It's cold outside, but Lynx players are playing basketball around the world. Here is a roundup from the Lynx PR staff:

* After scoring 40 points in Shanxi’s Game 1 loss to Beijing in the Women's Chinese Basketball Association best-of-three semifinals, Maya Moore focused on defense on Thursday.

She shut down Beijing star Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars forward), limiting her to just 10 points in 21 minutes. Moore had 19 points,  13 rebounds,  seven assists,  three steals and two blocks in Shanxi's 76-54 win.

Shanxi plays Beijing again on Saturday in the deciding Game 3 at home with the winner moving on to the WCBA finals against Elizabeth Cambage (Tulsa Shock center) and Zhejiang.

* Seimone Augustus and Sparta&K dominated Wisla Can-Pak in EuroLeague play Wednesday, improving to 9-2 in EuroLeague with a 89-63 win.

Augustus scored 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting, one of five Sparta&K players in double figures in the rout. Sparta&K returns to the floor on Sunday in Russian League play, facing  WNBA stars Kristi Toliver (LA Sparks guard) and Crystal Langhorne (Washington Mystics forward) and second-place Dynamo Moscow.

* Lindsay Whalen continued her hot play Wednesday for Galatasaray, scoring a game-high 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting to lead her team over Perfumerias. She also had eight rebounds and four assists, both team highs, as Galatasaray won 68-56. Galatasaray is 9-2 in the EuroLeague.

Last weekend in the Turkish League, Whalen scored a game-high 19 points to lead Galatasaray over Ceyhan Bld 77-62. Galatasaray is second in the Turkish League (TKBL) with a 12-2 record.

* Monica Wright had 23 points, five rebounds and three assists for Dandenong last weekend in a 98-73 win over Canberra. Wright was 9-of-16 from the floor and had a pair of steals and a blocked shot. She is averaging 14.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals in 21.5 minutes per game in the WNBL (Women's National Basketball League) in Australia this season.

  *Jessica Adair had a solid weekend for Townsville, another Aussie team On Friday, Adair scored eight points on 2-of-4 shooting, adding five rebounds in 10 minutes of play as Townsville fell to Bendigo 80-72. The next night, she had 16 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and a steal as Townsville won 78-65 over Bulleen. The Fire are now 10-8 this season, fourth place in the WNBL.


WNBA teams can start signing free agents on Feb. 1, which means the Lynx will probably want to know by then if Taj McWilliams-Franklin, their starting center, is coming back for another season.

Mama Taj is 42 and this offseason is not paying overseas as usual. Instead she is in her first season as an assistant coach at Rice University in Houston.

The Owls are 9-9 overall, 1-4 in Conference USA after a tough 49-48 home loss to UTEP on Thursday.

On Rice's web site the head shot of McWilliams-Franklin is her in a Lynx uniform. There is also an action shot of her playing for the Lynx in a WNBA game.

Rice won six games in a row earlier this season, but is in a 1-5 slide of late.

If the Lynx had won a second title last season, I think that Mama Taj would have retired. And she still might. But I know she likes Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve, her Lynx teammates and she ust might be coaxed into one more run at another title after coming so close in 2012.

The Lynx lost to Indiana 3-1 in the WNBA Finals. Not the way McWilliams-Franklin would want her long career to end.