SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 29 (Ticker) -- Whenever the Sacramento Monarchs are in danger of falling below the .500 mark, they respond.

Erin Buescher scored a career-high 25 points and the Monarchs shut down hotshot rookie Seimone Augustus in an 87-78 victory over the Minnesota Lynx, who have lost five straight games.

Buescher added nine rebounds and three blocks for the Monarchs (8-7), the defending WNBA champions who are off to a sputtering start. Thursday marked the fifth time this season Sacramento has won to avoid dropping below the break-even mark.

The Monarchs allowed the first hoop of the game, then scored 15 straight points to take control. Buescher scored nine points in the first quarter, which ended with Sacramento holding a 25-9 lead.

The Monarchs did a solid job in limiting Augustus, the top overall pick in the draft who came in second in the league is scoring at 22.9 points per game. She made just 5-of-12 shots and scored 13 points.

Yolanda Griffith had 12 points and eight rebounds and Ticha Penicheiro scored 11 points for the Monarchs, who shot 36 free throws and forced 20 turnovers.

Svetlana Abrosimova and Kristen Mann scored 16 points apiece for the Lynx, who made just 2-of-13 shots in the first quarter and finished at 44 percent (30-of-68). Minnesota fell to 1-7 on the road.

Next Games: The Minnesota Lynx play Saturday, July 1 in Seattle at 7 p.m. and the Sacramento Monarchs also play on Saturday in Charlotte at 6 p.m.