Minnesota Houston Quotes

WNBA Post-Game Quotes
Minnesota at Houston
June 7, 2005 @ Toyota Center

MINNESOTA 62
Houston 58

Minnesota Coach Suzie McConnell Serio:
"We got the win, and we did it with our defense. The 2-3 zone is something we worked on a lot in training camp and I never thought we would use it as much as we did tonight... It worked. We became aggressive and the zone gave us a spark, being able to create off our defense and rebounding. We just had a lot of energy, which gave us the opportunity to play Katie Smith and Nicole Ohlde a lot of minutes."

"They [Smith and Ohlde] were impressive tonight. They are our leading scorers. It was hard to take them off the floor tonight. In fact, they played the entire game. They were at both ends of the floor getting the job done. They played their hearts out. They were hungry tonight, and I couldn't be more proud of the way they played, including the entire team."

Minnesota Guard Katie Smith:
"I wasn't real aggressive the first game we played here. I was just settling for jumpers. It was my first game back from being out a full year. This game I was more aggressive in attacking. I stepped up and we had other people making plays when we needed to. Our defense was huge. Our zone killed their momentum, and that's what we needed."

"You've got to have options and you've got to have people who will step up and score, and that's what Nicole did tonight. With her, she's able to go outside/inside and I really think she is becoming more aggressive on the board -- giving us easier opportunities to score -- but really staying aggressive. When she's playing like that you keep giving her the ball, because she's making good decisions."

Minnesota Center Nicole Ohlde:
"It was definitely different from the last time we were here. It was close the whole game, and at the end we let it sort of slip away. But [tonight] we were able to keep the lead and execute down the stretch. Things are working well for us, and Katie Smith sparks us with what she does and it gets everybody going."

"Our defense led to our offense. They came out and scored on their first five possessions after halftime, but we switched over to the zone and made them become stagnant. It changed their momentum, and that's something we needed to do at that point."

Houston Coach Van Chancellor:
"I was just disappointed in how we attacked their zone. We spent as much time attacking the zone... It didn't give us any problems in the preseason games or anywhere, and we went absolutely brain-dead [tonight]. They didn't do one thing I wanted them to do."

"I thought we did a valiant thing to come back and play like we did. [The last turnover] did not beat us. That was just a symbol of the night. I could never get certain players in certain positions... At the end of the game, offensive rebound after offensive rebound just killed us. [Minnesota] didn't get but seven, but they were for 11 points. We just can't get them to block out. I thought we did a great job [defensively] when you consider that Sheryl has been sick all night and we held them to 62 points. We're playing championship defense, but we're not executing one thing I wanted them to execute."

"I'm happy to be 4-2, but I don't like to let a game get away from us like tonight when we had it under control at one time. Katie did a great job. I give her all the credit in the world. We let two players beat us tonight."

Houston Center Michelle Snow:
"I thought we played hard. They knew what we were going to do, and they took that away. We have to be able to adjust, because we have enough people on this team to where we can get it to any given player. We were trying to force the issue, but we have to live and learn. Luckily we get to fight another day, and we're going to learn from that mistake because we definitely gave that game away. Not to take anything away from Minnesota, they definitely did their homework on us, but at the same time we have to step up and go to another level."

"This team has already had to deal with [injuries]. We've already lost Tina, and Sheryl was sick today, but we have to overcome those obstacles. We are not going to make any excuses. This team has proven everybody wrong. We have more than enough to win. We proved that tonight. Even when the game goes down to the end, we know we have more than enough to win. We made too many mistakes tonight. We have got to stop getting outrebounded. There is no reason in the world for that."

Houston Forward Sheryl Swoopes:
"I don't even know what to say. We just didn't really execute on offense. We worked on playing against the zone from day one. There were just things, for whatever reason, we just didn't do. They played well, not taking anything away from them, but at the same time we kind of handed it to them, especially in the second half. It was pretty evident that they made lots of adjustments from the first time we played them this season, and I don't really think we did what we needed to do offensively or defensively. If we go out and execute at all in the second half offensively, then I think it's a different story. Again rebounding... We got killed on the boards. Like Coach Chancellor said, we rebound the ball, we've got a great chance of winning. We don't rebound, we've got a long summer."

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