Lynx Stay Strong, Hold Off Liberty in Preseason

Todd Barin

Web Editorial Associate

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The Minnesota Lynx pulled out a close victory in their first preseason game of the 2016 WNBA season on Thursday night, 77-74, against the New York Liberty.

Even without Olympian Seimone Augustus and All-Star forward Rebekkah Brunson, who are currently playing overseas, the Lynx jumped out to a 25-10 lead after the first quarter and were able to hold on until the final buzzer sounded.

Renee Montgomery led the Lynx with 17 points, going 7-for-9 from the field, and Sylvia Fowles along with Maya Moore contributed nicely with 10 points a piece.

The Liberty were able to mount a comeback thanks to Sugar Rodgers’ performance, hitting 70 percent of the shots she took and notching a game-high 22 points. Sitting out in their first preseason game, Olympian Tina Charles struggled against Minnesota’s frontcourt and only scored 10 points in 19 minutes of play.

Numbers Game:

47.8 percent: The Lynx were smart about their shot selections and ended up shooting extremely well from the field in their first game playing as a unit. Averaging 44.1 percent last season, Minnesota should be very pleased with their offensive performance in Thursday night’s victory.

22: Minnesota was aggressive all night defensively and caused New York to commit this many turnovers.

31: One thing the Lynx will need to work on, speaking of being tenacious on defense, is the amount of fouls they commit. Minnesota sent the Liberty to the free-throw line 40 times compared to their 16, as the Lynx committed this many fouls on the night.

New Faces:

Natasha Howard and Jia Perkins both started for Minnesota and played well in their Lynx debut. Howard tallied a game-high plus 10, plus/minus rating, while Perkins scored seven points on 2-for-4 shooting.

Bashaara Graves and Sydney Wallace both played well in New York, scoring nine points each while combining for five rebounds and three steals.

Up Next:

The Lynx will matchup against the Washington Mystics on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in Rochester, Minn.