Additional Quotes >> CSKA Moscow 75, USA Select Team 65
On today's game:
This was a disappointing loss. We knew we had to hold them to a lower scoring output and we did that, we kept them in the mid-70's, but we just couldn't put the ball in the hole very well tonight. I don't know if it was fatigue or the fifth game in six days, but we just didn't play our best that's for sure. Offensively we didn't make shots, we had some turnovers at the wrong times when we were trying to make a run. It just wasn't our night.
It looked like the USA team never gave up, the players kept fighting back:
I think so. We kept thinking our shots were going to fall. We were shooting so poorly. We didn't shoot well in the first half and we felt that in the second half we would start to get on a little bit of a roll, but it never happened. We had good looks, we just couldn't knock them down. And in the meantime we were really having to work hard defensively. So we were expending a lot of energy at that end of the floor and that wasn't helping us get our legs offensively.
What can you take away from this experience?
This was great, it was a great building block for us. It was a very competitive tournament, playing CSKA twice and Ekaterinburg once, we saw some great competition against some great international players that we'll be seeing on their respective Olympic teams. It was a great competition. With only nine healthy bodies, with Loree Moore not able to go (sore left knee), we had nine players who all saw significant minutes on the floor. It was a good experience in that sense because we got to evaluate a lot of players and our perimeter players built more chemistry and got more opportunity to work together. Through the course of this tournament we've definitely gotten better.
Sue Bird, Seattle Storm
On today's game:
Today's game was tough. They came out very aggressive and they forced us into a lot of turnovers early on and they were able to run on those. That really set a tone for them. For us, it wasn't our best game, but we never gave up. We kept coming back, trying to cut the lead. We just got into a hole early and we weren't able to dig ourselves out of it.
On some of the turnovers:
It's frustrating when you do things that you don't normally do. It's frustrating when it's things that are in your control. They were aggressive, I do give them credit, but at the same time a lot of the things that happened out there were because of things we didn't do, not because of what they made us do. That does get frustrating. But throughout it all we stuck through it and tried to come back, it didn't really work out for us.
What can you take away from this tournament?
I thought that even though there we do have some people who played in Chile, it's pretty much a new team. You can go down the list: Janel McCarville has never played for USA Basketball before at this level and I thought she came in and did a great job, same with Katie Feenstra, someone who's never played USA Basketball. The plays are new, the defenses are new, playing with everybody here was new. We definitely had some growing pains, especially in the Lithuania game, but the two wins we had against CSKA and UMMC, I don't think people realize how difficult those games were and how good those teams are. Those are teams that my Russia team has always played against and they're all-star teams. So for us to come in, especially on UMMC's home court, and to win, is great. I see a lot of positives in what we did this week, even though we didn't take home the gold.
Katie Feenstra, Detroit Shock
How has your experience been playing with this team?
It was fun playing with everyone and getting to know everyone. You play against them in the league, but actually playing with them is a lot of fun. I thought that the competition in this tournament was awesome. We really came a long way from day one of practice to this game. We were here for such a short time, but we came such a long way and that was fun to see.
How difficult was it for you to pick up Anne Donovan's system?
It was pretty easy for me. She was a post player so she knows how post players think and what my strengths were. I thought she did a great job coaching.
Do you feel good about your performance here?
I'm glad about how I progressed. The first couple of days I was thinking that it was going to be a long time for me being here because I wasn't up to par at all. I'm pleased with how I progressed, but I wish we would have won tonight. I wish I could have made those extra points for us to win, but you can't take anything back.
On today's game:
It was really tough because it was the two best teams in the tournament that made it to the finals. We have a very good team and yet, you have a couple of the best players in the world inside on CSKA and everybody came to play today.
The USA team never gave up and kept fighting until the end. What does that say about the team?
It's just USA Basketball. I don't think any one of us wanted to give up at any point in that game. All the way down to the wire everybody thought we had a chance and anything could have happened. We know to play through the runs and give it our best from tip to finish.
Were some of the turnovers getting frustrating?
Yeah. Not to take anything away from CSKA, they're a great team. But a lot of the things we did gave them easy opportunities to score. We didn't limit their transition, they hit a lot of big threes in transition because we weren't matched up. All of that is stuff that we can take care of as a team. Obviously being together for such a short amount of time we weren't able to make changes on the fly. But as the team spends more time together getting ready for the Olympics, everything will fall into place.
Are you pleased with your performance out here this week?
Yeah. Personally I always feel I can do better. You can't really set too high of a goal but I wanted to come in and establish myself a little bit, do whatever the team needed me to do and go from there.
And do you think you left a good impression?
I hope so. I hope my name is in there somewhere, but I know there's a lot of great post players in USA Basketball. I know I have my work cut out for me to be up there with them. It's just a start.
On today's game:
We came out hard, we didn't come out smart and that was the difference in the game. We gave them a lot of transition baskets, a lot of run outs, a lot of easy buckets underneath. We can't do that, we have to come out strong, confident and smart. We didn't do that this time.
Were some of the bad turnovers getting frustrating?
Some of the turnovers we had were comical and some of the turnovers were back breaking, like you were at a point where you knew you could make it a closer game and then we had some turnovers or missed assignments on defense. It kind of broke our backs. It didn't break our spirit because you can't USA's spirit, but it broke our back in terms of doing what we wanted to do in getting back into the game. We fought to the end, you have to love that. We fought to the end, to the last buzzer and that's all you can ask for.
What positive aspects of the tournament can you take away from this experience?
We still played well. We still played really well. We stacked up well against some of the best players, some of the best teams in the world. You take that away from it. We also had some good chemistry. Even today we had spots of brilliance in the game. Even though we lost, there were some good things that happened. It took them, they played the best that they could play, to beat us. The best that they could play. If we had hit two more 3-pointers it would have been a much closer game. For us, we know we are the best team. Even though we're not full strength and this is not the typical national team, like the one that was in Brazil, was in Chile, we still took the best that they had and we only lost by a little bit. For us, that's great. We can take that away with us. And we played our hearts out. We didn't give up. We have nothing to be ashamed of.