New York Liberty vs Connecticut Sun -- Game 1 -- Post-Game Notes and Quotes

2008 WNBA Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, Game One

Final Score: Connecticut Sun 63, New York Liberty 72
[Connecticut, 0-1 vs. New York, 1-0]

Game Highlights:

High Points
Liberty: Shameka Christon, 19
Sun: Tamika Whitmore, 16

High Rebounds
Liberty: Cathrine Kraayeveld, 10
Sun: Whitmore & Asjha Jones, 6

High Steals
Liberty: Loree Moore, 3
Sun: Kerri Gardin & Lindsay Whalen, 2

High Assists
Liberty: Moore, 7
Sun: Whalen, 6

Worth Noting:
The Liberty tipped off its ninth post-season campaign this evening and took the series advantage at 1-0 over the Sun. It was just the third time in franchise history that the team has opened the first round series at home and the second consecutive opening win for the club.

Connecticut's bench outscored New York's 26-18.

Tonight's game marked the second meeting between New York and Connecticut in all-time WNBA Playoff history. They previously faced off in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals.

With the victory, the Liberty achieved its first win over the Sun in Playoff history. The all-time Playoff series now stands at 2-1, in favor of Connecticut.

Cathrine Kraayeveld recorded her first career double-double in the post-season, with 15 points and 10 boards. Shameka Christon's game-high 19 points tied for a Playoff career-high. Her 19 points also ties for the most by an individual in the all-time Playoff series between these two teams.

New York Liberty Quotes:

Head Coach Pat Coyle

On tonight's game:
"Rebounding and offensive execution were two of the three goals that we actually accomplished tonight. We have to take better care of the ball, It makes our lives better. We played with a lot of energy tonight."

On the Sun players:
"I have the utmost respect for Ashjha Jones and Tamika Whitmore. They have three legitimate all-stars on that team. They are going to make their shot we just have to make it a little more difficult for them. They are a terrific team and they made their run, fortunately we were able to withstand it."

Shameka Christon

On the Liberty:
"We are probably the deepest team in the league as opposed to last year were we had a rotation of 7 or 8 I think that will definitely be key for us. Everybody can come in and contribute and we trust each other and are very confident."

On the Sun:
"Coming into this game we knew Lindsay Whalen definitely is the engine to the Connecticut team and then you have (Tamika) Whitmore as well as (Asjha) Jones who also does a great job. We knew they would score but we wanted to frustrate them as well as contain them because I think they are definitely key."

On Cathrine Kraayeveld:
"Cat has been awesome on the rebounds. She has been our Dennis Rodman towards the end of the season. She does a lot of things for us and it's hard for teams to defend her because she can shoot the three pointer. She stretches the defense there and if you get too close she's going to penetrate and go by you so I think she's definitely our "x" factor.

Ashley Battle

On the Playoffs:
"We just have to go out there and stay mentally tough and stay focused and try to finish games. Last year, we had Detroit on their heels both games and we could not finish games. Hopefully, we have learned from our mistakes and we can get a victory."

On Saturday's game in Connecticut:
"We have to stay focused and prepared, and be ready for the adjustments that they are going to make, and keep playing at a high level. Tonight we played at an extremely high level, and I think it worked to our advantage."

On tonight's win:
"It is very huge, but we have been in this position before last year and we are not taking it for granted. We want to go out there and play hard, and hopefully have the success that we did tonight."

Connecticut Sun Quotes:

Head Coach Mike Thibault

On tonight's game:
"They just played better than us, particularly the first half. They jumped off to a great start, they made every three (pointer). The first quarter was a disaster, the confidence Christon (Shameka) and Kraayeveld (Cathrine) had in the first quarter shooting in their building was great. I thought when we got off to a great start in the third quarter, and got it to five we had a little momentum, but then they made a big play and we would have a couple of bad possessions and then its back to nine or ten. Our play was just not good enough. We have to get more people involved and do a better job passing the ball. Someone else besides our two post players have to step up and score."

On playoff game two:
"We have been in this situation before. The last time we went to the finals in 2004, we lost the opening game of the playoffs in Washington D.C. It was a game that was very similar to this. We did not play well, but we bounced right back at home. I am glad we are going home to play, I don't like the format but that is what it is. We will return home, watch video, and prepare for the next game."

Tamika Whitmore

On tonight's game:
"We shot ourselves in the foot. There are corrections we need to make. Our coaches know what they are and we know what they are. Other than that, we have to sweep it under the rug and move on to the next game."

On Saturday's game in Connecticut:
"There will be an advantage for us, with our fans. We have corrections to make. We have to make them, and then play on Saturday. It's do or die."

Next Up:

Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals will send the Liberty and Sun to Mohegan Sun.
The game will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 20 and will be televised on MSG Plus and NBA TV.
It will also be streamed online at NYLiberty.com.