Lynx vs. Monarchs Gameday

Lynx Pregame Audio
Nicky Anosike Audio

By Philip Rossman-Reich
Lynx Writer

Scouting Report - Lynx (7-3) vs. Monarchs (1-8) 7 PM

Sacramento has continued to reel since the last time these two teams met. Seimone Augustus prevented the Monarchs from earning their second win when her runner with 1:15 left to give the Lynx a lead they would not surrender on the road. Augustus scored 14 of her 30 points in the 86-83 win. The next night, the course of Minnesota's season changed when Augustus was lost for the season. Sacramento, though, is still struggling to find its footing this season. After the three-point loss to the Lynx, the Monarchs have lost only one game by less than 10 points -- a crushing two-point loss to the Sky on Tuesday.

Sacramento again had a victory within its clutches at Chicago, but could not pull it out in the end. The Monarchs lost a five-point lead with 2:41 left in the game, conceding eight points by Jia Perkins in the final 90 seconds as the Sky won 74-72. The Monarchs are still getting fantastic games from Nicole Powell, who leads the team with 15.0 points per game. But the team is still working some players back into the fold after injuries. Ticha Peneichero has returned to the lineup after missing four games with a right thumb sprain. She has struggled since coming back June 26. She is averaging 5.8 points per game and a surprisingly low 2.6 assists per game.

The Monarchs big struggles are on offense. The team is averaging 72.3 points per game and no one outside of Powell is scoring more than 10 points per game. Kara Lawson is second on the team in scoring with 8.7 points per game. Sacramento relies on balance to keep up with teams and so far it has not worked. Still Minnesota needed Augustus' 30-point outburst to get a win in Sacramento two weeks ago. Without Augustus, Minnesota is also relying on balance and the team is getting great step-up in production from Candice Wiggins, Roneeka Hodges and Nicky Anosike.

Sacramento found success in the first meeting by dominating the glass, 16-12 offensive rebounds and 47-30 total, and getting a balanced scoring effort, putting five players in double figures led by Powell's 19 points. The Lynx though have done a good job forcing turnovers and that is something the Monarchs have struggled with. Sacramento committed 19 turnovers in the first meeting and average more than 17 per game.

Keys To A Win For Minnesota:
--Force jump shots
--Don't let one player dominate the ball on offense
--Make Nicole Powell a one-girl show
--Get back on the break

Matchup To Watch:
Roneeka Hodges vs. Nicole Powell

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