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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Brunson enjoying herself in Lynx's playoff run

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: October 4, 2012 - 10:13 AM

"I am just playing. I am playing free, I am just trying to have some fun," Rebekkah Brunson said after Wednesday's Lynx practice.

At Seattle's expense in the last series. Brunson had double-doubles in the first two games and missed a third by one rebound.

Her stats against the Storm:

Game 1: 12 pts., 11 rebs. (all on defense), 2 steals, 2 blocks, 6x8 on FTs

Game 2: 22 pts, 15 rebs. (seven on offense), 1 steal

Game 3: 16 pts., nine rebounds (three on offense), 2 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal ... 8 x 12 on FGs

Little wonder Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve called RB -- or Spartacus by teammate Candice Wiggins -- the series MVP.


Los Angeles, the Lynx's next opponent in the West Finals, split four games with Minnesota. Each team won twice on its home court.

The scores:

May 24 at Target Center, Lynx won 92-84

Seimone Augustus scored 25 points and Brunson 17. Candice Wiggins broke a late tie with a three-pointer, the start of a 10-2 run ... Candace Parker and Kristi Toliver had 23 points apiece, Nneka Ogwumike 20 and nine boards

July 5 at Staples Center, LA won 96-90

Toliver scored 29 points and Parker 28 ad also had 13 rebounds. Lynx closed 20-point deficit to five in closing seconds. ... Augustus had 18 points, Maya Moore 14 and Brunson 11 points and nine boards

Sept. 4 at Target Center, Lynx won 88-77

Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus each scored 23 points. Moore also had nine rebounds and a franchise-record seven steals. ... Alana Beard had 17 points and reserve guard Jenna O'Hea 15 for the Sparks.

Sept. 20 at Staples Center, LA won 92-76

 LA's big two inside posts dominated this game, during which the Lynx rested some starters. Parker and Nneka Ogwumike each had 22 points and 11 rebounds. Beard had 13 points and five steals. ... Monica Wright led the Lynx with a season-high 19 points and Devereaux Peters had maybe her best game with 17 points and a season-high 13 rebounds.

"[The Sparks] are tough," Brunson said. "They have been tough for us this season. If we do what we are supposed to do as a team and help each other out, then we can get it done."

Part of that "we" is soon-to-be 42-year-old Taj McWilliams-Franklin, the 6-2 post.

"Taj is working out there," Brunson said. "We have no doubt that Taj is going to be fine and she is going to do what she has to do defensively."

And Brunson is glad the game is at Target Center.

"That's what we have been working for all season," Brunson said. "To be able to come in and have home-court advantage. It is great to be able to start here, have the Target Center rocking behind us and get us going."


Brunson and assistant coach Jim Petersen starting doing a routine after practice last year meant to improve her outside shot and have continued it. "It helps, putting myself in the best position to be able to hit those shots and knock them down," Brunson said. "And we will continue to work on them throughout the rest of the season.

"[It] enabled me to be prepared when I get the opportunity to shoot it. Shoot it and be confident."

Asked about her reaction to Lindsay Whalen's injury on Tuesday, Brunson said, "Man down, man up. When somebody is down we have a team where we have somebody can step in and continue to keep the flow of the game going. And continue to keep us successful."

Whalen took a nasty fall late in the opening period of the third game against Seattle. She went into the locker room for a while. Then came back with her left wrist heavily taped.

"[Whalen] brings something that I don't think anybody else can bring to this team," Brunson said. "She is, [as an] individual a great player. We do have a team where somebody goes down, we are still capable of getting it done."


On facing Los Angeles: "They are great offensively. And they are playing with a lot of pride and a lot of confidence. That's where we are going to try to lean on our defense and get some stops and get it done."

On the Sparks winning almost all the regular-season weekly and monthly awards in the West: "The individual stuff is nice. It is always good to get those things. But we are looking at something bigger than player of the week."

On how Lynx compare to LA: "They are a very talented offensive team. For sure, definitely. You can't take that away from them. But we are a talented team as well. It is going to be a battle, but the best team is going to win."


When is a home-court advantage not really an edge?

Trick question? No. This is serious.

In the Los Angeles vs. San Antonio series last weekend, neither team played on its home court in the series.

Game One was at Southern Cal's Galen Center because of a "Batman Live" show at the Staples Center, where L.A. usually plays.

Games Two was at the Freeman Coliseum, not the AT&T Center, San Antonio's normal court. The Silver Stars were bumped by a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert.

The Sparks won both games to sweep the series.

"I don't want to make excuses, they played under the same conditions," said guard Becky Hammon of San Antonio was quoted as saying in an Associated Press story. "The one thing I will say, as shooter, the lighting is very dark in "Freeman]. We definitely would have liked to play at the AT&T Center.

"It wasn't what cost us the game, but it would have been nice. We worked all season for the most important game and it would have been nice to be at home."

The Sparks won the first game 93-86, the second 101-94.

* When Connecticut beat New York 75-62 on Saturday to win that Eastern Conference semifinal series, the Liberty scored the game's first 12 points, the winning Sun the last 14.





Kansas City - J. Vargas 7:07 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Buffalo 0 2nd Prd
San Jose 0
Boston 6:00 PM
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
New Jersey 6:00 PM
Dallas 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Detroit 6:00 PM
Chicago 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Florida 8:00 PM
Washington 9:00 PM
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 21 FINAL
Rice 41
Arkansas 45
Rutgers 24 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 42
Maryland 7 FINAL
Wisconsin 52
Texas 0 FINAL
(11) Kansas State 23
Minnesota 24 FINAL
Illinois 28
Memphis 48 FINAL
SMU 10
North Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia 27
San Jose St 31 FINAL
Navy 41
Northern Ill 28 FINAL
Eastern Mich 17
(25) UCLA 31 4th Qtr
Colorado 14
Akron 21 4th Qtr 14:55
Ball State 19
Massachusetts 20 4th Qtr 15:00
Toledo 28
Ohio U 14 4th Qtr 10:21
Western Mich 28
Ga Southern 48 4th Qtr 14:16
Georgia State 24
Kent State 3 3rd Qtr 4:45
Miami-Ohio 7
Oregon State 7 2nd Qtr 5:10
Stanford 21
Fla Atlantic 13 2nd Qtr 6:07
(23) Marshall 14
Louisiana Tech 3 2nd Qtr 6:31
Southern Miss 7
(1) Miss State 17 2nd Qtr 6:18
Kentucky 10
Georgia Tech 28 2nd Qtr 6:24
Pittsburgh 14
(22) West Virginia 14 2nd Qtr 5:30
Oklahoma State 10
Texas Tech 17 2nd Qtr 12:03
(10) TCU 31
Michigan 0 2nd Qtr 3:41
(8) Michigan State 7
Boston College 17 2nd Qtr 0:40
Wake Forest 0
Central Mich 14 2nd Qtr 1:49
Buffalo 7
Vanderbilt 0 2nd Qtr 15:00
Missouri 3
Old Dominion 3 2nd Qtr
Western Ky 21
UNLV 0 2nd Qtr 14:44
Utah State 10
Temple 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 6:30 PM
So Carolina 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Nevada 10:59 PM
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
(18) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Texas State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico St
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
(20) USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(5) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(1) Miss State
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(6) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(7) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(15) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(19) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(14) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Los Angeles 0 2nd Half 1:00
Seattle 1
D.C. 0 1st Half 15:00
Montreal 1
Toronto FC 6:30 PM
New England
Portland 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Colorado 9:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 0 14:18
Toronto 15
Brt Columbia 6:00 PM
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
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