Minnesota Seattle Quotes

WNBA Post-Game Quotes
Minnesota vs. Seattle
June 26, 2005 @ Target Center

Seattle 70
MINNESOTA 73

Minnesota Coach Suzie McConnell Serio:
"I obviously felt that [Smith] would be rested, and I wanted to get her the ball and get her involved early, since she was fresh. The players really stepped up when she picked up her fifth foul. It was a risk that I guess we were willing to take, of leaving her on the floor when she picked up her fourth early, 18 minutes to go. The first thing I said in the locker room was, I learned my lesson."

"The players really stepped up and gave us great contributions in Katie's absence... Lass held it down until we were able to get her back in, and Stacey has been unbelievable for us. She shot 2-for-7, but just her contributions defensively, with rebounding, her size, being able to execute offense... She has become a very valuable player for us, being able to play inside and outside with her versatility."

"The first possession that [Smith] came on the floor, I just ran a play, called a set that would just get her moving. Not necessarily the first option coming off of a screen, it would be just getting her involved and getting her warm again. It's very tough for a player to sit that long -- for any player -- especially players coming off the bench, being thrown into the fire in crunch time and being asked to produce."

"After the heartbreaking loss in Indiana, we came into practice yesterday and the emphasis... was on defense. We drilled them on box-outs, we drilled them on close-outs, being disciplined about staying on our feet, helping and rotating. Even down the stretch in a timeout, we reminded them [we're] learning from our mistakes in the past of giving up offensive rebounds and not boxing out, or not rotating to the open player. A lot of times it's tough to match it, but Seattle's playing with a sense of urgency, so we need to be able to match that."

"Lauren Jackson shoots 1-for-11... Nicole Ohlde had the responsibility of defending her, and did a great job. But it was a team effort. People were digging on her, people were helping and rotating. Overall, we still gave up 70 points and allowed Sue Bird to go the length of the floor on three consecutive possessions and get layups. We need to get defensive stops down the stretch. They were able to cut it to within three. They just ran out of time."

"We've always had battles with Seattle. A lot of times they've come down to end-of-game situations. It creates great matchups with Ohlde and Lauren Jackson, and you've got one of the best point guards in the game playing in Sue, so our point guards get motivated to play against someone of Sue's caliber. And Betty is an exciting player. We've had great games against them, and we need wins like this if we want to be in the postseason. They're the defending champs, and I can't say that that's something we talked about before the game, but every win is crucial."

"Kristi Harrower was someone who played well for us tonight, and finally got on rhythm with her shooting... Eighteen assists on 21 field goals. That's when we're at our best: when we're sharing the basketball and we're moving it. We're making the extra pass, and we came up with some timely ones tonight. Katie found Stacey Lovelace for a huge '3' late in the game."

Minnesota Guard Katie Smith:
"It was a rough game overall on both ends. We had people step up and make big plays on both ends. We made some stops in the end, made our free throws and were able to get the 'W'. I think overall our defense was good. We were aware of where Lauren was and contained her. Sue, we did a good job of containing her. We just knew our game plan and really helped each other out. We didn't allow them to get very many fast-break points. For the most part, especially in the first half, we did a nice job of boxing out."

"Playing anybody and beating them twice is pretty good. It's a rough league; everybody is equal. But knowing they didn't have Sue out there [in Seattle] and then coming back here and playing against their full squad, it's just a great win. Tonight was just a huge team win. If we play like this, we are going to be in every ballgame. Vanessa was wanting the ball, Ohlde had a little spurt there, and we definitely have the players to get the job done."

Minnesota Guard Kristi Harrower:
"When Katie gets double-teamed or tripled-teamed, or if she's in foul trouble like tonight, then we need other players to step up -- and I think we have the players to do that. We are good enough to do that. I felt like our defense was great tonight. We held Lauren Jackson to six points, and we did a good job on Sue Bird. So their main players, we did a good job on."

"Everyone was great tonight. It wasn't just one or two people; everyone was great tonight. I think it's just staying focused on what we need to do. We needed to go inside. Katie sits a long time on the bench and then comes in and hits two '3's, and then gets Stacey open for a '3'. We also knocked down our foul shots. I just think we're a team that is going to get better as the season goes on."

"When Katie is out there and she finds other people, we need to be able to knock down our shots -- and tonight we did that. The five that are out there have got to work together, and everyone has to step up. Katie is a big-time player for us. She probably sat 30-35 minutes counting timeouts and all, and then she came in and hit big shots. She is just an awesome player."

Minnesota Center Vanessa Hayden:
"When Katie went out, I think the team's mindset was, we need to stick in here until Katie gets back out here. It was tough without Katie, but we held on. It just shows that we can play with teams on the West Coast. It wasn't a pretty game tonight, but we played until the end and came out on top."

Seattle Coach Anne Donovan:
"We didn't get it done [rebounding in the first half]. In the second half, I think we allowed Minnesota only three offensive rebounds, but it was something like 14 in the first half. We just were not boxing out. We were allowing hustle plays and [the offensive rebounds were] keeping them with the lead. It's very disappointing for me to be standing here talking about it again after another game."

"We had some good stretches, especially in the second half. But for ourselves, down the stretch, offensively we really struggled. When Lauren is not shooting well, our offense struggles. We all look to her for offense, and when she's not hitting shots -- like tonight -- we have a tendency to rush it, kind of like we did in the second half. Lauren had two field-goal attempts at halftime, and we wanted to get more attempts from her. And that led to us being guilty of rushing it in the second half."

"The one positive for me tonight was that our bench scored 30 points. It's really remarkable for me to say that they had 30 points. You're not going to win, though, when all of the Big Three are having an off-night. Betty, Sue and Lauren all were having struggles tonight, and that makes it tough to win."

Seattle Guard Sue Bird:
"If we would've played the first half like we did the second -- even though the second was not a perfect half by any means -- I think it would've been a different result just because they really killed us on the offensive boards. They killed us. They had 10 offensive rebounds at halftime, and then we only gave them three in the second half and I think that was the story."

"We had it. We were up two, maybe three points in the final four minutes, and they made the push and we didn't... I think it's more that we're not coming out aggressive. I think if we come out aggressive and play hard and match whatever other teams have, that it will be different."

Seattle Forward Simone Edwards:
"I tried to set myself up to go to the basket. I have to keep playing my game. The past few games I've been 1-for-1, and I just want to focus on my finishing. That's what I keep on doing. I want to go in and bring some energy. A lot of the posts are big and tough, and I try to do what I can by getting in their face and just trying to bring some energy."

"It always hurts after you lose. In the first half we let them have too many offensive rebounds, and these are the things we talk about before we go on the court. We just need to be more focused, go out there and do it, instead of coming in here and sometimes it's too late. We were able to make the adjustment and limit them to three offensive rebounds in the second half, as compared to 10 in the first half."

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