Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Lynx trailed by nine early in the fourth quarter, as the San Antonio Stars looked to be building momentum late in the game.
The Lynx were down, but they certainly weren’t out.
Minnesota went on a 12-0 run and regained the lead with 6:17 left in the game, thanks to a Renee Montgomery three.
From that point on, the Lynx didn’t trial again in the game.
Minnesota came back to top San Antonio 87-78 on Sunday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. With the win, the Lynx recorded their second straight win and 11th win of the season.
“It wasn’t about strategy, it was about effort and digging down deep and finding the focus at the same time for an extended period of time to put the team away,” Maya Moore said after the game. “We would have liked to see that fourth quarter energy throughout the 40 minutes, for whatever reason it wasn’t there. . . Eventually something’s going to give if you keep the energy high and that’s what we saw tonight.”
Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore led the way for the Lynx. Fowles finished with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds and Moore had 22 points and four rebounds. Lindsay Whalen had 13 points, four assists and four rebounds, Seimone Augustus had 12 points and five assists, Natasha Howard had eight points and four rebounds and Rebekkah Brunson had four points and 10 rebounds.
“A lot of our fans just see us win, win, win, but they don’t understand how hard it is,” Sylvia Fowles said. “Night’s like this makes you appreciate your teammates even more. Everybody stepped up to the plate and took on the challenge. I’m happy and I’m just trying to push forward and get ready for the next game.”
Moriah Jefferson tallied 19 points and eight assists to lead San Antonio. Kayla McBride had 17 points and six rebounds, Isabelle Harrison had 13 points and nine rebounds, Kayla Alexander had 10 points and four rebounds and Alex Montgomery and Sequoia Holmes each had seven points off the bench.
With the win, Minnesota improves to a WNBA-best 11-1 overall. San Antonio falls to 0-14 with the loss.
“Despite what the game preview said, in terms of what people think should happen in a game like that where you have a team with the best record against a team with the worst record, we were fully aware of how well San Antonio was playing. We watched a ton of video, so we were not surprised at the things that they got done,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “There’s a couple of players on there that are some of the best players in the league. It’s a team that’s trying to figure things out and they are playing well. It’s not going to be long until they start winning games.”
Highlight Of The Game
The fourth quarter was clearly the highlight of the game on Sunday night.
The Lynx went on a 12-0 run early in the quarter to regain the lead and step on the gas.
Minnesota outscored San Antonio 32-16 in that quarter alone to end the game.
The Numbers Game
- There was seven lead changes and the game was tied a total of 12 times Sunday night.
- Minnesota finished shooting 43.5 percent from the field and shot 50 percent from three. San Antonio shot 40.3 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from deep.
- The Lynx out-rebounded the Stars 36-28 in the game.
Player Of The Game
Sunday night’s Lynx Player of the Game actually goes two players: Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore.
Fowles finished with a 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds for the sixth time in 11 games this season. In the fourth quarter alone in Sunday’s game, Fowles tallied 13 points and four rebounds.
“She had some big offensive rebounds and she put a lot pressure (in the post). We were going through Syl, we were going to run this thing through Syl,” Reeve said. “She had great reads on kick outs. I thought she took a lot of contact, made some free throws and it was vital. I just told her that I was proud that she fought through that.”
Moore recorded her fourth 20-plus point game in a row on Sunday. In the fourth quarter, she joined Fowles in turning it up a notch. Moore had 13 points and two rebounds in the final frame.
“She had the opportunity to knock down a couple of big threes and that’s what MVP candidate players should do for you. It has been well-documented that Maya had struggled early, but now she’s really found her groove. Understanding that it’s actually gotten a little bit easier for her,” Reeve said. “Maya is overall playing better. If you look at eyes and I’m big on facial expressions, I think what you are seeing from Maya now is way different than what we were seeing in the beginning. I think she was struggling and now she is focused and doing the little things.”
The Lynx will hit the road to take on the Phoenix Mercury at 9 p.m. Friday in Phoenix. The game will be aired on Fox Sports North Plus and 106.1 BOB FM.