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Postgame Notes: Atlanta 79, Minnesota 88

August 28, 2020 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Atlanta Dream News Release

Atlanta Notes

- Atlanta's record against Minnesota moves to 9-21 all-time.

- The Dream started Chennedy Carter, Courtney Williams, Betnijah Laney, Monique Billings and Elizabeth Williams.

- Betnijah Laney...

o Scored 22 points for her 13th double-digit effort of 2020.

o Scored at least 20 points for the fourth time this season.

o Dished out five assists, her 7th game with at least 5 assists.

- Elizabeth Williams recorded her second double-double of the season and 13th of her career with 12 points and 10 rebounds - her third double-digit scoring effort of 2020.

o With her three blocks tonight, she needs only five (276) to tie Erika de Souza (281) for the most blocks in Dream history.

o She also needs five to reach 300 in her career (295).

- Monique Billings scored 10 points for her 10th double-digit effort of the season.

- Courtney Williams dropped 17 points for her 10th double-digit game this year.

- Blake Dietrick scored in double figures for the 5th time this season with 11 points.

o She knocked down at least 3 three-pointers for the 4th time this season. Prior to this season, she had only done that once in her career.

- Chennedy Carter made her first appearance since an ankle injury sidelined her during the August 10 game against Connecticut.

Atlanta Quotes

Head Coach Nicki Collen

On the difference between their game against the Lynx today versus their game last Sunday...

"They were actually very similar. Really similar. Didn't get off to a good start, battled back. Battled back quicker, even tied at the end of the first quarter. Those offensive rebounds -- we gave up too many offensive rebounds. Turned it over too many times in the second half, and quite frankly, if you look at why we lost the basketball game, we didn't put the ball in the basket from two feet. When you look at our posts, they were 8-of-25. Most of those were inside five feet. We just struggled to score at the rim. This is not a shot blocking team. Ultimately, I thought that last group really battled. I think Napheesa Collier affects the game in more ways than points -- her offending rebounding. They used her as a helper. They know [Damiris] Dantas is going to get beat on the roll. They know she's going to beat it off bounds, and [Napheesa] Collier does an amazing job of coming and bringing length. We just didn't play through her contact."

On how it makes her feel to have other home team leagues support the team's stance on social injustices and systemic racism, and if she has spoken to any other Atlanta team's head coaches regarding the topic...

"I have not. I think this is an issue that is so much bigger than Atlanta. It's so much bigger than professional sports. I think the solidarity is the solidarity from coast-to-coast in this country. As we say, "sea from shining sea." This is a big deal. I think what we're trying to say is Black lives matter. When you say all lives matter then Black lives have to matter. I think it's continuing to talk about that message. Equality means equality. Is that too much to ask for? I think our message is the same. I coach incredible Black athletes, but they're more than athletes, and when they go home they're human and they're Black. They have brothers. They're affected by this and the emotions in this. The emotions were heavy. I honestly think part of why Elizabeth Williams missed some layups today was this has been heavy. She's on the Executive Committee. She's had to speak for teammates. She's had to speak for all 144 players in this league. I just think it's wearing on her. It's emotional. It's a lot. As teams were reflecting over the last two days and almost having a day off, she was on TV and she was on this and she was on that. I thought it showed tonight, because this is a bigger issue than basketball."

Guard Blake Dietrick (#11)

On her game and how it feels to come back to the court tonight...

"It's been really heavy. We were the first game that night. So, the decision happened less than 30 minutes before tip-off. That was really a lot to handle when you think of preparing for a game, and you hear the talk of the NBA is doing something, then suddenly we're showing our solidarity with them. Which is great, but it all happened so quickly and then we had the visual and we had a full league meeting. I think we got a lot done and we got refocused on what our goal for the season is. This shirt is on backwards, because I wanted the "Say Her Name" to be on the front for media because these are the people we are focusing on. The women - Breonna Taylor, Michelle Cusseaux, and everyone else."

On the importance of her taking her stance on social injustice...

"I think we have a platform. It might not be as big as the NBA, but we certainly have one and I think we need to use it. I think my job is to elevate the voices of Black and brown women in league, for the most part, and listen and learn, and support my teammates any way that I can."

Guard-Forward Betnijah Laney (#44)

On how important it is for her to be an advocate for social justice while still playing the game of basketball...

"It's very important. That was one of the main reasons for us coming here. We came here so that we could play and use our voice for the social injustices that are going on. That's why we wear these t-shirts every game. For warmups it's always Black lives matter. We have it on the court. It's important for us to continue to use our voice, use our platform to make a stance. That's what we've been doing."

On how it felt to be back on the court today...

"The past couple of days it's been really heavy, so I think that we needed that break that we had to just really reflect on everything that's been going on. It's just been crazy. At the same time this is our release from that, but not entirely. Like I said, we're able to go out there and have it on our shirts, go out there and have it on the big screen, and go out there and have it on the court. Those past few days was just a time for us to reflect and keep in mind everything that's going on while we're still playing basketball."

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