Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 91, Phoenix 85
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On his halftime speech:
We didn't talk about Xs and Os. We may have talked about a couple of things for about 15 seconds. The wrong character was showing in the first half, in my opinion. We needed to come out and play better together, have each other's backs. We were selling each other out in the first half - body language and those things. Every team at some point goes through that. It always happens when you go through a tough time. The really good teams, the ones that end up advancing, are the ones that can respond to that and get things back together in a short period of time. That's really what we did tonight.
On what that says about the team:
It's good that they can respond and come back. It wasn't a hard sell. I know that there were things said before I got in there; I know there were things said after I left. I don't think it was just my conversation that made things change. I think it was a matter of us regrouping and being a little bit embarrassed. We didn't talk about winning the game. What we talked about is trying to get back in the game and give ourselves an opportunity. I wanted to get within 10 going to the fourth quarter and we had a chance to tie it up going into the fourth quarter if we hit a couple of free throws.
On the Mercury:
Phoenix is a great team. They're one of the top teams in the league right now, playing well offensively. They're going to win a lot of games down the stretch.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On the game:
I think what you saw tonight was a very good Phoenix team. The way this is going to unfold is there are going to be teams come playoff team that are playing very well, regardless of record. Phoenix is one of them. We knew coming in it was going to be a challenge. I think they caught us by surprise a little bit, just how fast they are. We know they like to get up and down the court, but all of a sudden we weren't prepared for it. They really got out in transition and it hurt us in the first half.
On the difference in the second half:
It was nice. I think it was great for some players who don't log as many minutes to get out there and get back into the team game and get a feel for the game. I think that will help us down the road.
On the Storm's level of play:
I don't know the percentages, but I guarantee you offensive rebounds and transition were the key to getting them that lead. As everyone knows, we're all about defense. That's what we thrive on. It wasn't there for us. We were letting them get easy things and that's really not how we play. What we talked about in the locker room was all that and how we wanted to get back to our defense.
STORM FORWARD SWIN CASH:
On the game:
Playoff atmosphere, yeah, of course. I felt it was going to be that coming into the game, though. These are two teams, obviously, that have respect for each other but know there's a possibility of meeting each other come playoff time. So I didn't expect anything less today and I don't expect anything less the next team we see them.
On her mindset:
It's funny, but I was very calm at halftime. I didn't really say too much. We basically said, 'Get it done.' I have a lot of confidence in this team - we've done it before - but I think it means a lot because we're at home. Our fans played a big role once they started getting into it. The first half, they were looking at each other like, 'What is going on?' Then the second half, you make a bit of a run and everybody gets into it. That momentum really helps us. You have to give them some credit as well.
STORM CENTER LAUREN JACKSON:
On the game:
I'm really proud of the girls. Everyone stepped up. The locker room at halftime was pretty somber. Everyone just sort of dug deep and got out there and played defense and that was the one thing that won us the game.
On the game:
They’re a great team. Sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windshield – my dad’s favorite line. It’s true! If I remember correctly, every time we’ve won (a championship), they’ve swept us in the regular season. Not that I was trying to lose on purpose or anything. But you know what? We know what we need to do – we just didn’t do it. We have to show some more poise, forget what the refs are calling, forget the crowd – and they’ve done it before. We’ll be alright. I’m not disappointed at all. We lost to a good team – it’s the best team in the league. We played them tough. It’s going to be good because, percentage-wise, it’s hard to beat somebody seven, eight times in a row. I’d hate for it to be the other way around. It was a good game, though. I hope the TV liked it. We’ll be back.
On the game:
It was a good game. Both teams were going pretty hard. It was a good regular-season game. You have to play 40 minutes to beat any team in this league, so today we put in a good first half and in the second half we didn’t get some things we wanted to. Playing at home, that usually happens.
On DeWanna Bonner:
DB played great. It’s been a good road trip for her. She’s really come off the bench and played really well for us. We just become that much better when she’s playing at that level.
On Kara Braxton getting acclimated to the team:
It’s good. Things take a little time, so we’ll go back home and work on some things. Hopefully that’ll help us down the line.
On the game:
The first half was great - up by almost 20 points going into the half. We came out sloppy in the third - not playing defense and not crashing the boards. Seattle is a good team and they made a run and we weren’t able to stop it.
On foul trouble:
It’s tough. We just have to play through bad calls. You try to be aggressive, but sometimes they take that away from you. We just have to be smart and, like I said, play through the bad calls.
She’s doing well. Like when I first got here, you just have to get used to the pace of the game. I thought she did a great job on Lauren in the first half, just kind of laying on her. When you get a little fatigued, the mental’s got to kick in, but overall I think she’s doing pretty good considering this is only her second game.
When the offense got a little stagnant, she was making cuts, layups and knocked down a big three for us in the first half. A lot of hustle plays, second-chance points … I thought she played really well.
On defending Jackson:
She’s one of the best players in the world so it’s kind of hard. She’s going to get her points so you just have to try and contain everybody else. But she had 33 points … you just have to play her early and not let her sit on you on the block. She’s a great player and she’s going to score.