Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 82, Washington 76
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On his halftime speech:
I said the same thing at halftime that I did before the game, except I was a little more pointed. The message was exactly the same. I don’t consider whatever I said to them the difference-maker, but they regrouped and that was a little bit different team playing in the second half. There was no change of message from pregame to halftime. The words were almost identical.
On Camille Little's third-quarter play:
She was focused. She was poised and she finished. She made a great cut off when Lauren (Jackson) was doubled one time and she cut to the basket. That sort of got us going, I thought. We took what they gave us. We took it, we scored and that relieved the tension a little bit.
On back-to-back slow starts at home:
My message after the game was that every team in this league is good. People are going to come in here and be focused and they are going to play a very good game. We’ve got to be ready for that. The last two games we’ve not got off to great starts.
On bench contributions:
I thought both Svetlana (Abrosimova) and Le’coe (Willingham) gave us great play in the second half. Le’coe was very active in terms of rebounding and finishing. Svetlana made a couple of big plays defensively and hit a huge shot for us. I like what they’re giving us.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On the difference after halftime:
Obviously we didn’t have a great first half and sometimes it just takes one person to spark the rest of the team and I think Camille was one of those people in the third quarter. Again, everyone made big plays.
On why the Storm fell behind:
I don’t know. We gave up a lot of easy buckets and we compounded the problem by fouling and giving up a lot of three-point plays. You’ve got to give credit to Washington. We like to think that things are in our control, but they were also playing very well. Luckily, we were able to turn things around. Some of it was just hustle plays and then we got a little frustrated. We were missing assignments that we don’t normally miss. They’re tough and strong and that kind of put us on our heels.
STORM FORWARD SWIN CASH:
On the style of play:
It felt pretty physical. When I used to play on the East Coast we always used to say that the East had more physical play than the West Coast and we felt that tonight. I think we settled in in the second half. They punched us and we punched them back.
On starting slowly:
I think as a core group we’re putting a little more pressure on ourselves to start out of the gate a little faster. That’s definitely a point of emphasis for us.
On the game:
We just have to finish games out. We gave up like four or five wide-open threes in the fourth quarter that really got the crowd in the game and brought them back. I thought we fouled too much - whether we did or not, we put them to the line and they got a lot of free throws. 36 points in the quarter - that’s not going to do it. We held them below that in a half so it was just a defensive breakdown in the fourth quarter especially. We didn’t get physical with them, we didn’t go after the ball and we gave them a lot of second opportunities. We can’t get down like that. We had a good lead and we need to hold on to it.
On the difference after halftime:
I think they really got on the offensive glass. In the first half I thought we controlled the boards. They got some second shots that hurt us. I thought Le’coe Willingham came in and was big for them, especially in the fourth quarter. Their threes - we let their crowd back in the game and that’s tough to do.
On containing Lauren Jackson:
We had different people on her. She’s a tough player, she’s a tough matchup. I thought we did some good things. We played a lot better than we did in Connecticut, but unfortunately we didn’t get the win. We just have to regroup, continue to defend, take care of the ball and eliminate our fouls.
On the game:
I’m disappointed in the loss. This was definitely a game we could’ve won and should’ve won. We had some breakdowns in the second half and the game got away from us. There are some things we can learn from this, but we’re disappointed that we lost.
On the turning point:
The momentum changed when they were getting offensive rebounds and they got a few wide-open threes. The crowd got into it, they got into it and the momentum shifted. We weren’t able to bounce back from that.
On her improvement and offseason work:
The offseason is always the time to work on your game, but I think this year I’ve been a lot more aggressive than I have been in the past. We’re down a player (Alana Beard) who brought a lot offensively and defensively, so everybody has to step up and bring more to the table.
On the difference in the game:
It just sucks because we were playing great in the first half and in the second half we kind of fell apart a little bit. They made a run and just got the best of us.
On defending Jackson:
She’s a great player. We were just trying to be physical with her. You know she’s going to get shots so we were trying to contain her a little bit. Everyone knows she’s one of best players in the world.
On what changed in the second half:
I think they were just a little bit more physical than us and did a good job on the glass, especially Le’coe and Camille Little. They came in and gave them a spark getting offensive rebounds.