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.

E-mail Roman

Whalen named player of game as U.S. routs Brazil

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: July 17, 2012 - 12:15 AM

 The three Lynx players on the U.S. women's basketball team all scored in double figures on Monday in a rout over Brazil in an exhibition game in Washington, D.C.

Guard Lindsay Whalen, starting in place of Sue Bird who had a death in her family, scored 21 points and had five assists as the U.S. won 99-67. She was eight of 12 from the field, five of seven from the free throw line and was named the player of the game.

Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore of the Lynx had 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Diana Taurasi, who has played in only two games for Phoenix because of a left hip flexor, looked good, too. She had 16 points and seven assists. Center Tina Charles had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

For Brazil, Damiris Dantas, the Lynx's No. 12 pick in the first round of the WNBA draft this season, had eight points and two rebounds.

The U.S. plays its next exhibition game on Wednesday against Great Britain in Manchester, England.

 The U.S. team has won the gold medal in the previous four Olympics.

U.S. BIG FAVORITE

"We got the best players in the world" in the WNBA, Reeve said last week, "but it is a different style of play [in the Olympics]. That is probably the biggest thing. Here, we think, it is more physical in they way of pounding the ball inside. That sort of thing.

"There it is more free-flowing, open. Harder to guard in some ways when you have those bigs that step out and shoot. It really challenges your rotation."

Reeve said it is "very cool" three Lynx players are on the U.S. team. "It is a testament to those three players," Reeve said. "Each of them in their own way had their own path to get there. Like Seimone's return to the national team, that is exciting. Lindsay's first time to compete for a gold. She is just giddy. She is just beside herself.

"And Maya, for her, it is kind of a foregone conclusion in many ways. But for her, she takes great pride in it and she is still a young player. It is building her resume. It is fun for all of them and obviously for the franchise and for someone like [Lynx owner] Glen Taylor to say you have three Olympians. That is awfully exciting."

* The gold medal game is Aug. 11. The Lynx's first game after that is against Washington on Aug. 17. "We will give them a couple days off and likely I will get two days of practice before we play our first game," Reeve said.

* Reeve is going to London to watch the U.S. team in the Olympics and two players the Lynx drafted or traded for who are playing on other teams. They are Dantas, a 6-4 post for Brazil, 6-1 forward Rachel Jarry of Australia, who recently turned 21 and the Lynx obtained in a draft day trade in 2011.

The Lynx also drafted guard Nika Baric of Slovenia in 2012 -- in the second round, with the No. 20 overall pick -- but her team did not qualify for the Olympics.

SEASON OF EXTREMES

"We had the extremes," Reeve said, when asked about her team's first-half performance. "Not as extreme as a team like Chicago. But for us, things went really well for us early. And then we had part of a schedule that was really tough, and obviously it did not turn out the way we had hoped."

The Lynx started the season 10-0 and 13-1 before losing three games in a row.

"Not that we think we are going to win all those games all the time," Reeve said, "it is just the back to back to back. Dropping three in a row is very , very hard. In our league, two in a row, three in a row it grates on you. Especially these guys when the expectations are so high.

"And that's the other part of it. The expectations for this team are for us to win by 20 every time we play. And that is really unfair. It is very disrespectful to the rest of the league. And it is not reasonable because you only have 12 teams. There is talent on every team. But that is the double-edged sword of winning and winning a championship. Now the expectations are, we want even more.

"So given all that is on our shoulders right now, for us to be sitting where we are at, I am pleased where we are at. I also know coming out in the last 15 games, I would like to take another step moving towards playoffs."

 LYNX IMPRESS TULSA COACH

Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg, whose Shock lost to the Lynx twice last week, said the Lynx are the best team in the WNBA because of their depth.

"And then with Maya [Moore],she is to me the X factor," he said. "She moves around. She is so well -- when she gives the ball up -- getting it back. She is so well moving without the ball that she is really difficult to guard. She can post up. She call pull outside. She runs the floor really well. She is just a complete player. To me, that gives them the edge along with, this is a deep team. They really don't have any weaknesses."

TEAMWORK THE KEY

Maya Moore said the key to beating Tulsa last Thursday was teamwork. "When we share the ball, we got whatever we wanted," said Moore, who had 28 points. "That's when runs happen and we were able to put some stops together."

* Moore and Lindsay Whalen of the Lynx and Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks were at the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn., on Friday doing a plethora of interviews.

* The WNBA players of the week are Parker  and Tina Charles of Connecticut. Parker has won the award four times in eight weeks, Charles three times.

The list:

5/27/12    Tamika Catchings, Indiana ... Candace Parker, Los Angeles
6/3/12      Epiphanny Prince, Chicago ... DeWanna Bonner, Phoenix
6/10/12    Prince ... Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles
6/17/12    Tina Charles, Connecticut ... Parker
6/24/12    Catchings ... Parker
7/1/12      Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta ... Sophia Young, San Antonio
7/8/12     Charles ... Becky Hammon, San Antonio
7/15/12   Charles ... Parker

* Candice Wiggins is holding an all-girls basketball camp at New Haven High School in Fort Wayne, Ind., July 27-29.


 

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT