Web Editorial Associate
In their final preseason game of the season, the Minnesota Lynx fell to the Washington Mystics on Sunday afternoon, 85-68.
Playing in front of a packed Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minn., the Mystics shot an impressive 34-for-62 from the field, and played aggressive defensively holding the Lynx to only 38.6 percent.
“We played good defense, team defense,” Mystics head coach Mike Thibault said. “I thought we disrupted a lot of their offense and we ran the ball, we moved the ball. We’ve been trying to become a better rebounding team, but I thought for a good portion of the game we were pretty good at it. So when we’re not giving up a lot of second shots, it’s easier to get out and run. I thought that was huge.”
Minnesota’s starters Maya Moore and Natasha Howard combined for 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Renee Montgomery and Keisha Hampton contributed 26 points and five rebounds total off the bench.
Trailing 55-34 at halftime and down by 26 at one point, the Lynx attempted to make a comeback in the second half, but Minnesota native Tayler Hill (18 points) and Kahleah Copper (17 points) ended up being too much for the Lynx to handle.
“It’s always good to come back home and play in front of family and some home fans,” Hill said. “We still have a lot of things to work on, but it’s pretty good today and it’s a good direction for us to go in going into the regular season.”
34: Despite struggling shooting the ball as a team throughout the game, Minnesota’s bench came to play contributing this many points. Hampton led the team with 15 points, going 6-for-10 from the field.
22.4 percent: Washington was on fire from the field in the first half and shot this many percentage points better than the Lynx in the first 20 minutes. The Mystics led 55-34 at halftime.
“Obviously disappointed, in terms of the way we came out in the game, that’s what I talked to the first five that were out there,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We came out in the third quarter with a little more sense of urgency, but Washington came out here like they really wanted to win that game. Our mindset has to be that preseason or not, you have to come out ready to play. It was a good lesson for us.”
4,524: The Mayo Civic Center was electric on Sunday afternoon thanks to this many fans showing up and cheering on the Lynx.
Leader of the Pack: Maya Moore
Although Moore didn’t have her best shooting performance, going 5-for-13 from the field, she did play a complete, finishing with 14 points, along with four rebounds and assists in only 23 minutes.
Getting double-teamed throughout the game, look for Moore and the rest of the starters to have better spacing once Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson come back from playing overseas.
It’s regular season time! Minnesota will tip-off the season this upcoming Saturday, May 14th, at home against the Phoenix Mercury. Be sure to tune-in at 6:30 p.m. on either ESPN or BOB 106.1 to catch the 2015 Western Conference Finals rematch.