Game 2: Mercury 95, Storm 89

Post-Game Quotes

Posted: Aug. 26, 2007

MERCURY HEAD COACH PAUL WESTHEAD: (On Seattle coming back)“We’re always an interesting team; we never let you get in the parking lot and let you get home early. On the one hand, I have to give credit to Seattle; they never gave up and they kept at us, cutting up our zone a little bit.”

(On the starters’ minutes) “For better or worse I played my starters the whole last quarter, and I knew we were at risk because they were going to tire at some time, and sure enough right about the four minute mark they tired, and then I’m stuck. It was either they were going to continue to get tired or they were going to gut it out, and that’s exactly what happened.”

(On Diana’s big three-pointer) “It was the end of the play. We tried to go inside to Penny Taylor, and it didn’t work so it got kicked back to her, and that is part two. Dee, the tenacious opportunist that she is, she let it fly. Nothing but net.”

MERCURY GUARD DIANA TAURASI: (On winning the first game on the road) “It’s important. We were just in the locker room saying that the first game is important. If you can get that first game on the road then you have a pretty good chance of coming home and closing it out.”

(On the team moving on) “We never felt like we had a monkey on our back. I think everything happens for a reason. People were always ‘oh, you never make the playoffs’, but we were confident that everything is a gradual process.”

MERCURY GUARD CAPPIE PONDEXTER: (On Paul Westhead) “I love the fact that he gives everybody confidence. No matter if you are the best player or the last player to come off the bench he gives everybody the green light.”

(On the team’s current stretch) “We came back from the all star break we were all focused on winning and making it happen, and I think everybody bought into that. Since then, we’ve been rolling. It’s a different tune during the playoffs but I think we are all eager to win, and I think that is the most important part.”

STORM HEAD COACH ANNE DONOVAN: “When you look at the free-throw line, it’s a very frustrating thing. It definitely impacted our game when we have players in foul trouble early. I thought we did a good job keeping everybody in the game; we had Betty late in the game and did a good job keeping Lauren in there. But it was very frustrating tonight and once again I think we really struggled to be efficient tonight.”

“Its never easy to make the decision to take Lauren out, whether she’s tired or whether she has no fouls or has five. She is such an integral part of what we do. But I thought the team did a great job when she was out.”

“We have great fans in Seattle, and it’s a team that has been so well supported in Seattle, as evidenced by how many fans came to watch this year. To all our fans, I know our players are disappointed that we are not going back to see them.”

STORM FORWARD SUE BIRD: “We played defense. Obviously they are a very offensive minded team, that’s no secret. And they are very hard to stop, but we were giving them way too many easy things. They’re going to make a lot of tough shots so you can’t give them easy ones. We did that in the first game and we did that in the majority of this game. But when we really clamped down and tried to defend them and just make them take tough shots, we were able to get out and able to run, get some easy baskets ourselves, and we were just more aggressive as a whole and I think that was the difference maker.”

“This is the playoffs, and 40 minutes is a very long time. You can look at all the games being played right now-every team that’s had a 15 or 20 point lead the other team has sure enough come back. That’s because everyone has that do-or-die attitude and we had that tonight. Does it help that we’ve had to do that before? Yes, probably, but I think every team has whether it’s the regular season or the playoffs and nobody is going to give up at this point.”

“Every time we had a chance to huddle up it was like, ‘Alright guys, stay with it.’ Every bad thing that happens let it go, and every good thing hang on and try to build on it. It takes one possession at a time and that’s what we were constantly saying, whether it was the coaches or when we had a chance to huddle up. Just take it one possession at a time and chip away.”