referees, and I think she showed that tonight. She showed how she uses her physicality and her body to get calls from the referees. She's great at that."

"Dee missed some shots that she normally hits. She struggled, obviously, in the second half, and she got in foul trouble. The foul trouble really hurt us."

Mercury Guard Diana Taurasi
"(Smith is) a great offensive player. Whenever you face a great player like that, you hope to contain her. For the most part, we did a pretty good job on her the whole game. But at the end, she was getting to the free-throw line. I don't think we could do much about that, but overall in the game I think we did a good job."

"Every game is going to be a learning experience in your first year. Every game is your first 'fifth game', your first 'sixth game'... You learn something every day."

Mercury Forward Plenette Pierson
"I just came out and tried to do what I normally do — just be aggressive. My teammates were down, so I was trying to see if we could open it up a little bit on the inside, or open it up on the outside for them. Just trying to be aggressive and going to the basket."

"Minnesota is a great team. They're not just going to roll over and die in the first half. They made some adjustments at halftime, and I don't think we responded to those. In the end, we ended up losing the game, but you have to give credit to their team — to be poised and make changes, follow through with those, and keep us from doing what was working for us."