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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Crowds pumping up Lynx at home

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: June 29, 2012 - 4:09 PM

The Lynx have a 14-game winning streak at home, going back to last season. And attendance is picking up at Target Center.

"Our players love [the big turnouts]," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said after the Lynx beat Phoenix 96-80 on Wednesday. "I informed the players that, once again, we'd have a great crowd. It makes them feel good, obviously… When the crowd starts to get into it, you pick up your intensity. They just have a lot of fun with it. They're really proud. I told them they should be proud that they built this."

Winning a WNBA title and starting this season 13-1 should create more interest.

STOPPING BONNER

DeWanna Bonner kept Phoenix close most of the first half with 18 points, but she only had five points after halftime, all in the third quarter.

"I thought Bonner played great," Reeve said. We had a more concerted effort in that third quarter, and I also think for her, it caught up to her as far as how many minutes she has to play for them. So I think fatigue set in for her a little bit."

HARRIS REBOUNDS

Amber Harris, the Lynx's 6-4 second-year forward, had a season-high 10 points against the Mercury. She also had three assists, three blocks and two rebounds in 15 minutes, 39 seconds.

"Amber's ankle is fine," Reeve said. "[She's] just a player that I like to get on the court and get some experience and see what she can do. It's a player that is the target of a lot of coaching.

"I thought [Wednesday], as I told her, I was really proud that she responded because we had a tough day with her [Tues]day. Most players come in pouting the next day after you get lit up at practice, and she didn't. She came into shootaround really, really focused and I thought her approach to the game was really good.

"So I told her I was really proud of her that she responded. She can be even better. I think right now you see a slow Amber Harris, and it's not just because she's out of shape. It's also because you get that paralysis by analysis. You're afraid to make a mistake. And that's on me -- I've got to get Amber more comfortable to play more free-spirited. And we'll get there.

"It's a player I need to play. I think she's awfully talented. She's got a lot of skill. She just has to understand the sense of urgency of the WNBA."

* The Lynx used an 18-2 run which started late in the second quarter and went into the third to build a 62-47 lead against Phoenix. 

* Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen was part of a live chat on ESPN's Sportsnation web site on Friday afternoon. One question she was asked is, does she have any rituals?

"Yeah, I have a bunch, actually. I always have to have my left ankle taped before my right ankle. I always say a prayer during the national anthem, for no injuries for either team. Those are probably the biggest two. Then I have a bunch of others that just come randomly, but those are the two big ones."

For the complete live chat, click here.

* Four Lynx plays are among the top 10 WNBA plays of the week. Seimone Augustus' drive to the basket against New York is No. 8. Her buzzer-beater at end the end of the third period against Chicago is No. 6. Maya Moore's fast-break basket on an alley-oop pass from Whalen against the Sky is No. 4 and Whalen's spin move for a basket against Chicago is No. 2. ... Top play is Indiana guard Katie Douglas' three-pointer -- the 600th of her career.

* Four more teams have qualified for the 12-team women's basketball field in the London Summer Olympics. That's leaves one spot open.

Advancing were the winners of four quarterfinal games in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Ankara, Turkey. The scores:

Turkey 72, Argentina 58 ... Ex-Lynx center Quanitra Hollingsworth, a naturalized Turkish citizen, had 12 points and eight rebounds, as the Turks qualified for the Olympics for the first time

Czech Republic 53, Japan 47

Croatia 59, Canada 56

France 80, South Korea 63

The four losers will play down to one team in a losers' bracket. That team will get the last Olympic spot.

 

 

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