WNBA Post-Game Quotes
Minnesota vs. San Antonio
August 9, 2005 @ Target Center
San Antonio 72
Minnesota Coach Suzie McConnell Serio:
"We like to keep our fans in the seats until the end -- no early exits for our fans."
"A win's a win; doesn't matter. There's no asterisk next to the 'W' saying it was ugly. It was more difficult than it had to be down the stretch, but we found a way to win, and right now we're still in the thick of things. This is a great sign of the character of this team, that we have fight in us."
"We got great performances in the second half. Stacey Lovelace... we played her at the post primarily in the first half in the previous game. She came in (tonight) and we put her out at the '3' spot, and she was a different player tonight for us. She made great contributions rebounding-wise, defense and on the offensive end."
"Give Tamika credit. She's playing on one arm, with the bad shoulder. She's been nursing a bad shoulder... the last couple games. She's played with a lot of heart, and that heart needs to be contagious. (She's) a true leader, on and off the floor."
"Obviously we showed spurts of being very good. Tonight was more ugly than I would've like it to have been, but San Antonio is a good defensive team. I'm pleased that we're 2-0 right now (this week). I'm excited about the next two games, and them being back-to-back, we have an immediate answer within a couple of days."
"Within three days, we'll know exactly where we stand. It will be a huge challenge, going to play Detroit and then getting back-to-back against Seattle -- two very good teams, and both teams trying to stay alive in the playoff race as well. This is crunch time. We're confident that we can do it, but it's just a matter of continuing to prepare, and the players continuing to believe. It's all confidence right now with the players, and believing that we can get it done."
"I think people underestimate San Antonio. They're a very good team. They have every element. They have an Olympic point guard, and they have Marie Ferdinand, who is an All-Star. Katie Feenstra is 6-8 and has been a dominant force as a post player, and then they have LaToya Thomas back healthy now, who has been a great player in this league. They have all the tools."
"I think it's a perception, because of their record, that they're not a good team. They're a very good team, a very talented team. They've been in every game, and they've battled every single game. I don't think there's any disappointment or sigh of relief that this is, 'We got lucky to win this game,' or that we shouldn't have won this game or that we should've won by 20. I have a lot of respect for Dan Hughes and his team, how he prepares his team and how hard they continue to work. By no means was this considered an easy victory."
"It's obvious, because it's going to be a 'flow-of' game. What we run at the end of the game could be determined by what we run early in the game and who is successful. Vanessa Hayden, obviously, is somebody that we were running things for tonight late-game. Stacey Lovelace is someone we ran plays for, and she's one of our best free throw shooters, so we wanted to have her on the floor. AJ is one of our best free throw shooters."
"We have options. In the past, we knew who we were going to. But right now it's going to be a game-by-game situation, and what's special about this team is, there's been someone different to step up and be the star each night. It's up to them; it's their opportunity."
"V, with seven offensive rebounds, that's huge. The more we watched film, (we) pointed things out to Vanessa of her not anticipating, putting herself in position when a shot goes up to become an offensive rebounder. That's something that she's now made a conscious effort of, and it was evident tonight. She was a different player out there... She was aggressive on the offensive end. She came to me and said, 'Suzie, I'm going to guard the big girl,' referring to Feenstra. She came with a focus, and she came ready to play tonight."
Minnesota Forward Stacey Lovelace:
"It's like a shooter's dream; the basket is so big for you. I played pretty much under control. I don't think I forced anything. I just took what the defense was giving me and just took my time. I felt like in the last few games, I was rushing things when I would get the ball inside or get the outside jump shot."
"I'm just happy we came away with this victory. When I got out there, I was just trying to bring some kind of a spark any way I could do it. Fortunately it came in the form of a three-pointer. I was the one they left open and I was able to knock it down."
"We went into this week with four games, three of them at home. Our goal obviously is to win four out of four, but we've just got to take one game at a time. Hopefully at the end of the season, we'll be in that fourth spot. I think we are learning. Every night someone different is stepping up. As long as we get a win, we don't really care where it comes from -- who does it, who doesn't do it. All that matters is that we come away with a win."
