Minnesota Phoenix Notes

WNBA Post-Game Notes
Minnesota vs. Sacramento
August 3, 2005 @ America West Arena

Phoenix Mercury 70
Minnesota Lynx 64

The Mercury moved into fifth place in the Western Conference standings, one-half game ahead of Minnesota. Phoenix now trails the Los Angeles Sparks (11-12) by one-half game for the fourth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

Phoenix has won eight of its last ten games overall, and five of its last six at AWA. The Mercury will play four more games this homestand, and seven of their final ten games in the Valley.

Phoenix won the season series (2-1) against the Lynx for the first time since the 2002 season. Minnesota has lost five consecutive games overall.

The Mercury improved to 7-2 with the starting five of VODICHKOVA, STEPANOVA, TAYLOR, DeFORGE and TAURASI. Phoenix is now 8-3 since Maria Stepanova joined the team on July 2nd (3-10 prior).

KEY RUN OF THE NIGHT
Trailing 50-48 with 10:39 remaining in the game, Phoenix went on a 16-5 run to take a 64-55 lead with 2:21 remaining in the game. During the run, Mercury center KAMILA VODICHKOVA single-handedly outscored Minnesota, contributing seven of Phoenix’s points.

KEY PLAYER OF THE NIGHT
Mercury forward MARIA STEPANOVA scored a season high 18 points (prev. 17, 7/15 vs. Washington), including 12 in the second half, grabbed four rebounds and blocked one shot.

MERCURY HIGHLIGHTS
Phoenix improved to 7-3 when scoring 70+ points, and 11-3 when holding their opponent under the 70-point mark.

After Mercury guard ANNA DeFORGE left the game with a sprained right ankle with 16:01 remaining in the game and the Mercury trailing 41-37, Phoenix outscored Minnesota 33-23 the rest of the way.

After Minnesota shot 15-for-30 (.500) from the field in the first half, Phoenix held the Lynx to 10-for-33 (.303) in the SECOND HALF.

The Mercury OVERCAME A HALFTIME DEFICIT to win for the fourth time this season in sixteen tries. Phoenix is now 3-4 at AWA when trailing at the half.

Mercury forward PENNY TAYLOR finished with 15 points, including 12 in the second half on 4-for-11 (.364) shooting. Taylor added seven rebounds and four assists. In her last six home games, Taylor is averaging 18.3 points.

LYNX HIGHLIGHTS
After the Mercury opened the game 10-for-15 (.667) and built a 23-15 lead, Phoenix shot 1-for-12 (.083) from the field and was outscored 23-6 the rest of the first half by the Lynx, who took a 38-29 lead into the break.

MINNESOTA RESERVES contributed 20 points and 13 rebounds, compared to the Mercury bench’s five points and four boards.

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