Minnesota Phoenix Quotes

WNBA Post-Game Quotes
Minnesota vs. Phoenix
July 29, 2005 @ Target Center

Phoenix Mercury 69
Minnesota Lynx 65

Minnesota Coach Suzie McConnell Serio:
"You watched the same game, and I don't think there is any secret how we lost this game. You've got a 16-point lead... We became complacent, they became the aggressor, we didn't respond and they took it to us in the second half... Too many mistakes -- mental mistakes, not knowing when the shot clock is running down. I got a sense that nobody wanted to take the last shot, and we can't win like that."

"It doesn't get any easier from here. They are a team that we could've beaten tonight, and they are much better at home. They have players that can take over a game. Do we have what it takes to be a playoff team? Absolutely. Did we show it tonight? No."

"But not the way we are playing. Not the mistakes that we made and continue to make. Kristi was the missing piece to the puzzle. At 3:30 left on the clock, my instinct was to put her back into the game. And I didn't. I should've had my starting point guard on the floor. Not that AJ isn't capable of it, but Kristi was doing a good job defensively and being the vocal leader that we asked her to be. And she wasn't rewarded for it."

"You have to go on to the next game, but this one hurts. We can't play with a lead, we can't come from behind. We just haven't been able to find a way to win... We missed too many free throws. We were horrendous from the free-throw line... Too many offensive rebounds. Way too many."

Minnesota Forward Tamika Williams:
"To have a 12-point lead and to have them come back, one player doing most of the damage, that hurts... We need to get back to doing the little things. On paper, we're the youngest team in the league, but with three-quarters of the season over with, we just have to play big and hope we can get over that hump."

"Two games that should've been in the bag -- this one and the last one (at San Antonio). It's only going to get tougher, going on the road now. Sacramento we are away, at Detroit... It isn't going to get any easier, so we need to figure it out. It's going to be a good challenge going on the road before the playoffs. If we're going to get there, we need to start winning on the road and prove that we can."

Minnesota Guard Amber Jacobs:
"I thought we went on some runs, but we weren't getting defensive stops when we needed them. They came out attacking and had nothing to lose. In the end, we just couldn't pull it off."

"Every time I come into the game, I just try to keep the tempo that Kristi starts -- just try to be a spark off the bench. They played off me, gave me a couple wide-open shots, and I was able to knock them down."

"Defensively, they are a hard team to defend. Me being a smaller guard, I knew I just had to keep them in front of me and do my part on defense. Offensively, I thought we really looked good as a team. We really executed, used our inside/outside attack. And then in the second half we kind of just strayed away from that."

Phoenix Coach Carrie Graf:
"That was a hell of a comeback for us. Minnesota shot the ball exceptionally well in the first half, so that they gave us a clinic. They executed their offense extremely well. They killed us on the interior with their post play and with penetration, but we hung tough and relaxed a little bit offensively... Our defense tightened up and we got our hands on a lot of balls. When you're not shooting the ball well, your defense has to kick in and it got us back in the game and certainly won it for us tonight."

"I think we were terrible offensively. I think our shots didn't go in early and that hurt us, and that was similar to the game last time here. We got ourselves into a hole and shot the poor really poorly. But we hung tough down the stretch. I think defensively we really stepped it up and that turned it around for us… You know the fact that we could cause 20 turnovers really made a difference for us, and I think our second-chance points, most of those probably came in the last six minutes."

"Anna had the task on Katie for most of the game, but our goal was to limit Katie as a team. We had to get pressure on the ball to make it tough for her, you know, when she was open to give Anna a chance to get through and for our team to help Anna negotiate picks. Anna does a great job defending star players, but it was certainly a team focus to make sure we limited Katie's scoring. For a while there the other girls were killing us. Their penetration -- both with the pass to the post and off the dribble -- really killed us tonight, but fortunately down the stretch we tightened that all up."

"I think we were a totally different team back then. When we were here last time it was a back-to-back as well. I think we're just a much different team than we were then as far as our personnel. We've had to change some of the things we do because we have a different lineup. The people that we have do some different things offensively and have different talents defensively, so it has taken us this time."

Phoenix Guard Diana Taurasi:
"To come into a game like this, against Minnesota where they are really good at home -- a really good, solid team -- it was a big win and just shows how this team has matured... I think (the comeback) is just a year of maturity. Last year if we would've faced a situation like this, we would've started taking bad shots and kind of gotten out of our stuff. This year I think we feel like every possession, we can make an impact. So we try to think in little stretches of four minutes to try and get back into it, and we did a great job."

"(The tying three-pointer) was a shot we needed to make, and it was up to me to make it this time, so it felt good... I've been comfortable since the second grade. That's what you practice for. You're either going to make it or miss it."

"I've been through stretches where I couldn't hit the side of a barn with a handful of rice. You go through stretches like that, and when people keep telling you you're in a shooting slump... You can't worry about what people say. You've got to go out there and play basketball. Katie's one of the best players I've ever seen play, and this is just a little wrinkle in her clothes. She'll be fine. In no time, she'll be back out there doing what she does."

Phoenix Forward Penny Taylor:
"It's a huge win, especially against Minnesota because they are in that playoff hunt. So it was big for us -- like a playoff game... It was a big effort defensively, and it was just us getting our jobs done on our players. In the beginning, we were a little soft in our defense."

"Kamila and Maria are great basketball players, and having them on the team has helped us jell... I think we have a lot of confidence on this team and in each other. We know any one of us can make a great play. We play great defense as a team. At the end there, we played great defense together and got stops when we needed them."

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