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