Lynx Topple Sun in Overtime
by Claire Meador
Despite giving up a 22-point lead in the first half, the Lynx managed to oust the Connecticut Sun 111-103 tonight at the Target Center.
Minnesota had a terrific home game as they held on to win and improved to 9-16 on the season, a full game ahead of Los Angeles for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"I had motivation to win tonight," rookie Monica Wright said in a jubilant Lynx locker room. "We have nine games left, so we definitely want to take advantage of them and we just want to end off on a good note."
The Lynx began the game on a 15-2 run over the first seven minutes and held the Sun scoreless until the five minute mark of the first quarter. The Sun struggled from the floor, clanking their first 11 shots in the contest while Minnesota stifled them to just 20.8 percent shooting in the first quarter. The Lynx went on to score 58 points in the first half, which is a season high for points in a half, 36 of those points scored in the second quarter.
"I'm not one of those coaches who is going to be mad at them for squandering a 22-point lead at halftime," coach Cheryl Reeve said. "We didn't come out in the third quarter and put them away, but we had good conversation at halftime, we talked about adjustments, but we made plays to win the game and a win is a win."
Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus led the way with 27 and 21 points respectively, sinking shot after shot and making baskets when it counted most. Whalen impressively dished out eight her 12 assists in the second quarter against her former squad.
Nicky Anosike and Wright also had stellar games, combining for 26 points to help lift the Lynx to a crucial victory. Anosike made her mark on the defensive end by recording four steals in the first half and snatching a team-high 12 boards.
Obviously, the matchup generated several storylines after Minnesota sent point guard Renee Montgomery to the Sun and acquired the services of Whalen. Montgomery scored 33 points along with a clutch 3-pointer to extend the game into an extra session. However, Whalen's new team prevailed as the collective group outscored the Sun 16-8 in overtime.
"After they tied it there, and after being up by 30 at one point, naturally your energy is going to be down," Whalen said. "But we knew we had to come out and still focus and win. It shows that we're learning from some of our earlier mistakes and hopefully turning the corner on winning some of these close ones."
The Lynx head to Chicago for their next game on Saturday against the Sky. Tipoff is set for 2:00 pm.
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