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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Bench combines for 33 pts. -- same number injured star for Lynx wears

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: June 7, 2012 - 2:49 AM

A strained right quadriceps kept Seimone Augustus out of Wednesday's game.

But her teammates made sure she could watch comfortably from her courtside seat on the bench. The Lynx routed Seattle 79-55.

"I put Monnie in there," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said, referring to backup guard Monica Wright. "I thought Monnie did an admirable job."

Wright started her first game since her rookie season -- in 2010 -- and played almost 30 minutes. She had six points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Usually Wright is one of the first players off the bench. This time guard Candice Wiggins and center Devereaux Peters got the most playing time as reserves and each of them scored in double figures.

"I thought our bench was huge for us," Reeve said. "Candice Wiggins' minutes were really important. The energy -- really in tough moments in the game, she opened it up for us."

Wiggins was four of seven on three-pointers and scored 12 points. She also had six rebounds and three steals.

"And obviously, Devereaux Peters was pretty good for us. Effort all around. I thought Taj [McWilliams-Franklin] was really solid. [Rebekkah] Brunson was good in moments. Maya [Moore] was good early.

"So I am really happy from a team standpoint."

Peters had a season-high 14 points, making five of seven shots and also had four assists.

Led by Wiggins and Peters, four reserves combined for 33 points. Coincidentally, 33 happens to be Augustus' jersey number.

McWilliams-Franklin, Brunson and Moore were the Lynx's front-line starters and they combined for 39 points.

"Taj was really good. She came out of the gate strong," Reeve said. "She did have four turnovers, trying to make home run plays. I just thought Taj physically just felt very, very good tonight."

McWilliams-Franklin made all eight shots she took. Early in the game, she scored three consecutive baskets for the Lynx to give them a 10-2 lead.

She played just under 20 minutes and when she came out for the last time in the fourth quarter, the crowd gave her a big hand and she looked downward and smiled widely.

* About that number 33. It also popped up in two other places on the stats sheet. The Lynx grabbed 33 rebounds (Seattle had 25) and the Storm shot 33 percent from the field (the Lynx 54.7 percent).

SORE SPOT

The one area of the game Reeve was not pleased with is ballhandling. The Lynx had 15 turnovers which led to 18 points for the Storm.

Near the end of the first quarter and into the second, the Lynx made eight turnovers on  12 possessions.

"It's the home run plays that we are trying to make that just aren't there," Reeve said. "We have to resist those urges because we have those moments every game. The combination of turnovers and not getting stops and the next thing you know, they got it down to seven.

"But we cleaned it up. Unlike past games where we let a team back in it, we were able to then reverse it and go back up again and keep the game in hand."

RECORD-KEEPING

Here is a list of recent franchise records the Lynx have set:

* Eight wins to start the season. ... The league record is nine held by Los Angeles. The Sparks were 9-0 in 2001 and '03.

* Eight consecutive regular-season road wins going back to end of last season.

* Eleven regular-season victories in a row going back to last season.

MORE STREAKS

* Eleven home victories in a row, six last year counting five playoff games and five in the regular-season this season. ... They are 24-3 at home since the start of the 2011 season, losing only to Indiana, Phoenix and New York in the regular season last year.

* Fourteen victories in a row, counting playoff games last season. ... The regular-season record for consecutive victories is 18 set by Los Angeles in 2001.

* The Lynx are 35-4 since July 15 of last year. On that day they beat Indiana 80-70. ... They are on a pace to go, well, 34-0 since they haven't lost yet. The WNBA record for victories in a single season is 28 held by several teams. They were 27-7 last season.

8-0 TEAMS IN WNBA'S HISTORY

9-0   Los Angeles     2001     28-4     WNBA champions

9-0   Los Angeles     2003     24-10   WNBA finals

8-0   Lynx                    2012     ???       ???

ETC.

* The Lynx's victory over Seattle on Wednesday was the 200th in franchise history. They are 200-242 over 14 seasons since 1999.

* Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve's record improved to 48-27 with the latest victory, tying her with Storm coach Brian Agler for second on the most victories list as the team's head coach. Suzie McConnell Serio is first with a 58-67 record.

WELCOME MAT OUT FOR ...

The Lynx are 5-0 at home this season and have five more home games before the Olympic break:

June 21 vs. New York: Liberty have won two games in a row after a horrible 0-5 start. They were also last team to beat the Lynx at home on Sept. 2 of last year.

June 23 vs. Chicago. This will be a nationally televised game on ESPN. It comes on the 40th anniversary of Title IX. And both teams will be wearing special jersey with IX on the front. Tip-off is 11:30 a.m. Besides all that, the Sky is a tough opponent.

Chicago has not made the WNBA playoffs in its first five years, but this could be the year. Sylvia Fowles, the defensive player of the year in the WNBA last season, is an early candidate for MVP. She is putting up 23 points, 12 rebounds, it seems, every game. And Sky is 4-1, tied for first in East. Could be huge game.

June 27 vs. Phoenix. Mercury is falling. Top two players, Diana Taurasi (hip) and Penny Taylor (knee) are injured although it's possible DT might be back by then. Without them, team is having trouble scoring.

July 7: vs. Connecticut. Tina Charles and Asjha Jones, two Olympians, lead team. And the sparkplug off the bench is Renee Montgomery, an ex-Lynx. Sun will remember Lynx coming to Uncasville, Conn., and beating them earlier in season.

July 12: vs. Tulsa. The Shock have a new coach and two rookies with a big upside, forward Glory Johnson and guard Riquna Williams. Tulsa should get better as season goes along. A noon tip-off.

 

 

 

 

 

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