Lynx Sink Silver Stars In OT, 96-84





Andrea Allis
Web Editorial Associate

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The Lynx said coming into tonight that a lot was at stake against the San Antonio Silver Stars, a team that’s lost only once since the end of June and is battling the Lynx for playoff positioning. The Silver Stars gave it all they had, leading the Lynx for most of the game and ultimately forcing overtime minutes, but the Lynx were unstoppable in the fifth frame, topping San Antonio 96-84.

"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."

Box Score LYNX BOXSCORE
Lynx vs. Stars
To name a few, Taj McWilliams-Franklin broke the all-time WNBA record for offensive rebounds, and Rebekkah Brunson set a new franchise record for rebounds in a single game, also a career high, with 20. All five Lynx starters scored in double digits, Seimone Augustus and McWilliams-Franklin leading the way with 19 points each.

"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.

Taj's Postgame Interview

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The tide seemed to be turning in the Lynx’s favor in the fourth, when they started it on an 8-1 run that put them up 67-58. But Jia Perkins's 10 fourth quarter points and Sophia Young's eight vaulted them into overtime. Perkins and Young finished with 19 points apiece, and Becky Hammon added 13.

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

Rebekkah Brunson posted a double-double with 17 points and 20 rebounds. It was the first 20-rebound game in franchise history, as well as a career high for Brunson. She grabbed four of those rebounds and scored three of her points during overtime.

"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.

The Numbers Game

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.

Quotable

"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

Looking Ahead

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.


For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.

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