Monarchs Game 4 Quotes

Sacramento coach John Whisenant

Opening Statement: Well, it's not nearly as much fun to be up here as it was after the last game. I don't know where to start. We were awful. We scored 26 points in the last three quarters, two in the fourth quarter. We got outrebounded by 16 in the second half. They got almost half of their misses back on offensive rebounds, 48 and a half percent. That's an unbeatable number, that alone.

Our defense which creates opportunities for us, only got five turnovers in the first half. We did get a few in the second, and didn't do us much good the way we were playing. And we obviously just weren't prepared to play. For what reason, I don't know. But we talked about it, we talked a good game, but we obviously were not prepared to play. And maybe we subconsciously wanted to go back to Detroit, I don't know. I don't think so, at least in my case.

Q: What did you tell your team right after the game, was it forget this one and move on, or what did you tell them in the locker room?

WHISENANT: Told them we had a 7:00 flight in the morning, I mean, 7:00 bus to go to the airport to get to Detroit, fly all day.
I had yelled at them at our practice this morning. We were this way in practice, our shootaround. We were dead, and I warned them then that we were celebrating before the dance. You know, we were reading clippings of the second championship. That's very hard not to do that. It's not what you're supposed to do. I think all of our players understand that. But obviously they were intense and played hard and we weren't ready to deal with that.

Q: No team has won on the road in The Finals here, so what's your mindset going in now to a Game 5 back in Detroit?

WHISENANT: We don't even worry about that. We can beat them in Detroit. We have beaten them in Detroit. We beat them the first game in Detroit. We swept the season series in 2004 and 2005 with Detroit. It just comes down to, we've got to play.

You know, as I said before this game, it came down to us executing our stuff better than they did their stuff, and obviously they won, easily tonight. So when we go back there Saturday, we've got to see if we can get our alertness and intensity back and do our stuff better than they do. And it will be harder in Detroit on their court than it should have been here on our court. Since I've been here, we haven't lost a playoff game until tonight. So this was my first loss here in Arco in the playoffs and it doesn't feel very good.

Q: The second half, Kristin Haynie played at the point, Ticha played sparingly, can you talk about why you went a lot with Kristin the second half tonight?

WHISENANT: They were just guarding us five on four. You know, Ticha has to make shots, has to make at least the elbow shot. You know, the last game she got aggressive and made some of them. Tonight she was hesitant even before she shot the shots, and I don't have an answer for that.

Kristin's not afraid to shoot. Kristin has trouble guarding, is her problem. But she'll make shots, and she's not afraid to knock one down. I have to choose between that.

Monarchs forward Nicole Powell

Nicole Powell: Well, clearly, we're disappointed, you know, obviously, with the outcome tonight. We just didn't give it our best effort. We didn't play our game, and that's what it came down to. They killed us on the rebounds. You know, that's their bread and butter. They took advantage of that. I mean, we shot 31 percent. It's just a lot of things didn't go our way tonight, and we're not too happy about it. But on the upside, you know, we feel like we still have a great opportunity. We feel good about our chances in Detroit, so we're going to get ready and go to tomorrow. That's it.

Q. You guys have been pretty even keel throughout the playoffs, not too high after wins. How hard is it not to be really frustrated after especially the second half?

Nicole Powell: It's frustrating. We felt like we had a great, great opportunity. You don't get this again. It's disappointing. But at the same time, we're a team that we bounce back from things. You know, we can beat this team. We just need to focus a little bit more and I think pull some things together. You know, I mean, really, none of us had a very good performance. I know everybody is going to be fired up and ready to come out and play their game.

Q. You kind of touched on it a little bit, but looking at that stat sheet, did it even look like a Monarchs game, especially that second half, two points in the fourth quarter?

Nicole Powell: When you look at the stat sheet and you see so many things that are just so one-sided, we didn't have a chance. We didn't shoot the ball well, they outrebounded us, they shot decent. It's just, you know, at this level playing against such a good team, you're not going to come away with a win.

Q. On Saturday you've got to play at Joe Louis Arena versus the Palace at Auburn Hills, how does that factor into playing on a first-time court for you guys?

Nicole Powell: I don't think it really matters. It's going to be a hard game. We're just going to have to go in there and do what we do best. It doesn't matter where you play at this point. It's just a battle of wills. It's about getting down and getting the rebound and not giving them second shots. I think Coach said they got 48 percent of their offensive rebounds. You're just not going to win. It doesn't matter where we play. We have to play hard.

Q. This is the first time the League has ever seen a five-game series go to five, last year you guys took it in four. In that fifth game, what is the key? Is it rebounds, what is the key?

Nicole Powell: The key is going out there and not letting them do what they want to do, period. We just have to find a way to stop them whether it's getting the defensive rebound, making them shoot a difficult shot, not letting their post do well. They had a few people off the bench come in and do really well for them. It's just not letting them get rebounds, not letting them get easy shots, making everything tough. Of course, we've got to do, we can do better on the offensive end as well. So those two things I think.

Monarchs center Yolanda Griffith

Q: In each of the last games the more physical team has taken the win, do you agree?

Yolanda Griffith: Yeah. Itís a physical game and we know that. We took ourselves out. Our defense wasnít sharp. We made a lot of mistakes in the other games even though we won. Now we have another game. We are not going to hold our heads down. We know we stunk up the place tonight and we have another game. We are just going to stay positive. We leave tomorrow, go to Detroit and we will take care of business as a team.

Q: What happened in the fourth quarter, only two points?

Yolanda Griffith: I think it was kind of happening before that. They came back into the lead and got a couple of offensive rebounds and it kind of deflates the effort that you put in as far as getting defense. We felt the momentum turning our way and our defense triggers our offense. It just wasnít on tonight. Games like this are probably the hardest to ever get. But weíre okay. Like I said we are going to watch the video and take care of what we need to take care of. Thatís all we can do.

Q: How is the confidence going into game 5?

Yolanda Griffith: We are okay. We are not going to lose the confidence because we lost here. It was a tough game. Like you said whichever team comes up physical seems to win.

Monarchs guard Ticha Penicheiro

Q: Was tonightís loss a big one at home?

Ticha Penicheiro: Obviously when playing at home we have a chance to finish in front of our fans and win the championship game in the arena, and it just wasnít meant to be. Itís basketball and itís a professional sport and it is going to happen. We didnít perform tonight even from the jump. It looked like they wanted it more than we did. Now it is down to one game. We have to fly to Detroit. But we have beaten them before there. We just have to keep our head up.

Q: It seemed like Detroit was extremely more physical than game two?

Ticha Penicheiro: Thatís how they play. Thatís what they are taught by their coaches. They do push and rebound. Today we just were not the Sacramento Monarchs that we usually are. We just need to keep our heads up.

Monarchs forward Rebekkah Brunson

Q: Do you feel Bill Laimbeerís comments affected you tonight?

Rebekkah Brunson: No I donít think so. I donít even think half of us know what he said. We donít pay attention to those kinds of things. We just focus on the Monarchs and what we need to do.

Q: Going back to Detroit obviously they (Detroit) came in with their backs against the wall, do you think you guys will go in with the same mentality?

Rebekkah Brunson: Oh yeah. I mean we want to win. We are just going to have to be hungrier then them. It is going to be a fight and we already know that. We just have to be prepared to do the little things. Play our defense and get our offense going. We are all right.