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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Shooting woes doom Lynx to third loss of the week

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: July 8, 2012 - 1:25 AM

"Tough game on both sides," Maya Moore said after the Lynx lost 86-80 to Connecticut at Target Center on Saturday night.

"We got some good looks offensively that we typically make. They weren't going in for us. It was a tough shooting night for us."

Sure was. The Lynx missed their first seven shots before Maya Moore scored on a layup. The Lynx were seven for 20 from the field in the opening quarter, which is 35 percent. That's a little deceiving because Brunson alone was zero for five.

Looked like the Lynx might have been trying to get Sun center Tina Charles in foul trouble.

The Lynx were 10 for 20 in the second quarter and within 41-38 of the Sun at halftime.

The third quarter was a bigger issue. Connecticut outscored the Lynx 29-16. All eight Lynx players in the game took a shot. Five of them made one basket, three made none. The Lynx were five of 18, or 27.8 percent from the field. The Sun's lead was up to 70-54.

It grew to 20 at 74-54 before the Lynx began a strong comeback.

The Lynx were eight of 18 in the final quarter, five of eight on three-pointers. They finished shooting 39.5 percent (30 for 76).

Forward Rebekkah Brunson especially struggled. She was one for 10. Moore was six for 18.

"We've got to score the ball against a team like Connecticut who is also big at scoring the ball," Moore said. "We let some of their key players do some of the things that they're comfortable with. It ended up being kind of a too little, too late with our comeback.

"It's a tough patch in the season right now. We're not in the place that we want to be, but there are definitely some good things left to be done by this team."

The Lynx (13-4) are still in first place in the West, but their lead has shrunk to 1-1/2 games over surging San Antonio. The Lynx lost three games in a row last week, at San Antonio on Sunday, at Los Angeles on Thursday and at home to Connecticut.

"It's not just, 'Oh well, the game is over,' " Moore said. "You can let it hurt you or you can let it make you better. I think this team is absolutely going to take this week and let it make us better."

* Three Sun players who chewed up the Lynx with double-doubles in points and rebounds were guard Kara Lawson (22, 10), center Tina Charles (19, 15) and forward Asjha Jones (16, 11).

MIDGAME SLUMP

"We didn't play well enough to win," Lynx center Taj McWilliams-Franklin said. "We didn't play hard enough in the middle to make an impact in the game. ... Even if you come out flat, we have continual problems on defense."

McWilliams-Franklin said Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve told the players after the game, "We don't need any heroes."

"I think we all had the heroes complex. ... The mentality was, 'I have to win it myself with the next play.' I think that's what our issues were."

 

 

 

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