Minnesota Forward Tamika Williams:
"What I liked about (the first half) is the first five minutes we played great. In the second half, I told them we've just got to remember the first six minutes. Whoever else came in brought energy and made plays. We played with a lot of energy. I just wanted to bring energy. We got guards moving, getting open shots, people rebounding."
"I think the way Stacey played... I compliment her because she didn't play great in the first half, but she came out the second half and brought it. That's the difference in our team: anybody can do it on any given night. We are very young, so every play is big. We've got to believe that we should be there in the end."
"The good thing about this league is that teams can go on runs. Teams that have no hope of being in the playoffs are going to beat teams. The end of this season is going to tell a lot about teams. Winning on the road is going to be huge."
Minnesota Center Vanessa Hayden:
"Sometimes I worry about the wrong things, like the officiating. I get frustrated, but I think Nancy Darsch, my post coach, does a great job of reeling me back in and setting me straight."
"I think I kind of took it personally when we lost at San Antonio. Katie Feenstra is a great post player. She's a big post player and she had a great game (in San Antonio). I have to defend her all night. It was a lot for me and I had to go out and play hard. She's an awesome player and I've never played against someone that I've thought is stronger or just as strong as me like her. I felt like I did have to prove something against her, but I do think I got the better of her tonight. Not saying I outplayed her; it's just because we won."
"Most teams do not know who our go-to player is. That is one thing about this team: everyone is good. We don't need to have one or two All-Stars. We have everyone who is willing to play as a team. That is what it's going to take: everyone playing together as a team."
San Antonio Coach Dan Hughes:
"I think the key (in the second half) was that they got to the glass on us and got some second shots. The free throw where Tamika Williams got the rebound and putback, and Vanessa Hayden was able to get behind for some putbacks. I thought in that aspect, that really hurt us. We had gotten a couple of stops, and down the stretch we did a good job on them. But we made a couple of turnovers in that stretch. When we were shooting the ball, we were being effective."
"That's what we talk about. It's really been an evolution to be in these type of games, and I think we have to learn some lessons for taking care of the ball and executing late offensively. Tonight, the big lesson was that we didn't rebound well. If you work hard on defense and put yourself into position for a rebound and then don't get it, that will kill you."
"I think Minnesota (now) looks to go inside more to Hayden. They make her more of a factor. I think they have gotten more assertive play from different spots. It makes more step up, and you have to be ready for that."
"(Ngoyisa) played well. She's been coming up big for us, her and Shyra Ely both. Those are two rookies who came off the bench and did quite well for us tonight. I think both of them have been escalating their play, and that showed tonight."
San Antonio Guard Marie Ferdinand:
"We knew they were coming off a big win versus L.A., and so we needed to come out with a lot of intensity and we had to match their intensity from the very beginning. I thought they jumped on us early, but we did a good job of getting back control of the game... (Coach Hughes) said we needed to get off to a better start (after halftime) and stick to the game plan, which was to executive offensively and limit our turnovers."
"It is a big difference (without Smith), but they still have a good player with Chandi Jones, and the others players step up as well. I thought Amanda gave them some huge minutes tonight and Chandi Jones, she's slowly but surely getting into it. Their post players are just as good. Of course Katie is better -- she's an Olympian and all that kind of stuff -- but you still have to prepare for them just like as if Katie was there."
"I thought we did a great job. We just weren't able to get stops down the stretches. They did a great job on the boards -- they had like 18 offensive rebounds. We're not going to win games like that. Overall, you've just got to get good team defense, a good stop down the stretch. I thought Vanessa Hayden gave them huge baskets down the stretch. It was just a heartbreaker, but I was happy we were still able to continue to fight."
San Antonio Center Katie Feenstra:
"They're a great rebounding team. They're strong inside; that's one of their major strengths. They're great post players. I give them a lot of credit. They have a lot of talent inside and are very strong... We let them have way too many offensive boards. The lack of our execution on offense when we had a chance... We didn't execute very well."
"We need to keep our heads in it and not give up. We need to just take every game one by one."