The Minnesota Lynx didn’t get off to the start that they had hoped for on Friday night, losing to the Connecticut Sun 84-80 in their first game back since the Olympic break.
The defending WNBA Champions had won six straight games coming into the matchup with their last loss against none other than the Sun in Connecticut on July 7th.
“Obviously they play really hard, second chance points, their ball pressure, just all the hustle plays and playing really, really hard and us not having that same sense of urgency for whatever reason,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said about why they have struggled against Connecticut this season.
Tied at 26 going into the second quarter, the Sun, led by forward Alyssa Thomas (15 points) went on a 17-2 run to give the home team a nine point advantage at halftime.
“A little bit of everything,” Reeve said on what went wrong in the second period. “Our offense went south, we went from shooting the ball pretty good to not making shots and not getting stops. Our pick-and-roll defense, second chance points, just a little bit of everything went wrong.”
Sylvia Fowles and Lindsay Whalen led the way for the Lynx, combining for 32 points, eight boards, three assists/steals, two blocks and an uncharacteristic 10 turnovers.
“They are a good team and we didn’t play well,” Whalen said. “They played hard and there are a lot of little things that we needed to do that we didn’t get done.”
The Sun’s guards, Jasmine Thomas, Alex Bentley and Courtney Williams, all performed well in the matchup, combining for 36 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists.
13: Coming into the matchup ranked second in the league, averaging over 20 assists per game, Minnesota was only able to muster this many dimes throughout the contest.
18: Another statistical category that the Lynx struggled with against the Sun was turnovers. Connecticut played with tenacity all game and caused Minnesota to turn the ball over this many times.
1: One thing the Lynx will hope to improve upon next game is their 3-point shooting. Minnesota only made this many of their six attempts in 40 minutes against the Sun.
53: Connecticut scored this many points in the first half in Friday night’s matchup and it was the most points allowed by the Lynx in the first 20 minutes of a ball game this season.
2: Rebekkah Brunson finished with a game-high 11 rebounds, including three offensive boards. She now needs just this many more offensive rebounds to pass Taj McWilliams-Franklin (1062) for the top spot on the league’s all-time list.