Shock 89, Mercury 79

Postgame Quotes

Posted: June 14, 2008

MERCURY HEAD COACH COREY GAINES: “The shots aren’t it, because we’ve won games shooting badly – you can win games shooting badly. We’ve shot badly and won games before, but they got loose balls at key situations. (Alexis) Hornbuckle had 15 rebounds and I’d say 10 of them were just hustle plays. She’s small; she just went and got the ball. You need the ball in order to run and you can’t give up second chance points. We’ve got to stop that. It was just key situations. The fight is there, but you’ve got to stop and get the ball. Rebounding is not just a skill; it’s just a matter of being hungry.”

(On Le’coe Willingham’s performance)
“She played great but then she got into foul trouble and I had to put her on the bench. They’re trying to get the ball inside and she’s down low – so she’s going to get a foul. Le’coe helps on the inside attacking the basket, but she had five fouls and my hands were tied.”

(On what’s next)
“We’re going to work on things. We’ve got two more games at home and that helps but we’ve got Connecticut coming in. You’ve got to be hungry. It comes down to this: there are good teams in the league—the West has good teams and the East has good teams. Who wants the ball more? You need the ball to be able to score. If you don’t have the ball, you can have great scorers, but without the ball you can’t score. So, whatever it takes: get the ball and get it done.”

MERCURY GUARD CAPPIE PONDEXTER (28 PTS, 8 REBS): “When we were pushing to get over the hump—well, we were going through the whole game like that—it seemed like they got every loose ball. One person who sticks out to me is Alexis Hornbuckle—she got her hands on a lot of loose balls and had a lot of key lay ups. Over the course of the game that cost us.”

(On the team shooting badly)
“Like coach said, you can still win games and shoot badly, but it’s just a matter of doing the little things. We are small and this is a new team. We have to gel quicker than we are.”

(On her performance from the field)
“I’ve been struggling a little bit with my shot. But it happens like that—it’s the game of basketball. Now I’ve got to get in the gym, keep working hard and believing in myself.”

MERCURY GUARD KELLY MAZZANTE (9 PTS, 6 REBS): “We just have to get stops and we need to rebound. Unfortunately, we had a couple mishaps at the end, but we were right there and we can win these games.”

(Looking forward)
“We’re going to keep doing the things that we’re doing (practicing hard, working on various things) and it’ll turn around for us.”

(On stopping Taurasi and Cappie)
“It was a definite focus of our team. They are the two leading scorers in the league and if you don’t focus on them you’re not doing your job. I thought we made them take shots when they didn’t want to take shots, and they missed them fortunately.”

(On Tasha and Alexis’ performance)
“Our rookies really played great tonight. We knew about Hornbuckle and we know that she is really a solid player. Humphrey just got her opportunity recently and she has been working really hard for this. We know she can score we just never knew she could score like this.”

(On winning in Phoenix)
“It was very important for us. We had lost two in a row on the road and coming West now a days is very difficult to get any wins. We focused on this game after LA to make sure we gave it our best effort and to give ourselves the best chance to win.”

(On stopping the Mercury’s 2nd half run)
“We just made shots. We settled ourselves down as you don’t want to get caught up in their rhythm of taking quick shots. You need to just move the ball and be patient. You’ll get any shot you want, just as long as you’re patient with it and move the ball.”

SHOCK GUARD KATIE SMITH: “We obviously know they are a great guard core. We knew who we were going up against and that we needed to play lock down defense and not give them too many open looks. They are great players and are going to get shots and create shots but we have a lot of faith in our guard defense so it’s more of understanding who we are playing against.”

(On controlling the game)
“The last couple games we have been spotting teams with a 10 point and 12 point leads and it’s hard to come back from behind, especially since they (Mercury) are great front runners. Even though we were up at half time we felt like this is a brand new ball game in the 2nd half and that these guys can come back from a any deficit. So it was important to come out with a lot of energy and to hit our shots early.”

(On her performance)
“It felt great. Coming to a team that has All-Stars and Olympian and being a rookie I have to capitalize on my opportunities that I am given. That’s what Coach Laimbeer has been telling me to do and that’s what I made sure to do tonight to help our team get this win.”

(On beating the Mercury)
“It does feel good. I wasn’t here last year when we lost the Championship but I know that it is something really important and that we still got that bitter taste in our mouth from it. So to come out here and get this victory is really important to us.”

(On stopping Taurasi and Cappie)
“They are great players. We knew we would have to focus a lot of our defensive attention on them. I think our guards did a great job and we communicated well. We were very fortunate not to let one of them get hot.”