Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Lynx accomplished something on Tuesday night that hadn’t been done in nearly six years.
The defending WNBA Champions beat the New York Liberty, 79-69, making it Minnesota’s first win inside Madison Square Garden since June 22nd, 2010.
With the victory, the Lynx moved to a WNBA-best 6-0 on the season. Maya Moore continued her hot start to the year, leading all scorers with 25 points, going 10-for-19 from the field.
Seimone Augustus turned in an efficient performance on the night with 13 points (5-for-8), five rebounds and three assists, while Renee Montgomery was once again tenacious off the bench, tallying 10 points (5-for-6), four assists and two steals.
Tina Charles played all but one minute in the contest for the Liberty and performed well throughout the matchup, scoring 23 points (9-for-15), and grabbing 11 boards.
20+: Minnesota got out to another fast start out of the gates on Tuesday evening, leading the Liberty 28-11 after ten minutes of action. The Lynx were able to sustain a decent sized lead through three quarters, and even led 56-33 midway in the third quarter. The game against New York is the fourth time this year the Lynx have built a lead of 20 or more points.
“We didn’t play as hard as we needed to in the first quarter like we did in quarters two, three, and four,” Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer said. “Minnesota’s a very big first quarter team, they execute so well and they came out and played with such intensity in the first quarter and we went down.”
4,875: Augustus went into Tuesday’s matchup needing only 11 points to pass this number, representing the total points Sheryl Swoopes’ scored in her WNBA career, ranking her 16th all-time. As previously mentioned, Augustus contributed 13 points for the Lynx, meaning she officially passed Swoopes on the WNBA all-time scoring list. Congrats Seimone!
10: The Lynx managed to steal the ball this many more times than the Liberty did in Tuesday’s ballgame. Minnesota turned New York’s 19 turnovers into 22 points, making it the third straight game this season with 20 or more points created off of turnovers.
“More than anything it means we were ready coming out of training camp,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said of Minnesota’s great start to the season. “Players wanted to be there on time. Maya Moore has never missed a day of training camp…We have players come early…We just have a group that came out of the gates and said we don’t want to be a team that lets games early in the season get away from us.”
Leader of the Pack: Maya Moore
The WNBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2014 is playing at an incredibly high level to begin the 2016 season, and Moore did not disappoint on Tuesday night against the Liberty. The 4-time WNBA All-Star finished with 25 points (10-for-19), six rebounds and three assists.
“My team is better than ever and I am trying to figure out how we can all be great, and not just take those moments to feel like I have to do more than I need to,” Moore said. “It’s great to say ‘Yeah, I need to be more efficient and try to utilize everybody,’ but, if you do not have the people to do that, it is not going to work. We have the people to do that. It is really fun, and I am really excited to come out every day and see how we are going to put this together today. It is a little more refreshing to know how much confidence we continue to develop.”
Highlight of the Night:
With time winding down in the first quarter, Montgomery threw a beautiful bounce pass to Moore at the elbow and despite being off balance, the 2015 WNBA All-Star Game MVP drained the fade-away jumper with 1.1 seconds left in the period.
Minnesota will get a couple of days of much needed rest before taking on the Dallas Wings at home on Saturday night. The game will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. and will be available to watch on Fox Sports North or you can always tune-in to the action on 106.1 BOB FM radio.