by Menzie Henderson
Despite a late fourth quarter rally led by Monica Wright and Lindsay Whalen, the Lynx were unable to catch the New York Liberty, falling 74-72 on Sunday night in Minneapolis.
Minnesota yet again tried their luck in extremely close finishes, but weren’t as fortunate against New York as they were in previous narrow victories against Seattle and Connecticut. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Lynx.
The Liberty headed into the fourth quarter with a 62-51 lead, which was built around Nicole Powell and Cappie Pondexter. Through three quarters, the Liberty shot 55.3 percent from the floor, while Minnesota shot a miserable 30.9 percent.
Powell led the Liberty with 21 points, while Pondexter added 17 points.
In the final period, the Liberty cooled off, allowing Monica Wright and Lindsay Whalen to put together a late fourth-quarter surge for the Lynx. With Seimone Augustus struggling going only 4-of-14 with 10 points on the night, the Lynx offense was stagnant.
Minnesota then looked for Wright to score, and the rookie responded well with 16 points. Trailing by as many as 12 in the fourth, the Lynx put together an 11-0 run behind Wright to get them back into the game. Despite getting within one, the Lynx could not gain the lead.
Wright had a chance to send the Lynx into overtime for the second straight game, but a runner as time expired missed, handing the Liberty its sixth win in a row.
“We just weren’t on it,” Cheryl Reeve said. “Our offensive game was stagnant, we didn’t get the movement, we weren’t on it mentally, we weren’t sharp, and we short-cutted a lot of things, but give New York credit, they defended us hard.”
Lindsay Whalen played tonight in front of her former 2004 University of Minnesota Gopher Women’s Final Four team, and did not disappoint. Whalen reminded her former teammates of her offensive abilities, weaving through the Liberty’s defense and finishing with her fancy, reverse layup trademark. Lindsay Whalen led the Lynx with 18 points.
Rebekkah Brunson grabbed a season-high 18 boards tonight, including eight offensive rebounds, which was pivotal down the stretch giving the Lynx essential second chance opportunities.
With the loss, Minnesota falls to 10-17, while New York improves to 17-11. Looking forward, the Lynx will travel to San Antonio on Tuesday to face the Stars in a crucial Western Conference matchup.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx