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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Augustus says Lynx need to be more aggressive, improve 'D' in Game 2

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: October 16, 2012 - 8:56 PM

Guard Seimone Augustus, who is averaging 20 points in the playoffs, knows what the Lynx need to do in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals.

"Come out with a little bit more fire than we had in Game 1," Augustus said. "Like I said before, being more aggressive on the defensive end. We can talk about offense all day, but defense is what wins championships and that is what we are focusing on [Tues]day and the day before in the video session, just being a little more aggressive."

The Lynx were 27-7 during the regular season and only once lost two games in a row, actually it was three in a row shortly before the five-week break for the London Olympics.

"I'm hoping we won’t lose 2 in a row," Augustus said. "We have been good in that point, bouncing back in tough game situations. And this is a perfect time for us to be able to bound back and go to Indiana and steal one on the road, or steal two on the road and pull this championship off."

Augustus led the Lynx with 23 points Sunday in their 76-70 loss to Indiana. But in the fourth quarter she only took two shots and missed both. She was at the free throw line twice, but made just one free throw.

"I was trying to be as effective as I could be on the court," she said. "As far as the fourth quarter goes, we all struggled offensively. Our offense wasn’t as smooth as we wanted it to be and it affected the way we scored the ball."

But that doesn't mean Game 2 will be anything like that.

"Every game is going to be different because strategies are different," Augustus said. "You tend to adjust."

Maya Moore said Augustus is very important to the Lynx. She provides leadership, scoring and defense.

"We are depending on her to do a lot. and that is not new," Moore said. "It  is something she had to do for this franchise for a long time. The difference is she has so much more talent around her now and she doesn’t have to score as much.

"But she is still going to have to score for us. She also gets assists, she also gets rebounds. She can do so many different things to help us, so even she doesn’t score 30 points,  we are still capable of winning."


On reaction to her public support of gay marriage: "[It's been] all positive feedback, the messages  that i have got on Twitter. Everybody has been very supportive. With the [marriage] amendment coming up, everybody is like, 'We are going to get out and vote no. And thank you for stepping up and being supportive.' "

 On what she likes to buy: "I am a sneaker head. A pair of Jordans were my first shoes." ... She has orthotic devices in her shoes. ... "You look good, you play good that is my philosophy, and that’s what i do."

On how Lynx can win WNBA Finals: "Everybody needs to play like an MVP. Not just myself. We all have to play great bask in order to win."

On athletes speaking out on issues: "I don’t understand why people say that athletes shouldn’t voice their opinions. We have a voice as well and we have a platform that people respect us, they listen to us just as they listen to an R and B singer or a hip-hop artist. Let your voice be heard. Whether people like it or not, it is your opinion and that is how you feel."


Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said Augustus needed help on Sunday. "When Seimone is the only one who is doing anything," Reeve said. "It just makes it very challenging for her, it wears her down."

Reeve also said she is behind Augustus in her support of gay marriage.

"I’m 100 percent supportive of Seimone, especially as it pertains to equality and, in this case, marriage equality. I am happy that we have someone as high profile as she is, that is as great of a person as she is, and she has a tremendous voice.

"I am hopeful for Seimone and a lot of other people that this amendment does not pass. And for her to have a voice to tell people to vote 'No.' And this is not even just about Seimone’s right to get married, this is to try to keep people from saying that the topic can’t even come up, that is the terrible part.

"We have spent millions upon millions of dollars to fight this idea of changing the constitution and that is unfortunate. I applaud Seimone to be able to be out in the forefront."


Erlana Larkins had a big game for Indiana Sunday with 16 points and 15 rebounds.

"We thought we had a plan last time," Reeve said. "But, obviously,  we didn’t understand fully. We have a game plan in place, we will see if we can execute."

Game 2 is Wednesday at Target Center.

The Lynx had Taj McWilliams-Franklin on Larkins most of the time Sunday. "[Rebekkah] Brunson is a better matchup for [Tamika] Catchings," Reeve said. "And Taj’s only job is to block out [Larkins], but as we know that was a challenge for her."

Indiana coach Lin Dunn hopes Larkins continues to play the way she has. "Ever since we inserted her into the lineup, she has made me look like a coach that knows what they are doing," said Dunn,. who made Larkins a starter in the 33rd of 34 regular-season games. "We put her in there for her energy, her effort, her intensity, but more than anything for her rebounding.

"In the Atlanta series, with [Erika] de Souza and [Camille] Little it was obvious we were getting killed on the boards," Dunn said. "She is getting points and a lot of her points are garbage points, putbacks.

"If we were a little better coaches, we would get her the ball a little more because what was she, eight for 12? [Yes.] So we probably. need to think about her getting some more touches."


Katie Douglas, 6-foot wing for Indiana, missed Sunday's game with a sprained left ankle and probably won't play in Game 2.

"She is doing better, the treatment is starting to take effect," Fever coach Lin Dunn said. "She has had four days of treatment of it, [Tues]day is the fifth day. We saw improvement [Monday]. It's still not very likely [Dougles will play]  Wednesday, hopeful for Friday."

Dunn expects Douglas to remain in Indiana. "I don’t think she will be here unless [her doctors] rule her out of the series. Then it would be OK to travel. As long as it is getting better, traveling up here is detrimental to the treatment

"I don’t know what they do with ankles. I think there are four different sessions a day, cold, hot, i don’t know, massage. Whatever they do to try to get the swelling out."


 This is an amazing statistic. I had to look it up before I believed it. Since 2009, the road team has won eight of nine games in the Lynx-Indiana series.

The scores:


June 7 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse .... Lynx 96, Indiana 74 ... Visitors 1-0

Aug. 13 at Target Center ... Indiana 91, Lynx 81 ... Visitors 2-0


June 6 at Target Center ... Indiana 89, Lynx 51 ... Visitors 3-0

Aug. 22 at Banker Life Fieldhouse ... Lynx 83, Indiana 79 ... Visitors 4-0


June 26 at Target Center ... Indiana 78, Lynx 75 ... Visitors 5-0

July 15 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse ... Lynx 80, Indiana 70 ... Visitors 6-0


Sept. 14 at Bankers Fieldhouse ... Lynx 66, Indiana 64 .... Visitors 7-0

Sept. 17 at Target Center .... Lynx 86, Indiana 79 ... Visitors' winning streak snapped at seven

Oct. 14 at Target Center ... Indiana 76, Lynx 70 ... Visitors 6-1

The Lynx actually have a five-game winning streak at Indiana. They won there 84-80 on July 24, 2008 to start it.

Asked about winning on the road, Dunn said, "We know if we defend and rebound -- no matter where we play -- at a high level, you are going to have a chance to win.

"Now normally I would say defend, rebound, get to the free throw line. But we did not get to the free throw line near as many times as they did [on Sunday], and that was a little bit of a concern of mine."

The Fever were 9 of  9 on free throws, the Lynx 15 of 21.

"It was a very physical game," Dunn said, "and some how they ended up gettng double the free throws we did. [So] we did two out of three. We did rebound at a high level and we did defend at a high level and that gives you a chance to win no matter where you are."

* The Lynx have a five-game winning streak at Indiana, last losing there in their season opener on Mary 19, 2007. The Fever won that game 83-64.


The Lynx-Indiana game on ESPN2 last Sunday had a 2.9 rating in the Twin Cities market, meaning 50,000 households tuned in.


Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
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