Postgame Quotes/Notes - Connecticut 64, Storm 53
On the game:
We didnít shoot the ball very well. We turned the ball over too much. I just thought that Connecticut outplayed us.
On where the game got away from the Storm:
I thought we put ourselves in position at the end of the first half. We were down 12, but cut the deficit to just six points. Then we came down a couple of times and had a chance to tie the game in the third quarter, but we turned it over, took quick shots, and had some breakdowns defensively. We had a couple of spurts there where we didnít rebound the basketball defensively. Our struggles tonight came from a combination of all those things.
On Lauren Jackson's off night:
I thought (Sandrine) Gruda challenged Laurenís shots. The Sun congested the lane on her too. It was hard for her to get to the free throw line. The Sun did a good job on her as a team. You canít replace her. I thought Connecticut was in control of the game when she fouled out. We would have had to make some spectacular plays to get back in it.
On Sue Bird's shooting:
Obviously, the Sun did a good job on Sue and Lauren and Swin (Cash). We were just in a situation where we had trouble knocking shots down. Sue missed some open looks. She did get to the basket one time. My hats go off to them. I thought they were the cause of a lot of things that we didnít get done tonight.
On playing short-handed:
Every team deals with injuries. We just have to play with the hand that we were dealt. We have to make adjustments and make it work.
On Gruda's defense:
It wasnít her really. She was tough, but it was their whole team, really. They played a really good game. Asjha (Jones) was tough. All of them were.
She has always been a great shooter. She is very long and athletic. It is always difficult to guard players like that. Having that attribute certainly makes you a better player. She definitely makes some big baskets. Her shooting is great.
On the Storm's rough night:
That has been the story of our season so far. We really have to work on that stuff and improve. Unfortunately it didnít work out our way tonight. We have to get better from this and stick together as a team before our next game.
On the Sun's defense:
I donít know whether it was them tonight or whether it was us. We were not making shots. We turned the ball over. Iím not quite sure it was Connecticut, but more so us.
On being short-handed:
It is impossible to blame this on injuries. Every team is dealing with that and those teams that are mentally tough overcome them. We have had games where we werenít able to make the rally, but we have also had games where weíve come back and won.
On the game:
Connecticut is a very talented team. They have a lot of weapons. They are tough to defend. But when you look at the score, I think the issue for us is we didnít give up 80 points. We gave up 64. We only scored 53. That to me is something that we need to get better at. We started off shooting 2-for-10 and struggled offensively, but that is all within this locker room.
On the Storm's offense:
These things tend to be a domino effect. One bad thing happens, then the next, and then you feel like you canít do anything right collectively. We really need to look at ourselves in the mirror as a team and address those things. We know what the problems are. We just need to fix them. As hard as it is, it really is that simple. We just have to do it. They are a very good team and I donít want to take anything away from them, but I really feel like a lot of it is us. Obviously they caused some of our problems tonight, but I really think that we can help ourselves fix these things. I donít look at this game and think, ĎMan, we really played our best game of basketball.í I look at this game and think, ĎMan, we really played like you know what and we lost by 11 on the road.í Some of that is in our control, and some of it is what they caused. And the stuff that is in our control is what we need to work on to be a better team.
On the game:
That was like a playoff defensive game. I donít think we were pretty offensively; Iím sure Brian isnít happy with theirs. We shot 53 percent for two-thirds of the way through the first half and then it went downhill from there. I thought our defense was very, very good and made them have to work for everything they did. We made them work for every shot they got and had to work for most of ours. You give a complete team effort on the defensive end like we did all night and make hustle plays and come up with loose balls and forced turnovers.
I think her activity away from the ball was really big tonight. I think she believes that she can be a really good player in this league. Her body language and demeanor give her teammateís confidence.
On her defense:
Defense is not about learning skills or whatever - itís just mental. I think Iím more focused on the defensive end. I have to guard and do what I have to do on the court. I donít think about it, I just do what I have to do.
On playing against the Storm's stars in Russia:
That helps a lot. The more you play someone, the more you get to know about them, whether in Europe of in the United States. That definitely helps.
On the stretch run:
I think all teams realize that weíre getting down to the latter stages of the season. Weíre in a fight for playoff position so we just need to come out every night ready to play hard.
On the game:
You have to come out on the defensive end with a lot of energy then run up and down the court and find the open player or mismatch for the shot. Thereís ups and downs in every game and tonight we stuck together and we were able to get the win.
Sheís doing a good job being where she needs to be. Sheíll get better and better with that as the season goes along. Just being at the back of the lane, or if someoneís back cutting, sheís closing down the lane.