Minnesota Houston Notes

WNBA Post-Game Notes
Minnesota at Houston
June 7, 2005 @ Toyota Center

Houston 58

* Minnesota evened its record at 3-3 with Tuesday's four-point victory, avenging a 79-65 Opening Night loss on May 22 at the Toyota Center. Houston missed an opportunity to clinch the season series, as the clubs meet three times this year; the Comets visit Target Center on Aug. 16. The win was only Minnesota's second in 13 all-time trips to Houston, having broken the ice with a 72-64 triumph last Sept. 1. The Lynx are now 5-18 overall against Houston (after an 0-13 start); they'll face Washington on Saturday night at Target Center.

* Houston saw its three-game home winning streak halted, losing for the first time in 2005 at the Toyota Center. Despite the setback, the Comets (4-2) are off to their best start since 2002; they'll host Connecticut on Friday night before kicking off a three-game road trip next Monday in Sacramento. Houston falls a game behind the 5-1 Monarchs in the Western Conference standings, tied with Seattle and one game up on both Minnesota and Los Angeles.

* The Comets built a 25-14 1st-half lead before nine straight Minnesota points helped close the gap to four at intermission. After Houston bumped its lead back to 38-30 early in the 2nd half, the Lynx ran off 11 consecutive points -- the last eight by Nicole Ohlde -- as part of a 17-2, eight-minute outburst. The Comets have let double-digit leads slip away in both of their losses to date, having squandered a 14-point halftime advantage May 27 at Seattle (a 79-69 Storm victory). Minnesota, overcoming a double-figure deficit to win for the first time in 2005, did so five times a year ago and twice in 2003.

* Minnesota held the Comets to season lows for points and field-goal accuracy (35.5%); both figures also represent the Lynx' best defensive efforts this year. Previously, they'd limited Los Angeles to 65 points and 36.6% shooting in the May 25 victory. Minnesota is now 3-0 when posting a sub-40% defensive outing, and 3-1 when keeping the opposition below 70 points. Houston's 79-point outing in the clubs' first meeting (May 22) remains the high-water mark for a Lynx opponent to date.

* The Lynx piled up a 35-28 rebounding advantage, just the second time in six games they've held the edge (33-31 vs. Sacramento, May 29). Houston has now been outboarded in three of its last four starts, including a 36-17 deficit in Saturday's 59-57 win over Phoenix. The Comets enjoyed a 35-31 cushion against Minnesota on May 22. Michelle Snow and Dominique Canty (nine) shared board honors for Houston tonight, with Canty's total a season best. Snow has been the Comets' top rebounder in all six games this year.

* Meanwhile, Ohlde finished with 20 points and a career-high-tying 11 rebounds, her fourth point/rebound double-double in a Lynx uniform. Her career bests in both categories came in a 21-point, 11-board effort last July 14 vs. Connecticut. It's the 10th "20/10" outing in franchise history; Svetlana Abrosimova leads that category with three. In starting the last two games at forward, Ohlde is averaging 17.0 ppg and shooting 61.9% from the floor. She's also now made 24 straight FT attempts since her lone miss of the year on Opening Night.

* Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes, the WNBA's leading scorer at 22.0 ppg entering Tuesday's contest, was held to a season-low eight points. She did, however, lead Houston with four assists and pick up six steals (one short of her career best). Swoopes riddled the Lynx for 27 points (3-for-4 from three-point range) in the teams' first meeting, a total that remains the best by a Minnesota opponent in 2005.

* Katie Smith again led all scorers with 21 points (her fourth 20+ effort of the season and the 80th of her Lynx career) and also swiped a career-high five steals. Over the past five games, Smith is averaging 21.0 ppg while shooting 51.4% from the floor and 46.4% (13-for-28) from three-point range. Tuesday's total increases her WNBA career tally to 3413 points, opening a 15-point cushion on Swoopes for 3rd place on the league's all-time list. Smith is 286 points behind 2nd-place Tina Thompson, and needs 156 points to reach the 5000 mark for her U.S. pro career.

* Ohlde and Smith both played all 40 minutes, the first complete games for the Lynx since Smith went the distance at Sacramento on Aug. 9, 2003. It's the 18th complete game of Smith's WNBA career and the first for Ohlde, whose minute total represents a career high. In addition, Kristi Harrower played the entire 2nd half en route to a career-high-tying 36-minute stint (previously: Phoenix vs. Orlando, July 23, 1999).