Postgame Quotes/Notes: Storm 83, Phoenix 64
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On the game:
We played with a lot of energy tonight. I thought we played both ends of the floor very well, and I'm really excited about the play off the bench. Svetlana (Abrosimova), Alysha (Clark) and Shekinna (Stricklen) all provided a lot of good energy and productivity for us. On pushing the ball:
We needed to do more of that. We weren't doing that very well, and we needed to put more pressure on our opponents. We're a really good defensive team, but offensively it's like a roller coaster. We needed to get out in transition and try and score quickly.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On going into the Olympic break with a win:
We dug a big hole in the beginning of the year and we knew in order to have a successful second half of the season we were going to have to finish strong in the first half of the season. We're happy with the win. It leaves a good taste in our mouth going into the break.
On getting good shot attempts:
We just focused on running. We have a lot of players that drive in transition, and we haven't really gotten much of it. And Brian really stressed that. We wanted to use our defense, which is one of the better defenses in the league, to generate some offense. All it took was Brian reminding us of that, and we were able to execute.
On her chemistry with Katie Smith:
Katie's one of the best shooters of all time. Any time you can get her open looks, it helps our team so much. We were a little short-handed; we only had eight players, and a lot of the players we're missing are post players. So she's had to come in and play four even. But when she's in that spot, it is a good opportunity to run pick-and-pops to get her some looks. And it was working. She was knocking them in so we just wanted to milk it.
STORM FORWARD KATIE SMITH:
On her shooting:
It was nice to get going and make them have to worry about something. In the rest of the game they had to close out, and that opened up other things. Overall as a team, it felt good because everyone was contributing and playing hard on both ends. On heading to the break rather than the Olympics:
Oh, I'm happy. I wish them luck, but I'm excited about having a break and having some downtime in the middle of the season. It's good.
On Samantha Prahalis' ankle injury:
I was thinking, 'That's kind of hard to do.' It looked bad when it happened. She went all the way down full touch, so I thought it was pretty bad, but it was negative. And she's pretty tough. It swelled up, but now it's not bad.
On the team's plan for the Olympic Break:
We're going to do individual stuff, lots of individual stuff...a lot of tape and film to show too. There are some things we need to work on to try and get better. We'll use every moment of it. We have a plan where we'll do weights with half the team, the other half on the court and then we'll switch. We have film sessions so we'll break it down too.
On injuring her ankle:
I shot and just rolled my foot. I came down on my foot and rolled it. It's just sore but I'll be alright. I'll be good when we come back.
On the first half of her rookie season:
It was alright. I think we can make a lot of improvements, though. I mean, it was decent. I just have to get used to the travel and just keep my body healthy during the break. But it was alright.
On her progress during the season:
It started out a little rocky and frustrating. I was dealing with my foot injury at the beginning and trying to come back from that and I feel like I was rushing. But now it's more about just letting it flow. I can't get frustrated and I can't get mad about not taking a shot or missing a shot because I'm going to miss 100 percent of the shots that I don't take. So, I've just been kind of growing in the area of looking for my shot.
On playing without Charde Houston:
Confidence was definitely there tonight. With Charde being out tonight, I knew that we definitely needed offensive power from everybody. I needed to step up and make sure that I was accountable. It was pretty emotional and the refs let us play for the most part. You're going to have calls you disagree with and try to beg for and I think that's where the technicals came from. That's where the emotions and the frustrations come from.