Lynx Move To 8-0 With Win Over Storm

Andrea Allis
Web Editorial Associate


After letting their leads slip away against Washington on May 30 and San Antonio on Sunday, the Lynx stayed hungry after opening up a big first quarter lead against the Seattle Storm Wednesday night.

Between Taj McWilliams-Franklin’s perfect shooting and a bench that stepped up in the absence of Seimone Augustus (right quadriceps), the Minnesota Lynx stayed undefeated and topped the Seattle Storm 79-55 Wednesday night.

After the first quarter, the Lynx were up 25-8, and it took the Storm until a minute into the second quarter to reach double digits against an aggressive Lynx defense that wasn’t allowing much.

Rebekkah Brunson was a big part of the Lynx’s early lead, scoring all 10 of her points in the first half. She was one of five Lynx scoring in double figures, including McWilliams-Franklin (17), Maya Moore (12), Candice Wiggins (12) and Devereaux Peters (14).

Lynx vs. Storm
“I thought our bench was huge for us,” said coach Cheryl Reeve. “I thought Candice Wiggins’ minutes were really important, the energy, and really in tough moments in the game, she opened it up for us. “Really happy from a team standpoint that we each did something to pick each other up and were able to beat a solid Seattle team.”

The Storm’s Tanisha Wright had 14 points, but the team shot just 33.3 percent from the field and 18.2 percent (4-for-22) from distance. The Lynx’s win puts them at 8-0 on the season, one game away from tying the WNBA record of wins to start a season. The Sparks are the only team to have been 9-0, doing it in 2001 and again in 2003.

Leader of the Pack: Taj McWilliams-Franklin

Center Taj McWilliams-Franklin stepped up in a big way for the Lynx, going 8-for-8 from the floor with 17 points. But in what has become typical Lynx fashion, Taj quickly dismissed the accomplishment and focused on the parts of her game she needs to improve.

“You know, hey, I scored, I didn’t miss. It’s great. But I’m more upset about the turnovers,” said McWilliams-Franklin, “and so I have to work on that. Passes to certain players, I’ve got to work on that and know who I’m passing to and work on my own game and deficiencies that [I’ve] had this year.”

Highlight of the Game

With 4:30 remaining in the third quarter, Candice Wiggins dived for a ball that had changed hands several times and managed to gain possession of it amidst a pile of three Storm players. She passed out to Moore, who skipped the ball to Lindsay Whalen on the other side of the court. Moore grabbed the offensive board off of Whalen’s missed shot and got an easy put-back.

On the next possession, Moore caught a pass from Lindsay Whalen in an early offensive situation and drained a 13-foot jumper, putting the Lynx up 51-38.

The Numbers Game

Wiggins scored all 12 of her points on three-pointers. … The Lynx bench outscored the Storm reserves 33-25, and the Lynx outrebounded the Storm 33-25. … The Lynx shot 54.7 percent on the night and have shot over 50 percent in seven of their eight games this season.

Quotes of the Night

Taj McWilliams-Franklin on her alley-oop play
“I don’t do alley-oops, I just do long reaches. Since I don’t jump very high, it can’t really be an alley oop, can it? It can just be a nice pass? Probably.

Devereaux Peters Interview

“I try to avoid jumping at all costs. So to me, an alley-oop is, you know, the pass from [Kevin Durant] to Russell Westbrook – that’s an alley oop. It’s not when you pass to Taj McWilliams-Franklin on a back-screen.”

Coach Cheryl Reeve on Taj’s alley-oop play
“We alley-ooped to Taj McWilliams-Franklin, that was the play of the game. I turned to Shelley P., I said, ‘Did we just alley-oop to Taj McWilliams-Franklin?’ and Shelley said ‘Yes we did!’”

“Taj joked that there was a piece of paper that could barely fit under her feet because she jumped so high to catch and lay it in.”

Looking Ahead

The Lynx head to Tulsa to take on the Shock Saturday, after which they take a five-day break. Their next game is in Phoenix on Friday, June 15.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.