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October 11, 2015

Cheryl Reeve

Indianapolis, Indiana: Game Four

Minnesota Lynx - 69
Indiana Fever - 75

COACH REEVE: Indiana played great. Played like a team that didn't want their season to end. Played with great pace. They had to be thrilled with their offense, in particular, just the way that they came at us. Frankly, it probably started with their defense. We started early in the game with silly turnovers. They were very opportunistic.
Had a decent first quarter for us, and then it just kind of went downhill after that, but Indiana turned it up. I mean, they had one player outshot us. Briann January outshot us at the free‑throw line. We had 9 free throws, she had 12. That's not good for us. 26 free throws, and it was all Indiana just creating a pace, doing what they do, straight line drives. Straight line drives. Our defense was not as good as we need to be.

Q. Cheryl, despite the defensive show, fourth quarter they had one basket. You guys were fouling on purpose, obviously. Just talk about your defense in the first seven minutesof that ‑‑
COACH REEVE: We finally decided to try to get after it. We identified before the game that, in order to win a Championship, we had to play great defense. Just play great defense. And we just didn't get that done until we had that sense of urgency in the fourth quarter. Too late. It's too late at that point. It gave us a chance.
But had we kind of had that sense of urgency and activity early in the game, that would have been better for us.

Q. Coach, the game was pretty evenly contested up until about the three or four minute mark of the third quarter. And then the momentum completely shifted to the Fever. What happened in that moment that created that complete shift?
COACH REEVE: We couldn't get stops. We couldn't get stops. I thought that they just, again, were very persistent. Had great flow to their offense. They had to be thrilled with the way their offensive schemes worked out for them.
We weren't good in one‑on‑one defense. We weren't good in help defense, and they were getting to the rim. That's what they do, one to five feet. Indiana was the second best team all season, shots up from one to five feet. And that leads to opportunities at the foul line and leads to offensive rebound opportunities. It's just not good for your defense when you let a team get that deep, and Indiana was very, very persistent in that area.

Q. Cheryl, how did the foul trouble on Sylvia affect your ability to defend the paint? As you noted, Indiana was able to get those short lane shots with impunity.
COACH REEVE: I'll state the obvious. Sylvia being in foul trouble affected our ability to defend the paint.

Q. I think this is the fourth game 5, and you were part of two of them with Detroit. I know you probably wanted to close it out, but from a league standpoint, this is a pretty big showcase.
COACH REEVE: Yeah, it's been a great series. It's absolutely been a great series. Four really, really hard fought games. Why not go to Game 5? It's been that good of a series. It's one of those things that people like to see that. I think it's good for the game. Good to have eyes on our product right now because there's a lot of great things to watch and a lot of great people out there, putting it all out there.
Compete for a championship. This is the epitome of it. You're seeing passion on display. You're seeing great athleticism and teamwork and all that good stuff. It's only fitting that we go to five games.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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