BY MIKE PEDEN
Minnesota Lynx fans and players may consider this weekend a "teaching moment."
Following a 65-55 loss to Seattle on Friday, the Lynx dropped a close game to the Indiana Fever 78-75 at Target Center Sunday as Indiana's perimeter shooting overpowered Minnesota's inside game.
Although the Lynx (5-3) out-rebounded the Fever (6-3) 39-26 and outscored the Fever in the paint 42-22, the Fever countered with 46 percent field goal shooting and 8-of-18 from three-point range. The Lynx were 41 percent from the floor and 3-of-10 from beyond the arc.
"On the offensive end, it's inside-out. (Tamika Catchings) went to the power forward tonight and created a lot of mismatches," said Indiana guard Katie Douglas.
After Minnesota reeled in a 29-18 Indiana lead with a 17-2 run in the second quarter, neither team led by more than seven for the remainder of the game.
Douglas scored a game-high 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting, but a free throw miss following a Maya Moore foul with 18 seconds to go in the fourth left her speechless; the 80 percent career free throw shooter is currently sitting at 67 percent.
Douglas did make the second to give Indiana a 76-73 lead, but they would hold their breath one more time as Douglas fouled Lynx guard Seimone Augustus behind the three-point line on the left corner.
"I knew we had one foul to give, and I was trying to give up the foul," she said.
"Seimone, being the smart player, throws the ball up and they send her to the free throw line," Catchings said.
Augustus missed her first free throw and made her last two, forcing the Lynx to continue playing foul-and-chase.
"After she missed the first one, I was like 'Whew, we got this,' but I was a little nervous," Catchings said.
After Fever reserve Jeanette Pohlen sank two free throws with 5.6 seconds left to push their lead to three, the Lynx had one more chance, but Lindsay Whalen's three-point attempt from the top of the key was wide left as the buzzer sounded.
Catchings added 17 points, playing a pivotal role in the fourth to secure the victory.
Moore tied her career high in scoring with 21 points for Minnesota, but only four came in the second half as foul trouble limited her production. Whalen and Augustus scored 12 and 10 respectively, but the two combined to make just nine of their 28 shot attempts.
"We have to be the mentally tougher team for longer stretches. It's going to take efforts like Jessica Adair did," Moore said.
While back-to-back losses could cause Lynx fans to panic after seeing them squander hot starts in 2008 and 2009, second-year center Adair highlighted the deeper bench opposing teams have raved about when facing the Lynx. Adair proved highly effective in the 8:17 of floor time she played with seven points and six rebounds, five of them offensive.
In fact, Adair scooped one more offensive rebound than rebounding specialist Rebekkah Brunson, despite playing less than a quarter of Brunson's total minutes.
"Rebekkah's arguably the best post player in the league and Taj (McWilliams-Franklin) has been around forever. If I weren't here picking up little things from them, I'd be a fool," Adair said.
Catchings believes Minnesota's bench will make them one of the best teams in the league as the season continues.
"They're a threat at every single position," she said.
Programs available for DVD purchase
Autism: The Wall That Knows No Limits - Award-winning documentary series providing insights on autism rarely seen in contemporary media. Produced by someone on the spectrum, this series is a wealth of information for anyone seeking to learn about autism.
$15 for one episode, $50 for the complete series (4 episodes)
What Are You? A Dialogue on Mixed Race - Originally a school assignment, this one-hour documentary explores a population that existed for many years but didn't get much focus until recently. This program examines how a small but growing segment of the population could shift racial and cultural identity. Screened at the 2009 Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival and will be screened at the inaugural Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University. $15
From Vices to Verses: Featuring Voices Merging - From Vices to Verses: A New Era of Hip Hop and Action is a biannual conference held at the University of Minnesota. The goal is to promote the culture and history of hip-hop, which is often lost in the corporate mainstream representation. In this program, you'll see how the Voices Merging student group absorbed what they witnessed and how their experience will transform them as a group and as individuals. DVD copies come with 14 minutes of bonus footage not seen online or on TV. $15
Minnesota Machine: 2010 - Geared for Greatness - Join the professional women's football team in their historic 2nd season. Despite several injuries that depleted the roster, the Machine finished 2010 with a 6-3 record and their first division title in franchise history, edging the Iowa Thunder in the Midwest Division of the American Conference. This highlight reel includes clips from the 2010 season and their interview on the cable television show Rollin' and Tumblin' - $15
Silhouettes by RZI Couture - The inaugural breast cancer benefit fashion premiere took place in St. Paul and was met with a fabulous response. All the models were breast cancer survivors or relatives of someone affected by breast cancer and all the clothing was designed by Rosalyn Smaller, owner of RZI Couture and currently fighting breast cancer herself. The TV version features testimonials from the models and co-host Miss Georgia of KMOJ. $10 of every purchase will be donated to RZI Couture to help the breast cancer fight! $15