Lynx Postgame Quotes: August 4, 2003

Lynx 61, Mercury 56
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Lynx Coach Suzie McConnell Serio
"(At halftime) we basically talked about keeping things simple, about executing our offense better. Phoenix plays great defense and has a way of disrupting your offense. Their defense has kept them in every game."

"It was ugly... It wasn't fun to watch. It wasn't fun, I'm sure, for the players to play. But I'm very proud of the way they played in the second half. This was a team effort in every sense of the word 'team'. Obviously when Katie scores, we're a better team. But I thought the rest of the team stepped up when they needed to. Sheri had a huge night. The bench gave us great minutes. That's why it's a team victory in every sense of the word."

"Their record is deceiving. They're a good team. They're in every game, and their defense keeps them in every game. They're solid at each position. We're not taking them lightly. We prepare for every team. They just make you earn everything. They do a lot of different things defensively to disrupt your offense... This team definitely has the opportunity to play spoiler. They're on everyone's schedule, and they play hard every night."

"Every game is very important. We don't look at it as pressure, and I don't think that word has ever come up. We look at it as a challenge. We look at it as an opportunity, and we talk about that a lot — about taking advantage of opportunities... I have high expectations with eight games left. I think this team has high expectations. A lot of things can happen in the last three weeks. There will be losses, but we have the opportunity to earn it without any help. We have to stay hungry, and not take anyone for granted."

Lynx Forward Sheri Sam
"They're a scrappy team that plays with a lot of heart. They don't really have a dominant go-to player. Everybody just plays hard, and teams like that are usually teams that play scrappy. They remind me of the team I played on in my first year in Miami."

"The refs let us play tonight. It's just the way we play in this league. Sometimes I wish the refs would be a bit more consistent, but they let us get out there and bang tonight — both sides. I think it was fairly called on both sides."

Lynx Center Janell Burse
"It's helping the team to win, so I'm happy... It's not good for her (Smith) to have to play with that kind of pressure on her every night. So any time we can try to help her out, we do."

"I felt like in the first half, I couldn't get going. I just wanted to come out in the second half, try and be more aggressive, and hopefully that would get me back in my rhythm. It did. It helped."

"They trap a lot, they get out in the passing lanes and deny real hard. It's really hard to get shots on them. It's usually a low-scoring game. They're known for their defense."

Lynx Guard Katie Smith
"It was ugly, but hopefully we'll be adjusted by Wednesday, and maybe figure out some ways to get our flow together."

"Look at us last year. It doesn't matter what your record is, you still go out there and play. Last year, we should've won more ballgames than we did. We just weren't able to finish them off, for whatever reason. The worst record in the league, that's deceiving. They've got players and they play hard. They play harder than some teams at the top of the thing. They're in it every night. They play as hard as anyone, and make us earn everything we get."

"Obviously shooting and scoring is part of the game, but part of it is also playing defense and getting other people that are open the ball. Teams aren't going to let me run wild out there by myself, so when they put two people on me, then somebody's open and you're giving them the ball. It's nice seeing JB, Sheri — everyone — stepping up at key times. Tamika started us off in the first half. That's the way it's been all year, and that's the way it's going to have to be."

Mercury Coach John Shumate
"We played hard... Our ladies played hard. They have a lot of heart — a lot of determination — and both teams played hard. Sometimes, what someone may call ugly is just a hard-fought game. To me as a coach, it's not ugly. It's two teams playing, and it was a very physical ballgame... There are no good losses, no bad losses. They're all losses. They all hurt, and they're all tough to swallow."

"We're not trying to keep a low-scoring game. We're just trying to play basketball. And it just so happens that neither team was putting the ball in the basket very well. As a result, the score was low. There was not an objective or mission to keep the score low. If we can score 100 points, I'd love it."

"She (Smith) is a great player. We played hard. You don't keep her down, because she's as great as they come — a great competitor... Sheri comes with a reputation of being a scorer. She works hard, and she kept working — and her opportunity came, and she took advantage of it."

Mercury Guard Tamicha Jackson
"We competed very hard tonight. They are a team that is in playoff contention, and we gave them everything we had tonight. It came down to the last few minutes, and they made the plays and the shots at the end. But we played hard. I can't pinpoint exactly what happened, but we put them on the line too much, and Sheri made some big shots for them."

"I don't think we'll make many changes for the next game. We need to have the same intensity. I thought we shot the ball pretty well, compared to other games we've played. Maybe we'll make a couple of defensive changes, but I don't see any major differences we will make before the next game."

Mercury Forward Lisa Harrison
"I can't tell you how I hold Katie scoreless. It's a secret. I'll tell you when I retire... The key is to stop Katie, and we obviously did a great job of that tonight. Sheri had a big game to step up for Katie. We had a great chance to win the game tonight, but we didn't get it done."

"It was not a good game for the fans. It definitely was ugly basketball. We tried to slow the tempo down, and I thought we did a really good job of that."

"Once again, you have to stop Katie. That's where it starts. They got us on the boards maybe 10 or 12 tonight. So I think we have to do a better job there. I thought we played hard, and we need to do that again on Wednesday."