Minnesota Connecticut Quotes

WNBA Post-Game Quotes
Minnesota vs. Connecticut
July 17, 2005 @ Target Center

Connecticut 72
MINNESOTA 53

Minnesota Coach Suzie McConnell Serio:
"You can't shoot 29 percent and win a game, not against a good team like this. We didn't shoot the ball well. Defensively, we made adjustments to try to do things differently, but they just have so many players that extend the defense. Their post players were hitting high-post shots and corner shots, posting us up... This is a team that is dangerous -- so many scorers. We struggled. They made us struggle."

"We spotted them 10 points to start the game. We're down 10-0 and cut into it. After the first five minutes, we cut into their lead. But then they're a team that capitalizes. Every time we made a mistake, they capitalized. Once again, we allow a team to score 23 points off of our 15 turnovers. We have to have a mindset that (if) we turn the ball over, we're going to pick up the defensive intensity. We seemed to have the reverse effect, where we took ourselves mentally out of it defensively."

"A lot of times we got open looks. But obviously, some were contested. They made Katie (Smith) work for what she got today. That's a focus, always. Katie Douglas has always had that kind of focus. She's glued to Katie, wherever she goes. That should open things up for us."

"Margo Dydek, her presence on the floor makes a difference... When she was in San Antonio and when she's been here, she's, for the most part, had good games against us. We're just a team that she seems to thrive on."

"(Abrosimova) has back spasms. At halftime, she was worse than she was when she started the game from sitting. She'll be a day-to-day thing with her back, and just continually rehab that. Obviously it's disappointing because she was coming off of two very good games for us. She's someone who is a spark for us, creates offense, so it was disappointing that she wasn't out there today. But would she have made a difference? I don't know. Lass wouldn't probably have gotten the opportunities that she had gotten, and Lass was a spark off the bench and ended up starting in the second half. Obviously it changes the mindset going into the game, changing the starting lineup."

"What we've learned is we haven't gotten any better from the last time we played them, to be able to compete with them. It was disappointing that we weren't able to compete and make it a better game at this point in the season. You hope you learned from what you did well and what you didn't do well the first time you played them. Obviously this time around, our goal was to contain Lindsay and pick her up. She's been their leading scorer the past five games, I think. She's someone we did contain, but she found people and then they made the extra pass when we did help."

Minnesota Guard Katie Smith:
"We obviously put ourselves in a hole. We did a nice job of fighting back a little bit, but it was still a nine-point game going into halftime and that's still reasonable to work with. Second half, we still couldn't get a lot of shots to fall and we turned the ball over a couple times. They got on the break, still continuing with a little momentum, and they kept it going."

"Dydek had a nice game today. A little bit of everything: the turnaround, she put the ball on the floor, defensively she does a nice job of using her size... She's a good player and she's really thriving in that system and with those players. She is 'one-of' here with Connecticut. I think she has a lot of people surrounding her, which gives her a lot of one-on-ones, gives her some driving lanes because they have shooters on the outside. I think she is really talking advantage of the situation, playing with who she is playing with. It's good to see her play well, but she had a great game today."

Minnesota Center Vanessa Hayden:
"(Lewis) fits right in. She came in and just jelled with the team. She is a great athlete, and that's why she's here with us. I think she's picked up on everything quick and she's doing well... They (three point guards) all bring something great to the team that's different, but I think Ty really gets the pace of the game, the tempo of the game. She pushes the ball. She's a transition ballplayer, and I think that's great for our team because we need it."

Minnesota Guard Tynesha Lewis:
"It's going to take a little time, but my teammates have been great and the coaching staff has been great and embraced me, teaching me the offense and philosophy of the team... It's been about eight days with practice and a couple games. Katie has been talking to me, Tamika's been talking to me, just the ins and outs and me learning where my post players and where my guards like the ball. All of them can shoot, so it makes it easy for me to penetrate and just kick it to any of them and they can knock down a shot. So it's getting easier."

"In the WNBA everything can be short term, whether you signed a year or for whatever, but I just try to go out there and have a good time. Whether it be for the rest of the year or for seven days, I just try to make the team better in that time."

Connecticut Coach Mike Thibault:
"I thought our team came in here and did a good job of playing a complete game. We did a good job of helping out on defense and contested just about every shot, making things hard offensively for Minnesota. With Abrosimova out, we did a good job of concentrating on taking their three primary scorers (Smith, Hayden, Ohlde) out of the game, limiting them to 7-for-32 from the field. We did a very good job defending Katie Smith tonight. Margo also did a great job in the paint of either altering shots or forcing Minnesota's inside players to kick it out for better looks."

"I thought Lindsay did a great job of getting a lot of those hockey-type assists tonight. Her passes set up so many scoring opportunities for us. When she is playing like that it's contagious for our team, and that makes the game fun for everyone involved on offense."

"I was a little nervous coming into this game. Minnesota has played so well at home this season. We have also struggled here the past couple years. There is also a lot of hype whenever Lindsay returns to Minnesota. However, I think our team did a good job of treating this like any other game and executed very well tonight."

"I thought Margo played well in every aspect of the game tonight. The last week or so has been a big breakthrough for her in terms of playing with intensity for long periods of time. She has been very aggressive for us lately, and that aggressiveness on both ends of the floor tonight played a big part in how well we played as a team."

Connecticut Guard Lindsay Whalen:
"It was nice to come in and play the game. We're playing well right now. We know what everyone's role, and that's nice. We just need to keep that on the top of our minds... We had a nice tempo the whole game and things just flowed well. They made a couple of nice runs, but for the most part I thought we played well. We had a good tempo, we shot the ball well, we got a lot of people involved, so it was definitely a good team win for us."

"Our team has big goals and we want to accomplish them this year. Every game is important for us, and every game we treat like a playoff game. That way we do not overlook any game... When everyone is unselfish -- you move the basketball and make that extra kick every time -- good things are going to happen. It's something that we work on every day in practice, making that extra kick."

"Having a year experience just being with the team, that whole aspect's a little different. It's not like last year when every road game is a new arena. Coming back it felt more comfortable, and that's the way it's been for me this year."

Connecticut Forward Nykesha Sales:
"All of our losses have been on the road. We only have four of them, but they've been on the road. We keep those certain things in the back of our heads, having better second halves and getting wins on the road... We've lost one game against the West, and we just need the confidence that we can beat the better teams in the league. The West has always dominated. We've got to get our minds right. We have two or three losses against the East, and they are hungry for us. They want to be in the position to win the conference and have homecourt advantage and want tie-breakers."

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