Augustus Leads Lynx Over Monarchs

Minnesota 80, Sacramento 76

MINNEAPOLIS, June 26 (AP) Seimone Augustus wasn't going to let a stomachache stop her from dominating in the second half.

Blaming a piece of pie she ate during the pregame meal, Augustus was in pain at halftime and the trainers said she was doubtful for the second half. Instead of sitting, though, Augustus scored 12 of her team-leading 23 points after the break to lead the Lynx over the Monarchs 80-76 Thursday night.

"I'll never eat another piece of pie before I come to the game,'' Augustus said. "There was no way I was going to stay out of the game. With a game like this and so much on the line as far as playoff position, I wasn't going to miss too many minutes.''

Lynx coach Don Zierden let Augustus decide if she could go out for the second half.

"If Seimone Augustus can play, I'm going to let her run out there,'' Zierden said. "I asked her. ... She said, 'Let me start,' so I let her go.''

Rookie Candice Wiggins had 17 points in the second consecutive win for the Lynx (8-6), who started the season 5-0 then lost six of seven. They had not beaten the Monarchs at home since July 11, 2004.

Nicole Powell had 20 points for the Monarchs (6-8), who have lost four of five since an 82-78 win at Minnesota on June 12.

"I thought we put ourselves in a position to win on the road, which is all you can do,'' Monarchs coach Jenny Boucek said. "There's lots of things that we can do better, but we had a chance to win that game.''

Ticha Penicheiro's shot in the lane cut Minnesota's lead to 75-73 with 11.7 seconds left, but Augustus hit four free throws in the final 10 seconds for the Lynx.

Minnesota opened up a 33-23 lead in the second quarter, only to have the advantage disappear via a 10-0 Monarchs run. Augustus led the Lynx with nine first-half points, including a three-point play with 1:42 left in the first half as Minnesota led 42-39 at the break. Sacramento's Powell led all scorers with 10 in the first half.

While dribbling in the third quarter, Monarchs guard Kara Lawson collapsed to the court, holding her left shoulder. Trainers helped her off, and put the shoulder in a brace. She returned late in the game and finished with eight points.

"Kara's going to play if there's any way possible, as long as they let her,'' said Boucek, who said Lawson dislocated the shoulder. "And even if they don't she's probably going to try to get herself back in the game. She's as tough as they come.''

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