Monarchs Game 1 Postgame Quotes

Sacramento forward Nicole Powell:

Opening statement: Well, obviously we're pleased with the outcome of the game. To come in here on the road against such a tough team and play the way we did, you know, kind of just get a lead on them and keep it, we're very pleased with ourselves. Certainly we know we have a tough challenge ahead. You know, Detroit is a very good team. Katie is going to come back with something and so is the rest of their team. You know, we're happy with tonight and tomorrow we're going to watch a tape and certainly there's some things we can work on and we'll get ready for the next game.

Q. With a win this lopsided, is there any danger of believing that it's going to be this easy and having to focus even more going into Game 2 to avoid that?

POWELL: You know, there's always that danger I think when you beat a team by this margin. At the same time, we have some great leadership in the locker room, we have a great coaching staff. We all know at this point, this game is done and over with and Detroit is going to come back with something for us. We can't kind of rest on our laurels with this first win.

Q. Did you personally see this kind of night coming with your performance before the game?

POWELL: You know, individually, I just wanted to be prepared. You know, we don't really change a lot of things, we just try to execute and see what the defense is giving us. Our team just played really well overall. We shot 53 percent, I think Yo had 17 or 18 points and DeMya had 17 or 18 points. It was really balanced scoring and you try to hit the shots on when you can, and it's my job to knock them down at this level. So like I say, I'm happy with it.

Q. Three players with career-best playoff highs, was there a sense in that first half that you guys were all in the groove and that maybe they were not as tough defensively as they normally are? Did you sense it and feel it?

POWELL: I know my teammates are, we've been ready this whole playoff. Everyone has really elevated their game and that's what has separated us from our regular season and the way we're playing now. Everybody is coming out with a vengeance and something to prove and you see that from Yo all the way down the line. I'm not really surprised with my teammates because I see them every day and some of the great things that they can do in practice, but it's really special when everybody steps up their game and that's why we're doing so well. We're a team through and through, and that's why we're winning.

Q. You mentioned the regular season, and you guys struggled and people were not really talking about you. Can you remember a specific game that you felt, we're back, we're okay now, we're going to be good from here?

POWELL: First game of the playoffs against Houston. You know, we weren't playing very well, like you said down the stretch. I think we lost to Phoenix, didn't really play well there and then all of a sudden we got out there against Houston on their home court and it was just unbelievable. We just took off. We were up by 20 or 30 points in the first half, and it was kind of the same thing where every single person was ready to play, ready to fight. We've just been carrying it through the playoffs.

Sacramento forward DeMya Walker:

Opening statement: I'm just really excited about the way that we played. We played as a team. At the end of the day, defense was what got us the win, and that's the type of team that we are. That's the type of team we've always been, and we know we can't win without it. We also know Detroit is going to come back at us in Game 2, so we've got to keep our focus and remain steady and not worry about Game 1. Game 1's over.

Sacramento coach John Whisenant:

Opening statement: Well, I guess my opening statement is that I'm tickled to death that we got home court from the Shock, but that's only one game, and we've got to win two more, somewhere. And, you know, we did some things well. I thought we shot the ball well, scored 95 points. You know, we had some defensive breakdowns at times, but overall we played defensively pretty good. I know Cheryl and Katie kind of got to us some. But we're happy. We're happy we won. Our goal was to win a game here, and we don't want to quit at one, and we know Friday will be a war. They will come at us with all their ammo. I'll take any questions.

Q. You guys just beat them up in the interior, grabbing rebounds away from them, going up strong in the post, was that part of your strategy to maybe exploit the Shock a little bit by using your strength in the interior?

WHISENANT: Well, they are the leading rebounding team in the league and we only outrebounded them by two. The second half, they outrebounded us. So we got to them there early, and that got us a lead because in the first half, we got some putbacks. But we're the leading offensive rebounding team in the league, they are the leading overall. I guess we both kind of live on that. We work hard on our rebounding. I mean, that's part of defense. Defensive rebounding is part of defense, offensive rebounding is part of offense. So we work regularly on those things, and we hope they help us win.