Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 81, Connecticut 79
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On Sue Bird's shot:
We've seen that before. We ran the same thing (that Connecticut was running), but Sue sort of tweaked it at the end, they took her cut away, and she popped out and caught it, took a dribble or two to her right and hit the shot. It was Sue Bird making a play.
On whether Bird is the most clutch player he's ever coached:
I will say this. She is extremely clutch and we try to give her the ball in those situations. She has come through numerous times. I've been around clutch players so I can't tell you that she's necessarily better, but I can tell you she's come through more than anybody I've ever been around.
On concern over players dropping their heads after Connecticut's score:
Yes and that didn't happen. That's what I said in the locker room. When they scored, (our team) was ticked off, but they didn't hang their heads. We went out, executed, put ourselves in position and Sue hit a shot. I thought we'd get a shot off, but you never know what the outcome is going to be. You don't know how the defense is going to defend certain things, but we ran it to get Sue the ball. They took away what we drew up and she kind of ad-libbed, caught it and hit the shot.
On the Sun:
They're a good team and one of the better teams in the league. They've been a tough matchup for us over the years. We had opportunities to secure this tonight, but could never hang onto it. We'd either turn it over or go stagnant offensively, but we just couldn't secure the leads we built. But credit to them. They're an exceptionally good team. They're well coached, they've got great players and they're really going to do well this year.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On her shot:
Brian drew up a play; it was what (Connecticut) had run the last couple of plays, and it was one where it was kind of pick the picker. Long story short and I think Connecticut is smart defensively and they could see what was happening. They cheated the screens a little bit and I was able to bounce back to other way and get an open look. I just was able to knock it down. I held my follow through a little longer to kind of squeeze that one in there. Sometimes you know, sometimes you're not sure. To be honest, the shot I got before was good and I missed. So this one I made sure to hold my follow through. They read the play and cheated and I had to go the other way. On ranking this shot in her career:
I think in last year's playoff run there were some memorable shots from that and because it was the playoff those probably take the cake, but this one the way the game went, us being up almost 20 at one point, them coming back, us making a run, and for them to get the lead with three seconds was really a killer. This was a game where if we would have lost we would have been sitting in this locker room talking about how we let one go. So to hit that shot and to get the win does mean a lot. We're fighting and jockeying for position just like everybody else. Every win is important.
STORM GUARD SWIN CASH:
On earning UConn bragging rights:
Oh yeah, of course. You saw how competitive Renee (Montgomery) was after the game. We're competitive. Whether we're here or USA Basketball, things tend to come back up.
On the game:
I was really proud of our whole team and Sue made some great decisions tonight. I've seen her make that shot a number of times. In Sue Bird we trust. She's proven herself over and over again. When she puts that shot, it's going in. It's funny because the play was one way and I saw her break the play and she did that exact thing and that's why she's so much different. She doesn't just follow the plays, she plays basketball. She makes those plays all the time.
On the game:
We buried ourselves too many times early. I thought we played very mediocre defense in the first half. If we'd played defense the whole game like we'd played in the second half, then we'd give ourselves a chance. Three out of the last four games we've let teams shoot over 50 percent in the first half and it comes back to haunt you. That's a great shot that Sue made at the end. She got open with an illegal screen, but it was a heckuva shot. I thought it was going to be short when it left her hand, but sure enough, she's made enough big ones in her life. That's why she's one of the best in the world. It had to be a great game for fans - not for me, but for fans. I'm happy my team, despite looking like they were buried three different times, gave themselves a chance to win. I thought we had pulled it out. We just needed one more stop.
On Cash's threes after Connecticut took the lead:
Those were killers. She was 1-for-5 at halftime and I told our team she's going to come out and try to get herself going a little bit. I thought she'd make her shots more in the lane than the threes, especially when you're struggling. You don't think a player is going to get themselves back with a three, but obviously she did.
On the similarity to last year's loss in Seattle:
Yes, eerily similar. We're getting there. This would've been a special road trip if we were to have won this game. We have one more tough one in Phoenix on Sunday, but if we could've figured out a way to get one more stop at the end, it would've made our season really good right now. That's the way it goes. I hope we learn something from it.
On the game:
Tough loss and we allowed Sue Bird to get a shot off at the end so it makes it even worse because you probably wouldn't want anybody else to shoot it but her. I think our team has been growing over the season, but a loss like this will take you back a couple steps. But we have a game next against Phoenix so it's not like we're going to take this game and lose in Phoenix because of this game. It's just tough when you let a player that has continually made big shots get a shot off.
On coming back from an early deficit:
We get down often. It's bad, but we get down often so I don't think it was really a worry. We knew we just had to get some stops and the shots would start to fall.
On the game:
It was a hard-fought game. They came out and played their game and had their fans with them. We had to come back from a lot and made that run and we were playing better in the second half. It's just a heartbreaker. That's Sue for you.
On running out of gas:
No, we were fine. We had energy. We did do that a lot last year and that's the team we didn't want to be. When you're on the road, you're going to have games like that. Coming off the L.A. game and having that energy â€¦ we're all professionals so we know that we can't think we're going to be tired. We just have to play through it.