Lynx rookie Liston turns the corner with confidence

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 12, 2014 - 11:43 PM

Sharpshooter from Duke had her best game of the season last week.


Duke's Tricia Liston warms-up before a game against Winthrop during first-round of the NCAA basketball tournament. Now with the Lynx, Liston has hit on five of eight three-pointers the past three games. For the season, she is 12-for-25 on three-pointers.

Photo: Ted Richardson, AP

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It was a classic Cheryl Reeve joke, one aimed directly at ­herself.

The Lynx had just defeated Los Angeles at home on Tuesday night, a victory earned mainly on the shoulders of veterans Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Janel McCarville.

But rookie Tricia Liston had her best game. She had hit on two of three three-pointers for eight points, with three assists in 17 minutes, probably her most consistent game of the season.

“She’s growing,” Reeve said. “She understands me a little more to know she doesn’t have to pay so much attention to my yelling.”

Seriously, though, Liston appears to have turned a corner with her confidence. Drafted with the final pick (12th overall) in the first round of the 2014 WNBA draft, Liston came to the Lynx from Duke with the reputation as a three-point sharpshooter. Except that, for much of the early part of the season, she seemed reluctant to take a shot when it was open.

Finally, she’s letting it fly. “She just needed to feel some confidence,” Reeve said after Saturday’s practice. “For her, it was an evolution. When she first got here early in camp, there were no veterans here and she was confident. Then the veterans got her and you didn’t hear from her for a while.”

But lately she has provided the second unit with a shooting threat. Liston has hit on five of eight three-pointers the past three games. For the season, she is 12-for-25 on three-pointers. Only Moore has hit more for the Lynx, and Liston’s 48 percent shooting from long range is team’s best. on the team.

“My teammates have done a good job of helping me out, telling me to shoot it, not to pass up shots,” Liston said. “And they’ve let me know they feel comfortable with me taking the shots. “

There has been more to learn. After playing mainly matchup zone in college, Liston has had to learn a new way to play defense.

Brunson practices, a bit

For the first time since having preseason left knee surgery, forward Rebekkah Brunson did a few things on the court in Saturday’s practice. She took part in a shooting drill and in a 5-on-0 offensive walk-through.

The goal remains for Brunson to return after the All Star Game on July 19. The Lynx play Atlanta three days later. And there is a chance Brunson could play then.

Augustus update

Seimone Augustus will miss her sixth game in a row — and her seventh overall — with left knee bursitis. The goal for Augustus is the same, return after the All Star break, possibly against Atlanta.


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