Minnesota Phoenix Notes

WNBA Post-Game Quotes
Minnesota vs. Phoenix
August 21, 2005 @ America West Arena

Phoenix 83
MINNESOTA 69

·Phoenix will remain the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoff race, at least 1.0 game ahead of the Los Angeles Sparks (game in progress vs. Houston), with the Mercury owning the tiebreaker with LA. The Mercury’s magic number (any combination of Phoenix wins or Los Angeles losses) is now two, and would become one tonight with an LA loss.

·A Houston loss would put the Mercury only ½ game behind the third place Comets, with a pivotal game on Thursday against Phoenix at AWA.

·The Mercury won their eighth consecutive home game against a Western Conference opponent, and their tenth game overall in their last 11 contests vs. the West. Phoenix remains undefeated at home against their own conference since opening the year 0-2 (losses to Sacramento and Seattle), and has not lost at AWA vs. the West since June 2nd.

·Phoenix won the season series against the Lynx (3-1) for the first time since the 2002 season, and eliminated Minnesota from the 2005 playoff race. The Lynx have dropped five straight on the road, and nine of the team’s last 12 games.

·The Mercury (16-15) are over .500 for the first time since Sept. 14, 2004.

KEY STAT OF THE NIGHT
Averaging 15.5 turnovers/game on the season and 17.1 in the eight games prior to Friday night, when Phoenix tied a franchise low with six turnovers, the Mercury committed no turnovers in the first half tonight, and only nine turnovers total.

KEY RUN OF THE NIGHT
Minnesota trailed by 18 at halftime, 42-24, but used an 11-3 run ( 8pts by Ambrosimova) to start the second half, to pull within 10 points, 45-35. Phoenix responded though with seven points by Phoenix center KAMILA VODICHKOVA during a 16-3 run to get back to a 23 point lead, 61-38.

KEY PLAYER OF THE NIGHT
Phoenix guard DIANA TAURASI scored all 17 of her points in the first half on 6-for-9 (.667) shooting from the field. Taurasi added five rebounds and two blocked shots.

MERCURY HIGHLIGHTS
·For the second consecutive game Phoenix distanced themselves from the opponent in the first half. Tonight the Mercury took an 18 advantage into halftime. On Friday Phoenix took a 29 point lead (franchise record) into halftime against San Antonio. Also for the second consecutive game Phoenix held their opponent to a season low 24 points in the first half.

·Phoenix improved to 15-4 when holding the opponent below 70 points, and 12-3 when scoring 70+ points.

·Phoenix reserve SANDORA IRVIN scored 13 points, and grabbed six rebounds. In her last two games, Irvin is averaging 20.5 minutes, 12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds.

·Phoenix tied the club’s season-high, dishing 23 assists tonight on 31 made field goals. The Mercury assisted on all nine of the team’s first nine baskets.

LYNX HIGHLIGHTS
·After scoring just two points in the first matchup of the season against the Mercury, Minnesota forward SVETLANA ABROSIMOVA averaged 17.7 points in the remaining three games, including a team-high 14 points tonight.

·Lynx rookie KRISTEN MANN grabbed a career-high nine rebounds (prev. 4, 6/18/05 at Los Angeles).

·Minnesota center NICOLE OHLDE tied her career free thows made with 10 tonight. She finished the game with 14 points and four rebounds.

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