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Postgame Quotes - Storm 76, Minnesota 73

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July 22, 2008

STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On the game:
They made a very big run at the end. They have a very good team. I also take my hat off to the players because we were out two-and-a-half starters. The play of Sue Bird, Camille (Little) and Swin Cash was just huge. I really believe Sue is the best point guard in the world, and I think she showed today why she is. She didn't have the supporting cast around her, and she rose up and made huge plays.

On Sheryl Swoopes' injury:
I think shepulled her hamstring in the first half. She thought she would be able to come back in at halftime, but when she came back out we realized she was done. I don't know how severe it is.

On winning with six bench points:
That doesn't happen very often, but many of our players that usually come off the bench were in our starting lineup tonight. I'm just really proud of our team today. It obviously gives us a great deal of confidence. Not only for the people in there, but also for the players who weren't able to go tonight. It was just a great team effort.

On the importance of the win:
Everybody needs wins. We feel like you need to get to 18 or 19 wins to make the playoffs, and right now we're sitting at 16. We have a share of first place right now and we need to stay ahead. Having home-court advantage is huge in the playoffs, especially in the WNBA.

GUARD SUE BIRD:
On playing short-handed:
I think this is a great experience for everyone on the team. It gave an opportunity to a lot of people on this team to really step up, play big minutes and contribute. Tonight was a confidence builder. When we do get our three players back in the lineup, it just makes it better for everybody. Now everybody is confident when they step on the floor.

On the win:
Tonight was one of the best wins in our franchise history. To be out three starters, come in after losing by 30 in our last game, and to go on the road to beat a very good Minnesota team - I speak for everybody when I say we have never been happier. We definitely gave up a lead, but so be it. We still won.

On playing with unusual lineups:
The really good thing about Coach Agler's system is for the most part our plays are just read and react. So it doesn't matter who it is, it's equal opportunity; we just plug the pieces in and play. There weren't many offenses called at our end. We were just playing. We just tried to take what they gave us.

FORWARD SWIN CASH:
On the game:
It's a huge win for us. I'm just really proud of my teammates. Everyone came in and played significant minutes and contributed to this win tonight. You have to be proud, knowing that you have three starters not playing. We came in and played hard for 40 minutes. Everybody really contributed today.

On the importance of the win:
This is my biggest win in my first year with the Storm. I have had some good wins, but this is the biggest because it showed we have a lot of heart. We had everything going against us, and we came out on top.

MINNESOTA HEAD COACH DON ZIERDEN:
On the game:
We talked about it at halftime. A lot of teams' defense feeds off their offense. In other words, when the offense makes shots, the defense picks it up. We need to become a team that starts with our defense first. Unfortunately tonight, the shots weren't falling. I don't care who you are or what level you play at, there's going to be days where Seimone (Augustus) goes 3-for-16 and Candice (Wiggins) goes 3-for-11. On those days, we have to find a way to tough it out with our defense.

Now I'll give our players credit: In the second half, they played defense. That's what got us back in the ballgame because we still didn't shoot it well. We must have shot 40 percent in the second half. When you don't shoot the basketball, you still have to have energy on defense. For half the game we did it. As a young team, we have found the other part of the equation to be when we play with energy, we can beat anyone. But when we don't come with energy, we can also lose to anyone. That showed up today.

On Charde Houston's game:
She really helped us in that first half. That's not to say she didn't play well in the second half. We were looking for any kind of energy in that second quarter. I thought she gave us a nice lift. We would like to see that consistently from her. That would really help us.

On Vanessa Hayden-Johnson's impact:
Vanessa made a couple of key baskets, but it's kind of like everything else. She had a rough start from the field. I think she was 0-for at the half. At that time we had a bunch of players that hadn't been able to find the basket. She made a couple of key baskets in the second. We were hoping to get her that last one at the end.

On the Storm's defense:
They play very well defensively. 35 percent for us from the floor - that happens to their opponents every game. I think they're holding teams to under 40 percent from the floor. When you can play defense like that, even when you struggle from the floor, you'll still be in ballgames. That's why they're leading the Western Conference right now.

On the importance of the game:
You have to win these. We're obviously disappointed, but basketball is like life in the sense that OK, it happened. How are you going to deal with it? We have to find a way to forget this one and have a good practice to get ready for Thursday. We're going to face a team in Indiana that plays just as good defense. It's not getting any easier for us.

CENTER VANESSA HAYDEN-JOHNSON:
On her potential go-ahead shot:
I wasn't thinking anything. I tend to miss when I think about the shot too much. I didn't think and I still missed. I think I just rushed the shot. I was playing terrible most of the game. It was frustrating... We should have picked it up from the first, second and third quarter. We can play with anybody. We didn't, and we paid for it.

On the Lynx:
We can't rely on our offense. I do that, we all do that. When I'm having an off offensive night, I don't play well on defense. I think everyone does that. When we're having an off night offensively, we need to step it up defensively. Seattle had four or five players in double figures. We live and die by our offense. We died today.

FORWARD CHARDE HOUSTON:
On the game:
Ultimately everyone has their roles that they were responsible for. My role on the team is to go in and bring some energy. I'm a spark off the bench, and today that's just what I was. ... The small things add up. But this is another lesson to be learned, and we are ready to play the next game.

On the Lynx's scoring:
It's not just about points. It's about maintaining my composure to make sure that I'm within my element. When I was watching my teammates' shots not fall, I was thinking to myself, 'Wow, these are shots we made against San Antonio. These are the shots that are within everyone's range.' They didn't fall today, there's nothing we can do about that. But as long as you stay positive, things will turn out better for us.

2008 Postgame Quotes/Notes Archive