Minnesota Sacramento Quotes

WNBA Post-Game Quotes
Minnesota vs. Sacramento
August 27, 2005 @ Target Center

Sacramento 61
MINNESOTA 52

Minnesota Coach Suzie McConnell Serio:

"We talked about Sacramento being the team that has dominated the Western Conference and being regular-season champs, so with this game we just wanted to come out and play hard and compete and see what we got. And we did that. Obviously, we didn't shoot the ball well in the first half -- shooting 21 percent -- and we really dug ourselves a hole."

"They are very talented and are a team that keeps their composure, and they have a good point guard in Ticha Penicheiro to take charge out there, but we made a run at them and continued to run at them. We competed the entire second half and played even with them, and they had starters on the floor at the end of the game."

"As disappointing as it was not to leave here with a win, our players still need to hold their heads high because they fought. This is something to get excited about for the future and for next year, and we will be a different team next year. I talked about with this team, the offseason being very important and coming back focused and hungry next year and competing. Because we will be a different team and do lot of different things next year to utilize our personnel."

"Not a lot of changes, but obviously needing additions. We have a player like Chandi Jones, who is so different, a first for us in the three years we've been here, in having someone that athletic and that quick on the perimeter. To have someone that athletic and that quick and to be able to utilize her -- put her on the floor with a Nicole Ohlde or a Tamika Williams, any players that love to run and thrive in that type of system. A system that I've always loved as a player and have loved coaching, and now we have personnel that can do that. I think our fans will enjoy that."

"Earlier in the year, when we had players playing a lot of minutes, we weren't expending a lot of energy with fullcourt defense. I think we have the ability to be able to do that in the future, with the team that we will put together next year and with the players that we have coming back."

Minnesota Forward Stacey Lovelace:

"Just the fact that we didn't quit. We were down, shooting really bad in the first half, and we came back and battled them and made it a game, when we could've just laid down and died after that first half. The game didn't really mean much on paper, but it just shows the character of the team... Having a season like this, it makes you want to come back and work even harder to change things for the next season, because it really leaves a bad taste in your mouth. So we've got to do whatever it takes to turn it around for next year."

"Obviously, we had some major changes with our team this year. Hopefully going into training camp next year, people will be more adjusted and knowledgeable of their roles, and maybe some people's roles will change. And we are going to have two first-round draft picks, and who knows how they are going to impact us, so we will just see. We've been to the playoffs before and this was a season we felt we could've made it again, but coming down the stretch we just didn't get the wins. We were just that close this season -- and we didn't even have that great of season, so that gives us a lot of hope."

Minnesota Forward Kristen Mann:

"Next year will be a completely different team and we are really young. Now that pretty much the whole team is going overseas, we are going to gain some confidence in our game doing that and then coming back. I think we're going to be pretty solid next year."

"Granted, this game didn't mean anything, but we had nothing to lose and we played hard and played our hearts out. And that's what really matters: knowing that we left it all out there on the floor. It doesn't look all that good on paper, but we just know that we left it all out there."

Minnesota Center Nicole Ohlde:

"We had a lot of up-tempo style of play in the second half, and you can take a lot of positives from that. We just wanted to win and make the playoffs, but there still are some positives we can take away. The game in itself didn't mean anything in regards to the playoffs, but I think when you're an athlete and a competitor, you always get pumped up for every game. And all of us wanted to come out tonight and play hard and get a win."

Sacramento Coach John Whisenant:

"We had to correct our flaws. When we played Seattle, we didn't defensive rebound. Our defensive rebound percentage was 50 percent. That distorts your defense, when you let a team get offensive rebounds. When you play sound defense and then you give a team second or third shots, it disrupts it. That's what we were working on: to keep that number under 20 percent."

"I wanted to play my key people 25 minutes or less, and I wanted to keep it to four- or five-minute stints -- that's when fatigue and injury can occur -- and we did that. And I also wanted to win... Minnesota's a team that has lost some key personnel, and yet they played hard and competed."

"I think only seven or eight teams won as many games as we did this year, and most all experts picked us to be last in our division -- and the rest picked us second-to-last. So to finish with 25 wins is quite an accomplishment for the Sacramento Monarchs."

"L.A. was a team that was picked by nearly everyone to win the WNBA title, not only the West. So they are definitely a frightening team. They've had some changes with injuries and coaching changes, but after 34 games, heading into the playoffs we're all 0-0 -- and they still have all those great players."

Sacramento Center Yolanda Griffith:

"They were missing some players, but we had turnovers that were unforced. We have to take better care of the ball and play better defense. They made a run, and we didn't stop their run. We just have to play smart. We can't afford a lot of turnovers. Like I said, we have to take care of the ball and knock some shots down."

"It took us the last three, four minutes to shut them down. We should've dominated this game. Like I said, it was the unforced turnovers. We can't go 25-9 and then have it take us a minute to show them down. Against L.A., they have so many weapons, so you have to start out strong."

"We can't worry about anybody. We have to take care of what we need to take care of -- defense, offense -- and then go from there. We can only predict our destiny, nobody else's. What L.A. did is what L.A. did. Each game is going to be a battle now. It's the playoffs: both teams are 0-0, and it's going to be a good series."

"I don't know how many games (Los Angeles) has won since Bryant took over as head coach. They have a new attitude about the game again, and they've tried to gather themselves and dominate like they have in previous years. We just have to play as a team (and) not have a lot of turnovers against them. When they make a run, make sure we have our own run."

"We're in first place for a reason. We're going to play L.A. the first game on Wednesday and we have to jump out on them early -- not let them get a big lead on us, because it's tough playing our defense coming from 14, 16 points down. It's tiring. I think if we start out strong, we'll be okay."

Sacramento Forward Hamchetou Ma´ga:

"We have to start from 0-0. Nothing is easy when you're playing basketball. We definitely want to win all things. Winning 25 won't mean anything if we just go to the playoffs. Our focus right now is just on the first round."

"Our focus is going to be mostly about us. L.A. is a great team; they have a lot of talent. We are going to focus on ourselves and play our defense."

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