Postgame Quotes/Notes - Connecticut 75, Storm 70
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On coming back:
I thought we got some stops defensively and I thought that Swin (Cash) was really key in those runs. She really took it upon herself to take charge and get a couple of three-point plays. We scored off of our defense a few times and then found ourselves back in the game.
On playing without Lauren Jackson:
Since I have been here, we have played quite a few games without Lauren. We have a good group of people in that locker room who are great competitors. But in this league, it doesnít matter if you have all your people or youíre missing people. If you donít come out ready to play from the beginning, youíre going to find yourself playing from behind.
On how Connecticut built a lead:
They did a good job defensively in the first half against us and we got stagnant. We didnít play the game as well as we could have. They were scoring off of their defense a few times. They played in the first half like we played in the second half.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On two different halves:
Thatís kind of the story with this team right now. Itís a little bit of the tale of two halves or tale of two teams. When we are clicking defensively and getting stops and able to run and get our offense off of that, that is when we are at our best. We just had some lapses in the first half where we let them get those leads. Then we had to try to turn it back up. That was the story for us tonight. We talked about that after the game. We know we cannot succeed playing that way. So it has been addressed and now we just need to keep improving.
On Cash's performance:
Swin played great tonight. She was aggressive in getting on the block and taking advantage of the mismatch that she was finding down there. She was really the one that was making us go tonight. Unfortunately, at some point, more of us have to step up. When she comes out of the game for a rest or for a switch in the rotation, itís up to the rest of us to keep things going. Itís unfortunate because we had some opportunities tonight. With everything being said and done, we had some opportunities that we didnít take advantage of. To me, thatís the reason why we lost.
On the Storm's resilience:
Of course, there is something to be said about a team that can come back, but there also needs to be something said about why we are falling behind like that. I think that is what we are going to focus on in trying to improve. However, if you give yourself a chance to win on the road like we did tonight, like I said, there is something to be said about that.
STORM FORWARD SWIN CASH:
On coming back:
We just played with a sense of urgency. We were getting after it, attacking the basket a little more and doing the things that we understand that we need to do in order to be successful. Obviously, Iím not happy that we didnít win, but I think this is hopefully a learning experience for us. On where the Storm is at:
The playoffs arenít tomorrow. Weíre still gearing up and itís still early, and hopefully we will make our push in July. The West is really tight. There is great competition in this league. The teams are getting better. You cannot take anyone lightly. We have no time to rest, though. We have Washington next. We know Lauren isnít going to be here. Now we have to find ways to get it done collectively.
On the game:
We shot a poor percentage in the second half and hung on for dear life and we won. We made a bunch of good plays at the end, other than jumping in the air on the last shot. In general, youíre going to have runs in the game. We knew they would make another run. They are too good. They are the defending champions; they have good players. I thought they were going to make a run at some point, and they did.
We withstood the last run. We got two big stops when we needed them at the end and thatís the end of the game.
On winning without a field goal in the final six and a half minutes:
Itís pretty scary that we went 0-for-9 considering how well we had shot the ball earlier in the game. We were shooting fifty-something percent in the first half, and you know thatís probably not going to last either, but you would hope that you would shoot at least 40 percent in the second half. Instead, we shot 31 percent. I donít know what to say. We won.
On trying to get more shots for Tina Charles:
They double-teamed her hard every time she caught it in the lane and I thought she got fouled a couple of times. But she made great passes out and people missed open shots. We missed some open threes right in front of our bench that she made great passes on. That would have probably sealed the deal too. Would I like to get her more shots? Yes. As it is, she got 17 shots, and that is with double-teams.
On enjoying a healthy season:
I felt like í07-í08 was the best that I played and obviously the last two years I havenít been all the way right as far as my health goes. I would say probably since 2008 this is the best that Iíve felt, first and foremost, and so much of playing well is feeling good about what you can contribute Being a shooter, when your lower half doesnít feel right, youíre going to have to overcompensate in some sense. That was the thing that I struggled the most with my right knee was coming off screens and being able to get a good base.
On her recent hot shooting:
We have a few players on our team right now that have great confidence as far as making shots. My shot feels really good right now. I havenít been shooting a ton as far as getting a lot of reps up and what Iím doing is making them. Iím not trying to overanalyze anything - just shoot it.
On her role as a veteran:
I love emotional players. I would rather have to turn someone down than turn someone up. I canít stand players that you have to get them going. I love that part of the game and I have always been one of those players that people donít really like if Iím not on their team, but I feel like my teammates love me, the way I play, and the emotion I bring.
On maintaining composure as the Storm made a run:
We donít hang our heads. Last year when the other team would make a run, we would say, ĎOh no, not again.í But this year I think we have a little more composure. We just know that we can look at each other and relax and say, ĎWeíre going to get it.í So I think itís just a matter of learning each other and just being more comfortable with each other that we can look at each other. We donít have to say anything, we donít have to pump each other up, but we have that common bond that we know we can get it done.
On winning back-to-back close games:
The fact that we are able to pull out these wins is awesome for our confidence and it just lets us know that we are capable of withstanding a teamís runs and eventually we will get it done. You donít want to have these games at the end of the season, but if we can have them early, thatís the way you have to look at it - itís a learning experience.