Lynx Take Title IX Game from Sky

Andrea Allis
Web Editorial Associate


They came out slow against Seattle, resulting in their first loss of the season. They got another slow start against New York Thursday night, but were able to respond early and pull out a big win.

Today, the Minnesota Lynx weren't going to let it happen again, coming out with high energy in the first quarter and maintaining tough play through all four quarters for a 79-67 win over the Chicago Sky, lifting them to a 12-1 record on the season.

"We have had some bad starts," said center Taj McWilliams-Franklin. "And I think we wanted to not have a bad start this game."

Lynx vs. Sky
Bursting out of the gates with a 23-8 run over the first 7:45, the Lynx cruised to a 27-18 first-quarter lead. At the half, the Lynx had widened the gap to 51-34, led by Lindsay Whalen's 14 first-half points. Whalen finished the game with 25 points.

The Sky was playing their first game without standout guard Epiphanny Prince, who suffers from a fractured foot incurred during their game against Indiana last Saturday. Chicago relied heavily on Sylvia Fowles, who posted her ninth double-double in the last 10 games with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Sonja Petrovic added 13 points, and Swin Cash had 11.

Despite their swift start, the Lynx were slowed down in the beginning of the second half. Held scoreless for the first seven minutes, the Sky were able to pull within five (51-46), but the Lynx closed out the quarter on a high note with a combined 11 points from Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus in the last three minutes. The pair finished the game with 10 points each.

"Obviously the first half was considerably better than the second half," said coach Cheryl Reeve. "But, in the end, I thought that our game plan was fairly well executed."

Minnesota scored 26 points off of 24 Chicago turnovers, but the Sky forced almost as many from the Lynx who turned the ball over 20 times, resulting in 22 Chicago points. "It's the top two offensive teams, field goal percentage-wise; it's the top two defensive teams, field goal percentage-wise," said Reeve. "It was a hard game, I thought, on both sides. I thought both teams were very, very physical. I thought that Chicago played well ... but I thought we fought through it, which was really important."

Leader of the Pack: Lindsay Whalen

In a game where Seimone Augustus didn't score in the first half, fellow guard Lindsay Whalen stepped up and took the lead scoring role. After putting up only eight and six points in their last two contests, Whalen came out firing against the Sky. She shot 50 percent and scored 25 points, her second-highest scoring total of the season, including 2-for-2 on threes and perfect free throw shooting (5-for-5). She also managed eight assists and six rebounds.

"I was really proud of her toughness today," said Moore of Whalen's play. "She was working hard, running in transition, finishing inside, getting in the paint -- really making it hard for the Chicago defense. "She had assists, she got some rebounds, just putting her body on the line out there," said Moore. "And I love playing for a point guard that's willing to work hard but also dish out the ball as well." Highlight of the Game

After struggling to get the ball to fall in the first seven minutes of the second half, the Lynx closed the third quarter in dramatic fashion. The final three minutes were all about Moore and Augustus, with Moore knocking down a field goal and a three, and Augustus netting six points including a three at the buzzer. The Target Center crowd was on its feet and the Lynx were ready to start the fourth quarter strong.

The Numbers Game

The Sky outrebounded the Lynx 34-31. ... The Lynx shot 6-of-11 from three for 54.5 percent, compared with the Sky's 18.8 percent three-point shooting (3-of-16). ... Chicago beat Minnesota on inside offensively, collecting 40 points in the paint to the Lynx's 32.

Taj Talks Title IX

Quote of the Night

On the 40th anniversary of Title IX:
"Well, I think it's just given us all a great opportunity to be here and to be a part of this team and this league. And we just wanted to play as hard as we could for everyone who has made this possible for us to be here today. We don't want to ever take it for granted, and I think that we ... understood the significance of this day and the history of this day." --Lindsay Whalen

Looking Ahead

The Lynx have one more game at home on Wednesday against Phoenix at 7 p.m. They then hit the road, taking on San Antonio on Sunday, June 1, at 2 p.m. and Los Angeles Thursday, June 5, at 2 p.m.
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