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October 1, 2019

Kristi Toliver

Tianna Hawkins

Washington, D.C.

Connecticut - 99, Washington - 87

Q. Kristi, when Elena first went down in the first quarter, did you guys know what was happening at the time? Did you know she was going back to the locker room and then kind of immediately right after that, did you say anything to the team?
KRISTI TOLIVER: No, I don't know what happened. I don't even know where Delly is right now. You know, it's all about who's on the floor at that time, and we have people that stepped up today. We just were rolling with who we got. This one over here [Tianna Hawkins] did a great job filling in those shoes.

Q. Tianna, we talked this morning and you said you were ready, that part of this was just staying mentally ready to go in at any time, to be ready to contribute at any time. How were you able to do that and then be so effective on days like today?
TIANNA HAWKINS: I mean, like you said, it's a mental game, and just knowing that it's your -- well, I know my opportunities are different each night, and just constantly telling myself to stay ready when my name is called.

Q. Kristi, after kind of a rougher fourth quarter, what's your mentality going into the next game? How do you get right back into being you?
KRISTI TOLIVER: Yeah, that's it. I mean, just we've got to stay true to who we are. We will regroup, we will bounce back. This team is not in any type of panic mode at all. You know, we feel very confident because of who we are as a team and what everybody brings, and obviously when you go on the road, it's always more challenging, but we know where their advantage is, and that was points in the paint, and that was rebounding the basketball offensively, and so we clean up those two areas, this can be a very quick fix for us.

Q. You just mentioned one of the biggest problems in the game was rebounding. How do you combat that, work on getting them off the boards, especially for next game, specifically offensive rebounding?
KRISTI TOLIVER: It's a team effort. We've got to gain rebounds. Our bigs, they've got their hands full. So as guards, we have to get in the mix and help them out, and we did that for segments of the game. That was how we got back into the game is when we all got in there and nobody was leaking and we were just trying to secure the basketball. And so we just have to have that physical mentality from the jump. You knew that Jonquel was going to come and bounce back, and the way she makes a huge impact is on the offensive glass.

We're mindful of it. I think we're kicking ourselves right now because we knew what kind of punch they were going to make and how they were going to do it, and it still happened. I think we're ready to rock and roll. I think we're pissed off enough that we're ready to match that physicality.

Q. Emma [Meesseman] did so well in the Vegas series and obviously she was able to kind of play that physical game again tonight. What did you see out of her, and how proud of her were you guys?
TIANNA HAWKINS: Well, like you said, it's carried over into this series. She's been a lot more aggressive offensively, and then just to see her take her shot, we need her to do that because she makes shots and she's so efficient. We just need her to continue to do that.

Q. Obviously Aerial (Powers) and Tianna, you guys were a huge spark on the court, but did Coach say anything to get you guys emotionally prepared for that run you made in the third and fourth quarter?
TIANNA HAWKINS: It was just a collective thing. We saw how the game was going, and we knew we needed that spark. That's what we do coming off the bench, so that's what we did.

Q. Now that you're changing the environment, going to Connecticut, is it better for this break for you to like break away from basketball, or is it more like you guys think you need to get back into it, keep it going, or do you need that mental kind of away from the game?
KRISTI TOLIVER: We ain't going on vacation. (Laughter).

Q. Is it like a resting period time, or is it like just get back --
TIANNA HAWKINS: I mean, we have a chance to recover from tonight, but it's strictly business. We have to watch this game, rewatch the film, learn from it and get ready and prep for Game 3.

Q. Kristi, 6-of-20 tonight shooting. Are you still trying to find your rhythm? Do you feel like tonight was just a bad night?
KRISTI TOLIVER: Yeah, tonight was terrible. It was bad. It's a lot of shots that were makeable shots, and they didn't go down. (Smiling) I am kind of proud of myself because I can't remember the last time I shot the ball 20 times. But it's just finding the rhythm, and it's finding the conditioning level to play the 38 minutes when I haven't played like that in a while.

But that's why it's a series, and we'll continue to get better and continue to get stronger, and confidence isn't going anywhere, and the ball is still going to go up when I'm open. I'm not worried about it. And I like playing on the road, so looking forward to it.

Q. I believe you actually set a playoff record for bench points tonight. Kristi, how much faith do you have in that unit to come in, especially there was an Aerial Powers and-one where this place got I believe as loud as I've heard it all year. How much did that mean?
KRISTI TOLIVER: No, we have the best bench in the league. Everybody knows that. Connecticut knows that. We've relied on them so much this year and through injuries and people being out. That's to me the difference between our team last year and this year. The bench has just out-performed everyone that they've played against, and the energy they bring and the shots they make, we need that. We're going to continue to need that in this series, and we know what kind of energy level we're going to get from AP. We know she's going to attack. We know Shatori is going to do her thing when she finds a rhythm. We know TT is going to knock down her three-point shots and make big plays for us. And it's that belief that's going to get us to where we want to go.

Q. Kristi, you said you guys are pissed off. What's the difference between pissed-off Kristi Toliver and normal Kristi Toliver?
KRISTI TOLIVER: We will see on Sunday.

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