Today in the WNBA: September 9, 2008

By Mike Weilamann

Sept. 9, 2008: Scoreboard | Video Play of the Day | Today in the WNBA Archive

It was not a pretty scene in Minnesota. Seimone Augustus was carted off the court after falling and hitting her head on the floor in the first quarter of Tuesday's 10-point win over the Fever. Augustus was hurt when she fell after going up for a rebound. She left the game in a wheelchair wearing a neck brace and was taken to the hospital for tests.
David Sherman/NBAE/Getty
Shock Deliver Knockout Blow

Defending Champions Bounced From Postseason: History was made in the WNBA on Tuesday -- the kind that the Mercury would rather not be a part of. Deanna Nolan and her Shock teammates guaranteed there will be a new champion this season as they officially eliminated Phoenix from playoff contention at The Palace in a rematch of last year’s finals. Phoenix becomes the first defending champion to miss the postseason. Meanwhile, Detroit stayed in the hunt for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Shock can clinch home-court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs with a win Thursday over the Mystics. On Tuesday, Nolan led the Shock with 18 points and Taj McWilliams-Franklin added 14 points and eight rebounds. "We talked about that before the game -- that we could knock them out of the playoffs tonight,'' Nolan said. "They came in here and beat us in Game Five last year, so this felt pretty good.'' Phoenix coach Corey Gaines said his team felt the loss of Australian star Penny Taylor. Taylor skipped the season to get ready for the Olympics. "She's one of the top five players in the world, and we didn't have her this season,'' Gaines said. "You don't just replace a player like that.''

Playoff picture complete: It’s official: The Monarchs are back in the playoffs. Coach Jenny Boucek’s team became the eighth and final team to secure a spot with Tuesday’s thriller over the Storm. Nicole Powell led the way with 20 points as Sacramento won its eighth straight at home for its sixth straight postseason berth. Seattle already had clinched its spot in the playoffs, minus reigning MVP Lauren Jackson. The Storm, who are chasing San Antonio for the top spot in the West, had a skeleton crew in this one as both Sheryl Swoopes and Swin Cash also sat out Tuesday. Swoopes was knocked unconscious after taking an elbow in Saturday’s win over Minnesota, while Cash is still nursing a back injury. Sue Bird did play for Seattle, but was held to only six points.
"This is hard. But we have no one to blame but ourselves. Last year, we put everything into winning this, and this year we didn't have that effort. We don't deserve to make the playoffs.''

-- Mercury forward Diana Taurasi, who scored 22 points in Tuesday's loss to the Shock, who eliminated Phoenix from postseason contention.

Nicole Powell, Monarchs
20 pts, 7-12 FG, 3-5 3-pt FG
77-74 win vs. Storm

Becky Hammon, Silver Stars
30 pts, 8-14 FG, 4-8 3-pt FG, 10-10 FT
82-76 win at Liberty

Tina Thompson, Comets
21 pts, 7-16 FG, 3-6 3-pt FG
75-68 win vs. Sun

Sue Bird, Storm
3-9 FG, 0-4 3-pt FG, 6 pts
77-74 loss at Monarchs

Cathrine Kraayeveld, Liberty
3-11 FG, 7 pts
82-76 loss vs. Silver Stars

Tully Bevilaqua, Fever
1-6 FG, 0-5 3-pt FG, 3 pts
86-76 loss at Lynx

Thursday's Games ...

  • New York at Indiana, 7 ET
  • Washington at Detroit, 7:30 ET (NBA TV)
  • Connecticut at San Antonio, 8 ET
  • Atlanta at Los Angeles, 10:30 ET (NBA TV)
  • Parker

    Candice Dupree certainly did her part for the Sky on Tuesday. Dupree posted 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals as Chicago snapped a three-game skid in rolling to a 19-point win over Washington. Dupree had seven points in a decisive fourth quarter in which the Sky outscored the Mystics 28-7. The Mystics, who have lost six straight, have been outscored in the fourth quarter in all of their last eight games. The win came a few days late as the Sky were eliminated from the playoffs in Sunday’s loss to the Liberty. Chicago closes out the season at home against the Liberty on Friday and Houston on Sunday.
    Becky Hammon was right at home Tuesday night against her old team. Hammon lit it up for 30 points, 23 in the second half as her Silver Stars bested the Liberty at Madison Square Garden. San Antonio won for the fifth time in six games. More importantly, the Stars took over sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with two to play. San Antonio hosts Connecticut on Thursday – where it can clinch home court with a victory -- before wrapping up the regular season at home against Sacramento on Saturday. Hammon spent eight seasons with the Liberty before being traded to San Antonio on draft day last year.