Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Lynx announced Thursday morning they will be playing all potential 2017 WNBA Playoff games at Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota this postseason.
In honor of that announcement, we flash back to Golden Gopher alum and current Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen’s time in maroon in gold.
Here are Whalen’s top five moments playing in front of the Williams Arena crowd:
No. 5: Nov. 8, 2000 vs. Binghampton
Whalen made her Gophers debut on Nov. 8, 2000 against Binghampton at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
The freshman point guard went on to finish with 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds to help the Gophers to an 85-74 victory.
During her freshman season, Whalen averaged 17 points, four rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals in 25 games. Minnesota finished that season with a record of 8-20, which would end up being the Gophers last losing season in Whalen’s tenure.
No. 4: Feb. 14, 2002 vs. Purdue
Whalen had one of her best games of her career on Feb. 14, 2002 against Purdue at Williams Arena.
The sophomore finished with a career-high 41 points in the 73-64 win. That point total is currently tied for 7th-most in Gophers history.
“Lindsay put the team on her back,” Minnesota head coach Brenda Oldfield told GopherSports.com after the game. “If there was any doubt of who the MVP of the league is, I think she ended that tonight. She willed us to win.”
During her sophomore season, Whalen finished averaging a career-high 22.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.7 steals in 30 games. She also helped Minnesota to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1993-94.
No. 3: March 21, 2004 vs. UCLA
Whalen helped the Gophers into the NCAA Tournament in her senior season at Minnesota, leading them to a first-round victory over UCLA on March 21, 2004 at Williams Arena.
The point guard finished the game with 31 points, a season-high nine assists and shot 12-of-14 from the free throw line to help the Gophers to a 92-81 win.
In her senior season, Whalen finished averaging 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game in 27 total games.
No. 2: March 23, 2004 vs. Kansas State
Whalen’s final collegiate game in front of the Williams Arena crowd came on March 23, 2004 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The senior went on to finish with a near triple-double of 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in an 80-61 win over Kansas State, helping Minnesota to an appearance in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
Whalen led Minnesota all the way to the NCAA Final Four in her senior season, where the Gophers fell to the eventual NCAA Champion UCONN 67-58. That Final Four appearance was the first in program history.
No. 1: Jan. 25, 2004 vs. Michigan State
On Jan. 25, 2004 against Michigan State at Williams Arena, Whalen made history.
In a 72-69 loss to the Spartans, where Whalen scored 27 points to become the Gophers all-time leading scorer.
In her four-year career, Whalen ended up finishing with 2,285 points, which now ranks second on the all-time scoring list (Rachel Banham – 3,093).
In 2017, 13 years after her collegiate career ended, Whalen still remains atop many career leaderboards. She ranks second in Gophers history in scoring average, games in double figures, free throws made and assists. She also ranks in the top five in field goals, field goal percentage, free throw percentage and consecutive games started.