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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Who let Lynx down in Game 4, Augustus or Reeve?

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: October 24, 2012 - 1:12 AM

Indiana coach Lin Dunn said her Fever's 3-1 series win over the Lynx was so unexpected, her team was a bit like Rudy, the walk-on at Notre Dame in football who never gave up. His story became an inspirational movie.

"Nobody thought we could do it except us," Dunn said.

In Game 4, the strategy seemed to be to let Seimone Augustus do it. The veteran guard took 21 shots -- seven more than any other starter, 11 more than five bench players combined.

Here is a breakdown of Augustus' 3 for 21 night -- which was bad from the start:

First quarter

Missed 9-foot jump shot off opening tip, 9:46, 0 x 1

Missed 7-foot jumper. 9:35. 0 x 2

Missed 11-foot jumper, 7:38, 0 x 3

Missed 22-foot jumper, 6:02, 0 x 4

Missed 22-foot jumper, 5:35, 0 x 5

Missed 4-foot jumper, blocked by Shavonte Zellous, 2:51, 0 x 6

Missed 16-foot jumper, :01.9, 0 x  7

Augustus was 0 x 7 after first quarter, teammates 6 x 14. She had one rebound. She drove to the basket several times, but Fever did not foul her and blocked one of her shots. She played 8:53. ... Lynx trailed 25-18.

Second quarter

Made first basket, 17-foot jumper, 9:04, 1 x  8

Fouled by Tamika Catchings, makes two free throws, 7:58, never went to the free throw line again

Made 1-foot finger roll layup on drive, 5:04, 2 x 9 ... Lynx within 37-36

Missed 6-foot jumper, 4:20, 2 x 10

Missed 1-foot layup, 4:00, 2 x 11

Missed 21-foot jumper, 2:53, 2 x 12

Missed 12-foot jump shot, :06.9, 2 x 13

Augustus was 2 x 6 and also made two free throws for six points and had three rebounds playing all 10 minutes. ... Lynx trail 47-42

Third quarter

Made 5-foot jump shot, 7:07, 3 x 14 ... this was last shot she would make, started 0 x 7 and ended 0 x 7

Missed 18-foot jump shot, 6:41, 3 x 15

Missed 13-foot jump shot, 3:11, 3 x 16

Missed 17-foot jump shot, blocked by Jessica Davenport, 1:05, 3 x 17 ... score still close, 61-58 in Indiana's favor

Missed 21-foot jump shot, :00.8 3 x 18

Augustus took shots in the last 7 seconds of first, second and third quarters, missed them all. ... She was 1 x 5 with one steal, one turnover in third quarter. Played all 10 minutes. So through three quarters, she sat for 67 seconds in first quarter. ... Lynx trailed 63-58

Fourth quarter

Augustus started on bench, went in with 7:19 left, eight seconds later, she took her a shot  ...

Missed 5-foot jumper, 7:11, 3 x 19

Missed 13-foot jumper, 6:30, 3 x 20

Missed 15-foot jumper, 5:19, 5:19, 3 x 21

Augustus was taken out with 3:20 left, replaced by Monica Wright and did not return. Score at the time was 75-67 Indiana ... She was 0 x 3 in 3:59 of four quarter. She finished 3 x 21, 0 x 4 on three-pointers. She had seven rebounds, but zero assists -- not looking to pass this game -- one steal an two turnovers.

Afterward, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said she fel terrible for Augustus. She also should have felt terrible for whoever drew up this game plan: Just keep shooting Seimone, your shots will fall -- or the Lynx will.

The Lynx play at their best when everyone is contributing. In this game when Augustus got the ball, all she did was shoot and shoot. Even in the fourth quarter she was shooting nearly every time she touched the ball..

And nothing was falling. Indiana had their best perimeter defender on her, Briann January, a member of the all-defensive team. Most impressive was January never put Augustus on the line. Her two free throws came after Catchings fouled her.

"My teammates did a great job," Augustus said. "They fought hard and kept us in the game as long as they could. That is all you could have asked for. ... We struggled shooting the entire series."

Said Indiana coach Lin Dunn of Augustus, "She is an awesome player. But Briann January if a first team, all-WNBA defensive player. ... She is tougher than nails on defense. And when you look at the games where -- the last two games where Augustus has struggled, let's give Briann January credit and let's give the rest of the team credit.

"When [Augustus] got by January, somebody else was there. I really think our defense and our phsyical defense really bothered her."

Augustus shot 14.3 percent in Game 4, her teammates 53.7 percent. Maybe coach Cheryl Reeve should have told her she didn't have to win Game 4 by herself like she tried to do.

Her 21 shots were the second-most she has taken this season. She took 23 shots in Game 2 vs. Indiana, a 83-71 Lynx win. That night, she was 11 for 23 and scored 23 of her 27 points in the second half.

THEY SAY

* Lynx center Taj McWilliams-Franklin: "It all really came down to losing Game 1 at home, losing home court advantage."

Taj on whether she will play next season: "Tough question. I don't make decisions based on emotions ever. I haven't made a decision on my future yet before February and I won't start tonight [Sunday]."

* Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson: "They [the Fever] are a great club and it's their time."

DUNNISMS

 "We probably don't have as much talent as they do," Dunn said, "so we had to win the old-fashioned way, with great defense, with rebounding, with toughness. And then, of course, we had to use the bench as best we could.

"But we knew if we ever let them separate, we'd be in trouble. And that's what happened to us in the third quarter [of Game 2]. The crazy quarter with the flying jacket. They separated and then we never could overcome it."

Dunn also said emotions played a big role in the series.

"Everybody talks about the missing piece in Tamika Catchings' career," Dunn said, referring to an WNBA title. "I really believe our players took that personally. I really believe that was an incentive, and then when Katie [Douglas] went down, they wanted to win it for her. A lot of emotional things came into play here that somehow overcame the talent."

ETC.

* Catchings, the clear MVP of the WNBA Finals, averaged 22.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

* The Lynx shot 28.6 percent in the first quarter of Game 4,tying the lowest mark in WNBA history set buy Detroit in 2003 vs. Los Angeles.

* Guard Candice Wiggins of the Lynx played only 2 minutes, 14 seconds. She suffered a whiplash injury in the first quarter.

 

 

 

 

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