10-0. After the Minnesota Lynx beat the Washington Mystics on Saturday evening, they officially tied the record for the best start to a WNBA season.
Minnesota took care of business in their second game of a back-to-back thanks to a 19-0 run that lasted throughout the third quarter.
Down two at halftime, the Lynx’ head coach Cheryl Reeve and her staff made the proper adjustments in the locker room which allowed them to blow the game wide open. How you ask… defense.
“Just defense, being more aggressive and cleaning up our offense,” Lynx’ guard Seimone Augustus said. “They played a lot off of our turnovers, which made for a lot of easy baskets for them. Once we settled down and got into a great offensive flow it kind of helped us on the defensive end as far as being able to get five back and staying matched up.”
Sitting out last game due to a head injury, Augustus started for Minnesota on Saturday night and was clearly back to her old-self, leading all scorers with 21 points on 10-for-18 shooting.
Sylvia Fowles had a nice game, scoring 18 points, going 6-for-9 from the floor and also adding seven boards and three blocks. The Mystics did a solid job all night locking down Lynx’ forward Maya Moore, who ended the night with 15 points on 4-for-15 shooting, seven rebounds and five assists.
“I’ve always been a player that wants to help my team in any way possible, not just being the one that puts the ball in the hole,” Moore said. “Having to adjust to that in the first half and focus on moving the ball and being a facilitator, it really helped our overall flow in the second half, getting a lot of people involved. That’s just the kind of team we are when we’re at our best: a lot of people getting involved on the offensive end.”
Emma Meesseman led the Mystics with 19 points, going 9-for-17 from the floor, to go along with seven rebounds. Washington’ guard and Minnesota native Tayler Hill, who like Moore usually leads her team in points, struggled putting the ball in the hoop, only draining four of her 13 shots for a total of 12 points on the night.
“We were just missing shots; that was what happened in the third,” Hill said. “When you have a tough quarter shooting, you have to be able to get stops on the defensive end. They [Lynx] were hitting shots that quarter so that was really the difference.”
The Lynx will play the Indiana Fever at home on Tuesday night and have the chance to set the WNBA record for best start to a season by going 11-0.
According to this quote from Coach Reeve, it seems as if the players and coaching staff know the challenge that they have ahead of them.
All I think about next is Tuesday. I know we play Indiana next. I told these guys that handling a road back-to-back, these guys had a little bit of time to get ready for us, these guys haven’t won at home so they’re hungry. We just like to handle challenges as they come. I just told them how proud I was. We don’t make excuses. Nobody puts an asterisk next to a ‘W’ or an ‘L’ saying ‘yeah, but…’ Nobody cares about that. In the end, it’s just the total. We take great pride and just take it one game at a time. Not making excuses about being tired or whatever the situation is. We keep that mindset, we stay true, we stay gritty, we stay close to our identity and we do the little things well, and I think we have a chance to be successful.