Whalen Leads Lynx Past Silver Stars, 87-72
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Tuesday night’s 87-72 win over the San Antonio Silver Stars may not have been the way coach Cheryl Reeve planned it, but she’ll take the win. For now.
There were three technical fouls, 13 lead changes and a combined 27 turnovers. Needless to say, it wasn't the prettiest game for either side, but thanks to 20-6 run starting late in the third quarter into early in the fourth, the Lynx were able to come away with a victory.
"This is how these two teams play each other," Reeve said. "Everything is a challenge. I was really proud of our defense. That was something we really focused on after our game in Washington. I thought we were pretty hard to play against tonight."
Whalen would keep up the intensity, finishing with a game-high 23 points going along with seven rebounds and five assists.
"She brings so much to the court, poise, determination and everything we need out of a point guard she brings," Lynx center Janel McCarville said. "Watching her put the team on her back when the team needed her to do and allow everyone else to regroup and knowing what needs to happen."
The Hutchinson native got help from two other Olympians. On her 24th birthday, forward Maya Moore finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. Twelve of those points came from the 3-point line. Seimone Augustus finished with 18 points in 30 minutes of play.
Guard Monica Wright was a spark of the bench, finishing with 16 points and six rebounds.
"I thought her floor game was really good," Reeve said. "I thought she was focusing on not doing too much... Overall I thought she had a really nice game."
Shenise Johnson led the Silver Stars with 16 points off the bench, while Danielle Robinson scored 12. No other San Antonio player scored more than 10 points.
Leader of the pack –Whalen
In most games, Whalen is fine just being the distributor. Tuesday wasn’t most games. Whalen had a combination of impressive drives and step-back jumpers on her way to a season-high 23 points.
"She was ready to play in that she understood the schemes she was going to be guarded," Reeve said. "She had the right mindset. She was taking what they were giving her which was the foul line jumper... Later in the game she was able to play vintage Lindsay Whalen which is to get around the rim."
The assist numbers were still there, as she finished with six assists, just one fewer than her season average.
Highlight of the Game
Whalen continued to carry the Lynx on her back with 40.5 seconds left in the first half. The point guard drove to the basket, connected on a tough layup and was fouled by Danielle Adams in the process. She would hit the free throw to collect her 13th point to give the Lynx a 35-34 lead.
The Numbers Game
The Lynx may have shot just 28-of-63 from the field, but they were nearly perfect from the free-throw line, hitting on 25-of-26 attempts. Whalen hit seven, while Augustus, Moore and Wright combined for 15 made free throws.
The lone miss came from rookie forward Rachel Jarry.
"You always want to be aggressive, you never want to force too much, though," — Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen said. "She (coach) told me to be aggressive."
The Lynx head back out on the road as they battle rookie guard Skylar Diggins and the Tulsa Shock on Friday at 7:00 p.m. The game will be available to listen to on BOB 106.1 FM.
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