score: Storm 79 Lynx 76 (W) (2-0)
Score | Jayda's
Game Blog | psheehy's
Game Blog | Live
from Press Row
E | Rick
L | Toni
the Lynx had control of this game most of the way and only
lost it at the end of the fourth quarter, and they were missing
two of their best players. I think we need to be worried about
the Lynx this season.
huge reason for that is there rookie guard Monica Wright.
She led the Lynx in scoring and definitely put up the most
shots. She's in a good position to get a lot of playing time
and early season experience with Wiggins and Augustus out
for the next few weeks. I'm not sure she needs a lot of experience
though. She was pretty much unguardable most of the time,
driving, elevating and getting whatever shot she wanted. It
will be interesting to see how the Lynx coaches incorporate
their injured stars back into the lineup. I guess having too
many talented players to choose from is one of those good
problems to have. Minnesota is going to be very strong and
very deep later this season.
Storm are starting out fairly strong and deeper than in previous
years, although we haven't seen that bench depth at home quite
yet. Coach Agler is playing the starters a lot of minutes
and really only subbing in LaCoe Willingham for any real length
of time. Svet and Lacey got a few minutes, but in bunches
and Lacey got pulled after getting burned by Whalen a couple
times, including a Whalen drive to the basket from the three
point line with Lacey staying in front of her the whole way
only to get called for a blocking foul. Lacey actually played
good defense the whole way (they showed the replay on the
big screen) and it looked like Whalen pushed off at the last
second. Lacey got called for the foul even though she ended
up rocketing backwards from Whalen's forearm. Still, she was
getting beat and Coach had Sue come back in.
versus Whalen was fun to watch. I don't think they like each
other much. This is just my own recollection, but I think
it's accurate to say that Whalen has gotten the better of
Sue over the course of their head-to-head battles. Not so
tonight. Sue had Whalen figured out and was tipping the ball
and stole it twice from Whalen. She also kept Whalen from
getting a consistent rhythm going. At the end of the first
quarter, the Lynx started to get some steam and ended the
quarter on a little run. Whalen got a three-pointer that looked
awfully smooth, coming off a screen. I was thinking that we
were going to be in trouble if she got going since that shot
looked so easy. She did end up with 17 points, but she was
hitting free throws more than actual shots. Sue, with some
help from Tanisha, was able to keep Whalen from taking over.
big battles were going on under the basket. LJ and Anosike
were going at it pretty hard. Anosike has a lot more bulk
than LJ and was muscling her around. Towards the end of the
second quarter Anosike got called for a technical that I think
happened because she was cussing at one of the refs as she
argued a call. On a subsequent Storm offensive set, Swin got
fouled and went to the line. Anosike tried arguing her case
and I think she said that LJ was cussing too (really? I don't
believe it). LJ actually said to the ref, "I don't swear."
I don't think Anosike was amused because on Swin's second
free throw, Anosike got low position on LJ and jammed her
shoulder into LJ's ribs really hard. LJ was rubbing her side
on the way back down the court.
other rumble going on was Camille and Charde Houston. They
were knocking each other around just as much as LJ and Anosike.
Camille got the better of it by outscoring Houston, but she
didn't outplay her by much. Really, the Lynx looked bigger
and stronger than the Storm at almost every position, at least
as far as the starters went. The Lynx bench were on the skinny/wispy
side (although McCants could sky and was able to hit some
good shots). I don't remember the Lynx being this physical.
If you think about it, the only former Lynx player that was
really super physical was Katie Smith. The rest of them may
have had size (Ohlde, Hayden), but they weren't as aggressive
as this team. Again, the Lynx will be worrisome later this
Lynx got out to a 8-10 point lead that they were able to maintain
through the third quarter. The Storm seemed to have a few
mental lapses that allowed the Lynx to retain control. For
example, there was one play during the second quarter when
Whalen took a jump shot and missed. The Storm players around
the basket did a great job of boxing out... and then stood
there and watched the ball bounce in the middle of them. Instead
of going for the ball, they all hesitated to wait for someone
else to get the ball (or something), which of course an un-boxed
out Lynx player did.
the same time, the Storm had flashes of brilliance. There
was another sequence with the Storm on a quasi-fast break
(off of a Lynx miss and Storm rebound). The passing went zip
zip zip, with all five Storm players touching the ball as
they were able to find the open shooter before the Lynx defense
could catch up. It was so pretty and really got the crowd
Storm were able to chip away at the lead through the second
quarter, but faltered on their last couple of possessions.
Lacey took a three and airballed it and then Willingham had
a chance at the end of the quarter to get a shot off. LaCoe
had the ball with the clock running down and attempted to
get off a three. Marginean hacked Willingham across the arms
to stop the shot. LaCoe still powered it up and looked for
the call. No dice. The place went crazy. It was clearly a
foul and LaCoe should have gotten at least two free throws,
maybe three if she was behind the line (I didn't see where
her feet were). Nope, the ref who was behind the play and
couldn't have seen the foul waived it off.
third quarter went the same way. The Lynx built their lead,
but the Storm started to chip away and had a chance to get
it down to three. At the end of the quarter though, they muffed
a final play with Willingham getting blocked by Houston. The
Lynx pushed it back up the floor and scored. Still, the score
was down to 5 to start the fourth quarter instead of the 8-10
it had been through the rest of the game to that point.
started going the Storm's way in the fourth. We got another
one of those pretty fast breaks with Sue leading, finding
Svet cross-court with a bullet pass, who then fired it to
Swin for a layup. Our first all-UCONN fast break. I hope it's
not our last.
Storm battled back and with a Swin three followed by an LJ
three, they got it down to a two-point lead with five minutes
to go. The Storm forced the Lynx into a shot clock violation
and then Camille hit a layup to tie the game.
end of the game came down to Swin hitting a ice-in-her-veins
jumper and then nailing a couple free throws. This whole game
was really the Swin Cash show. She seemed to be the one who
was playing the hardest and with the most passion on the team.
Like the first game when the whole team was fighting for every
ball, tonight it was mostly Swin. She was fighting off two
and three Lynx players for rebounds — I made a note
in the first quarter that she was surrounded by blue jerseys
but still came out with the ball. She was the force behind
the team in the fourth as they close the score and took the
lead. She's playing like she's the best player on the team
right now, which is great because LJ needs the focus off of
her for awhile.
of LJ, she iced the game with an offensive rebound and put
back. The Lynx got a final shot off, but it really wasn't
was an exciting win against a scary opponent and it's great
to start out 2-0.
was worried at the beginning of the game during the introductions.
Normally, the team comes out and lines up along the free throw
line. Tonight, they didn't do that. Instead, they lined up
in front of the line of dance troupe kids. All I could think
was, "No changes! No changes!" Change is bad luck.
You don't break the routine. Thankfully, it had no effect
on the game. Whew.
was a former Mayor Nickels sighting. He wasn't introduced,
but I saw him walking up the stairs during the half. I'm not
sure, but I don't think he came to any games when he was in
office, did he?