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October 4, 2015

Stephanie White


Indiana Fever - 75
Minnesota Lynx - 69

COACH WHITE: I'm just really proud of our team. I think all season long our greatest strength has been our depth. It's been our perseverance. It's been about our ability to handle adversity. It's been about our ability to take care of our teammates. Tonight was no exception to that.
Minnesota made their runs, and we knew they were going to make their runs, but our team collectively just pulled together and found strength in numbers and found strength in one another to be able to get a win on the road. I'm just really, really proud of them.

Q. Steph, how happy were you, especially with your perimeter offense and how multi‑dimensional it was?
COACH WHITE: I was really happy. We talked before about Briann January's pace. She's just playing with a different poise, and she's playing at a different pace, and she's reading her options and understanding and knowing when to take her shot, when to attack the rim, when to find her teammates. It's been her growth process. I thought she was, again, exceptional.
Shenise Johnson, this is the first time she's ever been in an environment like this. She looked a little hesitant to me at first, but she found her groove and found her rhythm, and her ability to put the ball on the floor and score at the rim and break people down and find the open teammate.
Z's been here before. She understands what it takes. She didn't have a great game offensively because she struggled to put the ball in the hole, but she made the one that counted, made huge defensive plays as well.
Obviously, with Marissa and her ability to stretch the "D"‑‑ Marissa has never been on this stage either, and she hit a critical three‑point shot for us and got a critical defensive play right at the end of the game.
I think our team, we just believe in one another. We trust one another, and we understand that, no matter what happens through the course of a game, if we come together, we're going to put ourselves in a position to win.

Q. Stephanie, how would you assess Coleman's development in these playoffs? She had a big game today, as you mentioned, and Game 3 of the New York series, she was just as clutch.
COACH WHITE: I think it's been great. Marissa's growth on both ends of the floor has been tremendous. I think, if anything, her confidence is really sky high. She's in a system and with a franchise that believes in her, that wants to utilize her in ways that make her successful, make our team successful, and she trusts that we're trying to do the best that we can to put her in a position to be successful.
And the things that she brings us in terms of our spacing, her size and versatility, allowing us to move Tamika around as well as move her around, it's just a perfect fit.

Q. Stephanie, Moore and Fowles did their damage, but how key was it to shut down Augustus and Whalen and keep them as quiet as you did?
COACH WHITE: It was huge. One thing about this team, they have so many weapons. It was big for us. It was big for us to make sure that everything that Maya Moore got was difficult, and it was. She's going to make difficult shots, and we have to live with that. Seimone hit an incredibly difficult pull‑up jump shot in the fourth quarter towards the end of the game, and we can live with it as long as we're making it difficult.
Then for us to be able to limit their second chance opportunities is extremely critical. We have to do a really good job of being locked in on the box‑outs and being locked in when we're in rotation. You know you're not going to‑‑ you can't even hardly contain Maya Moore. She's going to get what she gets. Sylvia is a beast when she plays like that. There's not really anybody better when she puts her mind to it inside.
Fortunately, we were able to get away with keeping everybody else in single digits.

Q. Talk free throws, 100 percent from the line. When you get to the finals, every point counts. Has that been a huge area of contention for you guys? That's a pretty great percentage across the team.
COACH WHITE: I'm not a big believer in making a huge deal to our team about free throws made and missed because it's so mental. As a player, the last thing I want to think about is how many free throws I missed because then it just makes me tighten up.
I emphasized to our players how important it is to get to the line, and when we get to the line, let's take advantage of it. Those are missed opportunities. But I don't put it in their head one way or another about the importance of making it every time we get there.

Q. Stephanie, for much of the season, you were concerned about trying to get the fever to play new style, new tempo. It seems like, in these last few playoff games, the defense has just improved so significantly. What do you attribute that to?
COACH WHITE: Well, I think the culture of our team, the culture of our franchise. Defense has always been a priority. Gary Kloppenburg is the best in the business when it comes to defensive strategy, understanding how to take away opponents' strengths and make their lives difficult. Really, getting back to our defensive energy all year long has been the difference in our wins and losses.
At this time of the year, you've got to be able to grind it out on the half‑court because nobody is going to allow you to play to your strength. If our strength is in transition, every team is going to take it away. That's what being in the playoffs is about. That's what this time of year is about.
While we're not able to get exactly what we want offensively, we still understand, at the end of the day, offense doesn't matter if you don't find a way to get stops, if you don't find a way to get boards. Our team takes it to heart. It's a core value of our franchise, and it always be a core value of our franchise.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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