Related Stories
Friday, September 2, 2005 at Mohegan Sun Arena
Detroit Shock 67, Connecticut Sun 75

Recap | Box Score
September 2, 2005
Mohegan Sun Arena
Shock 67, Sun 75
Points:(DET) D. Nolan, 23
(CON) L . Whalen, 27
Rebounds:(DET) C. Ford, 8
(CON) N. Sales, 12
Assists:(DET) E. Powell, 5
(CON) L. Whalen, 3
Blocks:(DET) D. Nolan, 2
(CON) M. Dydek, 3
Steals:(DET) Two Tied, 3
(CON) N. Sales, 4
Turnovers:(DET) Two Tied, 3
(CON) Two Tied, 4
(DET) 0
(CON) 14
Points In
The Paint:
(DET) 28
(CON) 16
Lindsay Whalen
  • Points: 27
  • Rebounds: 4
  • Assists: 3
  • Steals: 2
  • Shock Head Coach Bill Laimbeer

    Opening Statement:
    “Obviously the frustration factor in our ball club is enormous. Not only from the regular season, but also the playoffs. It was quite clear out there the dilemma that our team faces. Not only from structure. We were not able to knock down some outside shots, but we were unable to play our game of being a physical basketball team. The disparity at the free throw line was a major factor in the ball game and the frustration showed in our faces. It took us out of the ball game for a period of time. It gets tiring. It hurts your troops to play through it, but we have to. Free throws are part of the game.”

    “It’s not discouraging. It’s frustrating. The whole season’s been that way. A lot of it is our fault. For many games we didn’t show mentally.”

    “This is our time. This is the Detroit Shock’s time. We believe that we are the best basketball team out there. We have a very talented group and they have to want to go out there and just take the championship. That’s how it’s goi9ng to have to be. They have to go out there and take the sucker. If that means we carry a chip on our shoulder, OK. That’s the hand we’re dealt right now.”

    On Lindsay Whalen:
    “She shot 17 free throws. She drove the lane and threw her body recklessly in the air to create foul opportunities. She surprised us making big shots early in the game. I give her a lot of credit for that. She just raised up and made them. We didn’t think she’d make them. They got (Connecticut) off to a great start and put us in a little bit of a hole. Credit goes to her for the good start that they had.”

    On whether last year’s first round loss or this year’s was more discouraging:
    “I told our team that last year was more discouraging than this year because last year we lost to an inferior basketball team in the New York Liberty. This year, I thought that Connecticut was the most consistent team all year long. I think that we’re more talented than we are, but that had good chemistry with their team all year long. They were consistent. They did what they have to do to put themselves in position to have home court advantage over us and you give them credit for all of that. They came with a purpose this year. They came with a purpose to get back to the finals and try to win. We didn’t.”

    On Kara Braxton’s shot at the attempt:
    “For a 6-5, 220 pound player, that’s a pretty good move. There’s only one player in the league that could have stopped that and that’s Margo Dydek. That’s a rookie thing. I don’t fault here. She’s an instinctive basketball player. Dennis Rodman did the same thing when we were fighting for a championship against the Lakers. I told (assistant coach) Rick (Mahorn) right then, that’s a Dennis Rodman play. That’s no disrespect. It’s naivety and a learning process that she has to go through. But (I like) the aggressiveness that she showed on the play. It just happened to be 7-2 Margo Dydek standing there. I hope she comes back next year and does the exact same thing every game.”

    Shock Guard Deanna Nolan

    “We should have played better in the first half. When you get down by 12 or 14 points you spend so much energy trying to get back into the game it wears you down. We put that on ourselves, getting down and having to fight back. We still fought back though. It’s disappointing. It’s frustrating. With the kind of team we have and the kind of players we have, we should have played a little better.

    “The talented players that we have, we’re bigger, stronger and faster than everyone in this league. We just have to put that together. Some games we just couldn’t put it together. I don’t know why.”

    Sun Head Coach Mike Thibault

    On the game:
    “That was a heck of a game! We took the best rebounding team in the league and we out rebounded them and got to the free throw line and we did the things you have to do in playoff games to win. I’m so proud of the maturity they have shown to do those things and adjust to whatever the need was in a particular game and the series. It says a lot.”

    On players’ performances:
    “We had a lot of people step up and do different things. Taj and Margo defensively were really good down the stretch. We struggled offensively for a little bit, but we did a lot of other things really well, and we won because of our defense.”

    On the play of Lindsay Whalen:
    “Lindsay kept attacking and attacking and they didn’t have an answer on how to guard her on the pick-and-roll. They tried three different things and she just kpt going to the basket and finding people and getting the fouls.”

    Sun Guard Lindsay Whalen

    On her play:
    “Tonight I was able to get fouls and make a couple of lay-ups. I got fouled a lot and was able to get to the line. I just wanted to keep attacking and keep getting in the lane and keep putting the pressure on their defense.”

    On how the team was able to hold on for the win:
    “We knew their run was coming. Any team in the playoffs, you know it’s a do-or-die situation, you know the run is coming. We were able to make some huge plays. Detroit is a great team and we knew they were going to come to us.”

    Sun Forward Taj McWilliams-Franklin

    On the slowness of the game and the difference:
    “We won, that was the difference. To actually get through it. We had to stick through it; we had to make sure we weathered their run. We knew they were going to make a run. Detroit is a great team, and all great teams make runs in the WNBA. Even the lower seeded teams make runs. We weathered the storm and got a big bucket at the end to break the non-scoring. I think we didn’t score for four minutes. Once we hit that it was like a well, we hit some free throws. I think it broke the spirit of the Shock.”

    Sun Forward Nykesha Sales

    On critics of the team:
    “No one ever picks us first for anything, we are used to it by now. I think this year they (critics) may have picked us to be first but they don’t know. Under the circumstances before when we played Detroit, we were coming off some long games. The ground was neutral coming into this game, we both had our rest and we both were going out there and were ready to play.”

    “We are a better team. Detroit’s record, they finished fourth, almost under .500. We are the best team in the league. When we play like that, we can’t be beat.”

    On wincing when Margo missed free throws, but she came back to make a huge block with under a minute left:
    “After the first game Margo (Dydek) had, being in foul trouble and not being in the rhythm, I think today she was determined to do some great things. That block she had was huge and not to get a foul also. Some of the stuff they (Detroit) were wrapping around her, she would usually swing and get a foul, but to concentrate on that block and then we got the rebound, it definitely turned the game around.”

    Sun Guard Katie Douglas

    On being the underdog in this series:
    “We had the best record in the league, but we knew we still had to go out there and prove ourselves. We’ve been the underdog before.”

    On the team’s reaction to being picked as the underdog in the series:
    “We don’t pay attention to what people say. We listen to coach and our confidence never wavered in this series. Coach kept reaffirming that. He said, ‘We just have to go out there and play our game.’”