Lynx Sink Silver Stars In OT, 96-84
Web Editorial Associate
"It was everything we thought it would be in terms of how San Antonio, how we thought they would play," coach Cheryl Reeve said. "There were just so many great things that happened."
"The game was hard. Like I said, we expected it to be. And we were able to pull it out," Reeve said. "I thought they played great defensively, and luckily for us, we were able to kind of hang in there and play great defense ourselves. And you know, we were able to get our separation in overtime."
The Lynx trailed for much of the first half, shooting just 32.6 percent and ending it down 36-35. They got on a roll late in the third, but the Silver Stars wouldn’t let it go unanswered and only trailed by two heading into the fourth quarter.
During the extra minutes that followed, the Lynx turned up the heat. Having shot just 39.8 percent during regulation minutes, the Lynx came out and knocked down 7-of-9 shots (77.8 percent) in overtime. They started it on an 8-0 run and only widened the gap in the time that remained. Lindsay Whalen was perfect in overtime, hitting all three of her shots, two of which were three-pointers.
"She was feeling it, and it shocked the heck out of me," said Reeve of Whalen's shot selection in overtime. "I was getting ready for her to come off the pick-and-roll like she always does. Lindsay is such a competitor—obviously, she's an Olympian. She was disappointed with her first-half play. You know, I was kind of into her a little bit, and at halftime when she was going back out there, she said 'I gotcha, Coach. I gotcha.' And boy, she sure did."
Leader of the Pack: Rebekkah Brunson
"Oh, we turned it up," said Brunson of the team's extra minutes. "You know, it was all about our defense, and we needed to continue to play defense and continue to limit their shots. We had a plan coming out, but they still got some shots, and they got some open looks, some second-chance points. We just cut that out in [overtime], we started playing the way we needed to play the whole game. And we got the win."
Brunson said the team was hyped after a few big plays by McWilliams-Franklin led to an emotional moment for her:
"She was out there jumpin' and screamin' and we don't usually get that from her," Brunson said. "When you have a player that's usually calm get really emotional and energetic, it's easy to follow their lead."
Highlight of the Game
With 1:52 remaining in the first half, Taj McWilliams-Franklin grabbed her third offensive rebound of the game, making her the new WNBA all-time record-holder for offensive rebounds. She surpassed Yolanda Griffith’s record of 1,049 rebounds and now boasts 1,052 career offensive boards. After tonight's game, she's just 57 points and 28 rebounds away from joining Lisa Leslie as the second member of the WNBA’s 5,000-point/3,000 rebound club.
Brunson's rebounds led the Lynx to a 52-31 advantage on the boards, including a 19-7 differential in offensive rebounds. ... Minnesota shot 77.8 percent in overtime, while San Antonio shot just 1-of-7 for 14.3 percent. ... The Silver Stars held an unusual advantage over the Lynx in points in the paint, scoring 46 to the Lynx's 44. ... The Lynx's 19 offensive rebounds led to 29 second-chance points. ... Although they were up for much of the game, San Antonio never led by more than five.
"Brunson was mean. We just kept saying she was so mean tonight. She was mean as a rattlesnake tonight. You know, that's Sparticus. That's what we call her, that's her nickname on the team, that's Sparticus. She just dominates everyone. Every opponent she comes up against, they try to block her out, they try to keep her off the boards, they know the game plan, and it's it still impossible ... for them to stop her from getting the rebounds." -- Seimone Augustus on Rebekkah Brunson's record-breaking rebounding performance
After tonight, the Lynx play three more at Target Center. They face Tulsa on Friday, Atlanta on Tuesday and Los Angeles the following Friday. All three games are at 7 p.m.
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