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.





New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Milwaukee 115 FINAL
Orlando 100
New York 82 FINAL
Indiana 103
Denver 69 FINAL
Memphis 99
Chicago 14 1st Qtr 1:52
LA Lakers 24
Montreal 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 0
Winnipeg 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Boston 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 3 FINAL
Toronto 1
Dallas 6 FINAL
Ottawa 3
Detroit 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 5
Columbus 2 FINAL
Florida 3
Nashville 4 2nd OT :00
St. Louis 4
Minnesota 1 3rd Prd
Calgary 0
Buffalo 1 2nd Prd 4:52
Edmonton 2
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd
San Jose 1
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 71 FINAL
Rutgers 51
Boston Univ 67 FINAL
Army 71
Fla Atlantic 61 FINAL
Charlotte 86
Youngstown St 87 FINAL
Detroit 93
East Tenn St 55 FINAL
Furman 59
Saint Louis 60 FINAL
George Mason 68
USC Upstate 78 FINAL
Jacksonville 65
High Point 72 FINAL
Liberty 53
Central Conn St 55 FINAL
Long Island 67
Western Ky 56 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 69
Dayton 64 FINAL
Massachusetts 66
Chattanooga 72 FINAL
Mercer 75
Wofford 58 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 42
Maryland 56 FINAL
Ohio State 80
Old Dominion 71
Fair-Dickinson 65 FINAL
Robert Morris 87
Mount St Marys 67 FINAL
St Francis-NY 73
Bryant 68 FINAL
St Francis-PA 75
Northern Ky 75 FINAL
Stetson 85
Coll of Charleston 70 FINAL
Towson 74
Western Carolina 85 FINAL
Va Military 70
Sacred Heart 64 FINAL
Wagner 75
Lipscomb 62 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 78
Kennesaw St 67 FINAL
North Florida 86
Appalachian St 46 FINAL
Ga Southern 83
Holy Cross 54 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 64
Eastern Ill 51 FINAL
UT Martin 81
Jacksonville St 82 FINAL
Belmont 103
Connecticut 58 FINAL
Cincinnati 70
Rider 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 49
SIU Edwardsville 75 FINAL
SE Missouri St 61
Marshall 69 FINAL
Southern Miss 54
Tenn Tech 56 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Middle Tennessee 58 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
Ill-Chicago 65 FINAL
Milwaukee 71
Weber State 67 FINAL
North Dakota 60
Denver 54 FINAL
North Dakota St 61
IUPU-Ft Wayne 66 FINAL
South Dakota 55
Louisiana 85 FINAL
South Alabama 89
Ark-Little Rock 75 FINAL
Arkansas State 65
Georgia State 88 FINAL
Texas-Arlington 74
Troy 55
Portland 43 2nd Half 1:45
Gonzaga 64
Kentucky 58 2nd Half 5:52
Missouri 40
Eastern Ky 62 2nd Half 5:10
Murray State 57
UAB 55 2nd Half 1:23
Texas-El Paso 62
Idaho State 76 FINAL
Northern Colorado 79
UMKC 47 2nd Half 6:02
Grand Canyon 70
Chicago State 53 2nd Half 3:44
Utah Valley U 73
Colorado 51 2nd Half 14:01
USC 46
Cal Poly 25 2nd Half
UC Irvine 34
Hawaii 50 2nd Half
CS-Northridge 34
Pepperdine 22 2nd Half
Pacific 21
Santa Clara 22 2nd Half
San Diego 32
Utah 30 2nd Half
UC Santa Barbara 35 2nd Half
UC Davis 37
Montana 32 2nd Half
Portland State 31
Montana State 33 2nd Half
Sacramento St 36
Long Beach State 15 1st Half 9:55
Cal State Fullerton 16
Loyola Marymount 19 1st Half 10:21
St Marys-CA 19
San Francisco 10:00 PM
California 10:00 PM
Washington St
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 77 FINAL
Georgia Southern 74
Niagara 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 65
Old Dominion 80 FINAL
FIU 67
Southern Miss 65 FINAL
Marshall 67
Georgia State 45 FINAL
TX-Arlington 57
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
Troy 90
Pittsburgh 45 FINAL
(17) Duke 62
(6) Tennessee 73 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 72
(24) Oklahoma 81 FINAL
(14) Texas 84
Nebraska Omaha 59 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 70
UC-Riverside 68 FINAL
CS-Northridge 56
Army 65 FINAL
Boston U 40
New Orleans 40 FINAL
Nicholls 56
Charlotte 68 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 71
Towson 54 FINAL
Delaware 72
Hofstra 66 FINAL
Northeastern 45
New Hampshire 56 FINAL
Maine 87
Albany 89 FINAL
Vermont 48
Hartford 60 FINAL
Stony Brook 58
UNC-Wilmington 62 FINAL
William & Mary 67
Clemson 62 FINAL
Wake Forest 64
Alabama 54 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 85
(23) Syracuse 58 FINAL
(8) Louisville 78
Missouri 68 FINAL
Florida 52
Iona 66 FINAL
Fairfield 77
Manhattan 38 FINAL
Marist 77
NC State 63 FINAL
Virginia 71
(4) Notre Dame 74 FINAL
Virginia Tech 50
(22) Rutgers 58 FINAL
Purdue 49
(5) Maryland 91 FINAL
Michigan 65
Milwaukee 58 FINAL
Cleveland State 67
Wright State 108 FINAL
Oakland 89
Jacksonville 64 FINAL
USC Upstate 66
North Florida 40 FINAL
Kennesaw St 46
Stetson 62 FINAL
Northern Ky 68
Loyola-Maryland 57 FINAL
Holy Cross 51
Lamar 87 FINAL
Sam Houston St 68
Fla Gulf Coast 71 FINAL
Lipscomb 49
Vanderbilt 44 FINAL
(18) Miss State 69
Western Ill 73
Abilene Christian 53 FINAL
Houston Baptist 50
Incarnate Word 54 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 63
McNeese State 78 FINAL
SE Louisiana 57
Oral Roberts 46 FINAL
South Dakota St 71
Louisiana Tech 66 FINAL
Western Ky 82
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 73
Texas-El Paso 52 FINAL
UAB 67
Auburn 47 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Grand Canyon 65 FINAL
Illinois 57 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 59
(20) Iowa 102 FINAL
Northwestern 99
Utah Valley U 55 FINAL
Chicago State 60
Green Bay 67 FINAL
Valparaiso 52
Portland State 31 FINAL
Montana 72
Sacramento St 64 FINAL
Montana State 91
North Dakota 55 FINAL
Weber State 48
Ohio State 85 FINAL
Wisconsin 73
Northern Colorado 61 FINAL
Idaho State 70
Ole Miss 35 2nd Half 3:00
LSU 66
BYU 31 2nd Half
San Francisco 27
St Marys-CA 31 2nd Half
Loyola Marymount 23
Pacific 39 2nd Half
Pepperdine 27
Cal-Irvine 24 1st Half 1:14
UC Santa Barbara 23
San Diego 38 2nd Half
Santa Clara 28
UC Davis 26 2nd Half
Cal Poly 35
Long Beach St 10:59 PM
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