Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Three keys to Lynx win tonight

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Sports Updated: September 20, 2011 - 5:31 PM

Can the Lynx beat San Antonio in Game 3 of their best-of-three WNBA series? Sure they can. Can they lose? Yup.

To win the Lynx have to score more points, play better defense and dominate the boards.

Dah, that's obvious. But let's break those keys down a bit.

1) The Lynx need more offense early. They have gotten off to slow starts in both playoff games against the Silver Stars. They have 25 first-quarter points combined in the first two games of the seris and are shooting just 33.3 percent with 11 turnovers.

In finishing the regular season 9-1, the Lynx averaged 20.4 points in the opening quarter and shot 51.2 percent. That's the kind of opening quarter the Lynx need tonight. They never led in Sunday's 84-75 loss at the AT&T Center in Texas.

2) Play better defense. Maybe the Lynx can win if one or two Silver Stars are hot. But three? Last game Jia Perkins had 24 points, Sophia Young 23 and Becky Hammon 18. The Lynx need to stop at least one of those veterans.

Taking care of the basketball would help. Last game the Lynx had 17 turnovers off of which San Antonio scored 21 points.

3. Rebound, rebound. San Antonio was one of worst rebounding teams in the league. But through three quarters in San Anonio, the Lynx, the league's best rebounding team, had one more rebound than the Silver Stars. Are you kidding me?

In the fourth quarter, the Lynx outrebounded the Little Stars 17-3. They start 5-6 Becky Hammon, 5-8 Jia Perkins and 5-9 Danielle Robinson. Sophia Young is a little bigger at 6-1 and Ruth Riley towers over her teammates at 6-5. That starting five averages just over 5 foot 10-1/2 inches. A lot of high school teams are taller.

Hammon didn't even try jumping against 5-9 Lindsay Whalen on one jump ball on Sunday. She conceded the tip to Whalen.

The Lynx starters average just over 6-feet, meaning they are 1-1/2 inches taller per player than the Little Stars.  

 

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