Lynx Postgame Quotes: June 21, 2003

Lynx 66, Fever 58
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Lynx Coach Suzie McConnell Serio
"This is a sigh of relief. A win is always great. The atmosphere in a locker room after a win is always great. It was an ugly win, but I would rather win ugly than not at all. I feel better taking this kind of win than shooting well and coming up short."

"We wanted to establish a defensive presence right from the beginning. Coretta Brown was a big spark for them off the bench, but their top five players only had 21 points. I thought defensively we did exactly what we set out to accomplish."

"If anybody had seen training camp and the kind of intensity that we had, I have expected this. The day after the Houston loss, it was so physical in practice. We have talked about bringing it to the floor, and not just taking it out on each other in practice. The old saying goes, defense wins championships. But we need balance. We only shot 34 percent tonight and still won."

"Tamika Williams set the tone from the beginning. She was very active on the offensive glass. She set the flow for second and third opportunities. By establishing this early, she gave other players the confidence to go after offensive rebounds as well."

"Katie knew that the key to beating Indiana was taking Tamika Catchings out of her game. Their entire offense runs through her. We wanted to deny her the high post, keep ball pressure, and not give her easy 'threes'. Katie has every element to stop her: quickness, physical strength and size. She was the perfect defender for her tonight."

"Kristi was tremendous. My comment in the locker room was that this is the Kristi Harrower I remember playing against. This is how she used to shoot playing against me. Personally, I'm very happy for her. She has struggled of late with her shot. She hit some big 'threes', but she also attacked the basket and set up the offense for us. She is a very smart player."

"We always talk about keeping our composure and making good decisions. We can't let officials or other players change how we play. It's all about decision-making for us — what's a good shot, what's not, what's a good pass, what's not — and making good reads."

Lynx Guard Kristi Harrower
"It was a physical game, especially inside. Last game, coach said that when we were down by 20 against Charlotte, we got up and picked up full-court — and we did a really good job of coming back. She wants us to do that all the time. For me, it's good when I do that because it brings my energy to the game, and I feel like I'm more into it on the offense as well. I felt comfortable out there tonight. We kept them down to 58 points, which is great. And as long as we can continue that, we should be getting some more wins."

"I think sometimes being a backup point guard, other teams don't respect you. They just think, she's out there being a leader or she just gets other people involved. But this is the way I play. This is the way I want to continue playing. It's not even just to score, but it's to get other people open. So if I can continue that, then I'm happy."

Lynx Forward Svetlana Abrosimova
"Indiana always plays really physical. Catchings herself, alone, has great defense on the court. I think it was great how both teams played, because we both had back-to-back games. Everybody was tired, but people played really hard. And it was amazing to see how people wanted to win."

"In the last couple of games we didn't defend, and other teams scored any time they wanted to score. So this time we took it really personally in terms of pride in ourselves. I thought that Katie did a tremendous job on Catchings, and everybody helped rotation-wise. We were all on the same page, and I think that's what won the game for us tonight. In this league you have to play great defense to win games, because everybody is so good. Any player can score 20 points on a night."

Lynx Guard Katie Smith
"Indiana did the same thing (back-to-back), so it's similar. But you just have to suck it up and concentrate. We didn't knock down a lot of shots. Our shooting percentage wasn't great, but on defense we turned it up and we did what we have to do to get the win. We boxed out and rebounded well against an extremely good rebounding team. I think we concentrated on this game a little bit better. Even when shots aren't going, we still have a chance to win it."

"Defensively we played really well. We rebounded the ball really well and boxed out against a team that just thrives on it. We executed on offense and got good shots. Some we didn't knock down, but then we got enough to go. We played a pretty solid game for the most part, but our 'D' was our key factor which has to be there. You might not always shoot the ball well, but the 'D' has to be there as your backbone."

"We think we've played pretty well, but obviously the last two teams we've played have shot over 50 percent — and that's pretty darn good. We obviously are aware of that, and we have to take teams out of what they want to do. We have to contest shots harder, individually guard people better and help better — virtually every aspect of defense. And tonight I think we came out knowing that. We did that. So yes, I think that is a conscious effort. And as I said, offense is one of those things that can come and go, but the defense can be there every single night. That's what we have to bank on, and hopefully we can always hang our hat on that."

Fever Coach Nell Fortner
"I thought that we struggled tonight on the offensive end. Minnesota got us out of our rhythm offensively and we struggled to score, even from the inside. Minnesota played great defense tonight. They really needed to win this game and it showed on the defensive end. We've been hitting shots — we didn't make shots, we didn't hit free throws. They were hungry... You have to take care of business on your home floor in this league, and they did that tonight."

"This is another case of how difficult it is to win on the road in this league. The back-to-back had no effect on the game. We didn't play our best basketball tonight. They (Minnesota) needed the win very badly, and they played like it."

Fever Forward Natalie Williams
"They're a physical team. They play tough. We know they're a good team. We had a rough first half, but we missed too many shots. That's where we broke down. We missed too many little shots and missed too many free throws."

"Minnesota has always been a team that collapses in the post. You've got to look and see who is open. In the first half we were struggling with that. We didn't expect them to do that right off the bat. In the second half we did a better job of running plays to isolate in the post better. But we've got to be ready earlier to be double- and triple-teamed and to kick out to our shooters, because we have great shooters."